Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric

Ruffles: You either love them or hate them. Or maybe you are like me and love them but hate sewing them! But did you know there is an easier way to get a perfect ruffle in half the time? I give you the secret to easy ruffles…
Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric - I love this sewing tutorial! I love the look of ruffles , but hate sewing them. I never knew there was another way!

Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric

Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric - I love this sewing tutorial! I love the look of ruffles , but hate sewing them. I never knew there was another way!This is SOOO easy guys! First thing you need to grab is some clear elastic. You can find it in the notions aisle of your favorite fabric store, or you can buy it here on Amazon.*

Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric - I love this sewing tutorial! I love the look of ruffles , but hate sewing them. I never knew there was another way!Cut the fabric to the size you need your finished ruffle to be. So if the fabric you are ruffling is 8″, but you want it to be 4″ when finished, cut your elastic to 4″.

Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric - I love this sewing tutorial! I love the look of ruffles , but hate sewing them. I never knew there was another way!Start at the end of the piece of fabric that you want to ruffle and put a few stitched in to hold the elastic in place. I’m using this technique for our new Amelia Maxi, Dress & Top. The waistband on it is ruffled at the side seam, so I’m going to go ahead and sew the two bands together AND ruffle them at the same time. Because of this, I am ruffling on the seamline. If you were going to ruffle first and then attached the piece to a garment, You could also apply the elastic within the seam allowance so it won’t be seen afterward.

Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric - I love this sewing tutorial! I love the look of ruffles , but hate sewing them. I never knew there was another way!As you are sewing, stretch the elastic to the total length of the fabric you are trying to ruffle. The beginning part of this is the most difficult as it might try to shift your fabric out of place. But once you get going, it will get easier.  I often hold the back end of fabric at first to keep it in place. When you get to the end, backstitch to keep your stitching in place.

Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric - I love this sewing tutorial! I love the look of ruffles , but hate sewing them. I never knew there was another way!You did it. This is what the ruffle looked like on the outside of the two pieces I sewed together. This was a much easier way of sewing the ruffle than basting since the fabric piece was so small. I also made a handy video for you of the whole process which you can view here:

Now you can go out and ruffle all the things! Clear elastic is so handy to have in your sewing toolbox. I use it on anything from ruffles to stabilizing seams. What is your favorite thing to use clear elastic for?

*This post contains affiliate links. That means when you click on the link and purchase something, we get a small percentage of the sale which helps keep this blog running. We only promote things that we recommend and love. 

Top 10 Woven Fabric Choices For Garment Sewing

There are TONS of different types of fabrics out there, and sometimes it’s hard to choose just the right thing for a certain project. Bella Sunshine Designs has a wide variety of different patterns designed for wovens, and sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. This post will attempt to help shed some light on the differences between some of the most commonly used woven fabrics used in garment sewing to help make your choices a little easier!

Top 10 Woven Fabric Choices For Garment Sewing

  1. Cotton or Quilting Cotton

    This is the most common, and typically least expensive, of the woven fabrics. You can purchase it in plain solid colors or with pretty prints on it. For the most part, it is good for everyday wear clothing. It will wrinkle, but it is iron safe at higher temperatures and typically easier to care for. Almost all of BSD’s woven designs can be made using this type of woven fabric.

  2. Linen

    The weave of a linen is a little looser than the cotton and it tends to have a nicer drape to it. It makes really great summer wear because of its lightweight nature and breathe-ability. It is most commonly found in solid colors, although, if you look hard enough, you can occasionally find a print or a solid with some metallic threads worked in which is great for adding interest and sparkle to a clothing piece. The Paradise Island Shift Dress by BSD is actually quite nice in a linen.

  3. Wool

    This is a heavier fabric and tends to be on the thicker side. It is GREAT for winter wear such as coats and pants. Some of it can be kind of itchy, but there are a lot of non-itchy varieties as well, you just have to test them by feel to find your favorites! (This is a GREAT  fabric choice for Gabriella’s Winter Coat pattern!)

  4. Denim

    Denim can be tricky. It is often (but not always) blue and comes in a wide variety of shades and weights/thicknesses. It’s perfect for mid-weight jackets, shorts, pants, skirts, jumpers… all kinds of things! Just make sure you take care with the fabric thickness part to ensure your machine can handle it. And always make sure you have the proper (denim) needle!

  5. Leather

    While not incredibly common anymore, this is still a really nice choice for jackets, vests, baby shoes, etc. The real thing tends to be on the pricier side, although you can get faux leather as well.

