How and where to use Knit Stay Tape

Everything you need to know about Knit Stay Tape - its a miracle.! I'll be using this on all my knit and stretch projects from now on.

You may have seen an earlier video I made some time back now about using Knit Stay tape when sewing double needle hems on stretch fabrics. This video was really more about the double needle than it was about the stay tape.  It’s here in case you missed it. Then Anja got in touch about it and asked: “About the stabilizing tape you use with twin needle and some other places. Could it be possible you will make a video (or that you have one) where you will show and tell about the stabilizing tape. For example when you use the tape and where you are putting it on the clothes? I would like to see how far from the edge you are putting it.Is it on both the front and the back piece or just one of the pieces?” … Continue reading

Easy way to turn a tube of fabric right side out

I'd heard of this but never seen it actually done. Must give it a try - how to easily turn a tube of fabric the right side out.

I was working on a bag design and wanted to create a particular type of handle.  Not the usual bag handle where you simply fold the fabric into 4 and top stitch.  I wanted a ‘nicer’ handle, one with two different fabrics so it would be reversible and feature both of the fabrics from my bag. What was stopping me? Turning the darned thing the right side out again once I had stitched the tube!  It’s bad enough on a tube of regular fabric, but both of these pieces were interfaced making them thick and stiff too.  It just all bunches up and gets too thick to turn. I don’t mind telling you I flung it across the room and cursed loudly.  My cat hid under the bed! Until I tried the straw and chopstick trick.  Or rather, in this … Continue reading

How to make fabric covered buttons

How to make your own perfectly co-ordinated fabric covered buttons. Never search in vain for the perfect button again.

Do you ever have one of those Ah Ha moments?  After sewing around 2 1/2 years now, and forever lamenting at my local sewing shop about the terrible lack of nice colorful buttons, I was standing near the till waiting for pay when I spotted just what I needed! Ta dah – make your own fabric covered buttons.  At last!  I was working on a couple of wallets that needed a matching button and my eureka moment hit.  I felt such a dunce for not thinking of it before.  But would they be any good?  Time to give it a try. How to make  fabric covered buttons   Here is the pack I bought.  There are 4 buttons in the pack 7/8th of an inch across, plus ‘tools’.  You can get these in all sorts of sizes of button and pack sizes, … Continue reading

How to sew steeply slanted or bias seams

How to sew bias and slanted seams so that your edges line up properly. I had no idea about this until I saw it laid out so clearly.

This is something you may not come across very often, but it’s good to know for the first time that you are called up on to sew a slanted seam. It might be when you are piecing strips for making bias tape or just in a pattern that has diagonal seam lines as part of the design. Let’s take a look at what I mean and the right and wrong way to sew these sort of seams. How to sew a slanted or bias seam Let’s start with a square of fabric – any size.  Then we’ll cut it roughly in half, but not parallel to the edges or directly across the diagonal but on a steep slant from one side to the other. Ok, so far so good.  We end up with two strange looking pieces with a slanted … Continue reading

Sewing Bras – Construction and Fit

Learn how to sew a bra, and make it fit you perfectly. Surprisingly easy!

New Year – new resolutions. Do you have any sewing resolutions for this year? I have two – I want to learn how to use my new serger and I want to learn how to sew bras, and make one that actually fits and that I would want to wear (and be seen in!) Now let’s be honest about my sewing – an accurate fit has never been super important to me. Most of us wear ready to wear clothes and get used to how a standard fit we buy off the rack rarely fits us properly as a custom tailored garment would fit. So I’m not too worried about getting the perfect fit when I sew – I’m still new, I forgive myself. But when it comes to a bra, getting it to actually fit is a bit more … Continue reading

3 methods for boxing corners on bags

3 different way how to box the corners on a bag. One of these I hadn't seen before.

