5 Sewing Tips for May (even though it is now June!)

5 Sewing Tips is late this month because I’ve been on holiday! I was hoping to post before we left, but no such luck and it is now June. Better late than never as they say!

5 Sewing Tips May

tip-1-copy

If you are sewing a bias skirt or dress, pin it to a dress stand before you sew the side seams. Any irregularities will be revealed, like this extra half inch on one side:

If I sewed this side seam and matched the hem edges exactly, it would end up curling forward or back, or kick out at the hem.  By ‘listening to the fabric’, and sewing the seam in the position it wants to be (ie mismatching the hem edge), the finished seam will sit straight.

tip-2-copy

Try pressing side bust darts upwards instead of down – they will be less visible that way. I once did this photo comparison – the left image is pressed up, the right image is pressed down:

The dart pressed upwards looks better doesn’t it? Most commercial patterns are designed to press downwards, so you may have to adjust the dart base before cutting if you want to go down this route.

tip-3-copy

Another tip for making life easier – when sewing bias tubes, taper the stitching out towards the end of the tube to make a little ‘funnel’:

Getting the turning process started is so much easier! (To be honest, I forget to do this half the time and kick myself later!)

tip-4-copy

Zips – we all love them don’t we?! An important thing to pay attention to is sewing across the upper edge. I always allow a 3mm (1/8″) gap between the plastic zip stop and my stitching, which accommodates the fold of the zip tape nicely.

And don’t forget to ensure both sides are the same distance, as any variation will be obvious. I give you permission to sneakily adjust the seam allowance here – sshh don’t tell anyone!

tip-5-copy

This month’s tutorial link is all about turn of cloth allowance. This is one of the must-know tricks to make your sewing look truly professional.

Pattern Scissors Cloth All about Turn of Cloth

Have a good read and say goodbye to curling collars, visible linings and flipping out facings forever!

Now I better get started on June’s tips before that month is over! I have been doing quite a bit of sewing, but not photographing it much, so there is a lot of catching up to do around here. Also, there is some exciting sewing news in this household 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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I'm a designer/patternmaker who loves to share my sewing knowledge with others! Follow me as I sew my personal projects, sharing my favourite tricks of the trade along the way.

25 thoughts on “5 Sewing Tips for May (even though it is now June!)

  1. Awesome as usual! I think I have been doing the tops of my zippers all wrong. That’s a detail that nobody clarifies.
    thanks!

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    1. Awesome! I picked that trick up from a machinist in a previous job – I would never have thought of doing it myself, even though it is such a simple idea!

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  2. I love your tips, too, Sherry. I think I’ve read all your posts over the years but lord knows I’m never going to remember all the little snippets of wisdom embedded in each. These ‘highlights’ are great.

    I look forward to your exciting seeing news! Is it that you and your family are moving to Newcastle, NSW – or anywhere on the east coast of Australia – so you can set up a sewing/pattern making school here? Yes? Yes?! Yes! Wonderful!

    Sam

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    1. Sorry, I didn’t mean to comment twice! I was just trying to fix up a typo in this comment but didn’t realise it would result in two entries, and I can’t figure out how to delete this one.

      I’m a dingbat!

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      1. Haha – never mind! Your suggestion sounds like a lot of fun, but my sewing news doesn’t involve a move – it’s a new purchase!!

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  3. I love your tips, too, Sherry. I think I’ve read all your posts over the years but lord knows I’m never going to remember all the little snippets of wisdom embedded in each. These ‘highlights’ are great.

    I look forward to your exciting sewing news! Is it that you and your family are moving to Newcastle, NSW – or anywhere on the east coast of Australia – so you can set up a sewing/pattern making school here? Yes? Yes?! Yes! Wonderful!

    Sam

    Like

  4. Hmm…don’t know if it worked for others, but I can’t find that link. To me it’s only a picture or bold text.
    The bias tube trick is a good one. Of course that’ll make it easier to turn! 👍

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  5. I’m just curious about how you would adjust the dart base to accommodate pressing a dart upwards rather than down? The difference in the photo is quite dramatic! I usually sew then serge my darts (I have a large bust so my darts are big!) – would pressing the serge seam upwards still make the same dramatic difference?

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  6. Hi Kathleen! If you are serging the dart intake off then you probably don’t have to change the dart base much, but the way to do it is shown here in pictures 7/8/9: https://patternscissorscloth.com/2011/04/01/rtw-tailoring-sewalong-1-pattern-amendments-outer-shell/
    The difference is quite noticeable isn’t it? And this was just a thin cotton shirting, it would be even more noticeable in a thicker fabric! I think the effect would be the same if you serge the dart..

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