Basic Techniques

Sewing
Learning the basics of sewing or brushing up on skills? The links below will lead you on the right path.

Applique (with a dryer sheet) - Tutorial star[offsite link]
Put those used dryer sheets to good use! They are great for light linings for applique shapes.

Applique for Embellishment star
Applique designs, those smaller pieces of fabric overlaid onto a larger fabric background, are often seen on quilts however they can be used as whimsical decorations on clothing, elegant patterns on curtains or artistic expressions on throw pillows, totes and fabric purses.

Applique Methods star
In applique, fabric pieces are folded and tucked at the edges to create desired shapes, traditionally hand stitched onto a base fabric, today often machine stitched in place. Applique has many uses, to strengthen worn clothing, patch obvious holes and tears or simply beautiful ornamentation.

Applying Bias Tape by Machine - Tutorial star[offsite link]
A video showing how to apply double-fold bias tape by machine.

Basic Hand Stitches star
Holidays bring back memories of cherished traditions and allow us to not only reminiscence but endeavor to carry on those beloved customs as well. Knowing how to sew using basic hand stitches is one of those customs worth knowing and teaching to a willing learner.

Basics of Hemming star
The finishing sewing touch to any garment edge is the hem. There are many sewing techniques to accomplish this rather ordinary task, however using the right type of hem can give a garment an overall professional look.

Basics of Home Sewing Patterns star
A printed paper sewing pattern is like a road map; the directions on getting from one place to another are all tantalizing provided, but it’s up to the reader to interpret and make sense of how to get from map point A - You Are Here, to map point B - Unfamiliar There.

Bias Tape, Single & Double Fold - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to apply double fold bias binding.

Bias Tape, Single Fold - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to use single fold bias tape for trim, facings or casings.

Blanket Binding - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to apply blanket binding.

Blanket Stitch star
Decorative, versatile and functional this overcast or edge stitch is often one of the first beginning embroidery stitches taught to children. Adding beads to each stitch further allows the stitch to add emphasis as an outline to the evenly spaced, even length stitches.

Blanket Stitch Tutorial - Turning the Corner star
Step-by-step tutorial showing you how to blanket stitch by hand and stitch around a corner.

Boot-cut to Skinny Jeans star
The stiff, cuffed dungarees of the past used by cattlemen and miners, the 1950s and 60s youth subculture that adopted denim jeans in defiance, the bell-bottoms of the 70s and onto today’s boot-cut and skinny fashionably ripped jeans, these popular slacks experience never-ending fashion adjustments.

Cording Crash Course - Tutorial star[offsite link]
Step-by-step instructions for making cording. From jcarolinecreative!

Double Row Gathering star
There are several techniques that can be used for gathering fabric. This article explains how to gather fabric using a double row of stitching.

Enduring Patchwork star
The terms cozy, rustic, Americana, and old-fashioned come to mind when considering patchwork items. The fabric patches are all of the same size, usually squares distinguishing them from "crazy" patchwork designs where pieces are of asymmetrical sizes assembled in a thoughtful yet random design.

Garment Facings star
Facings are those fabric pieces, usually the same as the fashion fabric, at times of a contrasting fabric, generally seen on the inside of a garment. They finish off an opening, usually a neckline or sleeveless armhole, but also for a shaped hem, slim skirt vents, shirt front or jacket opening.

Hem Facing - Applying star[offsite link]
Directions on how to apply hem facing from Wrights.com.

Honeycomb Smocking - Tutorial star[offsite link]
A different way to pleat and smock.

