There's an easy (and fun!) way to make fabric you won't see anywhere else: block printing. By carving a block and using it to stamp a pattern onto fabric — which you can learn to do in Fabric Design: Block Printing — you'll never stress about finding the perfect material for any sewing, quilting or home decor project ever again. But block printing is only half the fun: what you make with that one-of-a-kind fabric is what'll give you that awesome 'I did it!' moment.
Say buh-bye to the days of searching for that perfect bolt of fabric. Block printing is the easy way to create custom fabrics for one-of-a-kind sewing, quilting and home decor projects. If you're new to customizing fabrics, Jen Hewett, textile artist and instructor of Fabric Design: Block Printing, has must-know tips for beginners.
There are a ton of ways to sew a tote bag — with a lining, without a lining, with pockets on the inside, with pockets on the outside, with a quilted design — the list goes on and on. This tutorial breaks it down to the basics, teaching you how to make a simple tote with three panels. Once you've got that down, you can customize your bag however you want!
Lining a garment can seem like a lot of extra work: buying more fabric, cutting out the pattern again and all that extra pinning and sewing. It's enough "extra" to make the idea of skipping this step awfully tempting. But some garments really do require a lining to be functional. Here's what you need to know before starting to sew one.
Crafting for the holidays is supposed to be fun — but so often our yarn balls turn into stress balls as we try to meet deadlines and get everything done. But with a little planning, you can keep yourself happily making as the holidays approach. Sounds magical, right?
There's nothing better than listening to Christmas music, sipping on eggnog and breaking out your holiday fabric for the season. Whether you're in the mood to stitch a new tree skirt, some fresh stockings or more holiday decor, we've got a pattern for your perfect project.
Take a look at your jeans or a men’s dress shirt and it's likely you’ll spot flat fell seams. On the outside of the garment there's a pair of stitch lines, while the inside is all tidy without any raw seam edges. If you've wondered how it's done, it's not magic — sewing a flat fell seam is a technique every garment sewer can (and should!) learn.
When you set out to sew the perfect jacket or coat, you may not immediately think about the sleeves. (You're probably envisioning a poppin' collar or those beautiful lapels and buttons, which is fair!) But sleeves are an obviously critical component of your design. They need to fit, taper and drape perfectly, as a properly sewn sleeve can be the difference between a coat that looks high-end and a coat that screams homemade.
There are two ways to handsew hooks and eyes to garments — the easy, rather straightforward way, and what is considered "the couture way." The primary difference is one looks prettier than the other. And, as you may have already guessed, the pretty one requires a bit more care to sew.
One of the best reasons to sew is to make clothing that is as unique and creative as you are — and to have a great time doing it. Combine all these things (uniqueness, creativity, fun) and you might end up exploring one of my favorite types of embellishment: beading!
Whether you're hosting a formal affair or just a casual family dinner, a tablecloth goes a long way in tying the dining room together. The good news is tablecloths are one of the easiest projects you can sew — here's how to make sure yours is done right.
A custom duvet sounds like a major splurge. After all, it's designed to fit your bed perfectly, and it comes in any color or pattern you want to help you create your dream bedroom. But what if we told you that in this case, custom is cheaper than off the rack? That's because, yup, you'll be making this one yourself!
In sewing, ease is a total necessity. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to bend, reach, sit or walk in your clothes, as it's the extra space built into a garment to make it easy, fun and flattering to wear.
You've got a fun, strappy top you love to wear, but there's one pesky problem: those straps always slip off your shoulders. Rather than constantly push them back into place, you can shorten them super fast — we're talkin' minutes here — and even make them adjustable. Problem solved!
Sewing your own bras can be intimidating, but there are so many reasons to do it. Not only does it call for such little fabric — making it a great way to use up fabric scraps or splurge on something fancy — but it's also a good way to save money. After all, store-bought bras are expensive!
One of the biggest differences between regular garment sewing and couture sewing is underlining. Underlining is what gives couture garments their superior overall appearance and elevates any homemade article of clothing to a designer-grade product. But, what is underlining? Why do you need it, and how do you use it?
A cowl is a timeless look that's almost always flattering, no matter your body type. You can add one almost anywhere — not just at the bodice front, the most obvious spot, but also the bodice back, the sleeves or even the sides of skirts or pants. Cowls can be subtle with a gentle fall, or dramatic with a plunging silhouette. It's one of those versatile design elements, so sewists really can't help but love it.
When it comes to making alterations to your WIP garment, there's a secret weapon just waiting to be used: curved rulers. These get the job done much better than simple straight rulers could — after all, our bodies aren't filled with straight edges and hard lines. Humans are curvy!
It's cold outside and there's nothing like a warm and comfy throw to take the chill off. And while you could always buy a cozy blanket, making your own is simple and fast, so you can start sewing in an afternoon and have it ready for that night's movie.
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.