More Neckline Styles Than You’ll Ever Need

neckline styles

Just like the waistline, the neckline style is a defining factor when it comes to the overall look and feel of your outfit.  Your choice of neckline styles defines whether your outfit is formal or casual, feminine and playful or sophisticated and stylish. There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right neckline style for your garment; including body shape, bust size, décolleté line, shoulder size, neck length/thickness and face shape. Conventional wisdom might suggest that large breasted gals opt for higher necklines but this is actually a bad idea…the higher the neckline, the lower set it will make you lovely ladies appear so you should be going for medium cuts. Also, the wider the cut of the neckline, the broader your shoulders will appear –so you can offset a wide hip with the illusion of balance in … Continue reading

How to choose the correct sewing thread

choose correct sewing thread

Do you pick up just any matching thread that you come across and sew your fabric? Or do you examine the thread closely before using it for a project? If you are like me and sometimes pick up any thread lying on the stash, then it’s time to change the rule. The quality of the thread used has a direct bearing on the final outcome of your sewing project. To get the best possible outcome, you need to get a clear understanding of the various types of threads available and when to use them.  To help you with this important process, we’ve put together a short list of guidelines on how to choose the correct sewing thread. Types of thread Cotton thread: These are threads that are used for natural fabric like cotton. Most of the cotton thread has a lustrous … Continue reading

Sashiko Quilting Tutorial: How to Make a Japanese Embroidery Cushion

sashiko quilting tutorial

Hello! I’m Rin from Sew in Love and owner of Hana Patterns. I’m back with another free sewing pattern for you, inspired by my Japanese heritage. You can make this embroidered pillow to add a touch of ethnic and bohemian style to your home. What’s Sashiko? Sashiko is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery. It started out as a way to strengthen cotton and linen fabrics, but these days, we enjoy its repetitive patterns for decoration. Once you get started, sashiko embroidery is a really calming and relaxing activity. I love how my sashiko pillow enhances my other handmade pillows to bring a boho vibe to my living room (see my room tour here). Let’s get started! MATERIALS I’ve designed this sashiko embroidery pattern so it can be be adapted to any pillow size. But for your reference, my pillow is 50cm x … Continue reading

How to add extra pockets to any tote bag

add extra pockets

This week I want to show you how to add extra pockets to any tote bag.  I’ll demonstrate this with the extra pockets I added at the bottom of the small canvas tote bag that was recently published on our site.  Please also check out the full video tutorial showing all the steps in making this wonderful accessory. I love totes, especially small ones.  They are easy to make and to carry because they limit the number of things you can put inside.  That makes it easier on your back and perfect for walking around. With a small tote, all the essentials are right at your fingertips for you and everyone else as well, unfortunately!  But, where do you put your money?  This is one of those sewing hacks when you are not entirely satisfied with the number of pockets that your … Continue reading

15 Essential Tools for Your Beginner Sewing Kit

essential sewing tools

People who have never been interested in sewing before or who only practiced sewing as a hobby in their younger years may wonder what it takes to get started or get back into sewing.  Many of these prospective sewists often wonder what are the essential sewing tools that would make up the perfect beginner sewing kit?  And what’s the cost to stock up on these items to complete various projects? Below is a list of tools that can be considered “essential” for the beginner sewing kit.  They are the tools you want to learn the name of, have in your sewing box and learn to use if you want to try various sewing projects to see what you like doing. For your convenience only, each image links to the actual product on Amazon so you can check pricing compared to … Continue reading

How to make a bell sleeve top, a pattern transformation made easy

bell sleeve top

The focus of this tutorial is to teach you how to transform an existing pattern to adapt it to the bell sleeve top design.  It’s time to use the patterns you already have and learn how to alter them to come up with different outfits. This tutorial works best if you’re modifying the sleeves on the popular High-Low T-Shirt free pattern that we recently released.  However, if you’re more practiced in pattern alteration, you can do this with almost any top pattern.  You can download the pattern for the High-Low T-Shirt here if you’ve not done so already. I have chosen the bell sleeve style because it is very easy to make and it’s going to be trendy this spring. We’re going to look at two options of the bell sleeve design today.  The first is the classic, long bell … Continue reading

