Zippers can feel super intimidating to beginner sewers, but they’re actually pretty easy to pull off, and some are easier to insert than others. Like the invisible zipper. When you add one, there’s no machine stitching visible from the right side of the project. Everything is done behind the scenes, totally concealed within the seam allowances.
When you’re working with lightweight, sheer fabrics, there’s a sense of airiness and elegance to them. Which means they deserve an equally-as-elegant finished seam that hides all your raw fabric edges. Enter the French seam.
Monogramming adds a personal detail to any project: piped icing on cake designs, embroidered stitches on home decor, stamped initials on stationary, even custom details on quilt or sewing projects. And these days, you can pretty much design your monograms however you want. But if you want to keep things more traditional, there are a few monogram etiquette rules to consider following.
There's nothing worse than picking a dreamy fabric to work with, only to have it turn into a total nightmare when the edges start to fray. By the time you get to the hemming stage, it can feel like over ¼" of your seam allowance has — poof!— vanished into thin air.
Learning your way around a sewing machine can take time, and even experienced sewers can have a few technical blunders. Here are some of the most common issues sewers can run into on their Janome machine, and how to fix them so you can get back to your project ASAP.
Whether you're flying a red eye or simply trying to block out the light from your TV, there are many reasons to use a sleep mask and get some quality shuteye. The good news is that it's super easy to DIY, and only calls for a little bit of fabric. (Stash-buster project, anyone?) Whip up one for yourself, or go to town and make 'em for the whole fam so you can all get some beauty rest, stat.
Properly prepping and cutting your fabric is the very first challenge you face when sewing a garment that wears well. Case in point: Have you ever worn a shirt with one side seam that kept twisting toward the front? It did that because the fabric wasn't cut on the grain. Or, have you ever sewn a dress and ended up with different lengths when trying to match a seam? That can happen when your cutting isn't as accurate as it could be.
Looking to dive deeper into your sewing obsession? These blogs are some of our all-time faves, and many of the faces behind 'em teach classes on Bluprint — meaning you can gain extra knowledge and get those creative juices flowing for your next project.
Adding a collar can make your dress or top look extra fabulous — but it can also be a nightmare if not sewn on correctly. So if you're planning to sew your own collar, follow these tips to help you nail that polished look.
Pockets make life easier — it's just a fact. After all, haven't you ever thought about how much better your favorite party dress would be if it had pockets you could stick your hands (or lip gloss) into?
Interfacing can be your best friend ... or your worst enemy. It has a job to do — adding stiffness to fabric — and it does that job well. But, like any frenemy, it can drive you a little crazy from time to time. But with these tips, you can get the upper hand and make interfacing work for you.
Your basic elastic waistband is nobody's idea of a good time. The elastic always twists and turns inside its casing, forming gathers that bunch up unevenly around the waist. Why? Because most waistbands have an elastic that's just floating inside a tube of fabric.
Want to know an instant way to level up any garment and look like a sewing superstar? Add a double welt pocket (or two)! Whether you’re going for a dressy or more casual vibe, the double welt adds polish, not to mention a cool factor you simply can’t get from any other pocket.
Sometimes that new pair of skinny jeans fits fabulously, but the ankles aren't quite tight enough for your taste. Instead of taking them to a tailor to get altered, here's how you can adjust the fit yourself and save some serious money.
We're all about getting the most out of your sewing machine, but once you start working away from it, you're likely to fall in love with the precision and pace of couture hand sewing. So go on and thread a small needle (a size 9 or 10) and start practicing these basic couture stitches. Then try them out on your next handmade garment!
Bound buttonholes are one of those details that make a handmade garment look polished, professional and oh-so-gorgeous. You mostly find this type of closure on couture jackets and coats, along with hand pad-stitching, back-stays and hand stitching.
Buttons come in all shapes and sizes, and you're likely familiar with a flat button — the one with a classic shape and either two or four holes. But do you know about a shank button? Instead of having holes, there's a loop on the underside that's typically made of plastic or metal, and you use it to attach the button to the garment.
For anyone watching season 17 of Bravo’s Project Runway, it was no surprise to see Colombian-born Jhoan Sebastian Grey crowned the champion. With his breathtaking designs, humble attitude and ability to design for any body size, the designer wowed the judges weekly. Now, he’s here to share the secrets behind his skills in Fashion Sewing With Jhoan Sebastian Grey.