  6. Silk

    Silk is known for many things. It’s one of the strongest natural fabrics known, it’s soft, it’s lustrous and it often speaks to luxury. It also makes for some of the most beautiful and comfortable clothing you can wear. While its care regimen doesn’t often lend itself to children’s clothing often, it does make very nice special occasion wear for children or semi-dressy to full out formal wear for adults. One thing to note is you will definitely want fresh needles of the sharps variety when sewing with silk fabric.

  7. Satin

    Like silk, this is a very great option for special occasion wear and costuming because of its sheen. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of pins or clips on hand, though, because this, like the rest of the second half of this list, tends to be slippery while sewing, leading to much careful seam ripping if it isn’t properly pinned when you start!

  8. Chiffon

    Chiffon can be made with many different types of material from cotton to silk to polyester, but it is always a lightweight sheer fabric with an almost heavenly drape. It is often used in formal wear and ladies blouses, but is also quite nice as an overlay to children’s dresses as well. Can you just imagine a Felicity with a pretty printed chiffon over a brightly colored solid lining fabric? Talk about darling! Also another fabric you’ll definitely want fresh sharps on hand for to prevent runs in the fabric, due to its more delicate nature.

  9. Tulle

    Along the same lines as the chiffon in terms of use, but is structured more like a netting. You can get it in a wide range of textured based on how tight or loose that netting is woven. Tulle is great for pettiskirts to make a dress poof, or as its own outer skirt layer to make the design a little more light and dreamy. A layer or three on the top of any gathered skirt will make it look like a princess dress in a snap!

  10. Velvet

    Last, but certainly not least. This fabric will make an instant impression. It does come in knit (stretchy) and woven (not stretchy) versions, so take care to be sure you have the right one when purchasing. I have made many a holiday dress with velvet. It’s not only soft and beautiful, but it also tends to be warm (and I live where it gets cold). Another great use for velvet is to make cloaks and gowns for things like renaissance faires. It goes well with the period and keeps you warm on those crisp fall days!

Those are the most common woven fabrics by our count, but if there are others you’d like to learn more about, please let us know! We can answer questions now, or make another post in the future with different wovens included…. because there are SO many more! And be sure to check out our post on which needle you should choose depending on your fabric type! Also, please join us in our Facebook group to get inspiration, ask questions and share your creations! We’d LOVE to hear from you!

Know Your Needles! And the Fabrics They Go With.

There are many different types of needles out there. It would take forever to go through them ALL, but in this post, we’ll touch on the 5 most common and most used in garment sewing, and the fabrics and projects they are best suited for.

Know Your Needles (And the Fabrics They Go With) - The up close photos of the needles really show there is a difference! Must pin this for future reference.

Know Your Needles! And the Fabrics They Go With

Ready? Let’s get started!

 

Know Your Needles (And the Fabrics They Go With) - The up close photos of the needles really show there is a difference! Must pin this for future reference.

  1. The Universal Needle.

    You can use this needle across a variety of woven or knit fabrics, from a mid-weight to a fairly lightweight without too much of an issue. If you’re just starting out and practicing, this might be a good choice for you as they are also sometimes a little less expensive than some of the other varieties. But they will also not always produce as beautiful as a result depending on the other aspects of the project, such as thread and fabric choices.Know Your Needles (And the Fabrics They Go With) - The up close photos of the needles really show there is a difference! Must pin this for future reference.

  2. The Sharp or Microtex Needle.

    These needles have a much sharper point and narrower shaft than other needles, which makes it ideal for lighter weight or more finely woven fabrics like silk, satin, faux suede, and microfiber. It also helps enable perfectly straight stitching which makes it perfect for things like topstitching, edge stitching, and pintucks (which we at Bella Sunshine LOVE to do!)Know Your Needles (And the Fabrics They Go With) - The up close photos of the needles really show there is a difference! Must pin this for future reference.

  3. The Ballpoint Needle.

    These needles were made for knits! Their points are rounded, which allow them to slide through the fibers of the fabric without breaking them, keeping the integrity and stretch of the fabric intact. They also provide the ability to produce more even stitching on coarser knits (interlocks, cotton spandex) as well as preventing damage to more fragile knits (spandex, brushed polyester) that might snag or run more easily).Know Your Needles (And the Fabrics They Go With) - The up close photos of the needles really show there is a difference! Must pin this for future reference.

