Sewing Tutorial Review

So it seemed like  to me it’s been a while since I’ve done a review.


Tutorials, what a great topic to do reviews. The Internet definitely has a vast assortment of  websites for sewing tutorials. But, just because there is a large variety does not mean they are all equally fulfilling your needs when learning to sew. Everyone can go on YouTube search and videos of sewing tutorials. That’s one way to get started.

You can just look at to learn about sewing. Wikipedia will tell you about sewing, sewing machines, searchers scissors everything you need to know. But without a really good tutorial site to guide you through or hands on training, learning the art of sewing is not exactly easy. There are lots of methods from cutting up tee shirts for patterns, e patterns, and the old stand by paper patterns. Everyone eventually finds their way in or around sewing.  When I started sewing again  I just sewed.  I sewed lines, curves, pillows, pockets, things like that just to get back in the groove.  Moving on to patterns, the real deal I used some of the sites below.

Some of my Personal Favorites

When I first started sewingI discovered Melly! Her site is amazing, she covers it all! Those projects will keep anyone busy for quite some time.  Have fun sewing, cut up clothing from the thrift store and make something new, it doesn’t matter always how the project turns out.  It’s great to have fun.

Threads magazine is another great tutorial they focus more on fit and technique.  Their series, “Teach yourself to Sew” benefits the beginner.

Craftsy is a great place to go, they have both free and paid tutorials.

Tutorials for Appliqué Templates and Designs and tons of other fun projects abound. She has pages and pages of fun projects. The sewing machine needs you to mess with it, and that is what her site is about sewing a little of this and a little of that. She has a great whimsical area on her website, So Can She .

One day I found an overwhelming amount of information.  If that is what you are looking for, All FREE sewing is your new home.  All free sewing is an example of a wonderful tutorial site, they take you from objects they don’t have to be sewn all the way through bridal wear.

Melly’s tutorials are wonderful! She is thorough, imaginative, and can get you through pretty much anything.I like the way her site is set out, the site is easy to read easy-to-follow and includes email for subscriptions.

Of course Pinterest has tons ideas tutorials and such the one I use the most is Colette. She has authored a few books that I enjoyed reading as well.

The Next Level

The Next Level

I design a lot of my clothing, I’ve been dying to take my designing to the next level with a dress form! Constant trying on, next running to the mirror, next adjusting, next ripping seams, next sewing seams, next, next next, it takes for EVER! Then when you THINK your garment is ready you try it on…..NEXT  what the is the fit?  Do I want to portray this look?  People see me everywhere I go.  Do I feel good wearing clothing I should hide? See the problem?  A dress form takes care of the guess and next work.

So, what’s really NEXT?

Learning the ebb and flow of threads combined to create the fabric chosen for the garment.  It’s easier once on the dress form to define how the fabric reacts to movement, wrinkling, , and how it generally lays against a 3 D object, eventually your body.

A really cool part about a dress form is examining the look of the garment on something that is three dimensional.  Hangers cannot make clothing look good.  If they could, the body consciousness in America would not exist to the extent  at present.  I recommend shopping around before deciding on and purchasing a dress form. Also studying up on the dress form you purchase is a great idea.  I went with brand name only. I should have visited this instead.

Singer does it for me again! I don’t like the color, but I’m creative, I can recover it to match my studio.  I love that it’s so completely adjustable.   I found this one at Amazon.  The features are wonderful.  All of the below information is excerpted from Amazon.   I am not an affiliate.

13 key adjustments (bust, waist, hips, neck/back) provide a perfect fit

Height adjustment lets you customize the dress form to your height in a snap

Foam-Backed fabric exterior allows you to easily pin dresses, skirts, tops and patterns

Four leg metal base for extra durability and added stability

Pin cushion with key holder provides convenient storage for pins and adjustment key

In my own opinion, this dress form is pretty generous in range of size.  I like that the dress forms size changes with the twist of a knob.  The foam backing is a dream for any designer or seamstress.  I’ll follow up with a real life experience as soon as I get the chance to enjoy it.

I’ve figured it out, I used a chop stick to adjust the size.  Important tip that could change your life!

Fashion Hacks!

Fashion hacks are my favorite sewing inspiration. Do you specifically shop for fashion in pattern catalogs or on pattern sites?  I found myself really wondering if these things are really in fashion or just look good to other seamstresses. I started about a year ago shopping in fashion magazines and stores for hacks.  I didn’t want to look cool to the sewing community, I wanted to look cool!

Free People Fashion Hacks

[envira-gallery id="2845"]
[envira-gallery slug="freepeople-lace-up"]This is one [envira-gallery id=”2855″]of the better descriptions.  It not only lists the fabric but also the exact fabric content and points out the seaming around the bust as well as details about the hem we cannot see. Thanks for the help needed on our own fashion hack. 🙂

This dress!  [envira-gallery id=”2853″]I cannot wait to make. Do you see the simplicity of the lines? The photo boasts, “Made in suede!”  Easy peasy!

We all need casual I don’t care clothing in the warmer months, right?  Here’s another of my favorite fashion hacks.[envira-gallery id=”2851″]This is a Raglan top with a wide neckline.  They have Shirred the neckline, but you could get a similar look with elastic. I would hem the neckline.  Then sew the elastic directly to the hem.  Encasing the elastic would take away some of the free spirit.  If you want to know how to shir, Seamingly Kitten has a great tutorial.  Basically you need elastic thread.

