Category Archives: Tutorials

Tutorial: Turn out belts and more with your Fasturn

Tutorial: Turn out belts and more with your Fasturn

Thanks to the lovely Carol in Denver and several of my ASG sewing sisters, I have exciting news to report about the Fasturn tube turners. You absolutely do NOT have to have both ends of the tube open to turn it. This is a major revelation to me, although it appears to be common knowledge for many of you! Next time, keep me in the loop, peeps! So just in case you were also in the dark about this mah-velousread more

Tutorial: How to EASILY make a kick-ass sleeve placket

Tutorial: How to EASILY make a kick-ass sleeve placket

If you know anything at all about me, you should know I love cardboard. Or more accurately, tagboard.This little miracle makes my sewing life so much easier, more professional,and very importantly, REPEATABLE. Get in the habit of making cardboard/tagboard templates in dimensions you use frequently, and then use them to accurately turn hems, shirt placket fronts, and more. Easy-peasy. Today we are going to use a tagboard “jig” to help make stinkin’ simple shirt plackets. Sleeve placket jigs Cut 1read more

Tutorial: Attaching binding to a knit cami

Tutorial: Attaching binding to a knit cami

Pattern instructions from McCalls 6225 childrens sleepwear pattern I hope you can read these %$*#) worthless pattern instructions. Worse than worthless. And that kind of nonsense from the McCalls pattern company makes me hopping mad. Pure, unadulterated laziness. “Turn right side out.” Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? I am hardly new to working with knits, and thirty minutes later all I had was a hole in the middle of the binding strap that was stuck part way thru the “turnread more

Tutorial: 3 Ways to Gather Fabric

Tutorial: 3 Ways to Gather Fabric

Gathering is an insanely common sewing task, especially if you are sewing with or for girls, right? Recently I hosted a sewing camp featuring “twirly skirts”, and I was stunned by how hard it was for kids to gather fabric. Clearly some things I have just forgotten after sewing for almost 50 years! I decided to figure out a way that kids could successfully gather fabric regardless of the kind of sewing machine or accessory feet they owned. And byread more

Tutorial: Adding Leather Toggles to a Coat

Tutorial: Adding Leather Toggles to a Coat

Sometimes an entire garment can be a challenging project, and sometimes just a single element on the garment can make your palms sweaty and cause a severe case of sewing-room-avoidance-syndrome. It’s happened to you, too. You know WHAT the next step is, but the HOW looks like a toddler’s art project in your head. So you sit and look at the garment instead of sewing. For days. Maybe weeks! I was totally flummoxed by how to add leather toggles toread more

Tutorial: How to Create Perfect Edgestitching

Some things are just slower than molasses in February to accomplish. Like learning to edit videos, for example. You would think that someone who is very technically astute would be able to pick up learning a new software program rather quickly, but it sure did not happen that way around here. But enough griping, and on to the video! I hope you learn a thing or two about how to create beautiful edgestitching on your garments, and I would LOVEread more

Tutorial: How to center a zipper like Rosie the Riveter

It is time to conquer your fear. Fear of sewing zippers, that is. What is it about a few inches of nylon coil and firm fabric that sends you, a grown woman,  into a dither? Pffft. Nonsense. All you need to do is gather the right tools, spend a few extra minutes prepping, and a perfect zipper is within your grasp. Really. Today’s tutorial covers centered zippers. Let’s get started so I can prove to you how easy it is.read more

Tutorial: Seam finishing (part 1)

Don’t you just love the clarity in today’s pattern instructions? One of my favorite instructional sentences found in many patterns today is “Finish seam.” Wow. How do you begin to follow THAT? What does “finish”mean? Are there different kinds of seam finishes? When do you choose one over another? What is the purpose of a seam finish? Do you ALWAYS finish seams? This kind of useless information makes my blood boil. A beginning sewist reads this sentence and just wantsread more

How to shorten a sleeve pattern

I bet you thought you could just whack the excess length off the bottom edge of your sleeve pattern, am I right? Bad idea, unless of course you like a really loose fit on your wrist. Instead, I’ll show you how easy peasy it is to shorten a sleeve pattern. Here is what you need to get started: a “too long” sleeve pattern an 18 inch ruler a pencil some kind of tape – either blue painters tape (easily removable)read more

Lapped zipper tutorial, part 1

Thank you, Louise Cutting. She wrote a great article for Threads on inserting a lapped zipper into a garment with a facing for Threads magazine (issue 145). If you have the Threads Archive DVD you can easily find it…but if not….here is my slightly altered version of her process. For this process I am using my faced skirt as an example, but you could apply the same technique to a garment with a neckline facing. Best practices: Cut the seamread more