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

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