One of the perks of owning a sewing machine is that you will always be able to branch out and try new things; there’s always a new project to get stuck into. Sewing as a hobby is a really satisfying way to work on personal growth, incorporate self care into your daily/weekly routine, and not to mention how cathartic it is to allow your creativity to shine through. Expressing your creativity and learning how to create new things with new skills is one of the things that make sewing such a rewarding hobby. It also presents a wonderful opportunity for you to sew for others, creating gifts for friends and families, sewing your own facemask coverings, and even helping the nation during a global pandemic.
Simple classes, just like our best-selling beginner course, combined with independently practicing at home using our free simple sewing patterns will give you plenty of knowledge and skills needed to take on lots of exciting sewing projects. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you could work on using up those leftover scraps you’ve collected, or you could even decide that furthering your knowledge by enrolling in our intermediate sewing course is the right thing for you.
Regardless of your sewing skills, there will always be something that you can make. A quick Google or Pinterest search will bring up thousands of quick and easy projects, however, it seems that these are often tailored towards women. Women aren’t the only ones who appreciate a lovingly handmade gift, so in this blog post, we’re going to be talking about the type of gifts that can be sewn specifically with men in mind.
If you’re looking for something to sew for your husband, brother, child’s school teacher, friend, or any other male in your life, this is the post for you. Read on and discover some practical sewing gifts to make for men.
Sewing Gifts to Make for Men - Tool Organisation
Do you know someone who’s always tinkering away or working on a new project? A tool bucket could be the perfect gift for them. With plenty of space inside and slots for tools on the outside, homemade tool buckets are a practical way to keep all tools needed for a job in one place. Plus, you can add handles to make it easier to carry! This tutorial is a wonderful starting point.
Something simple like this tool rollup is all it takes to transform a messy tool shed into an organised haven for appliances, gadgets, and hand tools. A simple cloth tool roll up is a great make for beginner sewists, but it’s also an extremely practical gift idea.
Sewing Gifts to Make for Men - Garments & Accessories
Formal or funky, you can’t go wrong with a good tie! This tie tutorial is brilliant and the website also details how to make smaller ties for children.
Another option for the man in your life who often finds himself wearing suits - a collection of pocket squares. They’re so easy to make (I mean, they’re squares!), a nice little bundle would make a lovely homemade sewing gift.
If you feel more confident behind the sewing machine, some new male garments would make a beautifully thoughtful gift! You can start simple with t-shirts or shorts, or you could challenge yourself to something more complex, such as a suit jacket or collared shirt.
Sewn Gifts For Men - Travel
Men’s Travel Bag
Everyone needs a travel bag to keep all their essentials in whilst they’re away. As you may know, my Mister is the adventurous sort, so he’s often off exploring somewhere new. A travel bag would make a lovely gift for fellow adventure husbands, or men who often find themselves away from home a lot. Great for storing all the staples, such as toothpaste and brush in, they’re also handy bags to have at home to safely store shaving equipment.
A handmade messenger bag makes a great gift for teachers and students alike!
Another quick and relatively simple make is a classic electronics case. Whether you are making a cover for a big reader who wants their Kindle to remain safe, or someone who’s always on their phone or tablet, a protective cover is a thoughtful and practical gift. This gift idea is also great for children who are learning about responsibility and looking after their things properly, like their tablets or first phones.
Sewing Gifts to Make for Men - Autumn & Winter
Fleece hats for winter
Who doesn’t love a nice cosy hat as the weather starts to change? Sewing with fleece is a topic that we cover briefly in our Sewing With Stretch Fabric course.
You can’t go wrong with an infinity scarf as the weather starts to change. If you happen to have old or ill-fitting flannel shirts lying around, infinity scarfs are a great way to upcycling them. This free pattern here bases the sewing project on upcycling shirts, however, the tutorial can be easily adapted for any fabric you wish to use.
Another fleece make; the neckwarmer is such a good sewing project for those new to using the fabric. It is effectively a neck-sized tube, so it’s a great way to get in your stretch fabric practice, as well as making an attractive, practical gift for someone.
