Can you cut paper with your sewing scissors?

Advice from the experts on whether cutting paper with your sewing scissors really dulls the blade or not. Really interesting reading.

Ah ha – the age old question.  Should we keep our sewing scissors just for cutting fabric.  Will cutting paper somehow ‘dull’ the scissors, make them less sharp, or less able to cut fabric if we dare to cut paper with them as well? Is this just an urban myth?  Did seamstresses of old simply pass on this mantra to stop the family endlessly borrowing their sewing scissors.  Was it just told to make sure the sewing scissors were always there when they needed them? We’ve all seen the funny memes on social media warning of the dire consequences of using our sewing scissors to cut paper. It’s discussed from time to time in the sewing chat group, and there will always be those who say yes they cut with paper occasionally and still have nice sharp scissors.  We all … Continue reading

How to upcycle kid’s clothes, reusing hems

Upcycle kid's clothes no hemming required

Hi! Stephanie from Swoodson Says again, and I’m sharing one of my favorite tips on how to upcycle kid’s clothes. A new year often triggers cleaning out the closet, but don’t donate all those clothes just yet. You can upcycle adult clothes into kids clothes quick and easy – there are a few adjustments to make so you can reuse the existing hems and skip the fussiest part of sewing. If you don’t have any clothes to work from, I have some tips for thrift store shopping effectively, specific to sewing refashions and upcycles. Something that looks dated and frumpy for an adult can turn out to be just perfect on a child! Step 1 Pick out a pattern to use, and make sure that you will have enough fabric by holding it up to the existing garment. The main … Continue reading

‘Leather’ Kraft Tex wallet – video tutorial

Kraft Tex leather-look wallet. Free pattern and video tutorial.

I’ve been playing with this new ‘fabric’. It’s called Kraft Tex, is described as a paper fabric, designed to look a bit like leather, is tear proof, water resistant, easy to work with and very versatile. You can use it in crafting of all sorts, including sew with it. Use it flat straight out of the packet or pre-treat it to make it look more like leather. It’s great for sewing and using in bags as well as all sorts of mixed media and paper crafts too. I have a couple of previous articles you can look at here to learn more about it: All about Kraft Tex and how to pre-treat it Kraft Tex ‘leather’ key fob C&T Publishing who have created this product have some cool free project ideas so that you can try out various different projects. … Continue reading

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting Fabric

cutting fabric

I must admit, I am new to blogging, but I wanted to start with a topic that is near and dear to my heart. So many people spend hundreds of dollars on a good sewing machine, use it for a few months and then they give up, and put it back in the box in the basement where it remains for years –untouched.  Somewhere in their sewing journey, many aspiring sewers become afraid or demotivated because the project did not turn out the way they wanted.  A big pile of unfinished garments is a dead give away!  Our brain is trained to look for inconsistencies and it is how we judge beauty.  Unconsciously, we know something is off and we give up before we finish.The reason for this doomed journey starts at the fabric store but is often made worse by how … Continue reading

More free patterns in 2016 – Happy New Year!

SSE New Year

Happy New Year everyone and wishing you even more free patterns in 2016! We hope you and your families have a happy and prosperous New Year… and the best of luck with all your new sewing projects.  We’re really looking forward to being part of your sewing journey in 2016 and beyond. Last year was a great year for the site but we’re looking forward to an even better year in 2016 with more free patterns, more sewing tips and more sewing tutorials. We expanded our team when Mayra joined in December.  She’ll be looking after the social media sites including the extremely popular So Sew Easy sewing chat Facebook group whose membership numbers recently topped 15,000.  Mayra will of course be bringing you even more free patterns in 2016! We won a number of awards during the year and recently learned we … Continue reading

My Favorite Sewing Essentials

Essential sewing tools. All the items you NEED for your sewing room, some more obvious than others.

