Making Clothes Fit

The way clothes fit obviously depends on their style and construction, but the principles described here apply in most cases. DARTS AND SEAMS You can take in all garments by increasing the amount of fabric taken at the seams or other shaping areas such as darts, tucks, pleats or gathers. To let out garments reduce … Read more

Making Buttonholes

On light and medium weight fabrics buttonholes may be stitched by hand or machine. On heavier weight fabrics buttonholes are best made by binding, as this prevents fraying. For any method, practise on a piece of leftover fabric from the garment and check the size of the but- tonhole by inserting the button. Never make … Read more

Marking In Dressmaking

Paper pattern pieces have several construction marks which are usually indicated by dots for darts, gathering, etc. These marks need to be transferred accurately onto the fabric and in a way that marks both layers of fabric simultaneously. This may be done by making tailor’s tack stitches or by using a tracing wheel and dressmaker’s … Read more

Dressmaking Equipment

A sewing machine is really a necessity for dressmaking. You can, of course, make entirely hand-stitched clothes, but it takes so much longer. If you are buying a sewing machine, spend time researching the various makes by asking friends and looking in shops. A swing-needle machine is certainly more useful than one with only straight … Read more

Binding In Sewing

This is a strong seam finish ideal for woollens, unlined jackets, etc. It can also be used on exposed edges such as armholes and necklines, or as an alternative to a hem. Binding may either match or contrast with the main fabric. Use straight seam binding or straight edges and pre-folded bias binding — which … Read more

Gathering In Sewing

Gathering may be worked by hand in running stitch or by using a long machine stitch. For a wide area of gathering, divide the edge in quarters and mark in the same way the piece to which the gathering is to be joined. Work two rows of gathering stitches 3 mm (1/8 inch) each side … Read more

Finishing Methods In Sewing

For simple finishes, the edges of the seam allowances may be stitched and pinked; zigzagged; turned under for 3 mm (Ye inch) and then stitched; blanket-stitched Or overcast. French seam This is a good seam finish for fine fabrics and for items frequently washed, such as blouses, nightwear and pillowcases. The edges are completely enclosed. … Read more

Sewing Seams

A plain seam is the most usual way of joining one piece of fabric to another. It may be machine-stitched or back-stitched by hand. The edges of the fabric should then be neatened to prevent fraying. There are various neatening methods for different fabrics and garments. Decide the finishing method before beginning the seam, as … Read more

Sewing for Beginners

Basic Sewing Equipment The type of equipment you need obviously depends on the type and amount of sewing you intend to do. For most basic tasks, including mending, you should have: Packet of ‘sharps’ hand sewing needles in mixed sizes, to suit different yarns Small, sharp scissors, used only for sewing Thimble Tape measure Dressmaker’s … Read more