Sewing Gifts to Make for Men - House & Garden
Quilting is such a fun and satisfying sewing avenue to explore. Quilts can be made using favourite sport team colours, favourite TV/movie logos, upcycled t-shirts or babygrows - absolutely anything! They’re great to have around for those cosy autumn nights in.
Oven gloves & Pot Holders
Oven gloves and pot holders are cute and practical gifts for the chef in your life!
We all know someone who calls themselves the “King Of The BBQ”! BBQ aprons are simple to make and can assist your BBQ king with keeping all his trust BBQ tools close at hand.
There are quite a few different tutorials out there for sewing a wallet, but I quite like this one from The Sewing Directory. The measurements, equipment, and tips are all included and you could very easily print the page off or have it open on your laptop as you sew.
Let me know your favourite make!
I’d love to know what your favourite gift project from this blog post is. Are you going to try one out? Should I film some tutorials or write a detailed blog post for one or two of these gift ideas? Let me know what you would like!
Feel free to leave a comment, or pop over to our FREE Facebook group, Kernow Sewcial! We are an active, friendly bunch who are always around to give advice, support and have a natter about anything sewing related.
We also set monthly challenges (these are optional) that encourage members to try something new and step outside of their comfort zone. If you decide to join, please pop a post up and introduce yourself!
Have you found yourself wondering if creating your own clothing is worthwhile? Sure, it takes up time, and yes, it is a skill that requires practice, but I am here to tell you that it is 100% worth your time and effort! Besides the fact that you can make clothing to your exact specifications and tailor anything to suit your style and needs, there are tonnes of reasons why you should learn to make your own clothing.
In this post, I’ve put together 5 of the most prominent reasons as to why I believe making your own garments is the way forward, no matter what your experience level is.
The term ‘fast fashion’ gets thrown around quite a lot in the sewing community. The term refers to the replication of popular fashion trends and mass producing them at a low cost. These garments are then distributed at low prices to huge conglomerates that turn a high-profit. Cheap clothing sounds fine, at first, until you take a closer look at the environmental impacts.
Did you know:
The only way to challenge the fast fashion industry is to become more mindful about our wardrobes and think carefully about the type of fabrics we’re using. Repurposing spare fabric and fabric scraps is one way to do your part in fighting the environmental impact of fast fashion, another is to start producing your own clothing.
Perfectly fitting clothes, every time.
I see social media posts about the variation in UK sizing all the time! You’ve probably seen them too - how a pair of size 12 jeans from one brand happens to be about an inch smaller than the same sized jeans bought from a different clothing brand. How crazy is that? Not only does that feed into the landfill disaster of unworn clothing being thrown away, but it also causes havoc with our self esteem.
These tremendous inconsistencies and the emotional impact that comes with them, can be completely avoided when you choose to make your own clothing. Learning how to measure yourself for clothing is easy, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll always have perfectly fitting clothes to suit your style and needs.
Boost your confidence, self esteem & your overall mental wellbeing.
Mastering a new skill is one of the most widely suggested ways to boost your self esteem. Learning how to create something new, or or improving a skill you previously struggled with gives you an overwhelming feeling of achievement and satisfaction. This in turn boosts your confidence and self esteem, as well as giving your whole mental state. 2020 was one heck of a year for many, however my trusty sewing machine, along with the Kernow Sewcial Facebook group, and Cornwall Scrubs kept me sane. Quilting and garment making is an act of self care for many, and I have personally spoken out about my mental health and the role that sewing has had in my own mental health progression.
Save yourself some money.
We spoke about how fast fashion mass produces popular fashion trends at a low price earlier, and I think many people fall into the trap that because the garments are cheap, they’re saving money. In actual fact, these clothes are often made to be disposed of; they’re made cheaply and aren’t built to last for more than a season or two. Many items break or become unwearable so quickly that the low costing items soon add up that you’ve spent more money on fashion items than you’d originally planned to over the course of a year.
Sewing your own garments can save you money in the long run because you will be making your clothing with longevity in mind. By using good quality fabric and thread, you can easily make simple garments, even if you’re a total beginner. All it takes is a bit of practice and patience. If you want to brush up on your sewing skills, our Beginners Online Course is great for going back to the basics, or learning everything you need to get started. We also offer an Intermediate Online Course which serves as the perfect introduction to garment making.
