Everything you need to know as easy as 1, 2, 3
Create your own
Patter n s
& m o re
Master all the stitches to start on your very first project
CONTENTS Introduction Sewing equipment
Waistline, belts, and tie-backs 150
Stitch essentials Fabrics
Facings and necklines
Patterns Stitch essentials
Techniques and finishes Patterns
Sleeves and sleeve finishes
Gathers, ruffles, tucks, darts, and pleats
Hems and edges
Sewing machine Sewing machine
A sewing machine will quickly speed up any job, whether it be a quick repair or A sewing machine willproject. quicklyMost speedsewing up anymachines job, whether be aaided quickbyrepair or a huge home-sewing todayit are computer atechnology, huge home-sewing project.stitch Mostquality sewingand machines are aided by computer which enhances ease oftoday use. Always spend time technology, which enhances stitch quality and ease of use. Always spend trying out a sewing machine before you buy, to really get a feel for it. time trying out a sewing machine before you buy, to really get a feel for it.
Threading guides Markings toguides help guide you Threading in threading the Markings to helpmachine. guide you in threading the machine. Tension dial To controldial the stitch tension on the Tension upper thread, how fast the To control the i.e. stitch tension onthread the feeds through the sewing machine. upper thread, i.e. how fast the thread feeds through the sewing machine. Automatic needle threader A pull-downneedle gadget threader to aid threading Automatic thepull-down machine needle. A gadget to aid threading the machine needle. Buttonhole sensor A pull-down sensor sensor that automatically Buttonhole judges the size of thethat buttonhole A pull-down sensor automatically requiredthe tosize fit the chosen. judges of button the buttonhole required to fit the button chosen. Needle The machine needle. Replace it regularly Needle to ensure good stitch Replace quality. See page 26. The machine needle. it regularly to ensure good stitch quality. See page 26. Presser foot To hold the fabric in place while Presser foot stitching. Various can be used here To hold the fabric feet in place while to aid different sewing processes. stitching. Various feet can be used here Seeaid pages 26â€“27. to different sewing processes. See pages 26â€“27. Removable free arm This section of thearm machine will pull Removable free awaysection to giveofa narrow workwill bedpull that This the machine can betoused inserting away givewhen a narrow worksleeves. bed thatIt also be contains a useful storagesleeves. section. can used when inserting It also contains a useful storage section.
24 24 24
Shank To hold the Shank various To hold feet the in place.feet various Dog feeds Thesefeeds metal teeth grip Dog the fabric andteeth feedgrip it These metal through machine. the fabricthe and feed it through the machine.
in place. Needle plate A transparent Needle plate removable cover reveals the bobbin. This plate A transparent removable cover is gridded help stitch reveals thetobobbin. This seams plate of gridded various to widths. is help stitch seams of various widths.
Sewing equipment Sewing equipment 13/08/10 2:32 PM
Speed control A slide,control to control the Speed speed machine. A slide,oftoyour control the
Spool holder To holdholder your sewing Spool thread place. To holdinyour sewing
speed of your machine.
thread in place.
Bobbin winder Winds thread from the spool on to Bobbinthe winder the bobbin, keeping it under tension. Winds the thread from the spool on to See bobbin, page 26.keeping it under tension. the See page 26.
Balance wheel This can be turned towards you to move Balance wheel the needle up or down manually. This can be turned towards you to move the needle up or down manually. LCD screen An LCDilluminated screen screen that indicates which stitch you are using. An illuminated screen that indicates which stitch you are using.
Buttons To provide various Buttons functions, as To provide such various reverse, locking functions, such as stitch, and needle-in. reverse, locking stitch, and needle-in.
Touch buttons Use these to change the type of stitch you Touch buttons are using and to increase and of decrease size Use these to change the type stitch you and using widthand of stitch. are to increase and decrease size and width of stitch.
Touch buttons These quickly select the most popular Touch buttons stitchesquickly such as zigzag buttonhole. These select theand most popular stitches such as zigzag and buttonhole.
