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.
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.
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.
If you've ever sewn a jacket, you know that picking out the lining fabric is mayyyybe the best part.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?!”
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!
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.
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.
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.
Anyone who sews clothes is familiar with the B word. It's a nasty four-letter-word, so cover your ears: BULK.
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.
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.
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!)
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!
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
"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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.