You are your own designer and creator.
By sewing your own clothing, you are effectively running your own factory. Sourcing your fabric well can bring employment and income to your local areas if you purchase your fabrics and supplies from small local businesses. By working on your own garments, you’re cutting the chemical usage that pollutes our planet with toxins, and, absolutely brilliantly, you’re cutting out the use of child labour.
As you may already know, here at Start To Stitch, we’re into sustainability and protecting our beautiful Cornish countryside; as well as trying to globally fight for a more eco-conscious clothing and textiles industry.
My personal mantra is: thou shalt not buy anything that can be made thyself.
I work on the principle that since I have a big stash of fabrics, there are a lot of things that I can make for myself, instead of having to buy them. When I get to the end of my stash, I try to buy more fabrics mindfully, thinking about where they’re coming from and how they’re made.
I am in no way preaching about avoiding shops - if you want to head to the shops and buy yourself some new wardrobe staples, go for it. However, I have to say there is something incredibly satisfying about creating your own clothing.
That’s why I teach my beginner and intermediate online sewing course; I want to give people the skills and knowledge necessary to help them create garments and items that they can be proud of, as well as helping to slow the speed of the fast fashion industry, while also helping you feel better about the beautiful body that you have been given!!
Sew your own wardrobe.
So many items in my wardrobe have been lovingly sewn by me. Very recently myself, and members of our Kernow Sewcial Facebook group joined in with the wonderfully organised #TheSewingWeekender2021 event, hosted by The Fold Line. The event entailed a blissful weekend of sewing and chatting with lovely, lovely people, however, as a result, my studio is now full of scraps of fabric that are just crying out to be turned into something practical and beautiful!
Create something brand new out of your leftover fabric.
If, like me, you find that your scrap fabric box is often overflowing, this is definitely the blog post for you. Often we’re left with pieces of fabric that are too small to create new garments for ourselves out of, but that doesn’t mean they’re totally useless. With a little imagination and some clever stitching, it’s possible to turn your scraps into something beautiful and practical that can be used in and around your home.
Practical items to make from scrap fabric:
Below is a collection of sewing projects that can be created using scraps of fabric. In honour of remaining sustainable, we’ve kept the list as practical as possible - there’s no point creating something with leftover fabric that you’ll never actually use. Our categories include health and beauty items, such as facemasks and scrunchies, items for around the home, children’s items, and sewing related goodies. Of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of possibilities when it comes to repurposing fabric scraps, so these are only a few ideas to help get you started.
Health & Beauty
Reusable makeup remover wipes
Reusable panty liners
Hand sanitiser keyring holder
Makeup bag / travel makeup bag
Around The Home
Reusable kitchen towels
Camera strap cover
Child’s sun hat
Arty Ideas For Scrap Fabrics
There are so many fun ways to use scraps of fabric up. Recently, over on the Kernow Sewcial Facebook group, we had a member who helped her children with their school homework; they ended up creating beautiful collages with scraps of fabrics and the results were absolutely stunning. If you're looking for some free tutorials I have also compiled a Pinterest board for you here!
If you fancy having a go at some more fun and practical makes, check out some of the free patterns we offer on our website: Start To Stitch Twist Headband Pattern, the Start To Stitch Face Covering Pattern, and the free Start To Stitch bunting pattern. We also offer beginner and intermediate courses that are hosted online with video tuition.
Struggling with your machine? Head over to the Start To Stitch YouTube channel, where we have a variety of video tutorials designed to help you overcome some of the most common sewing machine issues, such as How To Change A Needle On Your Sewing Machine, and How To Wind A Bobbin Up On Your Sewing Machine.
The humble scrunchie was a massive fashion trend in 2020, and it seems that they’ve not lost their appeal in 2021 either. Scrunchies are relatively cheap to buy, of course, but why contribute to the fast fashion industry when you can so easily make your own?
Scrunchies are the perfect project for sewing beginners
Honestly, sewing your own scrunchies is probably one of the easiest sewing projects around, which makes it an absolutely perfect place for beginners to start. You only need a small amount of fabric - you can even use scrap fabric (link to how to use fabric scraps post) - some elastic, a safety pin, and your trusty sewing machine.