Stitch library All the library different stitches this Stitch machine can stitch. You this just All the different stitches have to key the number. machine caninstitch. You just have to key in the number.
Sewing machine Sewing machine 020-021_Threads.indd 21
Dupion, HanD-woven The most HanD-woven popular of all the silks. Dupion, A distinctive weft yarn many The most popular of allwith the silks. nubbly bits. Available in hundreds A distinctive weft yarn with many of colours. to handle, but it nubbly bits.Easy Available in hundreds does fray badly. of colours. Easy to handle, but it Cutting use a nap layout as does frayout: badly. the fabricout: shadows Cutting use a nap layout as Seams: neatened with the fabricplain, shadows overlocker or zigzag stitch Seams: plain, neatened with
thread: polyester all-purpose thread thread: polyester needle: machine all-purpose threadsize 12; milliner’s for hand size sewing needle: machine 12; pressing: steam iron on a wool milliner’s for hand sewing setting, with a pressing to pressing: steam iron oncloth a wool avoid water-marking setting, with a pressing cloth to use for: dresses, special-occasion avoid water-marking wear, jackets, softspecial-occasion furnishings use for: dresses, wear, jackets, soft furnishings
overlocker or zigzag stitch
GeorGette A soft, filmy silk fabric that has GeorGette aA slight transparency. soft, filmy silk fabricDoes that not has crease easily. a slight transparency. Does not Cutting out: place tissue paper crease easily. under theout: fabric andtissue pin fabric Cutting place paperto tissue, cutting through all layers under the fabric and pin fabric to if necessary; extra-fine pins tissue, cuttinguse through all layers Seams: French if necessary; use extra-fine pins
thread: polyester all-purpose thread thread: polyester needle: machine all-purpose threadsize 11; milliner’s for hand size sewing needle: machine 11; pressing:for dryhand ironsewing on a wool milliner’s setting (fabric pressing: dry can ironbe ondamaged a wool by steam) setting (fabric can be damaged use for: special-occasion wear, by steam) loose-fitting overshirts wear, use for: special-occasion
Habutai Originally Habutaifrom Japan, a smooth, fine silk that canJapan, have aa plain or Originally from smooth, afine twill weave. Fabric is often used silk that can have a plain or silkweave. painting. afortwill Fabric is often used Cutting out: a nap layout is for silk painting. not required Cutting out: a nap layout is Seams: French not required
thread: polyester all-purpose thread thread: polyester needle: machine all-purpose threadsize 9/11; very fine milliner’s or betweens needle: machine size 9/11; for hand very fine sewing milliner’s or betweens pressing: steam iron on for hand sewing apressing: wool setting steam iron on use for:setting lining, shirts, blouses a wool
use for: lining, shirts, blouses
Matka A silk suiting fabric with an Matka uneven-looking yarn. Matka A silk suiting fabric with an can be mistaken for linen. uneven-looking yarn. Matka Cutting out: usefor a nap layout can be mistaken linen. as silk may shadow Cutting out: use a nap layout Seams: plain, neatened with as silk may shadow overlocker or zigzag stitch or Seams: plain, neatened with Hong Kong finish overlocker or zigzag stitch or thread: polyester Hong Kong finish all-purpose thread thread: polyester
needle: machine size 12/14; milliner’s for hand size sewing needle: machine 12/14; pressing: steam on a wool milliner’s for handiron sewing setting withsteam a pressing pressing: iron oncloth; a wool a seam with roll isa recommended setting pressing cloth; to prevent seams from a seam rollthe is recommended showing through to prevent the seams from use for: through dresses, jackets, trousers showing use for: dresses, jackets, trousers
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Fabrics Fabrics 13/08/10 12:55 PM
Organza A sheer fabric with Organza aA crisp sheerappearance fabric with that will crease easily. that a crisp appearance Cutting out: a nap layout is will crease easily. not required Cutting out: a nap layout is Seams: French or a seam for not required a difficultFrench fabric or a seam for Seams: Thread: a difficultpolyester fabric all-purpose thread Thread: polyester
