How to make a bias binding.

Bias binding is a widely utilized in all sorts of sewing projects. Its uses are far wider then just a hem finish. It can have decorative as well as functional purpose in a garment. Though the craft shops have a wide variety of ready-made bias tapes, they often are the wrong shade for the project, or not stocked in a particular width. Hence is a necessity to make your own. Luckily it is not hard to produce at home and gives your more control over the design. It is a useful technique to know either you a dressmaker or a quilter.

Bias binding making sequence:


  • Iron the piece of fabric you are going to make the bias tape with.
  • Spread it flat in one layer. Do not allow it to hang over the working surface to avoid  stretching.
  • Mark the strips of a desired width.
  • Cut. Quilters can put a rotary cutter and a cutting mat to use to speed up the process.How to cut bias binding
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How to sew a centred zipper. Method 2

There are usually more ways then one to do things. Here I'll show you the second method to sew a centred zipper. If with the fist one the top stitching played both utilitarian and decorative roles, in this method there is a separate stitch for each function.

Step 1

Right sides together sew the seam leaving the zipper opening unstitched.

 How to sew a centred zipper. Alternative method.

Continue reading How to sew a centred zipper. Method 2

Finishing keyhole neckline. Method 1.

The keyhole neckline opening can be used as an embellishment of the garment or as a utility feature to widen the neckline or the hem of a sleeve for added functionality.

There are several methods the keyhole neckline can be finished with :

  • facing
  • bias binding
  • lining

Today I will show how to face the keyhole neckline at the back of the garment. Facing keyhole neckline tutorial

Facing pattern is drafted as normal two piece neck facing is normally done, with enough extra fabric to accommodate the opening. The one important point is not to cut out the opening at this stage, just mark it clearly. This way the facing remains stable and wont distort under presser foot of your machine. Depending on the garment design and fabric thickness the interfacing might be a good idea.

Continue reading Finishing keyhole neckline. Method 1.

Three ways to draft a puffed sleeves pattern.

There are three main types of puffed sleeves that are very simple to draft from the basic sleeve pattern. The idea is to create enough extra fabric for gathering, which means to "stretch" the pattern in places were the ruffling will accrue. The "stretching" can be done along the head and hem of a sleeve, but never in the underarm area.

The process itself is not complicated. Start with a paper pattern of a sleeve. Mark the middle third of your pattern with parallel lines 3-4cm apart, cut and open out the pieces. The fuller the sleeve you are after the further you spread the parts. Traditionally it cannot be made more then 5cm. For fuller sleeve cut the strips narrower. In some old pattern making books you can find the pictures of a puffed sleeve draft looking like a fan with the strips cut as narrow as 1cm. Drafting puffed sleeves

Continue reading Three ways to draft a puffed sleeves pattern.

Basic tote pattern

Normally I do not bother with the patterns when I need to put together a basic tote, materials will dictate the size and design. I have half a dozen totes of different sizes. From big - to go to the pool, to the one that fits just a book and an apple.

It is a very satisfying feeling to turn potential rubbish into a new and useful thing. And if you can make it pleasing to the eye, so much the better. Jeans! We all wear them. When the fashionable life is over, they can start a new, not less useful one. The sturdy denim fabric lands itself very well to an utility bag. Here is my latest recycled jeans tote (not that I need another one). Usually I do it without a pattern letting the fabric dictate the size of my bag. This time I had two pair of jeans to dispose off - light and dark, hence are the stripes.

Recycling old jeans. Basic tote pattern.

Basic tote dimensions.

Basic tote pattern.

Continue reading Basic tote pattern

Blanket stitch.

Blanket stitch can be used for finishing raw edges of the fabric, for joining pieces or as decoration. It is very popular to use for hand appliqué and in needlework. It has many varieties that can be adopted to all sorts of projects. As with every hand stitch you will do well to have a trial at a scrap piece of fabric. It will allow you to make sure that it is a right stitch for your project.  As a general rule the thicker the textile you are working with the thicker your thread should be. Evenness of the stitch is very important. It might be tedious at first, but when done properly it is a pleasure to see. Here is the collection of 12 variations on a blanket stitch I had an occasion to come across.

  1. Basic Basic blanket Stitch
  2. Whipped Whipped blanket stitch
  3. Long and short Long and short blanket stitch Continue reading Blanket stitch.

Sewing zippers. 6 common ways to set a zipper.

As a seamstress I cannot picture a time when there were no zippers. They are used to close garments, attach separate pieces and as an embellishment. It is impossible to imagine modern clothing without it. Sewing zippers may appear difficult to a novice. But like with everything, practice makes perfect. In this post I would like to show several basic methods commonly used in garments.

Sewing Zippers. 6 Basic Methods.


Centred Zipper

Sewing Zippers. Centered zipper


Zipper tape is inserted symmetrically between two parts of the garment.  It is the easiest and most common way used for dresses.

Method 1


Continue reading Sewing zippers. 6 common ways to set a zipper.

How to Sew a Circle Skirt.

A circle skirt is pretty easy to make. It requires few pieces and basic techniques, making it a good exercise for beginners.  If this is your first time I would advise to make a paper pattern first. For experienced sewers this step can be skipped; you are welcome to do the markings straight on the fabric.

Circle skirt math

To make this pattern you will need only two measurements -  waist girth and the length of your skirt.

How to make a circle skirt

Circle skirts are commonly made in 360°, 270°, 180° or 90°, depending on how many folds you want. There is a formula to calculate the waist radius for each type of circle skirt.

  • Full circle Skirt (360°)Full circle skirt

Continue reading How to Sew a Circle Skirt.

T-Shirt Dress. Sewing Instructions.

Casual T-Shirt Dress with Pockets printable pattern and sewing instructionsLight knitted fabrics are very comfortable to wear, but sewing them differs greatly from the woven ones. Distinct way of stretching and fraying means they have to be treated differently. All the way from designing through to cutting and assembling your garment there are particularities quite clear:

Continue reading T-Shirt Dress. Sewing Instructions.