How a sewing pattern is born

The process of designing and publishing a sewing pattern from concept to release.

Over the last few months I’ve had several readers write and ask about how I design and produce my sewing patterns.  I thought it might be interesting to see how a pattern is developed right from the early stages of first idea through to pattern development, testing and the production of the samples.  So here goes – from conception to birth of a sewing pattern. Stage 1 – inspiration and conception How does a pattern design start?  For me, it often comes from considering what I personally want to wear or make.  A LOT of time and materials go into developing a pattern and if it wasn’t something I was personally interested in, I would quickly loose interest. Inspiration can come from several sources.  Obviously for a lot of crafters, inspiration comes from Pinterest.  That’s why we collect all of … Continue reading

How to sew a French Seam

How to sew a French Seam. Ideal for light weight or sheer fabrics.

It seems there is more ways than one to sew a French Seam. Continuing on in my quest to learn more about the various types of seam finishes and getting a nice neat result on the inside of my projects, I’ve been reading several tutorials and books on the French Seam.  While the end result often looks the same, there are a few variations and I’ve cut it down to what I think is the best/easiest way. Where and why to use a French Seam The French Seam is a two-step process that encloses the raw edges of the fabric within the seam itself to leave a neat and finished seam on both the inside and the outside.  Although it could be used on most fabrics, you fill find it most commonly used on very fine, sheer or delicate fabrics … Continue reading

How to download and print PDF sewing patterns

Tips and a video on how to download, open and print PDF sewing patterns.

As the readership here at So Sew Easy has been increasing, and I’ve got more and more pattern downloads every month, so the number of emails I get asking for advice on how to download and print PDF sewing patterns has also increased.  This also seems to coincide with the increase in mobile devices since Christmas, and so I thought it was about time I shared with you the best way to access the patterns, download and print them. Take a look at the video where I will go through a couple of examples of how to download patterns and open and unzip them, with examples from Facebook, Google Drive, Craftsy, Unzipping, Adobe Reader and printing. Examples used in this video: Easy Cosmetics Bag pattern – Facebook fan-only pattern Wear Everywhere dress – free pattern via Craftsy Where will you … Continue reading

The Flat Felled Seam Finish

How, where and why to sew a Flat Felled Seam finish. One way to hide your raw edges.

  Looking again today at how to get a nice neat finish on the inside of your projects.  This isn’t one technique that might immediately spring to mind and it’s certainly not right for every project, but if you look closely you’ll be surprised how often you might find it on your store-bought clothes. How can we use the Flat Felled Seam? The places you’ll find the seam give clues to its features.  Looking down right now, I’m wearing a pair of board shorts and the side seams and the central seam running front to back between the legs are both flat felled seams.  It’s generally used on heavy weight fabrics such as jeans and on seams where extra strength is needed. You can often also find it on children’s wear where the seams might undergo a bit more stress … Continue reading

Turning corners with bias binding

How to turn sharp corners with bias binding

Earlier this month we looked at making bias tape or bias binding (is there a difference?) How to make continuous bias tape and use the Clover bias maker tool How to work out how much a square of fabric will make, or how to decide how big a square you need to start with for any given length – swanky calculator spreadsheet or handy table Now it’s time to start using it.  But oh dear, it’s not as easy as you might think when you start out.  A straight line is fine, but corners – oh my!  I just assumed because it was on the bias and stretchy, that I just would bend it slightly round the corners and that would be fine.  You do not want to see my first attempt – its a sewing nightmare! So after much … Continue reading

Continuous Bias Binding Calculator

Continuous bias binding calculator. Work out how much you will get from a square, or what size square you will need.