needle: machine size 11; milliner’s or betweens for needle: machine size 11; hand sewing milliner’s or betweens for Pressing: steam iron on a wool hand sewing setting; a pressing cloth Pressing: steam iron onshould a wool not be required setting; a pressing cloth should Use for: sheer blouses, shrugs, not be required interlining, interfacing Use for: sheer blouses, shrugs, interlining, interfacing
SaTin A silk with a satin weave that SaTin can veryalight quite that heavy A silkbewith satintoweave in weight. can be very light to quite heavy Cutting in weight.out: use a nap layout in out: a single Cutting uselayer a napas fabric is slippy layout in a single layer as Seams: French; on fabric is slippy thicker satins, a seam Seams: French; on for athicker difficult fabric satins, a seam for Thread: a difficultpolyester fabric all-purpose thread (not silk thread as it Thread: polyester all-purpose becomes weak with wear) thread (not silk thread as it
needle: machine size 11/12; milliner’s or betweens for needle: machine size 11/12; hand sewing milliner’s or betweens for Pressing: steam iron on a wool hand sewing setting, with a pressing as Pressing: steam iron oncloth a wool fabric water-mark setting,may with a pressing cloth as Use blouses, dresses, fabricfor: may water-mark special-occasion Use for: blouses,wear dresses, special-occasion wear
becomes weak with wear) Silk and WOOl Mix A fabric made by mixing Silk and WOOl Mix wool and silk fibresmade or wool and silkwool yarns. A fabric by mixing and The fabric made may be fine in silk fibres or wool and silk yarns. quality or thick, coating. The fabric made like maya be fine in Cutting uselike a nap layout quality orout: thick, a coating. Seams: neatened with Cutting plain, out: use a nap layout overlocker or zigzag stitch Seams: plain, neatened with Thread: overlockerpolyester or zigzag stitch all-purpose thread Thread: polyester
needle: machine size 11/14, depending on fabric; needle: machine sizesharps 11/14, for hand sewing depending on fabric; sharps Pressing: steam iron on a wool for hand sewing setting; seams williron require Pressing: steam on a some wool steam make will them lie flatsome setting;toseams require Use for: steam to suits, make skirts, them lie flat trousers, coats skirts, Use for: suits, trousers, coats
TaffeTa A smooth, plain-weave fabric TaffeTa with a crispplain-weave appearance.fabric It makes A smooth, awith rustling sound when worn. Can a crisp appearance. It makes require special and does a rustling soundhandling when worn. Can not wearspecial well. handling and does require Cutting not wear out: well.use a nap layout, with extra-fine pinsa nap in seams as Cutting out: use layout, they will mark the fabric with extra-fine pins in seams as Seams: may pucker, they will plain; mark fabric the fabric so sew from hemmay upwards, Seams: plain;the fabric pucker, keeping the fabric taut under the so sew from the hem upwards, machine; neaten keeping the fabricwith tautoverlocker under the or pinkingneaten shearswith overlocker machine;
Thread: polyester all-purpose thread Thread: polyester needle: machine all-purpose threadsize 11; milliner’s or betweens for hand needle: machine size sewing 11; milliner’s Pressing: cool a seam or betweens foriron, handwith sewing roll under the Pressing: coolseams iron, with a seam Use for: special-occasion wear roll under the seams Use for: special-occasion wear
or pinking shears
Silk fabrics Silk fabrics 038-039_silk_fabrics.indd 39
Hand stitches Hand stitches
There are a number of hand stitches that can be used during construction of a garment or other item. Some are for decorative purposes whilestitches others that are more There are a number of hand can befunctional. used during construction of a garment or other item. Some are for decorative purposes while others are more functional. back stitch running stitch back stitch running stitch
A strong stitch that could be used to construct a piece of work. Work from rightthat to left. Bring the needle up, leaving a space, A strong stitch could be used to construct a piece of work. and then take thetothread back the to the end up, of the last stitch. Work from right left. Bring needle leaving a space,
Very similar to tacking (see page 49), but used more for decorative Work Run the for needle Very similarpurposes. to tacking (seefrom pageright 49), to butleft. used more in and out of the fabric to create even to stitches and the spaces. decorative purposes. Work from right left. Run needle
and then take the thread back to the end of the last stitch.
