How to make an easy party dress for summer + VIDEO TUTORIAL

easy party dress

The other day I needed to make an Easy Party Dress for Summer in a hurry.  A long-forgotten invitation at the bottom of my daughter’s school backpack and just a few hours of warning led me to realize that she had nothing appropriate to wear.  I’m sure all those that have kids, especially teenagers, can relate to what was happening.  Suddenly, overnight it seems that my daughter went from a little kid to a female taller than I am, so I couldn’t even lend her something of mine to wear. Panic-stricken and  looking in my fabric stash, I spotted a print that looked fancy although if I recall, the price I had paid did not reflect that –I think I payed only something like $2 dollars a yard.  I got some elastic and some lace and sat at my sewing table … Continue reading

Sew Easy Fabrics for Beginners

Best

Congratulations! You have already sewn some small projects and are set to move on to sewing your own garment.  Perhaps you are now getting ready to sew your first dress and looking forward to wear your first creative sewing expression. And if you are a bit nervous that it will not turn out perfect, don’t fret. We all make mistakes, but working with certain fabrics for beginners could make your first sewing project a sure success! Fabrics for beginners As you start to go beyond the invisible border of buying clothes and getting ready enter the wonderful world of sewing, it is important to know that there are fabrics that are more adaptable than others. Generally one of the most manageable fabrics to work on is cotton. This versatile fabric can be as light as a handkerchief or heavy like … Continue reading

Amazing Eco-Friendly Fabric Innovations

Eco Friendly Fabric

As humans become more aware of the harmful impact our daily living activities sometimes have on our environment, we are frequently encouraged to use non-polluting materials.  Different kinds of eco-friendly fabric and textiles are now being developed and those who are ecologically aware are keeping watch of these innovative and sustainable fabrics. Indeed, those who adhere to “green living” tend to stay away from traditional cotton or polyester, the production of which can be deemed environmentally harmful.  Cotton uses a huge amount of water and chemicals to grow and polyester comes from non-renewable petrochemicals.  And as scientists try to find more ways to minimize our carbon footprint, amazing discoveries and innovations in cloth production have also emerged.  These new “green” super textiles may be the fabrics of the future. First, however, let’s have a quick look at what might be considered more … Continue reading

How to Use the Pintuck Foot

pintuck foot

I’ve been learning more about the different sewing machine feet in my mega-box of presser feet that I bought.  This week, the pintuck foot has been intriguing and delighting me.  Accurate sewing has never been a strong-point of mine so the prospect of sewing lines and lines of neat and accurate little pin tucks – well, that would fill me with horror! Bring it on now that I have the pintuck foot.  Accurate and straight sewing has never been easier with this simple addition to the machine.  Often seen in heirloom sewing mixed in with other decorative stitching, pin tucks are pretty and give dimension and structure to your sewing.  They can be used purely as a decorative addition, but with some clever thinking they can also be used to give shaping to garments in place of pleats and darts … Continue reading

Shirring without elastic thread

shirring without elastic thread

So what is shirring anyway? In preparation for a new project this week, I want to introduce you to a technique called shirring (which is sometimes known as smocking) with a simple practice tutorial.  According to Wikipedia, “shirring is two or more rows of gathers that are used to decorate parts of garments, usually sleeves, bodice or yoke.”  With shirring, the gathers can be both decorative as well as functional since elastic can be used to draw in the gathers giving the garment more give to accommodate different sizes. Most techniques you’ll see around will show you how to do shirring with elastic thread.  Personally, I think that technique has some significant limitations, so I’m going to show you how you can do shirring without elastic thread and using normal elastic.  When you use elastic thread, this thread can irritate … Continue reading

