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choosing printed quilt fabric
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Faded fabrics can make your hand-sewn quilts look lackluster. Don't let your fabrics suffer this sad fate — these hacks are all-natural, using ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen. Genius!
Lindsay Conner
jacket muslin on mannequin
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If you want your hand-sewn garments to fit well — and really, how could you not? — you need to be using a muslin.
Julia Garza
Pencil skirt with a slit
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To make a skirt or dress feel sexier — or heck, more comfortable — there's one insanely easy trick: adding a slit. That little change can totally shift the mood of a garment depending on what type of slit you choose. Think about it: there are short and saucy slits, pencil skirt slits, even thigh-high maxi dress slits. And don't forget about your tops — adding a slit in a side seam can take a shirt from fitted to feeling much more casual.
Christine Haynes
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If you're looking for a quick and gratifying sewing project, knitwear is an excellent place to start. After all, knit fabrics are pretty easy to fit and usually don't need fiddly closures. With knit fabrics there's not a lot standing between you and a garment that's so comfortable you may never want to take it off.
Andrea Brown
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If you sew, you'll occasionally need to make a temporary mark on your fabric to note the placement of design elements like closures, darts, pockets, appliqués or stitching lines.
Andrea Brown
black, white and gray fabrics with scissors
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If you've ever sewn a jacket, you know that picking out the lining fabric is mayyyybe the best part.
Beth Galvin
woman sewing pink chiffon fabric
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Sheer fabrics like muslin and chiffon add a touch of easy-breezy elegance to any look, but TBH they're a pain to sew. They can bunch up from the first stitch and mess up your technique so you think you'll never sew a straight seam again. Or they can sink into the needle plate, making it nearly impossible to backstitch seams so they don't come undone.
Linda Reynolds
Blue transparent chiffon fabric
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Wearing chiffon is effortless — it’s so luxuriously airy and soft. Working with chiffon? Not so much. Whether it’s made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers, chiffon can be so troublesome on the sewing table that newbies are typically warned to steer clear.
Julia Garza
woman sewing pink fleece with sewing machine
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Fleece has a fabulous way of making even the laziest armchair athlete feel like an Olympian. The best thing about fleece — besides its awesome colors and extreme coziness — is that anyone can wear it, and not just when it's skiing or snowboarding weather. (Think freezing-cold movie theaters in summer.)
Linda Reynolds
woman sewing teal fabric with sewing machine
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Satin is known for its beautiful drape, glossy finish — and steep learning curve. This fabric is notoriously tricky to cut, has a tendency to fray and snag, and never lets you forget your mistakes thanks to those permanent needle holes!
Julia Garza
woman in white blazer with black trim
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Between the notched lapels and the precise tailoring, a blazer might seem like a strictly pro-level project. But sewing a structured jacket isn’t nearly as tricky as you might think. In fact, most of the skills required are ones you have likely tried — and nailed! — in other sewing projects. And just like any new sewing challenge, mastering a blazer comes down to patience and practice.
Maris Olsen
green sewing machine on wooden table workspace
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Knits and wovens are the OGs of the fabric world. They differ from each other in almost every way, from how much they stretch and wrinkle to whether they'll fray or shrink.
Ashley Little
blue patterned garment on mannequin
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Ladies and gentlemen: In this corner, the middleweight champion of the world, bias bindings! And in this corner, the other middleweight champion of the world, facings! Let's get ready to rumble!
Beth Galvin
hand hemming a red piece of fabric
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If you're an all-day-every-day type of hand sewer — or even if you're the total opposite — chances are you've had to hand sew a hem. There just isn't a machine option that measures up to doing it by hand, it looks beautiful (seriously, the definition of couture) and, if done right, is almost invisible when seeing the whole look.
Heather Feather
Black hoodie on a hanger in front of a peach background
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Even for an advanced sewer, sewing a hoodie is kind of intimidating. It's not overly complicated, but there are many steps, many pieces and, of course, there's all the hardware.
Christine Haynes
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Let's talk about princess seams: They're elegant, glam and totally classic —oh hi, Grace Kelly — and they're an easy way to add a serious dose of style. All you need to do to bring some princess-seam action to your garment is to start with a basic pattern, convert a few darts, and boom! You've just created your own chic, form-fitting design.