in and out of the fabric to create even stitches and spaces.
whip stitch whip stitch
buttonhole stitch buttonhole stitch
A diagonal stitch sewn with a single thread along a raw edge to diagonal prevent fraying. Workwith from right to left. Take through A stitch sewn a single thread alonga astitch raw edge theprevent edge offraying. the fabric. Thefrom depth of to theleft. stitch depends the to Work right Take a stitchonthrough thickness ofthe thefabric. fabric The â€“ fordepth a thinoffabric take adepends shallowon stitch. the edge of the stitch the
Used to make hand-worked buttonholes and also to Used to make hand-worked secure fastenings. is always buttonholes andIt also to stitchedfastenings. on an edgeIt with no secure is always spaces between the stitches. stitched on an edge with no Work from right the to left. Push spaces between stitches. the needle top Push edge Work fromfrom right the to left. intoneedle the fabric. the from the top edge
1 1 thickness of the fabric â€“ for a thin fabric take a shallow stitch.
into the fabric.
difficult to master.
50 50 50
Wrap the thread behind the needle as the behind needle Wrap the thread goesthe in and again as the needle needle as the needle leavesinthe through goes andfabric. againPull as the needle and a knot will appear at the leaves the fabric. Pull through edge.a knot This iswill anappear essential and at stitch the for all This sewers and is not stitch edge. is an essential difficult to master. for all sewers and is not
Stitch essentials Stitch essentials 13/08/10 2:40 PM
Herringbone stitcH Herringbone stitcH
Flat Fell stitcH Flat Fell stitcH
A very useful stitch as it is secure yet has some movement in it. very It is used secureashems and interlinings. Work from leftinto A usefultostitch it is secure yet has some movement right. Take a small horizontal stitch into one layer and it. It is used to secure hems and interlinings. Work fromthen leftthe to other, Take so thea thread crosses itself. right. small horizontal stitch into one layer and then the
A strong, secure stitch to hold two layers permanently together. This stitch is often used to secure and linings. together. Work from A strong, secure stitch to holdbias twobindings layers permanently This right to left. Make a short, straight stitch at the edge of the fabric. stitch is often used to secure bias bindings and linings. Work from right to left. Make a short, straight stitch at the edge of the fabric.
other, so the thread crosses itself.
slip Hem stitcH slip Hem stitcH
blind Hem stitcH blind Hem stitcH
Also called a catch stitch, this is used primarily for securing hems. It looks similar to herringbone Work from right to left. Also called a catch stitch, this is(above). used primarily for securing hems. Take a short horizontal stitch into one layer then thetoother. It looks similar to herringbone (above). Workand from right left.
As the name suggests this is for hemming a garment. As the stitch is under the edge of thethis fabric should be adiscreet. Work from As the name suggests is forit hemming garment. As the stitch right to left slipfabric hem itstitch (left). is under theand edgeuse of athe should be discreet. Work from
Take a short horizontal stitch into one layer and then the other.
right to left and use a slip hem stitch (left).
blanket stitcH blanket stitcH
cross stitcH cross stitcH
Similar to buttonhole stitch but without the knot. Blanket stitch is useful totoneaten edgesstitch and for purposes. Alwaysstitch leaveis Similar buttonhole butdecorative without the knot. Blanket a spacetobetween the stitches. the needle into the fabricleave and, useful neaten edges and forPush decorative purposes. Always it appears at the wrapPush the thread under thethe needle. aasspace between theedge, stitches. the needle into fabric and,
A temporary securing stitch used to hold pleats in place after construction. It can also be used linings. a row A temporary securing stitch usedtotosecure hold pleats in Work place after of even diagonal stitches in used one direction then Work a row aback construction. It can also be to secureand linings. row over them to make crosses. of even diagonal stitches in one direction and then a row back
as it appears at the edge, wrap the thread under the needle.
over them to make crosses.
