All posts filed under: Tutorial

How to apply lace as an edge finish for the Scroop Henrietta Maria dress

Tutorial: How to apply lace as an edge finish for the Henrietta Maria Dress/Top

One of the finishes I suggest for the Scroop Henrietta Maria dress and top is a lace edge finish.  It’s a really fun and easy technique, and yields a gorgeous finish. Since it’s not a technique everyone is familiar with, I thought I’d do a tutorial. The concept is very simple: basically, you sew lace along the raw edge of a fabric, to cover the raw edge and keep it from unravelling.  You can use it on seam allowances, and on hems so you only have to turn them once.  On the Henrietta Maria, I like to use it on the neck and sleeve edges. For this tutorial all you need is a narrow (approx 2cm/3/4″), soft lace to finish your edges, and whatever you want to apply them to.  I’ll be using a Henrietta Maria dress to demonstrate. Start by applying your interfacing pieces to the wrong side of your sleeve and body pieces: Set your sewing machine to a small length, medium width/height zig-zag.  I have mine set to 1.8 & 3, respectively. Today, …

How to pick knit fabric for T-shirts

A tale of three Tees: how to pick fabrics for successful knit sewing

I teach sewing classes, and one of the most popular classes I teach is T-shirts, which covers the basics of sewing with knit fabrics, and some of the trickier techniques you use in T-shirts. T-shirts aren’t hard to sew: I sew them up in batches of three in under four hours for the lot.  But being easy to sew, and getting a successful T-shirt, very much depends on picking the right fabric for your project, and this is something I find that a lot of people struggle with. To help, here is a guide to knit fabrics, and a bit of an experiment with how different knits result in different finishes. The first thing to look for in a knit for a T-shirt is whether it looks like a knit fabric that you have seen made up into T-shirts that you have enjoyed wearing.  After that, there are four things to keep in mind when picking knit fabrics: weight/thickness, stretch, recovery, and stability. Weight & thickness aren’t actually the same thing in fabrics, as it’s …

Corded gathering sewing tutorial

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, …