Looking for more beginners projects?
At Start To Stitch, we want to share our love of sewing with as many people as possible. That’s why we offer FREE sewing patterns that are great for beginners. Once you’ve mastered the scrunchie, how about trying your hand at our Start To Stitch Free Bunting tutorial, our Free Facemask tutorial, or our free Twist Headband Tutorial?
Once you’re comfortable with these projects, you might find that you want to take your sewing to the next level. We offer beginner and intermediate online sewing courses. In each course, you’ll learn new techniques and troubleshoot common issues, as well as create wonderful handmade items. Both courses are held through a dedicated Facebook Group, with detailed video tutorials. Live video support and weekly tutoring calls are also included as part of the course, meaning that support and encouragement is always only a click away. Head to our Online Courses page for more information.
How To Make Your Own Scrunchies.
First things first, gather your materials and tools. To make your own scrunchies, you will need:
How to make scrunchies, a step-by-step guide:
Firstly, you need to measure and cut your fabric to 22 inches x 3 1/2 inches. Next, measure your elastic out, you’ll need 9 inches.
Fold your fabric in half so that the underside of the fabric is facing you, then pin to hold it in place. On one end, fold the fabric back 1/2 inch and secure with a pin. Stitch the outer edges together with a 1/4 inch seam to create a tube.
Pop your safety pin in the edge that you folded over and use it to help you turn the fabric right side out by passing it through the tube and pulling it out at the other end.
Press the seam using an iron and then attach your safety pin to the end of your elastic. Use the safety pin to help you thread the elastic through the fabric tube, ensuring that on either side you can still hold the elastic.
Scrunch up your fabric and tighten the elastic slightly before tying off with a knot, alternatively you tighten your elastic slightly and then stitch the ends together. If you have chosen to tie a knot, rotate it so that it sits under the fabric.
Tuck the raw edge into the folded edge and then stitch down the join and you’re done!
Practise makes perfect!
If you’re very new to sewing, this project might take around half an hour to complete. Make sure you double check your measurements before cutting and don’t feel disheartened if you go wrong somewhere! Stitches can be removed using a seam ripper, so don’t give up if at first you don’t succeed. Once you’ve mastered the art of making scrunchies, you’ll be able to make them in just a few minutes. Homemade scrunchies are a great way to use up scrap fabrics (scrap fabric link again OR sew slow 2020 fashion post etc) that you may have lying around, they also make great gifts.
Let me know how you got on!
Sewists of all levels are invited to join my free online community of friendly, helpful people who love to sew.
Pop over to our Facebook group, Kernow Sewcial and introduce yourself - I would LOVE to see your take on this tutorial, so please post a picture and let us know how you got on!
Kernow Sewcial is also a great place to ask for advice, seek new patterns, and natter away with like-minded people. If this sounds like something you’d benefit from on your sewing journey, please head on over and introduce yourself.
After you’ve chosen the right sewing machine for you, you’ll need to start thinking about the type of fabrics you’re planning to use, which will then help you to figure out the type of needle that is best suited for your needs.
Your sewing machine will most likely have had an assorted pack of needles included in the box, however, if not, they’re commonly available in craft stores and online sites such as Amazon. Domestic sewing machine needles are standardised, so there’s generally no need to worry about whether or not the brand you’ve chosen will fit your machine.
If a needle is made for an industrial machine it will be listed for industrial machines and should be avoided.
JOIN MY FREE SEWING COMMUNITY OVER ON FACEBOOK!
Kernow Sewcial is a friendly Facebook Group filled with helpful members who are always on hand to support you and offer advice. Feel free to ask any questions, share your projects and celebrate your sewing accomplishments! Sewists of all levels are welcome, so pop over and introduce yourself.
To find out more about choosing the correct sewing machine needle for you, keep reading!
There’s nothing worse than pouring hours of labour into cutting, sewing, and lovingly creating yourself a new item of clothing, only to find that after all that...it doesn’t fit. It is an incredibly disheartening feeling and one that I hope to help you avoid by teaching you exactly how to measure your body for sewing patterns in this blog post.
What equipment do you need to measure yourself for sewing patterns?