How to Make a Pocket star[offsite link]
Customize almost any sewing project by adding a patch pocket with this simple pattern.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Cutting the Fabric star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of arranging the pattern pieces and cutting the fabric.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - First Steps star
Sewing men's shirts may seem difficult and complicated, but it really isn't. If you are interested in learning how to sew a men's shirt, you will want to follow this series that will take you step by step through the process of sewing a men's shirt.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Matching the Fabric star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of placing the patterns so that the fabric motifs will match when it is sewn together.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Preparing the Pattern star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of preparing the pattern pieces.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Reading the Pattern star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over how to read the pattern and arrange the pattern pieces on your fabric.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing Shoulder Seams star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of sewing the shirt shoulder seams to attach the shirt fronts to the shirt yoke.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing the Collar star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of sewing the shirt collar together.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing the Sleeves star
Setting a Sleeve in a Men's Shirt. The sleeve seam is identified as meeting at the joint where the arm meets the shoulder. A satisfactory fit and smooth seam is the goal.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing the Yoke star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of sewing the shirt yoke and yoke lining to the shirt back piece.

How-To Make Yards and Yards of Bias Tape star[offsite link]
Easy to understand instructions for making continuous bias tape.

Machine-made Buttonhole Tips star
The timeless expression - practice makes perfect, is never truer than when applying a machine-made buttonhole to a carefully sewn garment. The best way to ensure a machine-made buttonhole comes out the way it is expected to look is to make a test buttonhole using a fabric scrap from the project.

Piping - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to apply pre-made piping.

Practical Sewing Tips star
Could a sewer ever have enough sewing tips? All sewing tips that can save time, effort, cost or reveal some clever tidbit of sewing info are always helpful and welcome. Of course, only those that provide practical workable results will have the expected value for the sewer.

Quilt Binding - Tutorial star[offsite link]
Illustrated tutorial on applying quilt binding using white glue. Link opens a .pdf document.

Reverse Applique Tutorial star[offsite link]
Photographic demonstration of how to do the reverse applique technique.

Rick-Rack - Applying star[offsite link]
Rick-rack is an easy way to add punch to your projects.

Seam Finishes - Mock French and Flat Felled star
Part two of the discussion about the most widely used seam finishes. This installment explains the Mock/False French Seam and the Flat-Felled Seam.

Sew Plaids star
Sewing with plaids need not be frustrating. Simple matching of horizontal and vertical lines at every seam opening - side seams and the front notch on the arm scythe, for any patch pockets, pocket flaps, and welts, plus pinning and hand basting every seam, every time, ensures great results.

Sewing and Color’s Influence star
Color subtly influences our perception of the world around us. Sewers may use this influence in fabric choices to evoke a desired response - blue tones are identified as cooling whereas reds are considered warming. Perceptions and reactions to color are myriad across age, gender, and culture.

Sewing and E-Patterns star
E-patterns or online sewing patterns are convenient for a home sewer, often offered free or low-cost. However, a small stack of standard size 8.5 by 11 inch computer printing paper, printing ink, a reliable home printer and much clear tape for assembling a printed e-pattern are cost considerations.

Sewing Denim star
Instantly familiar, endlessly versatile, at once old and new, the fabric we know as denim and the many clothes, accessories, and home items it has so readily adapted to, has enjoyed steady popularity since the mid 1800s.

Sewing Details, Old and New star
The invention and general acceptance of the slide fastener or zipper as we have come to know it allowed garment sewing to become a more efficient endeavor for the home sewer. In addition, the rise of sewing pattern companies greatly enhanced the abilities of home sewers to clothe their families.

Sewing for a Perfect Fit star
Sewing clothing items whether for yourself, a toddler, teen, mature figure, hard-to-fit body contours or challenging physical circumstances, you have the opportunity, finally, to have some say in how the finished garment is going to fit the body.

Sewing Lesson - Basic Folded Hems star
Learn all about hems in this group of articles - this segment focuses on basic folded hems. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Lesson - How to Sew a Blind Hem star
Learn how to sew a blind hem on your sewing machine without a special presser foot. Make hems that are neat and professional looking. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Lesson - Introduction to Hems star
Learn all about hems in this group of articles. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Machine Needle Types star
There are many types of needles available for your sewing machine. Learn what they are used for.