Zibbet T-shirt Giveaway Winners Announced

Zibbet Giveaway Winners

We are delighted to announce and congratulate the winners of the Zibbet T-shirt Giveaway which concluded yesterday. You may recall that Zibbet was the sponsor of this recent contest that went along with our article on How to Start Your Sewing Side Business. The folks from Zibbet will be contacting the lucky winners directly to organise the shipment of the prizes.  There was an excellent turnout for this giveaway and it is great to see a winner from Canada as well as two from the USA. Interestingly, based on the names and photos submitted, it would appear that 2 or the 3 winners are men!  It’s really great to see such diversity in our readership.  You may all remember our recent post called For Men Who Love to Sew.  Hopefully this is an indication that our male audience growing strongly! For … Continue reading

Professional sewing labels – the next step for your business

professional sewing labels

Attractive and professional sewing labels and hang tags are essential to creating that polished look and feel for a growing home sewing business.  They are essential in building your brand recognition and value and the more the professional looking, the better. (What are hang tags you might ask? Those are those cardboard tags you find on clothing in stores that show the brand name, price, care instructions, material and other info the potential purchaser might want to know.  These aren’t necessary for everyone, but are pretty important if you want to really look professional.) We’ve written a lot over the years about how to create your own sewing labels.  Just a few weeks ago we published a popular post called Yes! You CAN make professional looking custom sewing labels!.  And while the materials and techniques presented can certainly get you a very presentable … Continue reading

Culottes tutorial for summer time glamour

culottes tutorial

Culottes, one of the most trendy styles of the 50’s and 60’s, are back!  Culottes are flared pants or shorts that can often look like a skirt or a dress when you’re wearing them.  I have been trying to help you build a warm weather wardrobe that is both easy and practical  –and that is easy to make.  Here is another free pattern to add to your collection of projects for the summer. “Culotte” is a French word that means the lower part of a garment or knee breeches.  They have been fashionable since Henry III made them popular at court in France in the latter part of the 1500’s and were worn mostly by the upper class.  Later, in the time leading up to the French revolution in 18th century, the lower classes who wouldn’t have worn culottes became … Continue reading

Baby Kimono Onesie – Free Sewing Pattern and Tutorial

Free Baby Kimono Onesie Sewing Pattern: Make this cute kimono style onesie for your little one or as a lovely baby shower gift.

If you’ve ever dressed a little baby, you’ll know how much they like to wiggle; making it really difficult to put any clothes on them. Any item of clothing which needs to go over the baby’s head, or has lots of fiddly buttons can be especially cumbersome. That’s why I love baby clothes with a front opening, such as this baby kimono onesie. My baby girl, Umi, has been wearing a kimono as her pyjamas ever since she was born. She’s recently grown out of the kimono I bought for her in Japan, so I decided to make my own baby kimono in a bigger size. The Sewing Pattern This baby kimono onesie sewing pattern comes in two sizes, 3-6 and 6-9 months. Umi is 7 months old and she is wearing the 6-9 months size.  Make sure you print the … Continue reading

And the winner is…

fabric contest winner

This week we were delighted to announce the winner of our recent $50 fabric giveaway sponsored by Smuggler’s Daughter. Eva C from Fair Lawn NJ, USA will receive the $50 gift certificate directly from Susan at Smuggler’s Daughter. We had a huge turnout for this contest and we really want to thank everyone for their participation.  In total, we received 4446 entries which is almost exactly 4X the participation we had the last time we ran this free fabric giveaway contest only a year or so ago.  This is a real sign of how quickly the So Sew Easy community is growing. Please stay tuned, we have another exciting giveaway starting shortly!  

The Lost Art of Hand Sewing

hand sewing

Considered as one of the oldest kinds of textile arts, hand sewing started during the Paleolithic Age, when Stone Age people made clothes out of fur and skin.  We published an article recently tracing the origins of sewing back over 25,000 years to the very beginning.  In another of our recent articles examined the sewing revolution and how sewing has changed since the invention of the sewing machine and the ready-to-wear clothing market to the present day. In this article we look at the time in between, when complex and beautiful garments we constructed by hand often over weeks and months of painstaking effort and what of that art still exists today in the form of the Haute Couture fashion industry. Hand sewing became a popular art and craft for thousands of years largely until the invention of the sewing machine in … Continue reading