Tips For Sewing Denim

sewing denim

Denim is a very popular fabric these days and is synonymous with jeans. Today term “jeans” usually refers to a specific style of pants, called Blue Jeans.  These“rivet-reinforced” denim pants were invented by Jacob W. Davis, along with Levi Strauss & Co., in 1871.  We did a post a few months about highlighting this story of Levi Strauss, who perhaps more than any other individual or institution has done more to expand the role of denim in our society. Origins of Denim However, given this important American contribution to the success of denim, what most people don’t know today is that denim was actually invented in France.  In fact, the word “denim” comes from the French “de” which means from and “Nîmes” which is a wonderful town in the south of France where denim was invented during the Middle Ages.  So denim literally … Continue reading

Bali the Reversible Skirt

reversible skirt

I’ve had so much fun working with Batik fabric since my recent trip to Indonesia.  This is another in the series of projects featuring Batik.  If you missed any of the prior articles, please have a look at The Ancient Art of Batik Printing for an introduction to Batik as well as our first project, a Folded Shopping Bag from Batik Fabric for more background and a neat beginner project.  Given that spring is well and truly on the way now, I thought it would be good to make a tropical-themed skirt for those warm summer evenings out.  I’ve used Batik fabric for both sides of this reversible skirt.  You can, of course, use other fabrics of similar weight and texture, but I like the exotic look of Batik. This is a very pretty reversible skirt, made out of cotton and silk … Continue reading

Simple Headband Project – Now with Video

A Quick And Easy Headband Project in 15 minutes

  You may remember the Quick & Easy Headband Project we posted a few weeks ago. A Quick And Easy Headband Project in 15 minutes. Well, it turns out that a few of our readers struggled a bit with the instructions, so perhaps it wasn’t as easy as we thought.   We had a lot of requests to do a video walking you through the process.  It has taken us a while to to do this one, but it’s finally finished and live on the So Sew Easy Youtube Channel. With the video, I think you will find that the project is indeed quick, easy and most of all FUN!  Please give this simple headband project a try and let me know how you go.  I’d be grateful for your comments either below or on Youtube.  

Easy DIY Curtains – Luxury Curtains Made in a Snap

making curtains the easy way

Hi I’m Frankie, and I’m a self confessed ‘bodge it’ sewer, and today I’d like to share my journey to making easy DIY curtains! I love up-cycling clothes, making alterations, and sewing for the home. I like finding quick and easy projects that reward me right away, because when I’m not sewing, I’m doing yoga. With this small time frame in mind I made curtains. What!? You might be thinking, such a big project, and it sounds technical. Don’t be put off, it was really easy, and the finish, (I think), is pro! So, you must be wondering why I decided to make curtains? Well, I just moved to the country in France and bought a very old house with MASSIVE windows, which are too beautiful to replace, but too drafty to live with! Standard curtains were not long or wide … Continue reading

Top 8 tips for Sewing Faster

Tips for Sewing Faster

People sew for all kinds of reasons. Some, like me, consider sewing as a passionate hobby –which I practice as often as I can. Whereas for others, it can be a means of livelihood or sewing to sell. Whatever the reason you pursue this wonderful hobby, there is nothing wrong in being well organised and getting as much done as possible.  After many years of sewing, I’ve developed some tips for sewing faster.  I’m sure many of you have your own which I hope you will share but first let me share mine with you. Get organised: This might sound silly, but I have figured out that this can create magic. Less the clutter, the faster I am able to finish the work. I make sure that all the essentials like thread, needle and buttons are neatly arranged in small pouches. … Continue reading

The Ancient Art of Batik Printing Technique

The Ancient Art of Batik Printing

We have come to Bandung, Indonesia with a group of friends with all our children (5-17 years old), on our yearly charity volunteer trip.  We support a school for children with multiple handicaps with financial and material contributions as well as, on our yearly visit, painting, cleaning and general repairs around the school.  Over the years, we have found the effort to be enormously worthwhile. Once the work has been done, I have taken a detour to seek out and write about the ancient art of Batik printing technique and the artists who practice it.  I’ve really loved Batik for a long time, so I was really looking forward to this opportunity to learn how it’s made directly from the source and then to share this wonderful process with you all.  We’re going to be doing a series of articles involving … Continue reading

Printing and coloring on Kraft Tex

printing on kraft tex

It’s been a while since I had the chance to get out my Kraft Tex again and try something new. If you’ve never heard of Kraft Tex before then check out these previous articles and you can see how versatile it can be.  It’s often described as paper-fabric or just recently I’ve seen people calling it vegan leather too (which might be a bit of a stretch!), but pre-treat it and it can have a leather-like texture. How to prepare Kraft Tex to look like leather Kraft Tex key fob Kraft Tex wallet video tutorial   I’ve heard that you can print on Kraft Tex and that it’s also really good for arty projects such as painting, coloring, inks, and more. Well we don’t have an art shop here in Cayman so I was rather limited to what supplies I … Continue reading

Is there an easy way to unpick knit fabrics?

unpick knits

Arghhh.  I’m not the biggest fan of seam ripping anyway, but knit fabrics drive me crazy sometimes. Because of the way I sew, with designing my own patterns and projects, I usually end up with “un-sewing” a lot of my seams as I make changes to designs as I work.  That’s all well and good in cottons and other woven fabrics, but when it comes to knits I find that unpicking them is a whole new adventure. If you recall, for cottons and other wovens, we recently published an article about using an electric seam ripper.  If you missed it, you can read all about it in our post entitled:  Have you tried an electric seam ripper?  More on that later though. Now back to knits.  For a start, we might use different stitches in knits. Not always of course, but perhaps … Continue reading

Fabric covered basket – an Easter basket for your table

fabric covered basket

The excitement of Easter Break is fast approaching and with it comes the welcome sight of kids collecting Easter eggs in the garden, grand children coming to visit and families and friends gathering around the table to share a meal or as they used to say, “break bread” together. The tradition of breaking bread, dates way back to at least Roman times, when the sole notion of sitting together assumed that all disputes were forgotten and friendships were renewed.  Today sharing a meal is still pretty much the most important act that can be performed in any culture as a seal of friendship, unity, enjoyment.   And within that meal, bread is one of the most essential and omnipresent dishes on the table. We owe it to the Romans who have handed down recipes for the breads we still eat … Continue reading

Fussy Cuts for the Look You Want

fussy cuts

What are “fussy cuts” anyway? Hi Everyone, first of all, for those of you not familiar with the term “fussy cut” I thought it would be helpful to define it.   A fussy cut is a term used in sewing and often in quilting, where a piece of fabric is cut in a way to place a specific design or area of print on a specific location or feature of the end product, rather than simply cutting the fabric in random pieces with no regard to the design. When I was showing my daughter some fabric recently that I was planning on making a wristlet from, she mentioned that one of my options had a design that was too big and would be best used for something large, like a tote bag. For the most part, she was right. However, if … Continue reading

Why is there a vertical and horizontal thread holder?

Find out why there are both upright and horizontal options for using thread on your machine and why that is important. Why did I not know this?

You know sometimes how you just assume that everyone knows the same things that you know.  Just small little snippets of information picked up from random sources over time and just filed away? Often these can be bizarre facts about cats, random dates in history, or the funny middle names of celebrities – anything.  Then it comes up in conversation and it turns out that in fact, not everyone knows this – and you feel like a rock star! Not saying I’m a sewing rock-star in any way, but as a newbie sewer somewhere along the line I’d learned a little-known fact about thread and why there are often two spool holders on your machine – one that lies horizontally and one that sits vertically. photo credit: via photopin (license)   These are made to accommodate the two different types of … Continue reading