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Perfect way to gather fabric – double basting method.

Frills and ruffles are very popular embellishments in dressmaking. There are quite a few methods to gather fabric, but double basting method is the universal one. Its main advantage is that it can be used with any fabric, be it knitted or woven and it is essentially the same done by hand or sewing machine. The beauty of the double basting method is the neatness of the result, it produces even and tidy ruffles and works equally well on straight or circular pieces.

Depending on the design, fabric can be cut on straight, cross-grain or on bias. Bias method is favored when the ruffle will be finished with the lettuce edge, and requires a fair bit of stretching.

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Binding the T-Shirt neck with a rib trim.

T-Shirt neck, casual dress or pj’s top, this is one useful techniques to have in your skill library. There are quite a few ways to finish a raw edge of knitted fabric. Depending on you equipment and experience your can go with an overlock, top stitcher or use just a sewing machine.

Cutting your rib trim band, go slightly shorter then a neck opening. How much shorter will depend on the stretch of your fabric and design. This is probably the trickiest part of the whole process.  Make the neckband too long and the neckline will look overstretched and untidy. Too small neckband will pull and distort the entire garment out of shape. Finished neckband should lay flat and look like an integral part of the T-shirt. There is no universal advice as each fabric combination is slightly different. You can try to pin the neck band in place to get the idea of an optimal length and make adjustments accordingly.

How to finish a stretch fabric with a rib trim using a top stitcher

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How to make a perfectly smooth curved seams.

To make curved seams lie flat when stitched they need to be treated in a special way and it differs for concave and convex curves.

For concave (inward) arch slit seam allowance 3/4 way to the stitching line. It will let the fabric to spread without pulling and tagging.

Sewing convex curve

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How to sew an exposed zipper.

Exposed zipper look became rather fashionable recently. When it is properly done it can elevate the whole design and add an interesting detail to your dress, skirt or jumper. Exposed zipper can be placed in the middle of a garment piece, between two components of a garment or into the seam. Besides obvious functional role (putting on a garment or closing a pocket) it can be used as a construction element or as an embellishment.

The following method of sewing an exposed zipper doesn’t requires a seam at all. The technique is similar to a bound buttonhole process scaled. A separate piece of fabric is used to make a faced opening. You can go with the same fabric, or with a piece of lining if the thickness is too great. Stay is used to achieve a crisp lines and prevent stretching and fraying.

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Sewing instructions for classic circle skirt.

Sewing circle skirt is not a time consuming project, this makes it a popular choice for home seamstress. There is only four techniques you have to be familiar with: how to sew a curved hem, insert a zipper, attach a waistband and cut a buttonhole.

1. Cutting circle skirt.

  • Cutting a circle skirt can be done in one, two or three pieces, depending on the design and fabric width. When fabric is wide enough it is done in one piece. Since there are no seams you  will have to  use a welt or exposed zipper method.Cutting a circle skirt in one piece

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Bias binding uses.

A great variety of effects can be achieved using a bias-cut tape. Its pliability lends itself well to all sorts of sewing projects. It can be a part of the dress structure, embellishment, or wholly practical element of the garment.  Bias binding has many uses thanks to its unique qualities.

Examples of applying a bias binding:

      • Hemming

        There are many ways to finish a raw edge of your skirt or dress. Hemming the dress with contrasting colour bias tape adds a visual interest to the overall design. It can be done in straight or wavy line. You can also successfully use  it to finish a curved hem of a circle skirt, flap of a pocket or a petal sleeve.Bias Binding in sewing projects


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Centered zipper step-by-step. Method 2

There are usually more ways then one to do things. Centered zipper is not an exclusion. If with the fist method the top stitching played both utilitarian and decorative roles, in this method there is a separate stitch for each function.

Step 1

Right sides together sew the seam leaving the zipper opening unstitched.

 How to sew a centred zipper. Alternative method.

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Blanket stitch.

Blanket stitch can be used for finishing raw edges of the fabric, for joining pieces or as decoration. It is very popular to use for hand appliqué and in needlework. It has many varieties that can be adopted to all sorts of projects. As with every hand stitch you will do well to have a trial at a scrap piece of fabric. It will allow you to make sure that it is a right stitch for your project.  As a general rule the thicker the textile you are working with the thicker your thread should be. Evenness of the stitch is very important. It might be tedious at first, but when done properly it is a pleasure to see. Here is the collection of 12 variations on a blanket stitch I had an occasion to come across.

  1. Basic blanket stitchblanket stitch
  2. Whipped            Continue reading Blanket stitch.
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10 ways to hem a dress.

Hemline is an integral part of the garment and completes the look of your dress. The method you are going to use to hem a dress should be decided on a early stage of the designing process. There are many varieties to chose from. Here are 10 most common ways to hem a dress using sewing machine, overlock and top stitching machine.

1. Double-folded hem.

The raw edge is folded under the seam.  This is a very versatile hem. Can be any width and might be used on majority of fabrics and with most designs.

How to hem a dress Note:

When the design calls for a narrow hem, use hemming foot. Most modern machines come with the “rolled hem” presser foot included in the standard package. It is a very useful, time saving tool, if you are willing to practice a little bit.



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