  4. The Denim Needle.

    These needles are designed thick and strong with an extremely sharp point for powering through thick, tightly woven fabrics such as denim, duck, and canvas. They are also ideal for going through many layers without breaking. In garment making, these would be most commonly used for making winter coats (like Gabriella’s) and heavier jumper dresses or pants.Know Your Needles (And the Fabrics They Go With) - The up close photos of the needles really show there is a difference! Must pin this for future reference.

  5. The Twin or Double Needle.

    Double needles are made with two needles connected to a single shaft. Their purpose is to mimic a cover stitch, or parallel finishing stitch, for a more professional look when completing a garment.

 

We hope you’ve found this helpful and that maybe you’ve learned a little something! If you have any questions about this, please feel free to visit us in our Facebook group here or ask in the comments below and we will do our very best to help! Come back next week to learn about some of the many different types of fabrics there are and all of the wonderful things you can turn them into!

10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit

If you’re here, we assume you sew or want to, and that’s great! Sewing is so much fun! A great way for some to relax, to add some uniqueness to a wardrobe, to expand a wardrobe, to decorate your home… there are SO many reasons people do it! But there are some very common across the board tools that EVERY person will need, no matter the project, and that is what this post is for! So, without further ado, here are our top must-have tools for any home sewist.

10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit

 

10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  1. A sewing machine.

    Do you need a top of the line, it practically runs itself machine? Psshh… nah. Are they nice to have? Of course! But I started out with a low-end Walmart special machine when I started and those projects are still holding up today. As long as you are using it right, the machine does not matter a bit. (well, I wouldn’t buy those handheld machines or child-sized ones, but, you get the idea.)10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  2. Machine feet

    Most commonly used feet (for apparel sewing) are the regular foot, buttonhole foot, and zipper foot. Most all machines will come with all 3 of these feet and we will have tutorials on using different types of feet at some point in the future. 10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  3. Extra machine needles

    ALWAYS a good idea. No matter how careful you are, needles WILL be broken. Just make sure you are buying the correct needles for the job! You can grab a variety of needles in large qualities on Amazxon for super cheap! Check it out here!* (Another future blog post coming your way soon!)10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  4. Hand sewing needles and seam rippers

    Yes, you will need these. Some patterns will require hand stitching. Even if they don’t, they’re still a handy thing to have around. You never know when you might have to reattach a stray button somewhere. And the seam rippers will be used often. Even when you’re a veteran sewist. Trust me.10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  5. Thread

    Self-explanatory.10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  6. Straight pins and/or Wonder-Clips

    Some experienced seamstresses don’t always use things like this, but if you’re starting out, you’re DEFINITELY going to want to want this anchor to help you out. Even as experienced as I am, I still use them more often than I don’t. (p.s. I use both, which one depends on the project). Every seamstress needs a set of pins and a pin cushion, but Wonder-Clips are amazing!  They are super expensive if you buy them in a big box store, but you can grab them for cheap on Amazon.*10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  7. Measuring tape.

    You’ll need this for making sure you’re sewing the right size if you’re sewing a garment.10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  8. A pattern

    If you’re on this blog, I’m guessing you’re leaning toward garment sewing. And most likely garment sewing for littles. That’s awesome! If you’re starting out, Bella Sunshine has several free patterns you can use to cut your sewing teeth, like Reagan’s Raglan and Isabella’s Banded Skirt! Just join our Facebook group here to learn how to get them! Along with this pattern (if it’s a PDF pattern), you will need a way to print it (either at a print shop or a home printer), along with scotch tape and scissors for cutting paper. Which are NOT the same scissors you will want to use to cut your fabric. Trust me on this.10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  9. Fabric.

    Self-explanatory. Make sure you have the right KIND of fabric for your project as fabrics can vary wildly and will make a HUGE difference in your finished product. Any patterns you purchase should give you a list of suggested fabrics to use for the best outcome. Pay attention to that list for a superior result.10 Things Every Beginner Seamstress Should Have In Their Sewing Kit - This was so helpful! Now I'm ready to tackle that next sewing project!

  10. Fabric cutting tools.

    Here you have a few options. The way I started out was with fabric scissors and a fabric marker. I laid my pattern out on my fabric, traced it with the marker and then used the fabric scissors (again, different from the ones used to cut paper) to cut the pieces. Nowadays I use a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and a cutting mat. It’s a little more expensive. It also takes a little practice, especially on the curves, but once you get the hang of it, it is SO much faster and easier than traditional scissors and I can’t imagine cutting any other way anymore. If you don’t already have a rotary cutter, I really recommend Fiskars for just starting out. It is inexpensive, and they have a great warranty.  You can pick up a starter set with everything you need here.*

*Anything marked with an asterisk is an affiliate link. That means if you purchase something when clicking that link, we get a very small percentage which keeps this blog going. That being said, we only link to products that we actually use and recommend. 