By Gum By Golly is a really hip seamstress.  [envira-gallery id=”2849″]She sews like I sew, a lot of self drafting. In case you haven’t heard, the turtleneck is making a comeback!  She nails it and gives great instructions to make your own.  WHO WHAT WEAR is featuring dark denim.  I’ve had dark denim [envira-gallery id=”2847″]in and out of my stash for over a year now and I just bought quite a lot of some very lightweight dark denim at  Hancock Fabrics. I love the look of this dress they featured. It’s essentially your favorite tee-shirt, nipped at the waist, and made longer.

The Next Level

Sewing for your Man

I sew a lot for myself and my granddaughter.   I don’t know about you, but I have never tried sewing for my man.  He told me he wanted something cool and unique like my clothes. Let me tell you sewing for your man is not the same as sewing for yourself.  I self drafted a pattern. Those armsyces are gigantic in comparison to the amount of garment used on women’s clothing. Also, when sewing for your man, the sleeve pattern shape is slightly different.  This, upon reflection, makes sense.  Men don’t want to look curvy, they want to look solid like a brick wall 🙂Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

I designed him a tee shirt.  Not just a plain ole, I can buy this at Walmart, tee shirt.  The one I designed for him has plaid sleeves, neckline, and pocket!  He LOVES it!  Before I was finished, he put it on and shared on Facebook. That’s pretty sweet huh?[envira-gallery id="2290"]
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You know, as the weather gets cooler, sewing for your man is something you may want to consider. I don’t know if you want to make a 

 wardrobe or just add a few pieces here and there. I’ve actually made him one other thing, PJs lol.  Poor guy, he wears those too.  I just started sewing again and he was one of my guinea pigs. 🙂 I made a shirt to match for out littlest dog too.  If I were to sew him more pieces I’d start with a henley, maybe make a cardigan, flannel shirt, and maybe even some sweats.  I do not think I’m ready or he’s ready for me to sew his jeans yet. 🙂 Whatever you sew for your man…ENJOY!

Patchwork Trend

Sew, this Fall it seems as though the patchwork trend is in full swing.  I say, “YAY” it’s fun sewing!  I made some patchwork jeans last night.  I love them!  I’ve tried patchwork before and it was a failure.  I blogged about my first try here. This go round I tried a slightly different method. Instead of putting the pieces together on purpose while assembling the garment, I assembled the fabric as patchwork. Here’s the result this time.
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How does that happen?  I used denim to create my patchwork trend.  I knew I wanted the top of the jeans dark, you know, to hide all those body imperfections, I hope. I cut out the pattern to short shorts length using the dark denim.  From there,  I pieced together whatever I could find to make a large enough amount of patchwork “fabric” to cut out the rest of my jeans.  It was fun! I used my seam ripper a few times, and had to piece some parts in at the last minute to make it work but overall, it wasn’t that difficult.

What was difficult was the Mimi G pattern I tried using.  Let’s just say, it was not made for my body.  I tried all sorts of alterations, none worked for me.  I did give it a run for it’s money and my seam ripper too.  I think the seam ripper saw more action on those jeans than the sewing machine saw.  I really wanted them to work, but just like ready to wear, all styles do not fit all body types.

The pattern I used, is tattered, it works like a charm and fits perfectly every single time.  I have used the pattern for three pair of shorts, three pair of pants, and now one pair of jeans.  I use Simplicity 1165 for all my pants.  The Mimi G pattern I experimented with was Simplicity 1167.  The pattern and instructions were great, my body just would not conform.[envira-gallery id="2202"][envira-gallery slug="patchwork-trend"]

I hope to get a lot of wear out of these jeans and try other fabrics using the patchwork trend as well.  I hope this has inspired you to mess around with the technique as well.  No matter what you do, ENJOY!


Featured image can be found here.

Sewing without Knowing (beginner)

There are so many things I wish I knew when I Started Sewing without knowing as a beginner.  I had sewn before, quite a lot.  But the brain forgets in 30 years all the things you once knew, or at least some of them. So, essentially, I was once again a beginner. At least I remembered a few things like pressing while sewing. I actually did a blog on this. Here are some more articles you may find helpful: This and this one, too! The following things I really did not know or did not believe were a factor for me.

  1. RELAX- sewing while rushing or tired makes things take longer.
  2. READ- reading the manual is more important than anyone wants to admit.  I didn’t read mine.  Then I was totally excited to find my second machine had a thread cutter on the side! Guess what, so did my first one, I just didn’t know about it. The manual has more information than the internet or someone else’s experience.  It’s about YOUR machine.  Invaluable.
  3. TOOLS- I promise, it’s not necessary to break both arms at the same time to buy a cutting mat and rotary cutter. I never would have tried this method until the broken arm incident.  I love the sound of the scissors and fabric together.  But, honestly, the mat and cutter make cutting patterns more professional.
  4. SEW- If you do not actually get in there and fight that beast of a machine, you’ll never learn anything.  So what if you mess up? That’s what the seam ripper is made for. The first dress I sewed after 30 years took me forever.  I was terrified.  Why?  I hadn’t tried it before and I only had three days to finish.  I was going to a funeral and owned not one single black dress! The compliments were worth the time.
  5. CONCENTRATE- this is the hardest part for me, I want to second guess the pattern instructions.  Please follow their instructions, it’s a huge time saver.  They are professional and know what to do to get the same results they did. I believe I spend more time thinking about the garment than I do sewing it.  I roll over and over in my head how I’m going to make it look. It’s helpful, but not productive.  Thinking doesn’t make it happen.  You have to actually do something to make it happen.
  6. KEEP TRYING- It’s okay to mess up. That’s what the seam ripper is for.  It’s okay if you sew something perfect and then it doesn’t fit.  I’ve done this.  It only makes the next one easier.

Most of all ENJOY!