Stitches for hand sewing Stitches for hand sewing 048-049_stiche_hand_sew.indd 49
Double piping Double piping
1 1 2 2
Different thicknesses of piping cord can be used for this. Make up single piping. Different thicknesses of piping cord can be used for this. Make up single piping.
Cut another bias strip, in a contrasting colour if youbias like.strip, in a contrasting Cut another colour if you like.
Join the bias strip to the single piping, stitching nextstrip to the Join the bias to piping. the single piping, stitching next to the piping.
Place a second piping cord to the wrongaside of the contrast Place second piping cordstrip. to the wrong side of the contrast strip.
Wrap the contrast strip around the cord Wrapand the stitch. contrast strip around the
Attach to the edge of the work as for single piping. side Attach to the edgeOnofthe theright work as, therefor is single a double row On of piping at side the ,edge. piping. the right there is a double row of piping at the edge.
cord and stitch.
gathereD piping gathereD piping
This is a great technique to try on cushions. Cut a bias strip 5cm (2in) wide. Stitch the bias loosely around atopiece piping cord. the cord the wide. bias atStitch one end. This strip is a great technique try onofcushions. Cut Secure a bias strip 5cmto(2in) the bias strip loosely around a piece of piping cord. Secure the cord to the bias at one end.
Seam allowance Seam allowance
Push the bias along the cord to gather. Push the bias along the cord to gather.
116 116 92
Machine the gathers in place. Secure the gathers both ends of theSecure cord. Machine theatgathers in place. the gathers at both ends of the cord.
Attach to the edge of the work as for single piping. Attach to the edge of the work as for single piping.
Hems and edges Hems and edges 21/05/2013 14:47
Applying other trimmings Applying other trimmings
There are many kinds of trimmings – ribbons, braids, beads, feathers, sequins, fringes, and so on – that can be applied to a fabric edge.kinds If a trim is made on– aribbons, narrow braids, ribbon beads, or braidfeathers, it can often be inserted seam construction. There are many of trimmings sequins, fringes,into andaso on –during that can be applied Other trims are attached after the garment or item has been completed. to a fabric edge. If a trim is made on a narrow ribbon or braid it can often be inserted into a seam during construction. Other trims are attached after the garment or item has been completed. InsertIng a trIm In a seam InsertIng a trIm In a seam
Place the trim to the right side of one piece of beaded Place thefabric, trim towith the the right side oforone other decorative edge pointing awayorfrom piece of fabric, with the beaded the raw edge. The edge of the trim other decorative edge pointing awayshould from ⁄8in) stitching line.should be on 1.5cm the rawtheedge. The(5edge of the trim Tack place. be oninthe 1.5cm (5⁄8in) stitching line. Tack in place.
Machine along the trim using the zip foot. along the trim using the Machine zip foot.
attachIng a trIm to an eDge attachIng a trIm to an eDge
Place the other piece of fabric to the first right sideoftofabric righttoside. Place theone, other piece Machine again to join them. the first one, right side to right side. Machine again to join them.
Turn to the right side. Press carefully. The trim should Turn to the right hang side. free. Press carefully. The trim should hang free.
hanD stItchIng a trIm hanD stItchIng a trIm
Pin the trim in position along Pin the trim in the position finished along edge of the work.edge Be the finished sure trim Be is of thethe work. aligned theisedge. sure thetotrim Tack in place. aligned to the edge. Tack in place.
Using the zip foot, machine Using the zip in place to the foot,close machine upper in placeedge, closeleaving to the the lower edge of upper edge, leaving trim free. the lower edge of
Delicate trims are best hand stitched in place because machining the trim trims may damage Place the trim position and machining carefully Delicate are bestit.hand stitched in in place because stitch down a flatit.fellPlace stitch. the trim maywith damage the trim in position and carefully
the trim free.
stitch down with a flat fell stitch.
