How to make a double welt pocket using the 5 lines method

double welt pocket

I am going to show you how to make a double welt pocket using the traditional, but simplified, tailoring method called “five lines”.  There are a few ways to make a double welt pockets, this is just one of them.  Before we get started, let’s make sure to define our terms.  So what is a “welt” anyway?  According to the dictionary, a welt is: Our double welt pocket has “welts” on both sides of the opening.  You’ll be very familiar with this style of pocket since it is commonly used on men’s and women’s tailored jackets, light weight hoodies, light coats, slacks back pockets or the inside of pockets in the lining of jackets.  Unfortunately, this technique isn’t suitable for very heavy fabrics or situations where you have to match a design such as stripes. There are a few ways to make … Continue reading

How to upcycle kid’s clothes, reusing hems

Upcycle kid's clothes no hemming required

Hi! Stephanie from Swoodson Says again, and I’m sharing one of my favorite tips on how to upcycle kid’s clothes. A new year often triggers cleaning out the closet, but don’t donate all those clothes just yet. You can upcycle adult clothes into kids clothes quick and easy – there are a few adjustments to make so you can reuse the existing hems and skip the fussiest part of sewing. If you don’t have any clothes to work from, I have some tips for thrift store shopping effectively, specific to sewing refashions and upcycles. Something that looks dated and frumpy for an adult can turn out to be just perfect on a child! Step 1 Pick out a pattern to use, and make sure that you will have enough fabric by holding it up to the existing garment. The main … Continue reading

How to Make An Appliqué

Applique 101. Easy to follow step by step in lots of details about all aspects of how to make an applique decoration.

Appliqués are shapes or letters with an adhesive on the backside so that they can be applied, using an iron, to everything from clothing, (think adorable initials on Children’s coats, for example) to pillows, to tablecloths. Making your own appliqués is a great, simple, project to do with children and is an easy, and affordable, way to create custom pillows, and decorations for any holiday. To make appliqués you’ll need fabric (I highly recommend 100% wool felt, and cotton flannel), paper scissors, fabric scissors, embroidery scissors, a marking pen, pins, paper and a fusible web like Pellon “Wonder-Under”. If you want to create text, you can either draw your letters or print them out. You will have to be cutting these out, so a large, block, text is going to work much better than a narrow, scroll text. Additionally, if … Continue reading

How to install a magnetic snap

Just getting started in bag making? This is the right way to install a magnetic snap, and keep it from showing wear marks on your fabric.

Hi, Vicky here – Do you love bags as much as I? I am passionate about bags. I just love how any fabric can be transformed into something new and practical. One of the simplest closures is the magnetic snap – I love them as they secure your bag but are quick to open.  Ideal if you are making a bag for anyone with manual dexterity issues. How to install a magnetic snap To insert your magnetic snapper you will need: Magnetic snap Fusible fleece scrap Fusible interfacing Seam ripper Fabric pen or similar (I use a pencil) The magnetic snap comes in two parts, the male (on the left of the photo) and the female side (on the right hand side). Due to wear and tear around the magnetic snap its a good idea to reinforce the fabric with an extra piece of fusible … Continue reading

How to mark and sew double ended darts

The easy way to mark and sew double ended darts. Now I KNOW I can get them exactly level with this method.

Have you seen this shape of dart before?  It will typically appear at the waistline in a dress that doesn’t have a seam at the waist.  You might find them on the front, on the back or both.  They add in shaping between bust, waist and hips and help the fabric to curve to your body. Imagine if you had a dress with a separate bodice and skirt.  The bodice would have a dart between waist and bust, and the skirt would also have a dart between waist and hip.  So if you have a dress without a waist seam, then these two darts meet up and make this ‘double ended darts’ shape. They need a little extra care when it comes to marking and sewing them, and a different technique to the single darts.  Check out these earlier articles … Continue reading

