Saturday, 23 September 2017

Make Rib Knit

This technique is courtesy of Carolyn and can be used for eg sleeve bands.

  1. Cut knit fabric bands 3 x the wrist circumference with the stretch going around the wrist.
  2. Use a running stitch along one long edge with clear knitting elastic.
  3. Make many rows, one exactly under the other.
  4. Pull the rows up to gather the band in.

Sewing a Convex Piece to a Concave Piece

I can't remember where I saw this tip.

  1. Run a basting stitch within the seam allowance of the Concave piece
  2. Clip to the basting line
  3. Sew the Convex piece to the concave edge, straightening out the line as you go.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Make a Silk Infinity Scarf

This technique is courtesy of Sew Essentially Sew


  1. Choose at least 0.7m of gorgeous silk fabric.
  2. Fold it in half width-wise, carefully pinning the wrong sides together with silk pins. Sew using a French seam.
  3. Pin the selvage edges together, right sides together, making sure to leave an opening to turn the scarf through.
  4. Hand stitch the opening closed.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Bernina Circular Arm Attachment

This attachment makes perfect circles, from little to big.


  1. Attach the arm to the machine bed with one screw.
  2. Always use a stabiliser eg Vilene
  3. Choose the radius of the circle and spike the fabric.
  4. Use presser foot 20 and  a straight stitch to stitch the circle or use a decorative stitch.
  5. To applique a circle shape, lie a rectangular piece of fabric over the base fabric and stitch the circle. Trim very close to the circle. Use a decorative stitch to go over the outside edge, with the circular arm as a guide.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Adding Drawstring Ruching to a Top

This technique is courtesy of Meg from Curvy Sewing Collective. As she mentions in her post, I can see it on sleeves, centre front on tops, on skirts, pant legs, just about anywhere.


  1. Choose your pattern eg tee shirt or tunic top, knit or woven.
  2. Determine whether you want to lengthen the pattern to accommodate the ruching/gathering. Lengthen the pattern if you want, especially the area where the drawstring gathers the garment as the gathering will shorten it at that point. eg lengthen by 3" and consider sizing up.
  3. Make a full pattern piece.
  4. Decide where you want your gathers to be. They should start in a seam and finish in a hem and can be achieved in two ways: (1) Create a seam/casing. The drawstring casing can be straight down from shoulder to the hem, gathers running diagonally from shoulder to side seam, on sleeves, up the centre of the bodice, diagonally from shoulder to hem. or (2) Use existing seams for your casing. An alternative option for creating your casing is to take advantage of you pattern's existing seams, such as the centre front or back bodice seams, princess seams, side seams, etc.
  5. Widen your existing seam allowances to create casings, or add seam allowance to your new seam. Essentially what you're trying to do is create a double drawstring casing from the seam allowances. It depends on the width of your drawstring but 3/4" seems safe.
  6. Hem garment. In order for the drawstring to emerge from the end of your casing, you need to leave an opening at the bottom hem. That means you have to hem the portion of the garment with the casing before sewing the casing seam together. Consider using a zig-zag stitch to hem both front pieces.
  7. Sew the casing seam. Before fully constructing your garment, sew the casing seam. 
  8. Finish the seam allowances and press them open. Finish the seam allowances and press open.
  9. Topstitch the seam allowances. To create the casing, topstitch the seam allowances you just pressed open on either side of the seam. Again, how wide you do your topstitching depends on your drawstring, but ½” to 5/8” should work.
  10. Create your drawstrings. Use your fabric to create your drawstrings, or you can use some sort of store-bought cording or ribbon. If you use fabric, cut long strips (longer than your seam/casings, ensuring extra length so you can tie a bow if you like) and then either sew them in a tube and turn it right side out, or fold the two long side inwards and then fold in half again and stitch.
  11. Using a safety pin or bodkin, thread your drawstrings through the casings on either side of the seam.
  12. Baste the drawstrings in place at the top of the seam. In order to secure the ends of the drawstring, baste them in place at the seam, within the seam allowance. 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Invisible Zipper - Bree from Bernina

We practiced this invisible zipper insertion method at the Bernina foot workshop courtesy of Studiocc.  This zipper was to go into a dress with a waistband seam, an extra level of difficulty.


  1. Interface behind where the zipper will go.
  2. Press S/A under
  3. Lie the zipper under one folded under edge, as it will be. Open out the zipper on the S/A and unzip the zipper.
  4. Sew from the top zipper stop towards the pull using invisible zipper foot # 35 - don't sew the flaps, sew from exactly the stop. Sew down to the pull, don't try to pull the pull up or out ofthe way, just sew as close to it as you can.
  5. Close the zipper to check that all is as it should be - better find out now that it's wrong than later!
  6. Mark the waist seam on the zipper tape and then transfer this mark to the other side of the zipper tape.
  7. Close the zipper, line up zipper tape markers with other side of the waistband seam and pin at the centre.
  8. Sew from the top stopper down (or, if you want to be really exact, sew from the waistband mark up one way and then down the other).
  9. Secure the zipper tape by sewing to the S/A at either side with zipper foot No 4.
  10. Stitch in the ditch from the RS, the width of the S/A, across the zipper also with zipper foot No 4.
  11. Open the zipper outand sew the seam above the zipper with zipper foot No 4, keeping the flaps out of the way and without pulling the zipper. Sew at the 5/8" line down to the start of the stitching, veering outwards so that the foot edge is next to the original stitching line and overlaps for ~ 5mm. ie they do not meet, they are ⅛" out. This helps to not form a crease or bubble. Do the same at the bottom but with the zipper closed.

Bernina Foot 38 - Piping

Another technique from Bree from Bernina - baby piping. This piping is suitable for garment sewing but too fine for eg cushions. - you would need the larger Bernina foot for this.

Use this foot for cord 000 - 1 thickness. In the demonstration we used the 0 size cord which has a circumference of 5mm so the bias strips we used were 35mm wide (2 x S/A + circumference).

Bree recommends either making the piping at the same time as sewing it onto the first layer of the garment (ie fold the cord into the bias binding and line it up with the raw edge) or making the piping by itself and then sandwiching between the two garment layers and sewing as one.


  1. Use a longer stitch length eg 3 or 3.5, because there is less contact with the feed dogs and it moves around a lot.
  2. Fold the bias binding around the cord and line the cord up against the fat side of the left hand toe, feeding the strip in slightly from the left. Make sure to really press the cord into the fold.
  3. When sewing the second layer, make sure it's with the cord uppermost so you can feed the cord into the fat part of the foot.
  4. Before attaching the piping to a curve, clip clip clip! Clip at about every 1cm clip almost to the stitching line and don't pull the piping when sewing.