Sewing Tutorial: Box Pleats Made Easy

I love box pleats.  They are one of my favorite things to add to my design simply because they are so classic.  They give a wow factor to any garment and they are fairly simple to sew. The Rebel Girl Party Dress and the Alice Pleated Dress both feature inverted box pleats and I just love them. I thought I would write up a quick tutorial to show you how easy they are.

Sewing Tutorial: Box Pleats Made Easy - Must pin for later!

Sewing Tutorial: Box Pleats Made Easy

Box pleats can look scary if you have never done them, but they are actually a snap! I took the photos from our Box Pleat hack we did for the Rose Bubble shorts to show you how to do them.

Sewing Tutorial: Box Pleats Made Easy - Must pin for later!First, transfer your pattern markings.  I like to use a water soluble fabric pen. Just be sure to test it on your fabric first.

Nect you want to line up your two outer lines and fold so they meet.  On BSD patterns, these are the solid lines.  The fold will be on the dotted line.
Sewing Tutorial: Box Pleats Made Easy - Must pin for later!

Then baste on that solid line and you will end up with something like what you see above.

Sewing Tutorial: Box Pleats Made Easy - Must pin for later!

This is how it will look from the front.

Sewing Tutorial: Box Pleats Made Easy - Must pin for later!

Next you want to press the pleat so that the fabric in the back is distributed equally on either side of the basting. This will actually put your dotted line right at the basting.  The picture above shows both the right and the wrong side so you can see what it looks like.
You can then baste the top seam to keep the pleats in place when you sew.  Leave the basting in until you sew your final seam.  That way your feed dogs won’t shift the fabric out of place as you sew.

That’s it!  Now you are a box pleat master! Now you can add them to everything!

Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams

We all have a little extra weight sometimes. You know that bulkiness that you can’t seem to get rid of? No, I’m not talking about what happens to your body after the holidays (or wait, does that only happen to me?) I’m talking about the extra baggage in your seams! Often times when you add a couple layers, your seams expand from too much fabric and look, well, terrible. There is an easy fix for that: grade your seam allowance!

Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams - How this is a great sewing tutorial on how to do seam grading. I've always wondered what that was.  It looks so easy.  Must pin for later!

Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams

Now seam grading sounds like something only a teacher would do, but it’s just a simple term for cutting off your seam bulk. Check the photos below for how to do it.

Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams - How this is a great sewing tutorial on how to do seam grading. I've always wondered what that was.  It looks so easy.  Must pin for later!

First, we start with a seam with multiple fabric layers.  For this tutorial, I have used four layers together and pressed the seam allowance to the right. I did each layer a different color so you could easily see what to do.Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams - How this is a great sewing tutorial on how to do seam grading. I've always wondered what that was.  It looks so easy.  Must pin for later!
When looking at the wrong side, you want the top layer of the seam allowance to be the shortest. Therefore, you are going to trim this layer the most. Since I have four layers of fabric in the seam allowance, I trim this one pretty short. If you only had two layers, you could just trim this seam allowance to half.
Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams
Now do the same thin as the last step, trim this second layer to just past the top layer. Since I have four layers of fabric, I trimmed this layer to half.

Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams - How this is a great sewing tutorial on how to do seam grading. I've always wondered what that was.  It looks so easy.  Must pin for later!

Now it’s time for you final trimming. Take the third layer, and trim a small amount off. Leave the bottom layer untouched.  As you can see, all the layers are visible, and by gradually trimming the seam allowance, you have greatly reduced the bulk.

Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams - How this is a great sewing tutorial on how to do seam grading. I've always wondered what that was.  It looks so easy.  Must pin for later! Here’s what it looks like from the front.

Lose Your Sewing Weight: Grade Your Seams - How this is a great sewing tutorial on how to do seam grading. I've always wondered what that was.  It looks so easy.  Must pin for later! And here is a close-up of the seam allowance. Now you can be super precise if you want and get a ruler out and mark an amount you need to cut off. Personally, I find if you just keep each layer shorter than the next one, it will turn out perfectly fine. But if precise is your thing, take the amount of your seam allowance and divide it by the number of layers of fabric you have to adjust. For example, if you have 4 layers of a 1″ seam allowance, you would trim the first layer .75″, the second .5″, and the last layer .25″.