How, when and why to clip seam allowances

If you have ever read instructions from a sewing pattern which included any curved seam, you’ve certainly been asked to “clip (or notch) seam allowances”. If they were your first steps in sewing, I bet you stopped a while to figure out what you had to do…  and maybe you’re still there, wondering what you needed to do and why? Go on reading my “how-to clip (and notch)” guide and never skip this important step again! When should you clip your seam allowances? When you’re sewing a concave curve (C-shaped valleys) or inside corners (think welt pockets, a zipper pocket slots, squared necklines…). On a garment, you’ll likely need to clip seam allowances on necklines, facing, armholes, hip pockets: mostly curved seams! Why do you need to clip? To allow fabric’s raw edge to stretch enough to lay flat, without … Continue reading

How to print a layered PDF file

Software for creating sewing patterns is improving all the time. As I invest in some of the new and rather pricey software and the training that goes with it, I’m hoping to create better patterns for you. One of the improvements you’ll see coming up is what’s known as a ‘layered PDF file’. In easy terms, this simply means that the different sizes are all within the same file but at the same time, they are separated onto different layers so you can choose to turn them on and off. I have a new pattern coming out for you tomorrow and this will be the first with the new layered PDF design so it’s going to be helpful for me to show you how that works, as you might not have seen one before – and it’s cool! How to … Continue reading

How to hem sheer or lightweight fabrics

Tips and examples on how to hem sheer and lightweight fabrics such as organza and chiffon.

Hello again from Laura at CraftyHour! I’m here today to share some of my favourite techniques for working with sheer and lightweight fabrics. The first experience I ever had sewing any sheer fabrics was when I made my wedding dress 8 years ago. There was ample opportunity to learn – the dress had three overskirts of organza to seam and hem! More recently I made my daughter a flowergirl dress with an organza overlay and used some similar techniques to get a beautiful finish. The dress with more photos and details is blogged here. Fabric types So to begin with, let’s talk about the sheer variety of fabrics out there (see what I did there?!). As I mentioned, the two dresses above were made with organza, a woven, very light, sheer fabric. Organza ravels easily and has a lot of body, not much drape. I … Continue reading

How to print on fabric at home – 4 different ways

How to print on fabric at home. 4 different methods and products tested and reviewed.

I was drawn to the idea of printing on fabric when I saw some amazing memory quilts shared by one of our readers in the sewing chat group.  She used vintage family photos to create unique quilt blocks for her breath-taking quilts that will surely become treasured family heirlooms. Sadly Facebook decided to mysteriously remove the lovely photos she sent me so I can’t show you those, but here are a couple of other memory quilts shared by our group members using their own printed fabrics. Of course you don’t have to just print photos, and you don’t have to use them in memory quilts either.  There are lots of other applications and reasons why you might want to print your own fabric.  We’ll take a look at a couple of examples. Print your own fabric series So how difficult might … Continue reading

How to draft your own facings

This shows you how to create your own one or two piece facings. How to make a sleeved dress sleeveless or how to make a facing intead of a lining.

Have you ever wanted to change up a favorite pattern, to make a dress or top without the usual sleeves, or maybe skip the collar this time?  Or maybe you have a dress pattern that has a full lining and you just want to replace it with a one-piece facing instead.  Take a tried and true pattern and design your own facings so you can finish neck and armholes neatly! To begin with, you will need your pattern pieces, paper, and a pen or pencil. Take the bodice front pattern piece and trace around the neck, shoulder and armhole, and a couple of inches down the side seam. Keep in mind any seam allowances that may need to be added – the Haven Acres Blouse pattern that I’m using has no seam allowance at the neck edge, as it is bound with bias … Continue reading

How to make thread belt loops

How to make thread belt loops with your sewing machine. Ah ha moment! I'll be adding these to my dresses in future.

My wrap dress I sewed quite a while back now has a matching belt.  It fits OK at the waist when I wear it as the waist is in the right place (because we all make our clothes to fit us as best we can right), but it bugs me when I hang up the dress and the belt is separate and I have to hang it over the hanger – and invariably it slips off and ends up on the floor with my cat dragging it around. I need some of those thread belt loops that you used to see on dresses to hold the belt.  I think these add a nice touch, hold the belt where it should be when worn, and when you take it off, the belt can still stay with the dress, ready for when … Continue reading