Flying High! – Mastering Fly Fronts

The words fly fronts and intimidating are often used in the same sentence. Yes, fly fronts look complicated. There are lots of ways to sew them, and everyone has their preferred way (or no way, if you’ve never done one). I thought I’d share My Way with you, which I learned when I was a…

Read More

The jeans waist expansion project

My waist measurement fluctuates wildly these days, growing by up to 10cm/4″ (ie 2 sizes). I don’t think I can conveniently blame the pandemic – I think it would have happened regardless. My tummy muscles are shot to pieces, post-partum and beyond, and I’m becoming a woman of a certain age. Those blog photos where…

Read More

Tutorial: how to add a hood inside a collar

Last week I finished sewing the zero waste Kiabi windbreaker, and this week I have a tutorial on how to add a fold-away hood concealed inside the collar. This would work for any anorak/windbreaker that has a stand collar. I’ve distilled the instructions down to one page, with notes and photos to follow: Some notes……

Read More

Tutorial: how to sew on a button FAST

Here’s the fastest way I know to sew on a button by hand. The key is to use four threads instead of two. But how do you thread a needle with four threads without getting in a terrible tangle? Here’s how: With four threads you can sew a two-hole button with three passes through the…

Read More

An un-holey tutorial


Unpicking. We’ve all done it. After you’ve unpicked, sometimes you need to remove the holes and restore the fabric to its pristine state…before sighing deeply and restitching. Here’s a technique from the workrooms of Caroline Charles, which is described in The Dressmaker’s Companion, along with other handy stuff. You’ll need some water and a steam…

Read More

Making origami ribbon trim

origami ribbon trim

While flipping through my sketch book looking for something, I found a page with notes for making a ribbon trim where the ribbon is folded origami-style. I’d folded some paper to work out how to do it. Luckily, I write the source of inspiration on all drawings, and it seems I saw a video of…

Read More

How to sew a zip without using pins

zips without pins

Or: Sewing outside of your comfort zone. Like a sewing challenge? Yes, it’s possible to sew a zip without using any pins, just using your hands, technique and some practice. It’s a massive time saver (factory machinists do it) and it will generally boost your sewing speed and confidence. Our sewing teacher at TAFE taught…

Read More

Making buttons from milk plastic

Buttons from milk plastic

During the week I happened to see a homeschooling family’s experiments making buttons from milk. Since my children are still at home, we gave it a try. It was a big hit! Milk plastic, or casein plastic, is something I’ve vaguely heard of, but it was very common from about 1900 to WW2 and was…

Read More

Sewing a perfect bias binding facing (a tutorial)

bias facings tessellated dress from zero waste sewing

One of the techniques I used in Zero Waste Sewing was facing an edge using bias binding. Specifically, I used it for necklines, but it also works well for other edges such as armholes and pocket openings. The edge can be straight or curved. The finished edge looks clean with a single line of visible…

Read More