Now if only all those holiday treats came off so easily. ha ha.

We use this technique on our Sahara Dress & Top for Girls and our Sahara Dress & Top for Ladies. If you don’t have these pattern yet, you are missing out!

12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing - So guilty of number 5!

12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

A year ago today we wrote our viral post 15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing.  That post has had over 170 comments at the time of this writing.  It was so popular that we thought we would follow it up with another post.  So without further ado…
12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing - So guilty of number 5!

12 MORE Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

1. Using your teeth to cut your thread

Broken teeth, appendicitis, dentist trips. Holy smokes! This was the number one thing people commented and said was a bad sewing habit of theirs that they had to break.

2. Not ironing your fabric before you cut your pattern

OK this may only apply to those of us that prewash and put the fabric away as a wrinkly mess. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!) I once cut out a dress from lining without ironing the fabric first and ended up with a dress an entire size too big.  Whoops!

3. Getting in too much of a sewing groove (AKA not paying attention)

This totally happened to me the other day. You would think a fashion designer would know better, but I was listing to music, enjoying some kid-free time, and cutting away. And then I realized I had completely laid out the fabric wrong and not paid attention to the grainline.  Have you ever cut two left pant legs because you were in a groove? Yep, me too.

4. Knowingly using the wrong needle for a project

Admit it. You do this. You do this more often than you care to admit. Ok maybe I’m just talking to myself here, but I have totally used a stretch needle on woven because, eh, I don’t care that much and I’m in a hurry. Please let me know I’m not the only one that’s done this.  I do normally regret it later when my seam looks terrible.

pins photo

Photo by gosheshe

5. Thinking, “I’ll just hem this later”

And there is sits for 6 months (or more!).  This bad sewing habit is also a cousin to, “I’ll finish this hand stitching tomorrow.”

6. Setting anything on your cutting table that does not directly relate to the project you are working on

This is by far the quickest way to turn your cutting table into something that slightly resembles that tv show Hoarders. Seriously, how does all that “stuff” pile up so quickly?

7. Not changing your rotary blades often enough.

This is one of the bad sewing habits that I am the most guilty of! You know what happens. You get a tiny knick in the blade, but it still works 50% of the time.  And that knick is small.  It just misses one thread or two and if you press harder it works fine. Before you know it every inch you blade isn’t cutting and you know it needs to be replaced, but you just keep using it and you don’t know why. When you finally do replace it you wonder what in the world took you so long and remember how nice it is to have a nice fresh blade on your rotary cutter.

pins photo

Photo by dhendrix73

8. Sewing Over Pins

Now this is a topic that is much debated in the sewing world. But if you’ve ever hit a pin just right and had it go flying at your face, you will understand exactly why this is a bad sewing habit. One perk is that it normally only takes this happening once or twice before you decide that this is a habit you must break (you know, next time you sit down to sew something.)

9. Taking too many sewing short cuts

Understitching? Eh, topstitching is close enough. Grading those seams? I’d rather keep sewing. Basting? I’m sure if I put enough pins, it will turn out fine. And then you look at what you just did and all you can think is, “Why didn’t I take the extra step?” For the record this is the point in the project that you and your seam ripper become BFF’s.

10. Letting those little threads/ fabric scraps go everywhere but the trash can

Does your dog wear thread in his fur like its an accessory? Does your daughter hoard little pieces of scraps she finds randomly all over the floor? When you are at the grocery store, does the person behind you say, “Ma’am, there’s little pieces of red thread all over your back.” Just me? Ok moving on.

thread photo

Photo by sarae

11. Not snipping your threads after every seam

In my head, its easier to just wait until the end of a project and snip everything all at once. As I’m sewing I actually repeat this to myself in my head as I see all those loose threads. But you know what happens at the end of a project? I forget spots. Then later when my daughter is wearing the garment I notice all these threads randomly hanging. My New Year Resolution for last year was to cut these threads after every seam. I would love to tell you I succeeded, but…

12. Trying to take on too many projects at once

OK this might just be a me thing, but I tend to think I can make no less than 75 things any given week. And I’m not talking about 15 minute projects. No, I mean dresses with 1.5 miles of ruffles with more pin tucks than you can count. Oh and did I mention I need to drive to the fabric store to get materials too? Then before I know it I have a million half used supplies and a ton of unfinished projects. I have sewing ADHD.

