Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Invisible Stitching Patch Pockets

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. This pocket is lined. Basically the pocket is constructed along with the lining intact and then the lining is machine stitched to the garment. The pocket is then hand-stitched to the garment.


  1. The pocket has a ½" overlap (forms the facing) to the back which attaches to the lining, which is flush with the bottom of the pocket. Therefore, the (rectangular) pocket dimensions are:  the pocket (eg 4" x 5")+ 1½" (facing) + 5/8" (seam). The lining dimensions are: the pocket - 1½" + 5/8" (seam). Cut tracer pattern (or Vilene or silk organza) the same size as the lining.
  2. Sew the lining to the pocket and press the seam towards the lining. Press the facing line.
  3. Cut tracer pattern to the RS of the pocket and pin in place.
  4. Use the pocket template and ruler to mark the seam line at 5/8" on all 3 sides.
  5. Sew the tracer pattern to the pocket along the seam line, decreasing stitch length at curves and lifting the presser foot every few cm's.
  6. Trim both the garment and the tracer pattern to ⅛", starting 1" below top of tracer pattern. On the curves, fold and clip divots.
  7. Turn the tracer pattern to the inside, finger-pressing the curves. Press with a silk organza cloth and hit it with a clapper.
  8. Place the pocket/lining on the garment and lift the pocket up out of the way. Chalk around the outside of the lining and pin it in place.
  9. Stitch the lining in place just inside the chalked line, starting at the top of the facing (and doing a fancy little triangle to give it strength. This stitching line won't show.
  10. Flip the pocket down and hand stitch in place.

Friday, 24 June 2016


This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. Use snaps where the fabric won't take a buttonhole well such as denim, plastic, leather, or just for the look of them. They are positioned on the CF line. Easiest to add snaps to the flat garment pieces before any construction.

This technique uses the 'SnapSetter' tool from Snap Source.

Sandra uses size 16 and size 24 snaps.


  1. Interface behind where the snaps will go,  a strip of interfacing.
  2. Add male prong of snap to WS of upper garment, pushing prongs through fabric.
  3. Place this into lower part of tool.
  4. Squeeze some glue (e.g. E6000) into the centre of the snap.
  5. Use a pencil to guide the next part of the tool on top (has a hole)
  6. Lay down female flower of snap onto tool then add final layer of tool.
  7. Pound with a hammer on a hard surface to join together.
  8. To set the other side, chalk the snap surface heavily, line up on the other garment piece and rub off to get the placement.
  9. Repeat the process with the female snap parts.

Add Bias Strips to a Shirt

This technique is courtesy of Ron Collins. Easiest done on the flat garment pieces before any construction.


  1. Cut bias strips 1½" wide and varying lengths.
  2. Fuse ¼" Steam a Seam to each edge of each bias strip (helps to stop the bias from stretching).
  3. Mark placement lines.
  4. Fuse to the front of the shirt.
  5. Sew ⅛" along one edge, down to the bottom, across and up the other side.
Could do similar process but gather up the strips 
  1. Cut bias strips 3 x the length required
  2. Gather both edges at ¼" with a long stitch and pull up the bobbin threads together until you like the look
  3. Fuse Steam a Seam on each edge, flattening the gathers
  4. Remove gathering stitch and sew in place.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Finish a Scoop Neckline

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. This neckline is based on ¼" seams so you may need to trim down the neckline.


  1. Measure the neckline length at ¼".
  2. Fuse stay tape to the entire neckline, over the ¼" seam line, clipping into the tape to curve it. On knit fabrics, the fusing is sometimes dodgy and you may need to staystitch it in place.
  3. Cut a band 1 3/4" wide and the length of the neckline from knit fabric or bias woven fabric, and seam it into a circle using a 5/8" seam. The band will therefore be 1 ¼" shorter than the neckline length.
  4. Quarter the neckline, quarter the band, and pin together with RS together.
  5. Sew the band to the neckline with the band on top.
  6. Overlock with a 3-thread narrow stitch.
  7. Press the SA towards the garment and topstitch SA to garment at ⅛" if desired.
Could make the band bias satin and create a neckline facing rather than a band.

Clean Finish a V- (or Square) Neckline

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. This neckline has no band - it applies to any neckline where you want a clean finish with a sharp point.


  1. Mark the point of the V on the garment fabric.
  2. Fuse stay tape over the garment seam line but not within an inch either side of the V (to reduce bulk).
  3. Stitch the facing to the garment, decreasing the stitch length either side of the V and hand-walking 2 stitches across the V.
  4. Clip right to the V.
  5. Press the seam open and grade the seams.
  6. Press the SA closed and then towards the garment.
  7. Understitch the SAs at ⅛" but stop an inch either side of the V (to reduce bulk).
  8. Press from the RS.

Add a Flounce to a Sleeve Hem

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina.  A flounce is circular and therefore falls more fluidly than a ruffle which is cut on-grain and more suited to home dec.


  1. Measure the circumference of the sleeve hem at 5/8".
  2. Draw a circle that is as big as the circumference of the sleeve hem onto tracing paper. To do this, determine the diameter of the circle using, diameter = circumference length / 3.14. The radius of the circle will then be half of this.
  3. Add 4" all the way around. The easiest way to do this is to fold the paper in half, through the centre of the circle, and then into quarters and draw the 4" line. Cut this out to form a full circle template.
  4. Cut the flounce from fabric.
  5. Staystitch the inside circle then 
  6. clip into it to make it easier to join to the sleeve hem.
  7. Finish the outer edge e.g. rolled hem.
  8. Attach the flounce to the sleeve.
Other variations of this include making the inner circle off centre (eg. to add a shoulder flounce to a sleeveless top where the longer part of the flounce will be uppermost) and cutting through the flounce to the inner circle to form a strip which can be added to e.g. a crossover neckline (the inner circle circumference is made the same length as the neckline length).

Insert an Invisible Zipper

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina. Insert the zipper before sewing the seam.


  1. Finish the garment SA where the zipper will go. eg overlock.
  2. Interface the area behind the zipper with 1" interfacing and extending ~1" past the bottom of the zipper.
  3. Prepare the zipper - open out the zipper and place face down on the ironing board. Press the coils open/flat using lots of steam and a clapper. When closed, the zipper should stand up.
  4. Lay Wonder Tape (or Steam a Seam) on both sides of the zipper on the RS, and take the paper off.
  5. Open zipper, stick one RS of the zipper on RS of garment and sew in place. Start at the top of the zipper. Sew the other side in the same way.
  6. Close zipper and sew below zipper with normal zipper foot for 1", RS together along seam line.
  7. Sew the rest of the seam with normal foot.
  8. Sew the SA of the zipper to the SA of the garment, the lower 1 - 2" of zipper, both sides.
  9. Press from both sides.