Beginner sewers might be baffled by one tool that's often found in a stitcher's toolbox. It's a tiny wheel with sharp edges and, no, it's not a mini pizza cutter. It's a tracing wheel, and a total game changer for transferring patterns onto fabric. Once you learn how to use this handy tool, it may become your best friend as it makes sewing easier — not to mention more accurate.
Is your stash of fabric looking a little ... plain? If you have more yards of white fabric than you know what to do with, give 'em some life with a DIY dye job! Dyeing your own fabric saves money, gives you a totally customized look and — let's be honest — it's a heck of a lot of fun. And while you can always dye your cloth to be a solid shade, you could also experiment with different techniques to create one-of-a-kind patterns. Below are a few fun ways to get started.
Sewing machines are great, but sometimes there's nothing better than that hand-sewn touch. Take seams, for instance — you can choose from approximately a million and one ways to finish the raw edge of one, but for elegance and finesse, a hand-sewn overcast stitch wins every time.
There's no beating the clean look a blanket stitch makes, but let's be clear: it should not be reserved only for blankets. It's useful in so many projects, whether you want to use it on pillowcases and tea towels, to finish embroidery hoops or to attach a decorative piece of appliqué.
If you’re a home sewist, you’re probably used to working with commercial patterns. But if you find yourself constantly adjusting them to fit your size, then drafting your own patterns could be an empowering solution. After all, patternmaking can open the door to new ideas, designs and, of course, great fit!
If you've noticed your stitches are a little, well, off, it's likely you went straight for the tension. But the truth is there could be a myriad of culprits behind your screwed-up stitches. You could be using an old needle, for starters, or you may even have the wrong one for the job. You could've set your machine's stitch length and width to the wrong setting. Or, like you thought, the machine's tension may need some tweaking.
If you’re a home sewist, patternmaking (also called pattern drafting) might feel like a distant set of skills you’re not yet ready to tackle. But it’s actually closer than you might think! Master pattern drafter Suzy Furrer — who shows off her expertise in Suzy Furrer on Patternmaking — believes you (yes, you!) can start making patterns, even if you’ve never touched a sewing machine.
Any sewist will tell you pins are a total must-have. You can count on these tough little guys to help with so many tasks, from holding the pattern to the fabric, to keeping materials together while you stitch. But pins work best when you use the right kind for the job and fabric at hand. So long as you have these options nearby, you should always be prepared.
If you're a fan of Bravo TV shows, it's likely you know the name Craig Conover. But what you may not realize is that the Southern Charm reality star has rediscovered his passion for sewing in a big way, launching his own Sewing Down South business and sharing his love of the craft through pillows, totes, T-shirts and hats.
We love launching into long-term sewing projects as much as the next person, but trying to fit them into a busy schedule can be tough. If you're itchin' to create but only have an hour of free time, don't fret — we've got projects for you.
Bias tape, whether you make it yourself or nab a ready-made version at the store, is commonly used to bind quilts. It can even be used to create modern quilt designs all on its own. But here's the thing: these strips of bias-cut fabric can be used in so. many. other. ways. Choose your bias tape color, thickness and pattern, then come this way for a few hits of inspo that'll get you back in your sewing room, stat.
Bring your holiday A-game this year and make your wrapping as unforgettable as your gift. These homemade ideas add *just* the right amount of love, so your recipients won't want to throw any part of their present away.
If you're looking for a sewing project that can provide some instant gratification, here's a suggestion: socks. Not only can you knock out a pair in just a few hours, but they're also super easy and inexpensive to make. Whether you're using a drafted pattern or making one from a pair you already own, these thrifty tricks will help you sew up some socks that are cozy, comfy and easy on your craft budget.
If you're like us, your closet is likely littered with clothes that no longer fit, items that just aren't your style anymore, or things you simply forgot you had. But before you Marie Kondo the place and throw everything out, stop and ask yourself: Can I upcycle this? We bet the answer is yes — here are a few fun ways to get started.