So tell me, did you fair better this time? How many of these are you guilty of? Let me know in the comments. And if you have anymore bad sewing habits that are not on the list, tell them to me!

 

 

 

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape

There is a secret to perfect bias tape that not many newbies know. I know when I first started sewing, I would marvel at how other seamstresses would add bias tape trim and it would look so perfect!  I wanted to know how to get those results, but every time I tried to add it on, I failed miserably. Well, fear no more! You too can end up with bias trim that makes other people wonder how you did it.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape

The first time I applied bias tape, I wrapped it around the edges and sewed it on in one swoop. If you’ve ever done this, you know that a majority of the time it looks like you sewed it in the dark. While it is quick, the result is terrible. It makes things look more “homemade” than handmade. The real trick to bias tape is to not only apply it in steps, but also apply the right side of the tape to each side of the fabric. Confused? Don’t be. It’s easy. Let’s get started.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Bias tape (the commercial stuff anyway) has a longer/wider side and a shorter/narrower side. This helps you catch the entire tape when sewing it on in the final step. Keep on reading and you will see what I mean.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

We are going to sewing on the wider/longer side first. Open up your bias tape and place the right side of the bias tape to the wrong side of your fabric. Align the raw edges and then sew the bias tape on using the fold as a guide for your seamline.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Now refold the bias tape back down towards the raw edge…

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

…and flip you fabric over to the right side. Continue to refold that bias tape around towards the front of the fabric. All raw edges should now be enclosed in the bias tape. You re now ready for the final step.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Sew the bias tape along the fold to close it. Now since you took your time to apply it, you back should look like this…

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Ta-dah! Like magic! Now everyone will wonder how you got those stitches in so perfectly. And you can tell them its because you can sew like a boss!

Want to practice your new found bias tape sewing abilities? Several of our pattern feature bias tape like the Holiday Cutout Dress & Top or the Alice Pleated Dress.

The Alice Dress & Top releases next week! Be on the look out for sneak peeks on our Instagram!

What is your next project you plan to use bias tape on? Let me know in the comments!

 

Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long: Day 8 – Final Details, Button Holes, and Buttons

Day 8: Final Details, Button Holes, and Buttons

Today is also a catch up day.

Welcome to Day 8 of the Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long! Are you still with us? Day 5 was a mid sew-a-long catch up day. If you need to go back, here is where you can find Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 6, and Day 7.

Today will be fairly quick to finish. If you have never sewn button holes before, don’t worry, I will be showing you how in detail. Today will be steps 35-39 of the pattern instructions.

Final Details

Follow steps 35 & 36.

With the main side up and beginning at the bottom of the right front placket (the right when you are facing the coat), top stitch at 1/4″ up the placket, around the neckline, down the opposite placket, and around the hem of the skirt.

TIP: Since the layers are a little thick, use a medium-long stitch length for top stitching. If you have to lengthen your stitch even further when going around the neckline due to there being more layers there, do so.

Make sure to move the hood out of the way of your stitching so you don’t sew it down.

top-stitching Read more

Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long: Day 6 – Add Collar or Hood and Sew Facings


Day 6 – Add Collar or Hood and Sew Facings

Welcome to Day 6 of the Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long! Are you all caught up? Day 5 was a mid sew-a-long catch up day. If you need to go back, here is where you can find Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Today will be the most labor intensive day of sewing. We will be adding the collar and/or hood and sewing the facings. This will be steps 20-26 in the pattern instructions.

Add Collar or Hood

There are a few options here for how you want your hood to be attached.

  1. Attached hood with collar inside – This will make it so that the wearer’s neck is protected from the wind even if her hood is down.
  2. Attached hood with no collar.
  3. Detachable hood – I am giving instructions for using snaps, but you could use buttons and button holes to achieve the same effect if you desired.

Add Collar Only

Skip if doing any hood option.

Follow steps 20-22 in the pattern instructions to add your collar. Make sure to line up your notches with the shoulder seams and center of the neckline.

Assembly for the Attached Hood

If adding a collar, assemble your collar following the directions in steps 20 & 21 of the pattern. Set this aside.

Recall your seam allowance determined when you traced your hood to create the pattern pieces. Take your main hood pieces and sew them right sides together along the back curve. Clip the curve and press the seam open. Repeat with the lining pieces.

Note: Do NOT sew along the bottom or front edges.

TIP: Stuff the hood with fabric to access the seam in the curve to press it open.

20161015_043616 Read more