Saturday, 9 December 2017

Construct a Welt Pocket

This technique is courtesy of Gorgeous Things.

Step 1: Use interfacing to mark your welt opening

  • Prepare a length of fusible interfacing 3" wide x the length of your welt plus 1".
  • Pink the edges of the interfacing so you don't get any press-through in your finished garment.
  • Using a pencil or fine-tipped permanent marker, draw a line lengthwise down the middle of the interfacing on the non-fusible side. Using a see-through gridded ruler, draw two lines parallel to this line, a scant ¼" away on either side. Draw two lines perpendicular to these lines at the end of the welt. The centre line will be your cutting line. The outside lines will be your stitching lines.
  • Fuse your marked interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric.

Step 2: Organza – the critical ingredient
  • Prepare a scrap of silk organza the same size as your interfacing. Pin it to the right side of the garment directly over the interfacing.

Step 3: Sewing the welt opening
  • Start in the middle of one of the long stitching lines. Start off with a stitch length of 1mm for several stitches, then lengthen to 2.5mm. As you approach the corners, drop back to 1mm.
  • Sew right up to the corner, then with the needle in the down position, pivot and sew along the short line to the next corner. Pivot again, increase the stitch length to 2.5mm and sew to the next corner. Repeat, then sew until you are almost at the beginning of the stitching.
  • Drop the stitch length to 1mm and continue to stitch until you reach, but don't pass, the beginning.
  • Note that this will sew the whole sandwich - interfacing, fabric and organza - together. Press on each side.
Step 4: Cutting the opening
  • Using sharp embroidery scissors with very precise points, cut along the cutting line through all thicknesses. Start at the middle and cut to about ½" from the edge.  Then cut all the way to, but not through, the corners forming a Vee. This is a crucial step, you do not want to form a 'pinch' at the corners because you haven't cut far enough.

Step 5: Turning the opening
  • Pull the organza through the opening to the wrong side of the fabric. This will encase the fabric in the organza. Pull the ends of the organza tightly and press.
  • Turn the fabric over and press from the right side. This will leave yo with a precise rectangular opening.

Step 6: Welt strips
  • Cut two strips of fabric and interfacing, each 1" wide x the length of you opening plus 2".
  • Fuse the interfacing to the fabric.
  • Fold the welt strips in half lengthwise and press. Centre one strip in the welt opening and baste in place.
  • Repeat this step for the second welt strip.

Step 7: Attaching welt strips
  • Open out one long side of the welt opening
  • From the wrong side, sew through all thicknesses (interfacing and garment fabric in the welt opening, organza and welt strip), as clos to the existing stitching as possible (use the needle in the left-most position if you can).
  • Do the same on the other side of the welt. This will attach the welt strips to the garment.

Step 8: Attaching pocket bag
  • Make the pocket bag by making a rectangle 10" x the width of the welt opening plus 2"
  • Attach the pocket bag by lining up the right side of the pocket bags against the wrong side of the garment. Aligh the top edge with the edge of the welt opening.
  • With the pocket bag against the feed dogs of your machine, stitch through all layers, close to the existing stitching. Turn the garment upside down and repeat on the bottom of the pocket.
  • To close the sides of the pocket, fold the garment out of the way and sew across the triangles of the welts, as close tot he edge of the welt opening as possible.
  • Repeat on the other side.

  • Sew the lips of the welt togehter on the outside to retain the shape until you press the garment.

Add Sleeves to a Sleeveless Garment

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina.



  1. Use a bodice with sleeve to redraft the armhole of the sleeveless bodice.
  2. Trace the sleeveless bodice and leave some paper around it. Trace the bodice with sleeve and cut out.
  3. Lie the bodice with sleeve over the sleeveless bodice, matching the CFs and the high shoulder points. 
  4. Draw around the shoulder line and armscye of the bodice with sleeve, onto the sleeveless bodice paper below, continuing right to the underarm point which is usually ½ - 1" outside.  Usually the shoulder line angle is slightly different on the bodice with sleeve and the armscye is more filled in. 
  5. From the underarm point, which is probably to the right of the sleeveless version, draw the line down towards the side seam, blending into the side seam after a couple of inches. In other words, a wedge has been added at the top of the aide seam.


  1. Repeat the same process for the back. Usually the back will be the opposite of the front. ie. the armscye of the bodice with sleeve is more scooped out than the sleeveless bodice.


  1. Trace the top of the sleeve to the underarm points.
  2. Measure the desired length and mark the centre line.
  3. Measure the desired width at eg wrist and draw the sleeve hem line.
  4. Use a straight ruler to join the underarm points to the wrist points.
  5. Curve the seams in at the halfway point by ½" and back out to the wrist points.True the seams.
  6. Add hem allowance and notches
To make a sleeveless garment from a sleeved garment, add ½" to the armscye underarm point on both the front and back, blending into the armhole curve. Take a 3/8  x 3" wedge out of the side seam on both front and back. Bind or face the armhole slightly smaller to ease the armhole in towards the body.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

How to Finish Coverstitch

This technique is courtesy of Johanna from The Last Stitch. With this technique, the needle threads are pulled to the back, ready to be tied off with the looper thread.

  1. At the end of the coverstitch row turn the handwheel to form the last stitch, finishing with the needles up.
  2. Lift the presser foot.
  3. With a crochet hook or tweezers, pull the needle threads forward towards you by a couple of inches.
  4. Cut the threads.
  5. Pull the fabric straight back, hard and fast, then to the left to remove. This secures all the threads to the back, ready to be tied off.

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.