The Sewing List: Sewalongs and Tutorials

Sewing with Knits and Sewing the Shoulder Seams

Sewing with Knits and Sewing the Shoulder Seams

Knits have got a bit of a bad rep. They are considered scary and difficult to sew. (Nothing could be further from the truth.) 

This reputation as being only for experienced sewists probably goes back to sometime in the 1960s when knit fabric became more commercially available, but everyone's sewing machine wasn't designed to sew knits. 

Things are very different now. 

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How to Measure your Body

How to Measure your Body

In her (lively, fun, interesting, friendly and informative) talks at our store, Paddye Mann emphasized the importance of getting to know your body and its measurements, to understand why and how a piece of clothing fits, or does not fit. 

This infographic is a compilation of some of her measuring wisdom.  Click here for a downloadable pdf of the infographic. 

Measure your body - two croquis with measuring advice
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Thread your Machine: A Learn to Sew Tutorial

Thread your Machine: A Learn to Sew Tutorial

Before you can sew anything with your sewing machine, you need to know how to thread your sewing machine! 

Threading the machine may seem very confusing, especially since different makes of sewing machines have different methods for threading. But it’s actually easy –honest! if you keep one thing in mind:

All the steps of threading a sewing machine are done to make sure that the right length of thread for the chosen stitch length is delivered from the spool to the needle, and from the bobbin to the stitch, at the correct tension, and without twisting or pulling.

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Cutting out a Pattern

Cutting out a Pattern

Once you've traced your pattern and made the necessary fit adjustments to it, you're ready to cut out your fabric!

I enjoy this step; after all the work and head-scratching of tracing, grading and altering, I like picking up the first piece I cut out and holding it against my body to see how the final garment is going to look.

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Sizing and Grading a Pattern

Sizing and Grading a Pattern

It's heartbreaking to spend the time and money sewing up a garment, only to have it not fit properly or not fit at all! Guesswork or "winging it" usually doesn't turn out well when garment sewing! Good fit starts with good sizing and grading. 

The whole process of deciding on the basic size, grading between sizes, making basic alterations can seem very complicated and mysterious. In this blog post, I'm going to break it down and help make it make sense. 

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Simple and Easy Pattern Weights

Simple and Easy Pattern Weights

Pattern weights are an essential tool when tracing a pattern, and if you’re on Team Rotary Cutter, to keep the paper and fabric from shifting as you trace or cut.

Pattern weights can be anything small and heavy; cans, wooden blocks, rocks, spare scissors or cutlery, and, you know, actual pattern weights.

Pattern weights don’t have to be expensive or difficult to make either. Here’s a super simple way to make custom pattern weights.

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Knit T-Shirts for Everybody and Every Body!

Knit T-Shirts for Everybody and Every Body!

The great thing about learning how to make a t-shirt is that a t-shirt is a t-shirt is a t-shirt. Once you've made one, you can make all the variations and adaptations!
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How to Trace a Pattern

How to Trace a Pattern

There are several good reasons to trace your pattern pieces rather than cutting into your tissue. In this blog post, we examine those reasons and show how to accurately trace a pattern. 
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