Linda Reynolds
dying fabric pink
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Whenever I’m bored with a piece of clothing that still fits and is in great shape, I think, “Hmm, what other color could this be?!”
Julia Garza
woman sewing white fabric with a machine
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Here's an everyday nightmare: You're sewing along, making great progress, when suddenly your fabric disappears into the abyss. The underbelly (or maybe the bobbin or throat plate) of your sewing machine ate your fabric!
Ashley Little
tangle of different colored measuring tape
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When it comes to pants, fit is everything. Even getting it slightly off can make the difference between a pair you wear all the time and one that lives in the drawer, causing a pang of regret every time you glance at it.
Christine Haynes
Close-up of black spools on serger machine
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Many people who like to sew can get by — no prob — without a serger. But once you try sewing with a serger, you'll never go back.
Maris Olsen
sewing machine needle with tangled thread
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You're in an excellent sewing groove, your machine humming along, when out of nowhere your thread begins tangling on your fabric. So. Very. Annoying.
Maris Olsen
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We know that only the most eagle-eyed sewing pro can spot the difference between a hand-worked buttonhole and a machine-sewn one. Doesn't matter! Sewing buttonholes by hand is a next-level skill that's definitely worth the effort.
Christine Haynes
woman wearing pink fleece jacket
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Anyone who sews clothes is familiar with the B word. It's a nasty four-letter-word, so cover your ears: BULK.
Linda Reynolds
658431280
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Picture this: You walk into a party in a fierce outfit and someone whispers, "Hey, who are you wearing?" It's the red carpet dream. Your dress slays, and you know it. Now imagine your answer is, "Oh, this? I made it myself." Drop the mic.
Beth Galvin
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With everyone Marie Kondo'ing their homes, organization is most definitely having a moment. That's why you should head straight to where the sewing magic happens and get ready for a refresh. These smart storage solutions keep all of your smaller supplies neat and nearby, and puts 'em on display for constant visual inspiration.
Lindsay Conner
sewingpantieswithoutelastic19-copy (1).jpg
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Fact: your most comfy undies could very well be the ones you sew yourself. It's all about how you decide to finish your edges. (After all, nobody wants a pair that digs in!)
Sarah Norwood
janome sewing machine with a spool of blue thread
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Whether you're here to re-learn sewing or want to try out a fun project for the very first time, you're gonna have to thread that machine! This tutorial is for a Janome 2030QDC, but other machines will be pretty similar. (Pro tip: don't hesitate to look up your specific machine's manual if you get stumped; they're generally easy to find online.) You can also see all these steps in action as part of our Machine Basics sewing class!
Sherri Sylvester
close up of colorful printed fabrics in a row
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Picture this: You go to the fabric store, pick out the perfect materials for your next project, and come home only to realize that — doh — you already have great fabric you could have used tucked away in a forgotten corner of your sewing room.
Lindsay Conner
woman hand sewing pink couture lace garment
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Couture garments are some of the most beautiful clothes you can possibly imagine. The attention to detail is almost overwhelming — and so are the prices. So here's a radical idea: Sew your own.
Bluprint
Purple Shiny Crumpled Silk fabric
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Silk is the queen of all fabrics. And like any monarch, it tends to be both worshiped and feared. Silk's reputation as a difficult fabric isn't unfounded. It can be tricky to cut, stains easily and has a maddening tendency to fray.
Linda Reynolds
orange and yellow towels on white background
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Friendly or fancy, inexpensive or kinda pricey, terry cloth gets the job done whether you're sewing towels, a fluffy bathrobe or a super cute summer outfit.
Julia Garza
woman sewing white fabric with a machine
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Grab your favorite pair of jeans. Are they skinny jeans, high-waisted, baggy, boot-legged or flared? Whatever style you're rocking, here's a bet that it has one obvious feature, besides denim: topstitching.
