New Fabric Swatch Kits you’ll love

3 fabric swatch kits you can get to help you pick the right fabrics online. can't beat having samples of all these fabrics on hand.

  Great news – the answers to all of your fabric questions are here.  I’ve got TWO new fabric swatch kits for you, and the original is back in stock after repeated sell outs.  If you buy fabric online, or aren’t sure which fabrics to use for which types of projects, you are going to LOVE these kits.  (And you can get them for free too – find out how!) Do you remember the knit fabric swatch kit?  I had been getting a lot of questions from readers about the different types of knit fabrics.  Many of us are finding it hard to find nice apparel fabrics locally to us. Many fabric shops have been closing down, and you may find your local store now is more of a quilting store – so to get the best choice in apparel … Continue reading

How to make a rag quilt

I always wondered how to make a rag quilt, and this is a great tutorial. Has a video and a photo step by step. Snuggly-wuggly goodness :-)

I’m sure you’ve seen these before.  I’ve been drooling over all the lovely soft and snuggly rag quilts I see on my Pinterest feed and have been longing to find out how to make one.  So I gave it a try, took some photos and a video along the way to share the process with you, in case you’d like to give it a go too. Materials to make a rag quilt Flannel fabric in prints, solids or both Matching or contrasting thread Ideally but optional – ragging shears Ideally but optional – rotary cutter and long ruler Ideally but optional – walking foot Time and patience How much flannel you need will obviously depend on how big you want your quilt to be and how many layers you want to add.  My finished quilt is 9 squares by 13, … Continue reading

Take a Free Online Sewing or Quilting class from Craftsy TODAY!

Links to all the free sewing and quilting classes on Craftsy and a summary of each, all in one place.

So Sew Easy has grown a lot this year.  It seems sewing is getting more popular, lots of people got new machines for Christmas and took up sewing and all of my beginner articles have been hot, hot, hot!  So for those of you looking to learn to sew, improve your skills and learn some new ones, I thought I’d give you some tips on how I started out in sewing and the best way to get quickly up to speed with your new hobby. You may have read a lot of mentions on this site, in my patterns, and on Facebook etc about Craftsy.  OK, I admit it, I’m a total Craftsy addict.  Maybe their biggest fan?  The 108 sewing classes and  103 quilting classes at Craftsy, quickly turned me from a complete sewing beginner to where I am … Continue reading

TrueGrips Non-slip pads for rulers – tool tip

I was getting so frustrated with my rulers slipping as I cut until I discovered this!

Generally as a rule, accuracy in sewing is important.  Accurate cutting and sewing makes sure that pieces fit together as they should, end up the right size, and in clothing, that they actually fit as intended!  In quilting too, accuracy is paramount for creating the pieced quilt blocks and tops.  So of course you’ll need the right tools and skills to help you get the best results. I have a number of quilting rulers I use to cut my fabric, especially when making bag patterns and such.  One is a 12.5 inches square and another is a long one at 24 inches long.  But both suffer from the same problem.  They ‘slide’  when I run my rotary cutter along them.  Especially the 24 inch ruler because I think I over-reach too, so that doesn’t help.  The square ruler is an … Continue reading

Simple Summer Pleated Skirt pattern

Free pattern, tutorial and video for how to make an easy pleated skirt for summer. Even has optional pockets!

I’ve had a couple of nice lightweight cotton fabrics in my stash since last summer, meaning to make myself a couple more skirts.  I’ve got quite a few patterns I’ve designed I could choose from now, but one of the skirts has a border print and I wanted to make sure I had a pattern that would work just as well with a border print as with the floral.  So I designed another skirt pattern. This could easily be your go-to skirt for summer.  Make it once, and then over and over in different fabrics.  I think you’ll like it! Features of the Summer Pleated Skirt Pattern Quick and quite easy to sew Cool and casual fit Pleats front and back, no darts Optional side seam pockets (who doesn’t love pockets!) Pick your own skirt length Ideal for use with … 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

Make your sewing pattern weights 11 ways

Serger Pepper Pattern Weights DIY

Hi there! Irene from Serger Pepper here! How is your sewing machine? Did you clean it from the last time we met? And did you make a bag for your laptop? Or maybe you’ve been too busy choosing  your first serger… Today we’re here to talk about a sewing tool I didn’t use for a lot of time (my mom still looks at me weird when I say I’m not using pins… whaaat?): Pattern Weights What are pattern weights? Exactly what their name says! They can be any heavy object, better if not too fragile or spiky, absolutely not sphere-shaped They are used, just like pins, to keep the pattern pieces stuck to the fabric while you cut it, to make sure you’re cutting as accurate as you can. Let me show you my unconventional pattern weights: You can see I use … Continue reading

Tool Tip – Dritz Thermal Thimbles

Sewing tool tips. These thermal thimbles are just what I've been looking for to stop my fingers getting burned from the steam iron.

I’ve started to accumulate. Not just fabric of course, we all need a sizable fabric stash in case of well, a zombie apocalypse or something, where we can’t get out to the fabric shop for a while. I’ve also started to accumulate some sewing tools. Small tools that make sewing quicker, easier or help me to get a better result. I’m so delighted with these Dritz thermal thimbles that I bought, that I wanted to share them with you. Why you need these Dritz Thermal Thimbles! Have you ever noticed when you look at the base of your iron how the majority of the steam vents are either near the tip, on the outer edges of the soleplate,  or both.  They even usually have little grooves that direct the steam outwards too. That means that whenever you want to press … 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 thread the Brother 1034d serger

I get it at last! This step by step shows it all nice and slow and easy. How to thread the popular Brother 1034d serger.

I know several of you also got the Brother 1034D serger for Christmas, or maybe another model.  No doubt you’ve all made more headway with it than I have, and are already threading experts. Just in case there is anyone still not quite sure or confident, here is my step by step video on how to thread the Brother 1034D serger. If you’ve also lost the manual or bought a used serger without the manual, this might also be useful.  Although I’m not very experienced in serging, I have watched the Beginner Serging Class from Amy on Craftsy and the principles of threading seem pretty much the same regardless of model.  Well, unless you have one of these super-duper self-threading sergers like this awesome serger package from Juki.  Now wouldn’t that be nice! It has some close up shots and … Continue reading

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