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What Would You Change About Your Sewing Education?

In the most recent issue of Threads magazine, the contributors were asked the question "If you could do it again, what would you change about your sewing education?"All the contributors' answers were insightful but Susan Lazear's response resonated the most with me. She said, "I used to consider the pattern instructions as the rule." Oh [...]

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Understanding Thread Tension

When I first began sewing, I had a fear of having to deal with thread tension. I always just hoped that the stitching would be even on both sides of the fabric and that I would never have to touch the tension dial. I put that down to lack of experience and not understanding how [...]

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Off to a Good Start Tip #3

In the previous tip, we learned how to eliminate the loops at the beginning of a seam. The second most asked question I get from students is: "Why do I get puckers at the beginning and end of my seams?" Most of us have experienced this problem at one time or another. And maybe we [...]

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Off to a Good Start Tip #2

Whenever I give sewing classes or seminars to beginners, the question I am asked most often is this: "How do I get rid of the thread loops at the beginning of my seams?"Even experienced sewers occasionally have to deal with the "birds nest" of thread on the underside of the fabric. Sometimes the problem is [...]

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Off to a Good Start Tip #1

When I first started to sew, the only time I changed the needle was if it broke. I didn't know any better. And I couldn't understand why I had skipped stitches and why my seams were so buckled all the time. Now I know better.Before you commit to sewing that first seam on your garment, [...]

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Sewing on Buttons Tip #5

Many buttons--not just metal buttons--come with a metal shank. These buttons require special treatment otherwise you and your buttons could soon part company.For metal shank buttons that will attached to a coat or jacket, I prefer to use button thread. You can purchase it waxed or condition it yourself with beeswax. Just run the thread over [...]

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Sewing on Buttons Tip#4

We can't possibly sew all our clothing--at least most of us can't. This means we have to deal with the frustration of buttons on ready-to-wear garments. I have found that this problem usually happens with two- or four-hole shirt, jacket or coat buttons. The buttons start to loosen or a tail of thread appears. When [...]

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Sewing on Buttons Tip #3

This tip builds upon Sewing on Buttons Tips #2 and #3 by covering the steps required to finish off your thread shank button.Once you have completed sewing on the button, using your sewing machine needle as a spacer  to create distance between the button and the garment, it is time to strengthen the shank by [...]

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The Classic Shirt

An Updated ClassicAs much as we all love a statement piece, it's really the basics that carry us through the days when we just want to dress smart without a lot of fuss. A classic button-up shirt is perfect for these occasions. It's one of the most timeless, versatile and elegant pieces that can be dressed [...]

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Sewing on Buttons Tip #2

When sewing on shankless buttons such as a shirt button, it is necessary to create a thread shank behind the button. Otherwise the button may be sewn too close to the garment making it difficult, if not impossible, to button it up.It is often recommended that one insert a toothpick or machine sewing needle on [...]

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