  Did you enjoy the tutorial on how to make your own cute bias binding? So now you want to have a go at creating your own.  But how much do you need to make?  What size square will you need to start with.  Or how much will get you from a piece of fabric?  There’s nothing worse than running out of bias binding before you get to the end of your project, so make sure you always have enough with this handy Continuous Bias Binding Calculator.   You know from my background in finance that I love working with numbers and formulas and I’ve already shared a couple of handy spreadsheets to use for pattern drafting, for the pencil skirt pattern and the custom fit leggings. This project is perfect for another spreadsheet, so I’ve made one that works … Continue reading

Making continuous bias binding tape

Easy to follow steps for making continuous bias binding tape from a square of fabric. No more fiddly sewing strips together.

I was so inspired by some of the projects shared as part of the Seasonal Sewing Series back last November that I have been keen to try my hand at lots of non-clothing sewing projects.  On my list for this month – sewing for the kitchen and I wanted to make some swanky potholders.  Oh no, they need bias binding, and I’ve never made or even used it before.  So here’s my first attempt at making continuous bias binding tape – shared for you all to enjoy or laugh at, depending on how it turns out! Materials You will need: A square of cotton fabric A ruler and Fabric Marker Scissors An iron Optional but highly recommended – a Clover Bias Tape Maker Two ways to make bias binding It seems there are two main ways to make bias binding … Continue reading

Sewing an Invisible Zipper video tutorial

How to sew the perfect invisible zipper - a video tutorial.

I know that I have readers of all levels of sewing ability visiting the site.  From those who are just starting out, or are interesting in learning, to those readers with decades of sewing experience and an expert level of sewing ability.  And everyone in between. So today I’d like to share a skill I am finally getting to grips with.  Some of you will already have sewn hundreds of these and for some, it might be your first time.  So draw up a chair and follow through as I show you my sewing an invisible zipper video tutorial. Sew an Invisible Zipper – a video tutorial One of the sewing techniques that took me a while to master was sewing an invisible zipper.  However hard I tried to work it out, more often that not I would end up … Continue reading

How did I learn to sew – and how can you?

Learn to sew. The best resources online for taking your sewing from yikes to Yes!

I recently received this comment on the site from Krista in response to my teaser post about the upcoming Little Black Dress pattern: Hi Deby, it already looks amazing, can’t wait to see what the finished project will look like! I love reading your blog by the way. I was wondering if you could explain how you grew from a beginning sewer to where you are now in such a short time. Did you just practice a lot? I know you followed Craftsy courses (I do too, that’s where I found your projects first), but I still find the quality of my projects vary from nice enough to wear to “yikes!” I would love to hear how you perfected your techniques to the point where you were confident to wear what you made yourself. Thanks and keep up the great … Continue reading

Understanding a sewing pattern envelope

Understanding a Sewing Pattern Envelope. Easy when you know how. Good useful explanations, lots of good info.

You’ve heard me moan on and on before about my early fitting issues with commercial patterns.  Some All of those early issues were my own fault – in many cases I simply didn’t know how to pick my correct size from the pattern or used the wrong fabrics.  If you suffer from the same issues, you might welcome my beginners guide to Understanding A Sewing Pattern Envelope.     The front of the envelope This is where the company ‘sells’ the design to you.  You will usually see several designs that can all be made from the same pattern.  Sometimes in a multi-pattern you might be able to make a skirt, shirt and pants all from the same pattern.  But usually you will be able to make several variations of the same item such as a dress.  It might come … Continue reading

How to Sew Darts – How to Sew A Skirt Series

How to sew darts perfectly. From the Sew A Skirt beginners tutorial series from So Sew Easy.

Welcome to Episode 5 in the How to Sew A Skirt Sew-along series.  The subject for today is: How to sew darts Let’s recap so far How are you enjoying the Sew A Skirt series so far?  If you are new to sewing you may already have learned a lot about fabric, measuring, patterns, and the preparations you need before even starting to put a needle to your skirt.   To recap the series so far – Overview, tools and equipment and choosing your fabric Drafting your custom fit pattern, and all about ease and seam allowances Cutting your fabric and pattern matching Marking darts perfectly Today it’s time to start sewing.  And the first step is to sew the darts in all 3 pieces of your skirt, the front and the two back pieces.  If you have followed and drafted … Continue reading