Quick Tips For Sewing Difficult Fabrics

Sewing Difficult Fabrics

Knowing good basic sewing skills always comes in handy.  But sometimes, challenging fabrics can still be too much to handle.  Indeed, what may seem like simple tasks of folding and cutting a fabric can become frustrating –not to mention the difficulties that will be encountered when we start running our sewing machines through these uncooperative fabrics. Generally, when dealing with challenging fabrics, there are some things we can do to immediately improve the situation. Adjusting your machine’s thread tension up and down until you identify the best setting for the particular fabric can do wonders.  Speeding up as well as slowing down the sewing may make your sewing machine run smoothly over the fabric.  You may just have to experiment a little.  Simply making sure that the fabric is free of dust or any adhesive residue may also make it cooperate better with your … Continue reading

And the WINNER is… of the Janome sewing machine giveaway.

and the winner is

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Huge Janome Sewing Machine Giveaway.  As happy as I am for the winner, I’m sad we couldn’t give away many more machines.  Some of the many comments that the contest participants left on the site were truly inspiring.  The number of participants was also amazing and we thank everyone for their involvement. The winner of the contest is Maureen A. from San Diego, California.  Maureen entered the contest with a total of 12 entries.  Her winning entry was number 10 of 12 and resulted from her joining the the mailing list of our sister site over at Sewing4Free.com.  This option was only available later in the contest which just goes to show the value of sticking with those entries. Maureen also had an extra entry for sharing the contest with her friend … Continue reading

Transformable easy cardigan: dressing in layers

easy cardigan

Dressing in layers with an easy cardigan was what was on people’s mind the day I took the survey on our Facebook chat group.  With almost 22,000 members, it’s sometimes hard to find a consensus, but this time, I happened to agree with what the group seemed to be saying. There are a lot of things to like about cardigans.  It can be a very functional garment and suitable for many situations.  It’s also very nice to wear when just hanging around the house.  Wearing a cardigan to protect the lining of a coat is one of the best money saving tips on dry cleaning bills.  Based on the feedback, I decided to design a pattern for a short, easy but transformable cardigan.  I decided to call it Kalinda. I haven’t lived in a cold places for very longtime, but I … Continue reading

A Short History of Tassels

history of tassles

Introduction As promised, I wanted to go into a little more detail for you on the fascinating history of tassels and how tassels and their use has evolved over time.  In a previous article, we talked about how tassels have been made as embellishments, ornaments, and decorations dating back to ancient Rome and up until the present time.  Starting with a simple knot and evolving into a decorative addition, the tassel has certainly come a long, long way. Not many people know that the history of tassel goes back to ancient Egypt and the biblical times, finding its way on garments, blankets, rugs, carriages, chandeliers, canopies, draperies and pillows, in various cultures from all over the world! Tassels During the Ancient and Biblical Times According to the Hebrew bible, the Lord instructed Moses to tell the people of Israel to … Continue reading

Double welt pocket with flap by the butterfly method

double welt pocket with flap

The double welt pocket with flap using the butterfly method is a really easy and contemporary technique to make a pocket and attach a flap at the same time.  I have already showed you the five lines technique that is used mostly on thin fabrics.  This new technique using the butterfly method works well on both thin or thick fabrics.  It can even be used on leather and suede as well as with thick wools and cashmeres coats. I was told by a reader in a comment that the correct name for this pocket is double piped besom pocket or pound pocket.  Prior to 1962, all the tailoring books called this type of pocket by that name.  However, no contemporary tailoring book I was able to search in used the term double pipe besom pocket or pound pocket.  I think the language has … Continue reading

Easy sweater pattern for non-knitters: Let’s call her Cami

easy sweater pattern

After many reader requests, I wanted to come up with a design for an easy sweater pattern for non-knitters.  Knitting is one of my passions but, since I started designing at So-Sew-Easy.com I have had no time for it at all.  But I do miss knitting.  Often, I think of a dress or a top and I could picture it in my mind on a knitted kaleidoscope of colors.  I love the fresh look of a soft cotton long sleeve knitted top, even in summer you can pull this look.  But winter is a special time to wrap yourself in a comfortable but elegant knitted top that won’t break the bank.  If you are lacking in time like me, here is an easy sweater pattern for non-knitters. This is an easy sweater to make, however, you do have to pay special attention to … Continue reading

Adding Piping to a Flap or Collar: The Easy Way

adding piping

This is the easiest way I know of adding piping to a flap or a collar.  You can use this technique to make an iconic Chanel-inspired jacket, a sophisticated set of silk pajamas or even cushions. When I was in design school, the thought of adding piping to a collar or to a pocket filled me with horror and I would often result in many sleepless nights trying to finish a garment.  That was until, I found this much better way to do it and this is what I am going to share with you here today. I’ve created a little practice tutorial below if you want to get comfortable with the technique.  Of course, if you’re going to use the technique on a sewing project, you will need the corresponding materials.  The short list below is only if you want to try … Continue reading

Dog Fashion: Sewing for Man’s Best Friend

Dog Fashion

We have featured a round up of sewing for your dog as well as a huge list of dog bed patterns which were very popular with our readers –so I know that I’m not the only dog-lover in the group.  The approach of the cold months in the northern hemisphere got me thinking about clothes for man’s best friend and inevitably about dog fashion.  I think it will be a fun topic to explore, so here we go. A Glimpse At The History of Dog Fashion Dressing up dogs is certainly not a new thing. In the last 12,000 years, man have regarded dogs as loyal companions and historical documents have shown that dog fashion has been around for quite a long time too.  Setting the trend were the royal courts of Europe that lavished their favorite dogs with bejeweled … Continue reading

Three ways to make an easy tassel

easy tassle

Here are three ways to make an easy tassel.  Tassels have been made and used for centuries from the times of ancient Rome until today as ornaments, embellishments, and decorations.  They were often viewed as symbols of power and prestige.  Today, they mainly just make things like our handbags and curtain holdbacks look better.  I learned a lot about the history of tassels which I’ll write about in the future, but today I wanted to show you these simple techniques to make an easy tassel. Using the leftovers from our recent projects, there should be very little shopping to do.  I had a few beads left from the fabric cover beaded necklace.  The hessian threads are from the fringed table runner from a couple weeks ago. The first tassel illustrates the most common way to make tassels.  These sort of tassels are commonly used … Continue reading

No fireplace? No Problem with “No Hang” Christmas Stocking

christmas stocking

Here’s a free pattern and tutorial for a “no hang” Christmas stocking.  If like me, you don’t have a fireplace (and don’t feel like drilling holes in the walls) but you still have kids and family who love the tradition of Christmas stockings filled with small presents, this might be for you.  With this design, the stocking itself has enough support and is shaped in a way that it can stand up on its own instead of hanging. Life in the tropics is easy-going, but when Christmas comes, you really notice that the practice of hanging Christmas stockings on the fireplace mantel was borrowed from European cultures where it’s very cold and they actually have fireplaces.  It was going to disappointing to the kids around our house to not participate in this wonderful tradition.  But even outside the tropics, I … Continue reading