Sewing Machine Presser Feet star
Whether you are learning to sew, returning to sew, or a long-time sewing enthusiast, the use of specialized presser feet that are available for your type sewing machine can make your sewing project quite unique as well as speed along your sewing efforts.

Sewing Machine Thread Jams star
It happens to all machine sewers - you're sewing your fabric and all of a sudden your machine seems to stop advancing and jam just at the machine's throat plate. You find your needle and bobbin threads in a knotted bunch at the fabric seam just under the presser foot. Probable cause and solutions!

Sewing Related Tips star
Will a sewer ever have enough sewing tips? All sewing tips that can save time, effort, cost or reveal some useable tidbit of sewing info are always welcome. Of course, only those that provide really practical workable results will have the expected value for the sewer.

Sewing Vocabulary - Align to Asymmetrical star
Learn your sewing terminology from align to asymmetry.

Sewing Vocabulary - Backstitch to Binding star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Blanket Stitch to Buttonhole star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Casing to Cutting Line star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Darn to Draping star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Ease to Fusible star
Another installment in the sewing glossary.

Sewing Vocabulary - Gather to Gusset star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Gather and Gusset.

Sewing Vocabulary - Ham to Horsehair Braid star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Ham and Horsehair Braid.

Sewing Vocabulary - In-seam Pocket to Knife Pleat star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between In-seam pocket and Knife pleat.

Sewing Vocabulary - Lapel to Muslin star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Lapel and Muslin

Sewing Vocabulary - Nap to Overlock star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Nap and Overlock

Sewing Vocabulary - Pad Stitch to Prick Stitch star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Pad Stitch and Prick Stitch

Sewing Vocabulary - Quilting to Running Stitch star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Quilting and Running Stitch

Sewing Vocabulary - Sample Size to Sep. Zipper star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Sample Size and Separating Zipper

Sewing Vocabulary - Serge to Sloper star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Serge and Sloper

Sewing with Plaids star
Plaids have always had a traditional strong presence for the fall and winter seasons. From the many customary tartan plaids of the Scottish Highlands to the red, black, camel and white English Burberry signature design – plaids are a very distinct and memorable style maker.

Sewing Zippers star
Applying a zipper, either centered, lapped or ´invisible´ needn’t be a difficult sewing process.

Single Row Gathering star
There are several techniques that can be used for gathering fabric. This article explains how to gather fabric using a single row of stitching.

Square Up Fabric Yardage star
There are a few ways to square up or true up a piece of woven fabric, an often necessary part of sewing. This means that the warp and the weft threads are running as expected, perpendicular to each other.

Stitching by Hand star
Whether a sewing beginner or master of advanced techniques or anywhere in-between stitching by hand takes on an almost meditative quality. Sewing or mending by hand allows for a relaxed attentive focus as the eyes and hands work together in quiet contemplation.

Sustainable Sewing star
Sewing in a sustainable way combines the tradition of one of the oldest of crafts with the knowledge and tools of today's modern technologies. Knowing that living and working with care for the environment, economy and community ensures an enduring legacy for future generations.

Test Drive Your Ready-made Paper Pattern star
Using left over fabric pieces designated as scraps, an ignominiously undeserved title for usable fabric pieces, or inexpensive cotton muslin can test if a ready-made paper pattern will yield the desired results before committing to cutting what may be very expensive or one of a kind fashion fabric.

Tips for Cutting and Sewing Burlap star
This article continues the discussion of burlap fabric, presenting some tips for cutting burlap and sewing with burlap.

Traditional Inside Seam Finishing star
To sew a truly professional-looking garment it is important to consider how the inside of the garment will look when completed as well as the finished outside.

Understanding Home Sewing Patterns star
A home sewer’s printed paper sewing pattern is like a road map; the directions on getting from one place to another are all tantalizingly provided, but it’s up to the reader to interpret and make sense of how to get from map point A (You Are Here) to map point B (Unfamiliar There).

Zigzag Stitch Gathering star
There are several techniques that can be used for gathering fabric. This article explains how to gather fabric using a zigzag stitch.

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