Learn something new to add to your sewing repertoire here!
Get to grips with your sewing machine with our handy guides
Discover all the essential techniques to take your dressmaking to professional level
Give extra shape to frocks and tops with this handy sleeve enhancement. You can easily add interest to the head of the sleeve, and how it travels over the top of the arm, simply by using tucks, gathers, pleats and darts. Each of these will require a sligh
Guarantee flowing hemlines that hang like a dream. Keen dressmaker Sarah Greeff has colourful memories of her first attempts at making a rolled hem. “I was first asked to make rolled hems for a colleague at Fenwick of Bond Street, a lovely Thai lady who h
Add a luxury touch to collars, sleeves and hemlines. A little well-placed piping shows that you have added love to your garment. It’s that extra effort you put into defining a beautiful seam that makes an item special. To hand-make piping, buy cord in the
Get to grips with the best overlocking finishes for everyday stitching. The overlocker has a different feel to a regular sewing machine. The trick is to let the feed dog guide the fabric. Use your right hand to support the edge of the material, taking car
Get to grips with a clever seam favourite for a continental finish! French seams are common in clothes for children, where the skin is extra sensitive, as the inside is completely smooth. They also create a beautiful effect on structured garments, as they
A quick fashion fix with Amanda Bowden's classic miracle mend. The dread of torn stitching can be traumatic. Pockets are a common site of injury for catching on things, to say nothing of natural wear and tear as hands go in and out, and even the continued
Doyenne of DIY dressmaking, Sarah Greeff, on the perfect dart. I recently visited Bath and spent the morning at the Fashion Museum, my nose pressed against the glass, as I gawped at the construction of some of the more historical pieces. On closer inspect
Sewing guru Sarah Greeff on perfect waist shapers. The first clothes I ever made for myself (back in the 1980s!) were full, gathered skirts, which are back in fashion at the moment – super easy to make, with no pattern needed. Admittedly, the temptation w
Tilly Walnes reveals a quick and pretty neck fastening. A button loop is a lovely detail for homemade clothes, whether you sew one down a blouse or on a cuff, collar or zip. In the instructions for Tilly and the Buttons' Martha pattern, you can make a che
Upcycle legend Suzannah Stanley on how to add a cute trim to a top. We have noticed a lot of tops being made with a bias-trim ruffle at the neck and sleeves. It’s a quaint detail that can really enhance modern styles, and it’s a quick way to add interest.
Understand the different parts of your machine with this guide
Sarah Watson, Author Of Pen to Thread, Shares Her Top Tips
Elisalex De Castro Peake, Co-founder Of By Hand London, Reveals Her Stitchy Solution For Frayed Denim. With the quality of high street denim these days (or lack of), it seems that just as you’re getting into the groove with a new pair of jeans, they split
Learn your basic embroidery stitches
Amanda Bowden explains how to stabilise your jersey sewing. One of the best things about sewing with jersey is its stretch and return quality. However, there are some areas of a garment where stability is helpful, such as neck areas, pocket edges and shou
The joys of jersey are yours - what are you waiting for?
Follow our top tips and create beautiful garments with stretch fabrics!
Rouleau loops are thin tubes of fabric used for straps or to make fastening loops for bulky buttons or frog fastenings
One of a family of detached stitches, seed stitch is useful for covering an area of a motif with pattern and texture
Tips on binding arm and neckholes
Pistil stitch is similar to a French knot, with a straight line forming a little stalk, with the knot at one end. This versatile stitch can be used as an accent, worked in lines, or clustered together.
Metallic threads are ideal for embellishing, customising and adding stylish design details to your projects
Add boning to a bodice for extra structure and support
Top tips on creating crisp collars
Free motion sewing allows you to stitch in all directions for machine embroidery and quilting.
A stipple stitch is a meandering curvy stitch that swirls across the fabric. Many machines have a built-in stippling stitch which will go to the full width available (usually 5mm-7mm) stitching in a curvy line as you sew vertically.
Facings are used to neaten the raw edge of openings such as armholes and necklines, as well as adding support and structure. Properly stitched they should be invisible on the outside of the garment.
So many of today’s fashions have the zip attached to the outside of the garment and now there are pretty lacy edged designs just perfect for this method of insertion.
Buttonholes are a breeze with today’s modern sewing machines, especially if they come with the niﬅy long buttonhole foot which holds the button in the back so the hole you stitch is made to ﬁt perfectly.
Stitch perfectly circular little flower heads using this nifty attachment which can be fitted to most sewing machines.
Pleats are folds in the fabric that control fullness. They can be soﬅ or crisp, depending on the fabric used and whether they are pressed or not.
An appliqué is a fabric design attached to the surface of a base material. It can be created by cutting a motif from other textiles, a combination of prints to make an image, or using a ready-made patch stitched to a base fabric.
Raglan sleeves are joined to the garment front and back with diagonal seams that run from the underarm to the neckline. To help with the fit, there may also be a shoulder dart or a seam running down the length of the sleeve.
Once you have threaded your machine, test the stitch to ensure it is working perfectly. It is a good idea to do some test stitching every time you change your stitch selection.
Most machines are threaded in a similar way, following four or five steps. Make sure the needle and presser foot are raised.
It is very important that the bobbin is dropped into the bobbin casing correctly even though it looks as if it can go either way up.
A properly wound bobbin will help create neat, perfect stitching. Use the bobbins provided with your machine and follow these simple steps.