However, it’s possible to do it yourself by using a full length mirror to check you’re measuring the fullest part of your body.
Tips and tricks to guarantee an accurate body measurement.
- Strip yourself of all bulky clothing. Ideally, you want to be wearing just your underwear. Measuring over clothes will add extra inches to your overall measurements and cause your finished garment to be baggy and ill fitting.
- Hold the tape snug, but not tight. The tape should go around your body without digging into your skin. You should be able to put a finger between the tape and your skin, but no more than that.
- Stand up straight and don’t breathe in.
- Don’t get caught up with the numbers - they’re there as simple tools to help you make the best garment possible. Two people can have the same measurements and will look completely different!
How to measure your body for sewing patterns
Waist:Your waist is the smallest part of your torso, where the body bends. Wrap the tape measure around yourself and have a little wiggle from side to side, this will help you find the ideal spot. Once again check that the tape measure stays flat and horizontal the entire way around your body.
Hips:Hip measurements are not necessarily taken where you’d think they ought to be. Most people assume that to measure this area you must measure where the bones of your hips are. However, this is often not the case. You need to measure the widest part of the area, and that often means measuring around your bottom. It helps to stand sideways in front of a mirror to make sure you’re measuring the widest part.
Additional body measurements you may wish to record
- Upper Bust: measure above the bust and just under your armpits.
- Upper Hip: measured around 2-3” below your waist. Used for trousers and skirts that are worn at waist height.
- Neck: measure around your neck above your collarbone. Useful for tops with collars, such as shirts and polo tops.
- Shoulders: measure from the point where your shoulder meets your neck, to the top edge of your shoulder. Often people have wider or more narrow shoulders than the measurements in your pattern allow for, so knowing this measurement is great if you want to ensure a better fit.
- Arm: measure the full length of your arm from the top edge of your shoulder, all the way to your wrist. Arm measurements are useful for sleeve and cuff alterations.
- Wrist: measure around your wrist to just above your hand. It’s useful to have someone else around to help you with this one as it’s quite tricky. Useful for making changes to sleeve hems and cuffs.
- Front bodice: measure from your clavicle to your waist, via the centre front of your body. Avoid your bust.
- Back bodice: measure from the nape of your neck to your waist down the centre back of your body.
- Waist to knee: measure from your natural waist to just above your knee, remembering to add on seam allowance for the hem. Useful for altering the length of shorts and skirts.
- Inside leg: measure from your crotch to your ankle and remember to include the measurements for a seam allowance.
- Waist to ankle: measure from your waist to your ankle, remember to add on measurements for your seam allowance.
What to do next?
Start To Stitch Freebies
Start to Stitch Courses
As your confidence grows and your love for sewing blossoms, you may wish to take your sewing to the next step. Here at Start To Stitch, we are proud to offer excellent valued courses for Beginners and Intermediate sewists. In each course, you’ll learn new techniques and troubleshoot common issues, as well as create wonderful handmade items. Both courses are held through a dedicated Facebook Group, with detailed video tutorials. Live video support and weekly tutoring calls are also included as part of the course, meaning that support and encouragement is always only a click away. Head to our Online Courses page for more information.
As well as hosting Beginner and Intermediate Sewing online courses, I also run workshops and evening courses. Feel free to view our course page if you’re interested in finding out more information on the type of tuition I can offer you. I’m experienced in teaching beginners everything they need to know about sewing, and often find that terminology queries arise on my social media channels, and the Kernow Sewcial Facebook Group.
Getting started with sewing is an exciting and rewarding experience, so let’s go through the A-Z of basic terminology you’re likely to come across as a beginner sewist.
Note: This glossary has been written for beginners!
Sewing a piece of fabric on top of another layer of fabric, so that they seamlessly look as one. The layer that you’re applying on top is sometimes folded slightly at the edges to create a clean look, or a satin stitch is used to completely cover the raw edge of the piece being appliqued.
Back-tack / back-stitch:
This stitch is used at the beginning and end of a sewing machine seam to anchor the thread in place. It refers to adding a couple of extra stitches backwards and forwards and can also be referred to as back tracking. Back-stitching can also refer to a type of embroidery stitch.
