Three Tips for Tucks

Have you sewn tucks in a garment before? They’re simply a stitched fold of fabric. The stitching might go all the way along the fold or stop part-way. This week’s post is coming to you from my sewing machine, where I’m sewing a zero waste blouse which has tucks front and back (long-time newsletter readers…

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Tutorial: curving flat bias binding with an iron

Bias binding is a trim I’m very fond of using. Since I’ve been making zero waste patterns, I’ve found myself using it more, and in ways which I hadn’t previously. One of these is as a curved trim. I use 1.2cm/½” bias binding (not 2.5cm/1″ which is too wide) and pre-curve it with a steam…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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