Mastering Construction: Foundation Techniques

3h 27min advanced Resources

Start sewing with the foresight and finesse of a designer! Master stitching order and apply sophisticated skills for darts, pleats and seam finishes.

Episode descriptions

1 . Episode: Introduction

Meet sewing instructor Sara Alm and learn more about the foundational techniques covered in your class. You can use the lessons as a reference, skipping or returning to the techniques you want to learn or review whenever you need!

Construction Basics
2 . Episode: Construction Basics

The key to successful sewing is carefully planning. When you make your own garments, you're already thinking like a designer as you choose your fabrics, seam finishes, lining options and more. Sara walks you through a questionnaire that helps you determine key elements and plan your order of construction.

Getting Ready to Sew
3 . Episode: Getting Ready to Sew

A commercial pattern contains a lot of information you might not need or which you want to modify. Sara shows how to copy pertinent markings onto more durable paper and discusses considerations for seam allowances. Then, learn more about key components to interface and the types of interfacing available. Finally, Sara reviews the pressing tools that are the most helpful to have for garment construction and demonstrates best practices for pressing seams and darts.

Interior Details
4 . Episode: Interior Details

Learn Sara's professional tips for tackling darts to achieve a smooth and flattering finish. Sew along with the included practice pattern pieces as you work with tucks and gathers. If you've ever struggled with getting larger pieces of fabric to match up nicely with smaller ones, Sara's easing techniques will make your day!

Plain Seams
5 . Episode: Plain Seams

Straight seams are easy-peasy, but when you get into curves and corners, you will love having Sara's guidance! Follow along as you sew matching curves in delicate fabric as well as joining opposing curves. Opposing corners are even trickier, but Sara shows how to handle both obtuse and acute angles with confidence.

Seam Finishes for Plain Seams
6 . Episode: Seam Finishes for Plain Seams

Give your garments a luxurious finish on the inside as well as the outside by understitching your seams to keep them in place and by binding or serging the seam allowances. Sara demonstrates how to make your own bias tape for simple binding or for the two-step Hong Kong finish, which creates less bulk. She'll walk you through the sewing process on your machine and also share some tips for serging.

Self-Finished Seams
7 . Episode: Self-Finished Seams

Topstitched seams are great for making the seam allowances lie flat and can also add a visual pop in the finished garment. Follow Sara's advice for adjusting thread, needle, foot and machine tension for success. Similarly, edge-stitching helps tame your seams and add a design element, while flat-felled and sandwiched seams keep bulk down and hide your raw edges for a beautiful result. Sara shows you how to create these professional seams.

Special Seams
8 . Episode: Special Seams

Tackle the trickier aspects of seaming as Sara shows how to deal with intersecting seams smoothly -- even in super-bulky fabrics -- and how to accurately match patterns such as plaids. Sara also demonstrates how to create slot seams with or without an interior contrasting fabric for an intriguing design detail. Finally, learn how to seam bias-cut and velvet fabrics like a pro!

About the Teacher

Sara Alm
Curiously Similar
Sara Alm
Sara Alm
Sew sleeves that look and feel fabulous from cap to cuff. Learn designer techniques for setting in sleeves, incorporating ready-to-wear details, finishing and more.
Sara Alm
Sara Alm
Achieve luxuriously finished results as flattering as anything ready-to-wear has to offer! Learn to select, draft and sew the perfect linings and facings.
Sara Alm
Sara Alm
Sew a perfect fit every time.


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Mastering Construction: Foundation Techniques

Sara Alm

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Mastering Construction: Foundation Techniques