Category Archives: Tutorials

Tutorial: How to Make A Perfect Buttonhole

Tutorial: How to Make A Perfect Buttonhole

Buttonholes can induce a little anxiety, especially if you have to make ten or twelve of them on a shirt. But if you follow these simple steps, and practice, you will soon be making lovely buttonholes without batting an eyelash. Really! Please note: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you decide to purchase. Thanks! Here’s what you need to get started: A garment with appropriate interfacing applied to the area where buttonholes will be maderead more

Tutorial: 10 ways to finish your seams

Tutorial: 10 ways to finish your seams

There are loads of different ways to finish a seam allowance; in this tutorial I will just cover ten of the methods that you might like to experiment with. Maybe you have a favorite or two in this grouping, and maybe you will be encouraged to try a few other finishes in the near future. The purpose of a seam finish can be to: prevent raveling provide a decorative detail on the inside of a garment strengthen a seam reduceread more

Tutorial: How to Add Piping to a Seam

Tutorial: How to Add Piping to a Seam

Adding a bit of piping in a seam is an easy way to give your finished garment some pizazz, and often a pop of color as well. I don’t really consider this to be a couture technique; tho some folks do. Really, it is easy. Just start by including it in a straight seam rather than something curved like a collar, and then after you get the hang of it you can go crazy. Midriff bands or waist seams areread more

Tutorial: How to Iron the Collar When Making a Shirt

Tutorial: How to Iron the Collar When Making a Shirt

The collar is the main focal point of a shirt, so everything you can do to make this part of your garment as perfect as possible will help your garment achieve that “standard of excellence” we sewists all strive for with our garments. Ironing, or pressing, is an often overlooked or under-appreciated part of sewing. And they are different. Ironing involves sliding the iron across the fabric; pressing is lifting and setting down an iron with some pressure. If youread more

Tutorial: How to Set in a Sleeve Without an Easing Stitch

Tutorial: How to Set in a Sleeve Without an Easing Stitch

For some reason, learning how to set sleeves into blouses or dresses can cause some sewists to break out in hives. Part of the reason for this struggle can be poor pattern-drafting. Hear that! Not.Your.Fault! But with a properly drafted pattern you can often set the sleeve in without adding an easing stitch to your sleeve. What I mean by a properly drafted sleeve is one with a high sleeve cap that only has about 1 inch or less ofread more

Tutorial: How to add a vented sleeve band

Tutorial: How to add a vented sleeve band

Have you ever made a blouse or top and the sleeves ended up being shorted than you would have liked? C’mon, you know you have; it has happened to all of us who sew. I like to view these situations as “design opportunities” rather than disasters, and one of my favorite ways to add a little snap to an outfit with too-short sleeves is to add a vented cuff. It looks all designer-y-and-fancy, but it really is super simple. Youread more

Tutorial: How to Ruche a Sleeve

Tutorial: How to Ruche a Sleeve

A really fun (and cute!) way to shorten a sleeve or pant leg without re-hemming is to add a bit of ruching. You can do this to RTW clothes as easily as clothing you have made for yourself. The only slightly tricky part is deciding what length you want to be gathered. This is definitely a case where less is more, because the finished ruching section will be approximately half the length you initially measure. For my sweater sleeve example,read more

Tutorial: How to Stay Knit Neck Edges

Tutorial: How to Stay Knit Neck Edges

A common way of finishing simple knit T-shirts is to just turn under the raw edge around the neckline and topstitch or coverstitch the edge. Fast and easy! I have done it plenty of times, and my normal method of preventing gaping around the neckline was to stabilize right up against the cut edge of the neckline with knit stay tape. Worked reasonably well, but I did occasionally need to clip into the neckline so that it would lay smoothlyread more

Tutorial: How to tame your gathers

Tutorial: How to tame your gathers

Now that you know how to gather successfully, the next challenge is making sure that your gathers are straight and even when you are sewing big onto little. Easier said than done, right? How often have you ended up with a full skirt stitched to a bodice and the gathers look like Indiana Jone’s snake pit ? Don’t sweat it; I got a couple of tricks for you to tame that fabric fullness. As a matter of fact, you don’tread more

Tutorial: Gather successfully!

Tutorial: Gather successfully!

Let’s face it, gathering fabric can be a pain. Especially if the fabric you are using is a heavier weight than say, quilting cotton, or if you have yards and yards of it to be gathered for a home dec project. Even on small projects, I have found that young sewists struggle to gather without breaking threads halfway through. This common sewing frustration led to the creation of this video. I hope you enjoy it!     Happy sewing! Maris