All posts filed under: Make

How to sew knits with a straight stitch thedreamstress & scrooppatterns.com

Sewing knit fabrics with a straight stitch: ‘stretch-as-you-sew’ stitching

Following on from last week’s post breaking down the benefits and drawbacks of 4 ways to sew knit fabrics for the Scroop Miramar dress & top, here is a quick little video tutorial* on how to do ‘stretch as you sew’ sewing, where you build the stretch into a straight stitch by stretching the fabric as you sew it: It’s a great technique, and does work well if done right – the fabric stretches beautifully, and the seam is lovely and smooth from the outside, and can be pressed completely flat and open if needed. The drawbacks are that the stitches are really small and hard to unpick, and it can be hard to control the fabric and to stretch it evenly.  You can mitigate the first by lengthening your stitch slightly, but this tends to make the control issues even more of a problem. The stress of stretching the fabric as it is sewn can also cause ripples in the fabric, but these can almost always be fixed with a bit of steam ironing. …

Question time: Me-Made, Wardrobe Percentages, and Wardrobe Philosophies

Since I sew all.the.time, and teach sewing, and blog about sewing, people often ask me how much of my wardrobe is me-made, or how much of the clothes I wear are me-made.  And where do I get the stuff that isn’t me-made? It’s a really interesting question, because it makes people think about how much of their own wardrobe they could aim to sew, and how much of your own wardrobe you can realistically sew.  It also has a bearing on my overall philosophy of sewing and clothing. It’s also interesting, because being me, I over-think this question.  How exactly do I calculate it? Percentage of items in my overall wardrobe?  Meters of fabric sewn by me vs. not?  Days of the week I wear me-made stuff?   Percentage of garments that I wear on a daily basis that are made by me?  Percentage of the fabric that I am wearing on a daily basis that has been sewn by me? And how do I count vintage or commercially made items that I have mended and …

Corded gathering tutorial thedreamstress.com

Tutorial: How to sew gathers & ruffles with cord gathering (aka the easiest way to gather, ever)

There are certain things in sewing that you just hate doing. Some people hate setting zips (if you do, use the zip method in this tutorial and they will come out perfect every time), some people hate setting sleeves, and some people hate gathering.  I was one of the latter. My very first proper sewing project, made well over half a lifetime ago, was an 8-gore double-circle skirt, with HUGE amounts of fabric gathered into the waistband.  I did not mind learning how to do a tiny rolled hem and hemming the meters of fabric, but I did NOT enjoy gathering in the gores at all.  A decade of sewing did not improve my dislike of gathering one bit, and I just tried to avoid garments that involved it.  I would do anything but gathering: tiny cartridge pleating, tiny knife pleats, little box pleats… Then I figured out how to do cord gathering, and the skies parted, and angels sang.  Cord gathering is AMAZING.  It allows you to quickly and easily gather in huge amounts of fabric, …