Baste or basting-stitch (also known as tacking):
Temporary stitching used to hold fabric in place; this is removed when your permanent sewing is done. Can be done by hand or sewing machine.
Diagonal cross-grain of the fabric at 45 degrees; the area of fabric that has the most stretch.
Narrow strips of fabric that are cut on the bias of the fabric at 45 degrees; the area of fabric that has the most stretch. This makes a tape that can be used to bind or face curved areas of your make.
A plastic or metal spool that you wind thread around. It goes into the bottom of your sewing machine to feed a line of thread beneath the needle and must be inserted and wound up properly.
A long, flat, needle-like tool with a blunt end that is used to thread elastic, ribbon and other materials through casing. We sell some lovely, handmade wooden bodkins in our Start To Stitch shop.
A small cut in the fabric that’s bound with small stitching. The hole is just big enough to allow a button to pass through it.
A folded over edge in a garment, usually around the waist. Used to enclose a way of adjusting the fit of the garment, such as using a draw string.
Precut 5″ squares pieces of fabric used for patchwork and other sewing projects.
Repair a hole in clothing without using a patch.
A hem that’s folded once to enclose the raw edge of the fabric, then folded again for the hem allowance.
Creating a sewing pattern based on body measurements.
A way of sewing a length of fabric into a bit of a smaller space without resulting in gathers or puckers.
Also – the amount of space in a garment to enable it to fit the body better.
Edging:Trims or decorative needlework that is used on the edge of the fabric.
A decorative item added to a craft project for aesthetic reasons; includes beads, buttons, patches etc.
Small holes are cut out in the fabric, then finished with an embellishment of thread around the opening.
The method of fastening two separate bits of fabric together, such as zippers or buttons.
A piece of fabric that is stitched to an opening such as a neckline, armhole or hem, on the inside of the garment. It stabilises this area and ensures a smooth fit and finish.
As the name suggests, a fat quarter is a quarter of a metre of fabric but instead of being a strip cut on a linear length, it is a square (and because its a US measurement for quilting measures 18×22. It’s often used for patchwork and other crafting projects. Here’s a YouTube explanation that delves into what a fat quarter is and how it’s measured.
Metal teeth like ridges that help to push the fabric along as you sew.
This refers to the fold in the centerfold or along the grain of your fabric. Many pattern pieces are placed on the fold line for cutting out.
The part of a sewing machine that controls the speed at which the needle enters the fabric, and therefore the speed at which you sew. It is controlled by your foot and usually attaches to the sewing machine via a cable.
A seam often used on delicate and sheer fabrics that helps to hide any raw edges in a neat double fold. Seam allowances are enclosed in this type of fold.
Running a thread along the fabric and then bunching the fabric up along the thread to create a ruffle a frill or the top of a puffed sleeve or gathered skirt at a waistband
Grain / Grain line :
The true grain runs parallel to the selvedge, and is visible in a woven fabric by looking closely at the threads - the warp threads denote the true grain. Pattern pieces are generally laid along the grain line, and this direction is shown on them by a double headed arrow
The cross grain can also be used in place of the true grain on some stable woven fabrics - this is found at 90 degrees to the selvedge and can be spotting by following the weft threads from side to side of the woven cloth.
Because some cloth is woven slightly wonky - it is always best as a beginner to focus on the true grain only to ensure your makes hang well and are as easy as possible to sew.
Finishing the last details of your garment or sewing project by hand, as opposed to using a sewing machine.
Hand wheel (also known as balance wheel):
Use the hand wheel on the edge of your sewing machine to adjust the height of your needle.
The edge of the garment or fabric project that is folded over and sown under in order to keep the raw edges from fraying and unravelling.
Interfacing is used to stabilise areas of a garment such as necklines, facings and zip insertions. It is a material used as a secondary layer of fabric in order and adds more stability and thickness to a garment. It can be stitched in, or ironed on ( fusible )
A hand stitch used to close a seam invisibly. Use commonly to close gaps after you have pulled an item through to the right side.
Layout or lay:
The optimal layout refers to laying the patterns on your fabric in a way that ensures you do not create too much waste fabric, remain on grain, and ensure that the decorative pattern or nap of your fabric is in the same direction on all of your cut pieces.
