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

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

Easy way to apply bias tape to a v-neck tutorial

bias tape to a v-neck

Have you ever wanted to apply a bias tape to a v-neck and did not know how?  This quick and easy tutorial will show you how to do this and is appropriate for woven and knit fabrics. This kind of technique can be use when you do not want to sew a collar to your garment, making the garment lighter and easier to style –which is perfect for the warmer days of summer. Materials fabric of your choice bias tape.  I’m using Wrights Double Fold Quilt Binding, 7/8 by 3-Yard, Blue in this tutorial. thread to match your your bias tape sewing machine I am using calico fabric and cotton/poly bias tape for illustration purposes so you can see clearly what I am doing.  However, for better results please match the thread to the bias tape and the bias tape to … Continue reading

30 Sewing Hacks You Should Know By Heart

sewing hacks

Are you a hacker? I am not talking about hacking on the computer here, but about a sewist who can work around with what she has on hand and sew easier and faster. Well, if you are not, it’s time to start hacking and here are a few tips and suggestions to become a certified sewing hacker. In the past, we’ve done whole series of Tool Tips focusing on finding and using the best sewing tools.  Here’s just a short list: Tool tips– budget or quality? The brass seam ripper Tool tips – budget or quality? Sewing scissors Tool tips – budget or quality? Wonder Clips Tool tips– Sewing storage ideas Tool tips – budget or quality? The Bodkin But these articles have focused on helping you find the best traditional sewing tools and supplies to get the job done.  Now, we’re … Continue reading

How to Start Your Sewing Side Business + Free Giveaway!

sewing side business

You might be wondering how you can turn your sewing into a side business and start earning money from the sewing skills you’ve learned?  You may have a knack for repairing the kids’ clothes, creating costumes, making alterations and adjustments to clothes that don’t fit quite right. You might be really creative and sew your own clothing or design new ways to sew home decor together. If you’re skilled at sewing and you have a solid sewing machine, you can certainly turn your sewing into a side business and earn some extra cash! Here are five key things to think about to turn your sewing into a side business. Figure out what your customer wants to buy Use your skills to create products that you love, but also products that people will want to buy.  You may have a certain skill set … Continue reading

Top 8 tips for Sewing Faster

Tips for Sewing Faster

People sew for all kinds of reasons. Some, like me, consider sewing as a passionate hobby –which I practice as often as I can. Whereas for others, it can be a means of livelihood or sewing to sell. Whatever the reason you pursue this wonderful hobby, there is nothing wrong in being well organised and getting as much done as possible.  After many years of sewing, I’ve developed some tips for sewing faster.  I’m sure many of you have your own which I hope you will share but first let me share mine with you. Get organised: This might sound silly, but I have figured out that this can create magic. Less the clutter, the faster I am able to finish the work. I make sure that all the essentials like thread, needle and buttons are neatly arranged in small pouches. … Continue reading

Is there an easy way to unpick knit fabrics?

unpick knits

Arghhh.  I’m not the biggest fan of seam ripping anyway, but knit fabrics drive me crazy sometimes. Because of the way I sew, with designing my own patterns and projects, I usually end up with “un-sewing” a lot of my seams as I make changes to designs as I work.  That’s all well and good in cottons and other woven fabrics, but when it comes to knits I find that unpicking them is a whole new adventure. If you recall, for cottons and other wovens, we recently published an article about using an electric seam ripper.  If you missed it, you can read all about it in our post entitled:  Have you tried an electric seam ripper?  More on that later though. Now back to knits.  For a start, we might use different stitches in knits. Not always of course, but perhaps … Continue reading

The Simplest Way to Line a Bag of Any Kind

How to line any purse, bag or tote

Making a simple tote bag is probably one of the best introductory sewing projects, but where do you go after that? How do you advance your sewing skills but still make a project that won’t overwhelm, or be too complicated? Well, I think that adding a lining to your bag is a fantastic way to learn a skill that can be applied to so many different sewing projects. The amazing, simple, way of lining a tote that I’m about to show you can be applied to the simplest, and the most complicated purses and bags. This tutorial assumes you have already pieced together your tote interior, exterior and handles. Haven’t done that yet? Read this tutorial on how to construct the basic pieces for your bag! *Note, if you’d like to apply pockets to the interior or exterior of your bag, … Continue reading

How to follow the So Sew Easy site

This is a handy article about how to follow your favorite blogs, including a new way I didn't know, but now LOVE!

I’ve had a few questions sent to me recently by new readers asking how they can ‘follow’ the site, or how they can find the Facebook page, do I have a Pinterest account etc.  Sometimes I just take it for granted you all know how to find the social media sites by now, but if you are new to the site, it’s often not that obvious. So here is a quick round up of the various places you can follow along. Obviously you don’t have to follow them all, just the venues you would be likely to use most often and whatever is the best way for you to keep in touch with all the new content. Navigation Firstly it can help if you know your way around the site and what to look out for.  Check out this earlier … Continue reading

Yes! You CAN make professional looking custom sewing labels!

make your own sewing labels

There are so many nice label shops out there, especially on Etsy.  I’ve been wanting to get some custom sewing labels for myself for some time now, but for wanting so many different styles, it would cost me a fortune.  Now that I know how to make them for next to nothing, I can make them more personal like “Made for Paige by Nana”, “Made Specially for You”, or “Love Mom”. You get the idea. I’ve tried this a couple of ways to see what would work best and quite honestly, I like them all. Let’s get started. What you will need: Sewing machine Iron Ink Jet printer A word processing program, or design program Scissors or a rotary cutter, ruler, and mat (preferred) Thread to match label Sewing machine needle Sewing machine foot you can see through (I LOVE … Continue reading

The Art of Sewing and Selling: More Tips to Help You Start

sewing and selling

Sewing and Selling Selling is as much an art as sewing is –and if you are willing to be creative and serious in both, then it may be time to showcase your work and earn some money too by practicing the art of sewing and selling. You can start stitching your way to success like others did. And one of the most amazing success stories in sewing is the Levi’s Jeans story when Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, patented a unique way of making pants by using rivets at points of strain to make them last longer. The rest, as we all know, is a multi-million dollar sewing history. You can see a terrific video about the Levi Strauss story below which might give you some inspiration: So, let’s say you finally decide to start a home sewing business. Here … Continue reading