I’ve been sewing for the past 40 years since I was a young girl. During this time I’ve come across some great supplies that I wouldn’t want to be without. Some I’ve most recently discovered and wonder how I ever got through my projects without them. I’m sure you have your favorite sewing essentials as well, but I’ll share some of mine with you and you may find some that you didn’t even know that you needed. First, what I call the handy notions: Sliding Gauge – This is a must have for creating hems and casings. You just slide the little pointy thing to where you want your fabric ironed or pinned, and it’s exactly right every time. I’ve had this very gauge for probably as long as I’ve been sewing. Bodkin – This is a nice tool to … Continue reading

My Caribbean Carnivale Bright Quilt Top

All the bright and crazy colors of the Caribbean combined in a single easy quilt for beginners. Don't like it bright? You can make this from any 6 inch strips.

I love living here in the Caribbean.  The sunshine, the relaxed lifestyle, no income taxes and of course the color. Bright color everywhere.  From the ocean and beaches, to the homes, the beach bars, the tourist attractions, (the tourists themselves!) and the wonderful bright and colorful nature of our islands. So when I saw this pack of fabric, it HAD to be mine.  Everything about it just screams Caribbean and I had to make a new quilt top.  If you’ve been following along with my previous quilt top attempts, you’ll know that I’m very much still a beginner and enjoy the simple patterns with the quick results, and of course the very bright colors and contrasts.  This pack came with a free pattern as a quilt ‘kit’ on Craftsy and it was a quick and fun sew. Materials The whole … Continue reading

Merry Christmas from the So Sew Easy team

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  We usually write an article for Fridays, but seeing today is a special day for many, and a day when we think you will all have better things to do than sew, we are just popping in to say Merry Christmas, if that applies to you.  Enjoy your day. Thank you for all of your support this year and we hope you are relaxing, eating well and enjoying time with your family and with your sewing machine. Mayra – I’ve got teenage kids so they will usually sleep in.  Then I make a nice breakfast and immediately start to work on the dinner.  Christmas is a working day in Singapore, and can be very commercial, but we keep it a family day.  Still somehow I seem to spend the day in the kitchen when I would much rather be … Continue reading

Kraft Tex ‘leather’ key fob

Kraft Tex key fob featured

My first time sewing with Kraft Tex today.  Did you read the wash comparison test I did last week about how to pre-treat the Kraft Tex to make it look like leather?  For this one, I soaked once in boiling water for 5 minutes, gave it a crumple, folded it while wet and then pressed it to dry with an iron.  Perfect! Let me show you how it went sewing Kraft Tex for the first time while I make this simple ‘leather look’ key fob. How to make a Kraft Tex key fob   I think if I was to make this again, I would go for a piece 4 inches wide and fold it into quarters for the leather part of the strap.  I was just worried to start with about how many layers my machine could sew – … Continue reading

So Sew Easy is expanding!

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As you all know, I’ve built the wonderful So Sew Easy community from what started as my own personal online sewing diary, to the great resource it is today over the last several years.  Thanks to you all, the site has been so successful that we now need to expand the team.  I just can’t keep up with it all and want to make sure you all continue to get the best possible content and service. I’m delighted to announce that Mayra will be joining our team.  You can read more about her on the About Us page but she’s been sewing all her life and I’m really looking forward to the contribution she’ll make in bringing new designs, skills and know-how to the site. Mayra will be taking over the administration of the Facebook group and answering your emails.  She’s … Continue reading

The Better Bag Maker – book review

Review of the book Better Bag Maker. Basically, if you sew bags or want ti - you NEED this book!

This is a review of The Better Bag Maker by Nicole Mallalieu. What a great book – as a regular bag maker with a number of books on the subject this book compliments my mini library perfectly has has become the star on my shelf. It’s subtitled “An Illustrated Handbook of Handbag Design”  and I would whole-heartedly agree with that.  If you would like to be able to design your own bags, this book is just jam-packed full of information you need to be successful and create great bags. A short introduction gives us an insight in to the author and their desire to teach through the book. Her aim is to make you a better bag maker.  The book starts with chapters on tools, materials, key skills and bag making techniques, before moving onto 10 projects to teach key bag making techniques, … Continue reading