An inner layer of fabric underneath a top layer, often used in garment making to reduce friction ( to make things hang better ) and to hide all the inner workings of the make.
A dominant design element, usually ironed, embroidered or stitched on.
This term is used when dealing with fabrics that have a pile, such as velvet and corduroy. It’s important to cut these fabrics with the pile running in the same directions as the fabric’s hue changes depending on the way it is rubbed.
Small indents, usually diamonds or triangles, that are printed on the cutting line of a pattern, on the seam allowance. This indicates where the seams should meet, or another pattern piece should fit.
All the other items that you use while creating sewing projects - things along the lines of buttons, hooks, and elastic.
A specialised sewing machine that trims and neatens the edge of fabrics.
A weight that’s used to keep paper patterns in place, rather than using pins. Commonly used in combination with a rotary cutter and cutting mat
A decorative finish where a piece of cord is encased in a piece of bias binding and stitched into a seam so that on the wrapped cord is visible. Usually used on homesown items such as cushions, and also on garments.
To leave the needle in the fabric, raise the presser foot, and turn the fabric at a 45-degree angle. Then lower the presser foot and start sewing. Used to sew square seams.
Pleats are folds in fabric that add to fullness, and reduce a long width of fabric into a shorted length to attach to a waistband or sleeve head for example. There are different varieties of pleats, and these depend on the style and fitting of the garment you’re making.
Holds the fabric in place as you sew with your sewing machine.
The unfinished edge of fabric, after cutting before you have overlocked, or hemmed.
The right side of the fabric is usually the design side. There are instances of fabric with no right or wrong side visible, or you may choose to use the reverse of your fabric to face out on your garment and so the determination and appropriate markings are then made by the person doing the pattern cutting and sewing.
A tool used for cutting fabric quickly and easily. It can cut through several layers of fabric at once. It is a circular wheel / blade attached to handle which you roll along your fabric to slice through - you will always need a cutting mat to prevent damage to your table!
The amount of fabric which is between the edge and the seam. In older patterns this is ⅝ of an inch. More modern patterns tend to leave 1cm unless extra is required for fitting or french seams.
Where two pieces of fabric have been sown together.
A tool used to rip seams from the fabric and undo stitches previously made.
The finished edge on either side of your cut cloth
Keeps the spool of thread in place so the thread can be fed through your sewing machine.
Sewing a line of straight stitch along the curved areas of a cut pattern piece before assembling into a seam, in order to stabilise and prevent distortion.
The length of your machined stitches. In general, regular sewing is made with stitches that are about 3-4 mm and basting/gathering/bunching/sleeve easing stitches are about 5mm.
The width of your machined stitches. A regular straight stitch has no stitch width because the needle is in a stationary position and does not move from side to side.
When you make a zig-zag stitch, the needle moves left to right as well as up and down, and the width is the distance in mm of needle drops left to right. A good zig-zag stitch for stretch top stitching is 2.5mm length and 2.5mm width.
The stitch setting on your machine that looks like a straight line. The needle creates this by puncturing the fabric up and down on the same spot as the fabric is pushed through the machine by the feed dogs.
A sharp tool on the edge of your sewing machine for cutting excess thread.
Material, such as cotton or wool, that is used for filling items.
The threads that travel along the width of your fabric from selvedge to selvedge
The threads that travel along the length of your fabric, running parallel with the selvedge
The opposite side of the fabric to the side you have chosen to face out
The stitch setting on your machine that looks like a zig-zag line. The needle creates this by puncturing the fabric up as well as moving from left to right as the fabric is pushed through the machine by the feed dogs.
A zip is constructed from two tapes, usually attached at the bottom, each with a row of tiny ‘teeth’ that interlock when the tapes are pulled through a ‘pull’
Invisible zips are designed so that the seam covers up the teeth mechanism and the zipper can be concealed.
Open-ended zips still have the 2 parallel rows of teeth, however the ends are not joined. Instead they meet in a small box and pin mechanism, allowing you to separate two parts entirely - this is often found in jackets and coats.
Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!
Beginner Sewing Projects
Cloth Face Covering
Gifts For Men
My Me Made Wardrobe
Ready To Wear
Sewing For Men