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December 2018 Subs
December 2018 Subs
How to Sew
Sewing techniques

Sewing techniques

Learn something new to add to your sewing repertoire here!

How to use your sewing machine

How to use your sewing machine

Get to grips with your sewing machine with our handy guides

Dressmaking Techniques

Dressmaking Techniques

Discover all the essential techniques to take your dressmaking to professional level

Shape Up Your Sleeves

Shape Up Your Sleeves

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

Improve Your Rolled Hems

Improve Your Rolled Hems

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

Perfect Your Piping

Perfect Your Piping

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

Know Your Overlocking

Know Your Overlocking

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

Master French Seams

Master French Seams

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

Fix a Frayed Pocket

Fix a Frayed Pocket

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

Create Perfect Darts

Create Perfect Darts

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

Shape Up Your Waistbands

Shape Up Your Waistbands

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

Stitch with Rouleau Loops

Stitch with Rouleau Loops

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

Make a Bias Ruffle

Make a Bias Ruffle

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.

Anatomy of a sewing machine

Anatomy of a sewing machine

Understand the different parts of your machine with this guide

Needlework Top Tips

Needlework Top Tips

Sarah Watson, Author Of Pen to Thread, Shares Her Top Tips

Fix Frayed Denim

Fix Frayed Denim

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

Stitch 101

Stitch 101

Learn your basic embroidery stitches

Keep Jersey Secure

Keep Jersey Secure

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

Master Jersey Fabric

Master Jersey Fabric

The joys of jersey are yours - what are you waiting for?

How to sew with stretch fabrics

How to sew with stretch fabrics

Follow our top tips and create beautiful garments with stretch fabrics!

How to make rouleau loops

How to make rouleau loops

Rouleau loops are thin tubes of fabric used for straps or to make fastening loops for bulky buttons or frog fastenings

Seed stitch

Seed stitch

One of a family of detached stitches, seed stitch is useful for covering an area of a motif with pattern and texture

Crash course on bias binding

Crash course on bias binding

Tips on binding arm and neckholes

Pistil stitch

Pistil stitch

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.

How to use metallic threads

How to use metallic threads

Metallic threads are ideal for embellishing, customising and adding stylish design details to your projects

Boning in simple steps

Boning in simple steps

Add boning to a bodice for extra structure and support

Crash course on creating collars

Crash course on creating collars

Top tips on creating crisp collars

How to Free Motion

How to Free Motion

Free motion sewing allows you to stitch in all directions for machine embroidery and quilting.

How to Stipple Stitch

How to Stipple Stitch

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.

How to attach facings

How to attach facings

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.

How to sew surface mounted zips

How to sew surface mounted zips

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.

Crash course on buttonholes

Crash course on buttonholes

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.

How to create a flower stitch

How to create a flower stitch

Stitch perfectly circular little flower heads using this nifty attachment which can be fitted to most sewing machines.

Crash course on pleats

Crash course on pleats

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.

Crash course on kimono sleeves

Crash course on kimono sleeves

Kimono sleeves are cut as part of the garment front and back. Since there’s nothing to deal with but an underarm seam, they are the easiest style to sew.

How to create an appliqué motif

How to create an appliqué motif

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.

How to make raglan sleeves

How to make raglan sleeves

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.

Checking stitching

Checking stitching

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.

Upper threading

Upper threading

Most machines are threaded in a similar way, following four or five steps. Make sure the needle and presser foot are raised.

How to fit the bobbin

How to fit the bobbin

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.

How to wind the bobbin

How to wind the bobbin

A properly wound bobbin will help create neat, perfect stitching. Use the bobbins provided with your machine and follow these simple steps.

How to Sew
The original soft comfort thimble from Prym!
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