A Score of Skirt Styles: Be Sure to Take the Quiz

skirt styles

The age old, immensely feminine, and ever evolving skirt is a staple in the wardrobe of anyone who’s proud to call herself a woman and it comes in more skirt styles than most of us can imagine or certainly name by memory. When building up your wardrobe and planning for your next sewing project, take a look at some of these timeless and unique skirt styles to see if you can find something you don’t already have –perhaps a skirt style to flatter your particular form or make a slightly different fashion statement. Rest assured, in one of these styles you ought to see something which gets that pedal foot jittering! A simple rule of thumb to keep in mind when skirting for a particular body type is this: Maxi skirts will lengthen, fitted skirts will show off a stunning … Continue reading

Sewing Viscose, or is it Rayon??: Fabric Tips

sewing viscose

Viscose (known in the US as Rayon) often elicits very strong feelings. Some sewists hate this material, while others see its benefits.  I remember back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when this fabric started to be popular and it was used for numerous garments that you would see on the racks in the store. The material does not crease much and was, therefore, a big draw for clothing stores. However, the first time the garment gets washed, it tends to shrink. This often meant a big waste of money, so after a while, viscose clothes went right back on the rack when the shopper saw a label saying viscose or rayon. Today, however, viscose standards are significantly different and many sewists are turning to viscose more often. While the fabric should always be pre-washed before you start a sewing … Continue reading

All Natural DIY Dye for Fabric and Yarn: Safe & Healthy

natural diy dye

There are a lot of practical reasons to make your own natural DIY dye from natural ingredients. It’s cost effective, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. It’s derived from renewable resources and is biodegradable; it can be disposed of safely in your kitchen sink. These are all things to feel good about, but beyond the practical, there’s the meditative, gratifying art of natural dye making. The colors achieved using natural DIY dye are earthy and organic, and the results are variable and inconsistent in the best way possible. What artist wants to create the same masterpiece twice? The inspiration for your palette is everywhere: in your spice drawer, your backyard, and blooming in your flowerbed. It quite literally grows on trees. Here’s a little to get you started. For blue, use hyacinth, mulberries, or dogwood fruit. For brown, use coffee, cinnamon, walnut hulls, … Continue reading

Common Sewing Stitches You Need to Know

common sewing stitches

Generally speaking, sewing machines in the current market come with a great range of functionality.  However, one of the most important tasks, perhaps the backbone of every impeccable garment, is understanding the various stitching techniques every machine has to offer.  No matter the complexity or style of your sewing machine, even the simplest ones should accommodate these common sewing stitches. The fundamental art of stitching is primarily based on the stitch structure and the method used to interlace the threads.  Occasionally, you might get confused on what stitch to use where.   Not to worry; here is a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide featuring ten most common stitches to see you through your sewing projects. 1. Straight Stitch or Lockstitch To say that this is a common stitch is an understatement.  With its innumerable number of faces, this stitch is arguably the … Continue reading

Detachable collar: the easy way to bling your outfit. Part 1

detachable collar

A detachable collar is perhaps the easiest way to “bling” an outfit and make it more elegant without having to go and spend a whole bunch of money on jewelry.   A removable collar is also a great alternative to the current trend of chokers that are in every jewelry store these days –at least in my corner of the world. Here is a super easy way to make one that will take you only a short time, few supplies and little money to make. When making this collar, you should take into consideration the venerable Fibonacci sequence which is a pillar of design and even architecture.  This sequence of numbers is found all around nature and using it in your designs will make them really stand out.  We are more in tune with nature than you think and our brain recognizes … Continue reading