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Tag Archives: sewing tips

How to Understitch A Facing (1)

How to Understitch A Facing

Understitching is a row of stitching on the inside edge of a garment, usually a facing, sewn to keep the seam rolled to the inside of the garment. Understitching is never visible from the right side of the garment. Unlike basting, understitching is permanent. Understitching seems like a step you could skip, and just press the garment instead, but it makes a world of difference to the crispness of your edges. ...

How to Sew Spaghetti Straps (5)

How to Sew Spaghetti Straps

Spaghetti, or shoestring, straps are narrow straps made of fabric. The straps are made by sewing a tube, then turning the fabric right side out. The seam allowances fill up the tube to make a slightly rounded strap. For flatter straps, trim the seam allowance before turning or sew the straps slightly wider. ...

How to Sew in Sleeve Heads (2)

How to Sew in Sleeve Heads

A sleeve head is a strip of padding sewn into the cap of a set-in jacket or coat sleeve to support the sleeve cap and round it out. The sleeve head is sewn along the top of the armhole seam. It extends into the sleeve and fills out the rounded top of the sleeve cap. Sleeve heads can be bought ready-made, or you can make your own from cotton batting, thick flannel, lambswool or even polar fleece in a pinch. Sleeve heads are used along with shoulder pads to build structure into the garment. ...

How to Set in A Sleeve (2)

How to Set in A Sleeve

A set-in sleeve is a type of sleeve that is set into the armhole, rather than being cut as part of the bodice. The bodice is sewn so the armhole is a round opening, the sleeve is sewn as a tube and then the sleeve is set into the armhole. (That’s where the term set-in sleeves comes from, they are set in.) Set-in sleeves can be one-piece sleeves or two-piece sleeves. The sleeve pattern piece has a rounded curve at the top (called the sleeve cap) and narrows at the bottom. With set-in sleeves, the...

Hook-and-bar closure

How to Sew A Hook-And-Eye Closure and A Hook-And-Bar Closure

This is a two-part closure consisting of a hook on one side and either an eye or a bar on the other. These are usually made of metal, although thread bars and thread eyes can be used in place of the metal eyes or bars. In ready-to-wear garments, hook and bars are applied by machine before the waistband is constructed, but in home sewing, they are sewn on by hand. I prefer the handsewn type because they are easy to replace if they come apart; the factory-applied hooks and bars leave a hole and ca...

How to sew a french seam (2)

How to Sew A French Seam

A French seam is a narrow, fully enclosed seam. In France, it’s called an English seam! The seam is sewn with the right sides out first, then turned to the inside and sewn, enclosing the seam allowances within the seam. The result is tidy and clean without requiring a lot of work to finish the seams. ...

Darts on Cambie Dress

How to Sew Single-Pointed & Double-Pointed Darts

A dart is a wedge section of fabric that’s folded and stitched in place. From the right side of the garment, a dart will look like a straight line with no visible stitching. From the inside of the garment, darts will look like triangles, curved triangles or narrow diamond shapes. The angled lines of the dart are called “dart legs.” ...

Boned bodice (Simplicity 4931)

How to Sew Boning Into A Bodice

Boning is a narrow strip of plastic or metal sewn into seams or casings used to build structure and support into garments. It’s called boning because years ago bones were used in place of plastic or metal. It’s most commonly sold by the yard as hard plastic in a soft feltlike fabric casing or as thin flat plastic boning that you can sew through without a fabric casing. Metal boning is harder to find and may have to be ordered from specialty websites. Metal boning, also called spiral-steel boning...

Bias pockets on a straight-grain garment, Archer Shirt (Grainline Studio)

Tips for Sewing on The Bias

Bias refers to the bias direction or the diagonal grain of the fabric. Just as the grain line runs parallel to the selvedge, the bias runs at a 45° angle to the straight of grain. Sewing bias-cut garments is challenging, but practice will help you become familiar with the behavior of the bias and how to work with it. Fabric cut on the bias has stretch and more drape. Try pulling on your fabric along the length and then across the width. Unless it has spandex, it won’t stretch very much. Now pull...