How to clean a sewing machine – video

How to clean a sewing machine video

Irene did us a great photo article a little while back on how to clean a sewing machine. I’ve been neglecting mine recently, half on purpose actually, so I could give it a good clean out and take some video while I did it.  Mine is simpler than hers, I can’t access many areas so do check out the earlier tutorial for photos of options that might apply to your machine. She suffers from the same problem that I do – rust and corrosion from damp or humid conditions.  Hopefully your machine won’t look as bad as ours, but if you live in a very damp, rainy, humid or salty area, you may need to take care of it a little more often and be prepared to add a little more oil. How often should you clean your machine? Well, that … 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

Making a gathered quilt top from Fat Quarters

I love this article (and tutorial) about sending out your quilt top for long-arm quilting. This gal has an evil mind with her gathered quilt!

There has been SO much inspiring chat in our sewing chat group in the last few weeks. I admit, I’m now spending far too much time checking out all of the projects and even less time sewing! But one ‘thread’ in particular got me to thinking. One of our members, posted a link to an article about a poor lady who sent off her quilt top to a ‘professional’ long-arm quilter and got back an utter disaster! It was horrible and the poor lady was going to have to unpick the whole lot to try to get it redone again. The article on a quilting blog warned those sewing quilt tops to be very wary about sending their precious tops out to long arm quilters they didn’t know – warning that sometimes just because a person owns a long-arm quilting … 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

Rag quilt pillow to match my quilt

I knocked this up in just a few minutes. Funa dneasy to sew rag quilt pillow.

I had some squares left over from the super-soft and snuggly-wuggly rag quilt I made and showed you last week. Not enough flannel to make anything large, but just enough to create a matching pillow cover to go with my quilt. And oooh, it’s snuggly-wuggly too. It’s made in exactly the same way as the quilt, using 3 layers of 6 inch flannel squares and then two 9-square pieces are joined together to create the cover.  I’d used up most of my flannel squares and just had mostly the purple floral left, so rather than be an exact match, I had to make all the outer squares in the same fabric.  I think it still looks good though and is a match for the quilt. Here’s a super short video of the process, because all of the full details are … Continue reading

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

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