Andrea Brown
woman wearing jeans with pink rose knee
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The last time you saw the price tag on a pair of killer jeans and thought, "Hey, these are a bargain!" was ... never? Fabulous jeans are nearly always pricey. It's a law of physics, and it's totally unfair.
Maris Olsen
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If you're just getting started with sewing, you might think that a dress is way out of your league. But that's not necessarily so. A dress is actually a great beginner project, as long as you choose a simple style and easy-to-work-with fabric (more on that in a minute!).
Beth Galvin
close up of striped fabric pants with belt loops
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Life is hard enough. You don't really need to make it any tougher by dealing with a belt that just won't stay in place or pants that have tendency to sag.
Maris Olsen
Woman wearing striped pants with heels and a purse
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For most of us, sewing pants that fit is like trying to solve a tricky geometry problem. Getting the fit just right is super challenging even if you aced high-school math.
Maris Olsen
jacket muslin on mannequin
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When you’re experimenting with a new sewing pattern, you do not want even one extra thing to do. But trust us when we say that making a muslin is so worth the added time.
Beth Galvin
woman cutting fabric with Fiskars scissors
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Scissors are so humble and hard-working, sometimes it's easy to forget they're in your sewing kit. But here's a secret: They have superpowers. The right pair can take your sewing to new levels of awesomeness.
Linda Reynolds
back of a pink shirt with bows
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Finally (finally!!!) it's summer. Goodbye, wool and polyester. Hello, um, what?
Pauline Alice
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While we'd never want to go back to a world without sewing machines, we have to admit that some tasks are best accomplished with a good ole needle and thread. Like when you're stitching a buttonhole, or even a hem or seam — basically anywhere you don't want those stitches to show. And in those scenarios, there's nothing better than the slip stitch.
Christine Haynes
close up of floral shirt made from quilting fabric
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As you dig around in your stash of quilting fabric, do you ever stop and think: Hmm, could I make a dress out of this? Or do you ever eye a quilting cotton at the store and wonder: Wouldn't that look cute as a shirt? Makes total sense — but wait, can you even make clothes out of quilting fabrics?
Bluprint
red vintage dress with white polka dots
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"They had style, they had grace." That's Madonna singing about Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe and other screen sirens in her hit song "Vogue." Those mid-20th century glamour gals could sashay into a room like nobody's business. And their dresses? To die for.
Rochelle New
woman in hand sewn skirt
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Two major reasons to make yourself some skirts: They’re waaayyy easier to sew than pants, and way more fun to wear. Check out five of our faves!
Bluprint
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Watch even one frantic episode of Project Runway and you'll probably see some drama about draping, a technique that involves wrapping and pinning fabric around a dress form to get the desired shape.
Julia Garza
Pink and yellow coin purse
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These quickie sewing patterns offer (almost!) instant gratification. Try one when you need a breather from a bigger project, or have leftover fabric to put to good use.
Bluprint
hands knitting
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You've made up your mind to finally take a crack at knitting, cake decorating, paper crafting … whatever. But how to make it happen when there are so many options? The truth: Just. Go. Start.
Liz Callahan Schnabolk
sewing.jpeg
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Sure, you know how to sew everything from scarves and PJ pants to outfits for dolls (extra credit on that last one). But if you really want to sew like a master, you need to crush the following skills. Let's do this.
Julia Garza
woman wearing yoga pants on her mat with a dog
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Ask yourself what gets more use in your wardrobe: a fancy party dress or a pair of yoga pants or leggings. Yup, that's what I thought: yoga pants and leggings for the win!
Christine Haynes
Sewing quilt fabrics together
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That feeling when you're hemming a skirt and your sewing machine skips: It's a definite "Argh!" moment. It's even worse when those skips happen on the super-visible topstitching.
Maris Olsen
Woman threading leather on sewing machine
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If you're like us, you're always eyeing leather skirts, leather pants, leather jackets, leather bags — leather everything — and thinking: Could I make that myself? The answer is yes. Believe it or not, sewing with leather is much simpler than it looks, even if you've never done it before.
Linda Reynolds
iron on a white table
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Yuck, what's that black splotch on the dress you're ironing? It definitely wasn't there before, so that's clue #1: The iron did it.
Beth Galvin
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