Bags, bags, bags! If you ask us, it's not possible to have too many in your closet — especially if you make them yourself. Add these fun projects to your queue and soon enough, you'll have the perfect handmade option for every occasion.
Most knitters will tell you that having a good project bag is essential — you can store all the necessary needles, notions and, you know, the actual knitting, so that when you're ready to stitch everything is ready and waiting. Plus, if you have multiple WIPs (works in progress), keeping each one in its own bag is the key to staying organized. And while you could buy a project bag (and there are tons of cute ones out there), we're all makers here — so why not stitch up a few of your own?
Sewing your own dress gives you a creative freedom that you’ll never find in ready-to-wear clothing. You get to pick the style, choose a fabric that inspires you and tailor the fit for a completely custom look. Plus, our favorite dresses are the ones that fit well and make us feel proud of our sewing! So consider these dress techniques next time you’re picking out a pattern (or shop our starter kit to get everything you need to sew your new favorite look!), and soon you’ll have a design that’s perfect from top to bottom.
It's easy to make your sewing friends happy around the holidays, their birthdays, Mother's Day — all you have to do is fill their arms with sewing gifts! Whether you're giving them a fabric that totally made you think of them, notions that need to be replaced or kits that let them tackle a new project, you're guaranteed to put a smile on their face. Happy shopping!
If you love to sew, it's only natural that you want to pass along that enthusiasm to your kids or grandkids. After, all there are so many fun projects you can tackle together! As soon as you have your specific creation in mind, these are the tips you'll want to keep in mind to make sure it's an exciting, positive experience for everyone.
If there are little aspiring sewists hanging out at home, we've got great news: there are plenty of projects for them to stitch! Pick your pattern, help 'em through the steps and work through each activity at a pace that works for them. Before you know it, you'll be crafting masterpieces left and right!
Sure, you read (or at least skimmed) the manual that came with your serger. But let's be honest: there are a lot of stitches and thread options to choose from. So it's no surprise if you still feel a little stumped over exactly which stitch to use with the fabric you have on hand and the project you're ready to tackle.
It's a given: 88 percent of T-shirts end up in the back of your closet. But before you Marie Kondo said closet, bring those shirts to the forefront. These upcycle projects are simple to make and will refresh your garments so they're oh-so-ready to wear again.
Darts are an essential part of garment construction but, uh, what exactly is a dart? It's simply a folded wedge of fabric that's tapered and stitched down, allowing flat fabric to take on a shape that fits the body well.
Admit it: it's easy to lose control of your sewing space to fabric, thread and other tools. But we're here to fight back against clutter and keep your craft room mess-free. Say hello to your new favorite organizers — that you get to DIY!
Looking for some instant summer wardrobe gratification? Grab those old jeans out of the dresser and transform them into fun, stylish shorts! With these three quickie tutorials, you'll soon be ready for all the warm-weather adventures.
We dare you to watch He Sewed She Sewed — our hit series featuring Mimi G and Norris Dánta Ford — and not be inspired to make your own clothes. The two newlyweds (that's right, they just got married!) clearly know how to vibe with one another, and that camaraderie has resulted in some seriously genius designs.
Let's be real: everyone can use more pajama pants. After all, you need a pair at the ready whenever the idea of changing into jeans sounds like the actual worst. Plus, it's a quickie sewing project — especially if you whip 'em up using your own pattern. That's exactly what we did here, right after choosing a fun, floral fabric that simply screams vacation. Pack 'em in your suitcase — along with these embroidered travel accessories — or slip them on at home. Either way, you're guaranteed to feel stylish and comfy.
Last night's red-hot finale of Project Runway had us drooling over all three of the designers' collections. While we're not in the business of dishing out spoilers (you've gotta go watch to see who won!), that doesn't mean we're not using the final looks as major sources of inspo at the sewing machine. Here's what we're starting ASAP.
Sure, you've been gifting dad a tie since you were, oh, four. While it may feel a little been-there-done-that, making that tie yourself — in a fabric that pops and totally channels his personality — changes the game completely. And if you're really feeling the love, you can go the extra mile and make two or three!
This week gave us our first peek at the designers’ final collections, and we’re beyond excited. Even though we still have to wait for the final runway show, we’re ready to start making NOW with these projects inspired by the designers’ works in progress.