Quick Tips For Sewing Difficult Fabrics

Sewing Difficult Fabrics

Knowing good basic sewing skills always comes in handy.  But sometimes, challenging fabrics can still be too much to handle.  Indeed, what may seem like simple tasks of folding and cutting a fabric can become frustrating –not to mention the difficulties that will be encountered when we start running our sewing machines through these uncooperative fabrics. Generally, when dealing with challenging fabrics, there are some things we can do to immediately improve the situation. Adjusting your machine’s thread tension up and down until you identify the best setting for the particular fabric can do wonders.  Speeding up as well as slowing down the sewing may make your sewing machine run smoothly over the fabric.  You may just have to experiment a little.  Simply making sure that the fabric is free of dust or any adhesive residue may also make it cooperate better with your … Continue reading

Tips on sewing with fur every beginner should know

sewing with fur

Sewing with fur is relatively easy (and fun!), but every beginner should know these tips before starting a project.  Bear in mind we will be talking about faux fur and not the real thing..  Working with this special material does require patience, however. You can make many fun and interesting things with faux fur.  While it’s very inexpensive, it can add beautiful accents to garments or bags you may make.  We’ll be using it in a few projects in the future so it is worth having a look through these tips now. Faux fur is also known as fake fur, synthetic fur or fun fur.  Whatever the name given, today sometimes is very difficult to know the diference between fake or real.  Looking at the back of the fur is the only way to distinguish between the two. Real fur is … Continue reading

Salvage your Selvages!

salvage your selvages

Now any seamstress or hobby sewist will undoubtedly have discarded that little white strip along the fabric edge without a second thought, probably a few hundred times or more. You know that “useless” strip where the manufacturer’s branding is printed…along with a few strange coloured circles? Well, there’s more to it than just branding! That printing along the fabric edge is known as the fabric selvage marking and, together with keeping the fabric from fraying or unravelling, it actually contains more useful info than you’d previously imagined. What’s in a name? Before you learn the secrets of the strip: how about that weird name?! Well, the name selvage or selvedge originated form the term self-edge, meaning a self finished edge of fabric. You will find that the specific weave in the selvage strip stops it from fraying entirely. It is … Continue reading

Adding Bling with Fabric Stencils, Sew-On Jewels, and Sequins

fabric stencils

Printing using fabric stencils is one of the easiest ways to decorate a garment in need of a bit of excitement.  To tell you the truth, the princess I “borrowed” for the photo shoot a couple weeks ago for the Easy Princess Dress Pattern didn’t like the costume at first.  Who can blame her?  There was no tiara, no jewels or slippers and most importantly no bling on the dress to make her feel special. The costume she wore was made of satin.  Plain satin can be a flat and somewhat boring fabric if it doesn’t have a little bling on it.  Satin is like a blank canvas where you can paint, embroider and glue things to it to make it more exciting and beautiful. So I set about to liven up the Easy Princess Dress and in the process I wanted to … Continue reading

Tips for Sewing Soft Toys for Kids and Relatives

sewing soft toys

One of the most fun and rewarding sewing project that I have ever undertaken is sewing soft toys for my kids, relatives and friends. It is fun not just because of the myriads of colors and accessories used in crafting it, but also very rewarding when you see the smile it ultimately brings on some little one’s face.  Not to mention the cute little product that finally emerges after the work. For all those who are looking to sew that cute bunny or teddy bear, here are some tips from my own experience. Fabric choice: There is no set rule regarding the type of fabric that can be used for making a soft toy. You can mix and match different fabrics and material according to your imagination to get the best result. For example, for the below teddy bears, velvet is … Continue reading

Fabulous Fabrics Fit For the Summer Season

fabrics for summer

Hello Fabrics for Summer! It is the time of year once again when sewists like us have pull out our fabrics for summer and think about sewing projects that are not only fashionable, but also functional.  Indeed, the summer season means sun, sand and sea, and after the long autumn and winter months, it is also (finally!) a time to sew and wear colorful clothes that are comfortable. It’s the season for sewing relaxed- garments that we can wear to picnics, barbecues and a host of other fun outdoor activities. On the other hand, we now only have about half the range of fabrics available to us because wool, polyester, jersey, knit and the like are certainly not the kind of fabrics that we can wear under the summer heat. So what are the fabrics that are best for the … Continue reading

8 Tips for Pre-Washing Fabric

pre-washing fabrics

I believe that the success of a sewing project lies not just in purchasing the right fabric and accessories.  The way the fabric is cared for before the start of the project also has a profound influence on the result of the sewing project.  This includes pre-washing fabric and usually ironing the fabric before beginning the project. Why should the fabric be prewashed? There are various reasons why fabrics should be pre-washed Some fabrics tend to shrink once they are washed, so if you stitch the fabric first and then wash it, the final product may be two sizes smaller than what you had planned. If you combine a quality fabric with a less expensive fabric, the fabrics tend to shrink at different levels, creating an uneven finish to the final product. Some fabric fades or bleeds once washed and so, … Continue reading

An Introduction to Sewing Sweater Knits

sewing sweater knits

Ah, sweater knits! These highly textural, stretch fabrics can be cozy, lacy, casual, or sophisticated. With a good sweater knit and a little practice, you can cut and sew a sweater in a day or less, even if you can’t knit or crochet. Yes, they’re enabling. And they’re beautiful. If I sound a little biased, well… full disclosure, I’m a designer of sweater knits and I love what I do! What exactly is a sweater knit? All knits are fabrics that are made by interlooping of threads or yarn; that is, by pulling one loop of yarn through a previously made loop of yarn, row after row and column after column, depending on the type of knit. A sweater knit is made with a heavier yarn and bigger stitches than what you find in a standard t-shirt fabric. You’ll know … Continue reading

Tips for Choosing Fabric for Children’s Clothes

fabric for childrens clothes

All parents would agree that it’s a herculean task to maintain children’s clothes. All the chocolates and cookies that they snack on inevitably leave their mark on that pretty dress or handsome pair of pants, not to mention puddles of mud and dirt cakes. Moreover, the sensitive skin of the tiny tots may be affected by certain fabrics and textures. That’s why I’ve come up with a few simple tips to apply when selecting fabric for children’s clothes. Type of fabric: As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid synthetic fabric for children’s clothes because of it’s high level of chemical content, which could cause allergic reactions on their delicate skin. Try to use all natural fabric like cotton, wool and silk at all costs. For toddlers, organically grown natural fabric would be the best bet. We did a … Continue reading

Smooth and Shimmery Silk Satin

silk satin

If you’re thinking about creating a wedding gown or any garment for a super special occasion, chances are you are thinking about using silk satin for this very important project. One the most expensive types of cloth, silk satin is the perfect choice when you want to create something very grand and luxurious like the beautiful dress below. Origins of Silk Satin First woven by the silk weavers of Quanzhou, China, the shimmery satin fabric is actually woven and is considered a fabric blend.  The original satin was made exclusively from silk thread, making it quite expensive, and it soon gained popularity among the royal families and the wealthy during the 12th Century. For several decades, the kings and queens of Europe and the emperors and empresses of China draped themselves with royal robes made from silk satin. And then some weavers started to … Continue reading

Sew Easy Fabrics for Beginners

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