Hems and edges Hems and edges 106-107_Hems_Edges.indd 107
117 117 93
Flat sleeve construction Flat sleeve construction
On shirts and children’s clothes, sleeves are inserted flat prior to the side seams being constructed. This technique can be difficult on children’s some fabrics, suchsleeves as those woven, because noside easeseams stitches are constructed. used. On shirts and clothes, arefirmly inserted flat prior to the being This technique can be difficult on some fabrics, such as those firmly woven, because no ease stitches are used.
The shoulder seam on the garment should be stitched and pressed open.seam Placeon thethe sleeve to the armhole of the garment, The shoulder garment should be stitched and rightpressed side toopen. right side. Place the sleeve to the armhole of the garment, right side to right side.
Match the notches and pin. Match the notches
6 6 8 8
Press the sleeve seam towards sleeve. Press thethe sleeve seam
Stitch the sleeve to the armhole at ⁄8in) seam allowance. a 1.5cm Stitch the(5sleeve to the armhole at a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance.
towards the sleeve. Stitch together with a 1.5cm allowance. (5⁄8in) seam Stitch together with a 1.5cm
Fold the garment and sleeve right side Fold the garment to right Match and side. sleeve right the side underarm seams. to right side. Match the underarm seams.
(5⁄8in) seam allowance.
192 192 148
Stitch again between the stitching linebetween and the the raw edge. Stitch again
Press the seam open, then turn the sleeve through the armhole, out. Press the right seamside open, then turn the sleeve through the
stitching line and the raw edge.
Neaten the seam. Neaten the seam.
armhole, right side out.
Sleeves and sleeve finishes Sleeves and sleeve finishes 08/09/10 5:32 PM
Puff sleeve Puff sleeve
A sleeve that has a gathered sleeve head is referred to as a puff sleeve or gathered sleeve. It is one of the easiest sleeves to sleeve insert that because gatherssleeve take up anyisspare fabric. A has athe gathered head referred to as a puff sleeve or gathered sleeve. It is one of the easiest sleeves to insert because the gathers take up any spare fabric.
Machine stitch the sleeve, right side to 5 ⁄8in) side seamto right side,stitch usingthe a 1.5cm Machine sleeve, (right 5 allowance. Press the seam open. right side, using a 1.5cm ( ⁄8in) seam
Place the sleevethe into the Place armhole, right sleeve intoside the to right side. armhole, right side
allowance. Press the seam open.
Match the notchesthe and the Match underarm seams. notches and the underarm seams.
to right side.
Between the sleeve notches, insert two rows of gather stitches, one row at two Between the sleeve notches, insert the raw edge and the 1cmrows (3⁄8in)offrom gather stitches, one row at second at 1.2cm (1⁄2in). in) from the raw edge and the 1cm (3⁄8row
second row at 1.2cm (1⁄2in).
Stitch around the sleeve around seam again Stitch the between theseam seamagain sleeve stitching the and seam the between raw edge.and the stitching raw edge.
Pull up the gathers to make Pull up the the sleeve head fit gathers to make armhole. the sleeve head fit
9 9 10 10
Trim away the surplus fabricaway by 5mm (3⁄16in). Trim the surplus fabric by 5mm (3⁄16in). Neaten the seam.
Pin from the sleeve side. Pin from the sleeve side.
Working with the sleeve uppermost, machine the to theuppermost, armhole. Working withsleeve the sleeve seam allowance. Use machine a 1.5cm the (5⁄8in) sleeve to the armhole. Overlap the machining at allowance. the underarm. Use a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam Overlap the machining at the underarm.
Turn right side out – all the gathers will be at the top of theright sleeve. Turn side out – all the gathers will be at the top of the sleeve.
Neaten the seam.
Sleeves Sleeves 190-191_sleeves.indd 191
193 193 149
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