Take a look at some of the bags you own.  If you are a typical woman, you probably own more than 3, maybe even more than 10.  Bags can be made for all types of purposes, styles and occasions, but generally they are all designed to do the same thing – carry things.  To fulfill their basic function, they will usually have common features such as straps or handles, zips or closures, and pockets. They can be flat like a simple tote bag designed to carry a few light items and perhaps roll or fold up flat, or can be designed where their size and shape fit a certain function, such as the Easy Cosmetics Bag you see here. One common feature that most bags will have is some kind of volume.  Whether this is created with pleats, darts or … Continue reading

How to sew a fly front zipper

How to sew a fly front zipper. I;d always been intimidated but actually this looks easy!

I made some shorts last year, quite some time ago now, from a commercial pattern. A Simplicity I think it was. Not to speak ill of the large pattern companies, but well, they clearly assumed I knew how to sew a fly front zipper and that therefore they barely needed to bother showing it in the instructions. I battled with that project and used my seam ripper more times than I care to remember. Their tiny illustrations were cryptic and the sewing pattern instructions far too brief. “Install fly front zipper to center front of shorts.” I got there in the end, but it certainly put me off trying it again for a good long time. Fast forward to today and I’m designing a skirt. I know exactly the sort of skirt I want to make. I had one just … Continue reading

How to sew a recessed zipper on a bag

Great video on how to sew a recessed zipper for a bag. This is the easiest & clearest way I've seen to do it.

I’ve been working on some new bag ideas and one of the areas of bag-making that has been a bit of a puzzle to me until recently is how to close the top of the bag. Of course, not all bags need to be closed. Some simple tote bags are left open, and that’s just fine. With these examples of the Expanding Nautical Tote Bag and the Turning Japanese Purse, in each case simply holding the handles keeps the bag closed. The Zipper Top Tote bag as a zipper right across the top and isn’t very deep.  Other bags I’ve made have either had magnetic closures and snaps or zippers at the top, like the Easy Cosmetics Bag.  So I was up for a challenge and looking forward to learning something new so I’ve got a video for you today … Continue reading

How to install bag feet – 2 styles

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

I’m always looking for ways to make my homemade bags looks more professional and although it does increase the cost, adding hardware such as clasps, feet, grommets, sliders, straps, rivets, studs and handles really does make them look great. Today I’m looking at a couple of examples of bag feet and how we can easily install them. Both of these examples came from Pacific Trimming. There is one you are probably more familiar with, the flattened cone shaped ones with the long prongs, and another that you don’t see as often but are actually very versatile, these dome shaped ones with a screw fitting. Let’s have a look at how we can use them. How to install Bag Feet – Do you have a ‘firm bottom’ ? Firstly, in order to install the bag feet, you need a bag with … Continue reading

How to sew a hem facing on a circle skirt

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

I’ve got a project I’m working on that has been giving me a headache.  I’ve been itching to make a half-circle skirt but the hemline is just not turning out as I would like.  It really is impossible to sew a ‘regular’ hem when the bottom of the skirt is so curved.  Usually on a skirt I would turn in half an inch and press, and then turn up another inch, inch and a half or even two inches on the bottom of a regular skirt, and sew. But that’s not going to work on a circular hemline simply because the length of the hem around the outside is longer than the length of the fabric you are turning into, so it’s never going to lie flat. Now you can sew a teeny tiny hem, by pressing up tiny 1/8th … Continue reading

How to sew snap tape to close a pillow back

How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.

I’ve been making a few throw pillows (cushions if you are British) just recently and been looking for ways to close the back so they are still easily accessible for removing the insert and washing the cover, but I don’t have any long zips right now (and I admit I’ve not yet ever sewn a zipper into a pillow cover) so I was looking for alternatives. A few ideas: Just step up and learn how to do it with a zipper (added to a future to-do list) Sew on buttons and buttonholes (I’ve got these skills mastered now I think) Use Velco, hook and loop tape (sticks to everything in the wash) Make an ‘envelope’ back that just opens and overlaps (Like my woven fabric pillow and the Oliver the Owl nursery pillow) Just stuff and then sew the pillow … Continue reading