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April Sew Along – Pattern A1 and A2 from Feminine Wardrobe – Part 2 of 2

April 24, 2014

And here is Part 2 of this month’s sew-along. Click here for Part 1  if you need to refer to it.

Just a quick note about the finishing of the hem (Step 7). Before you finish the hem, try on the dress first and see if you like the length. I found it too long (below the knee for me because I’m short), so I chopped a couple of inches off so that it was slightly above the knee. The book also called for blind stitching for the hem of the dress (A1), and a double fold hem for the tunic (A2). In any case, I would have used the machine for both patterns because I did not really like the idea of hand stitching all the way around. Anyway, my fabric was black so it was hardly noticeable.

I only finished the dress today so I couldn’t get a chance to take any proper pics before it got too dark. My 9 year old took these for me! Tip : if you have short legs like me, get a child to take your photos, her photos were taken from a lower perspective which made my legs look much longer ;P

I will try to take more photos tomorrow morning when there is more light, using other belts (which was my original intention) and also to see what it would look like in the giant bow-tie tunic (Pattern A2) style.

Alinesleevelessdress

For those of you who don’t have this book but would like to get the pattern and sew along later on, here’s the link to buy the book from Amazon.

Happy Sewing! And let me know if you have any questions by leaving your comments below.

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April Sew Along – Pattern A1 and A2 from Feminine Wardrobe – Part 1 of 2

April 21, 2014

This month’s sew-along, as decided by your votes, is this Sleeveless Dress with Bow Sash from the book Feminine Wardrobe (translated to English).  Those of you who took part in the poll early this month will know that it was a very close fight between this and a the Button up blouse from Stylish Dress Book. But there has to be a winner, so this is what we will sew today!

aprsewalong (2)

The dress we are sewing is Pattern A1 of Feminine Wardrobe. The good news is that there are 3 variations of this pattern A.
Pattern A1 – Sleeveless dress with bow sash
Pattern A2 – Giant Bow-Tie Tunic (see pics below)
Pattern A3 – Ruffle Shoulder Dress

femininewardrobe 13

femininewardrobe 12

Patterns A1 and A2 are long and short versions of the same pattern, whereas A3 incorporates ruffles into the vertical seams. The steps for A1 and A2 are identical, and for A3 the only slight variation in steps are the insertion of the ruffles. So basically this one sewing video tutorial can help all those of you who are sewing one of these 3 patterns.

To kick off the sew-along, here are the list of materials you would need

Pattern A1
XS/S sizes – 1.1m wide x 3.5m long.
M/L sizes – 1.1m wide x 3.7m long.

I only purchased 3m, as I decided I was going to make the ribbon in another fabric, or even do without the ribbon and use a belt instead. I am only 3/4 of my way through making the dress so there are no completed photos of it yet. I will post photos when I’m done.

For Pattern A2 you will need less fabric since it is shorter –
XS/S – 1.08m x 2.6m
M/L – 1.08m x 2.7m

(The difference in fabric width is due to the type of fabric used. Pattern A2 used a silk seersucker in the book, while A1 used a printed cotton lawn)

The sew-along videos will be posted in 2 separate parts.

Today 21st April – Part 1 – Steps 1-4
Thursday 24th April – Part 2 – Steps 5-9

Here’s the video for today. Do watch out for Part 2 that will be posted this Thursday.

For those of you who don’t have this book but would like to get the pattern and sew along later on, here’s the link to buy the book from Amazon.

 

Happy Sewing! And let me know if you have any questions by leaving your comments below.

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Simple wallet sewing video tutorial with free pattern – Sew-along Day #2

February 19, 2014

Welcome to Day#2 of our sewing video tutorial. Do you have all your materials ready? Let’s start!

To begin with, please refer to the layout diagram below, for the positioning of the different parts of the wallet. You will need to mark the position of the velcro strips on the outer and inner fabrics. Note the orientation of the inner (on top) and outer fabric (below). This is because the two pieces will be sewn with their wrong sides facing.

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Layout and positioning of pockets and velcro. Click on image to zoom in.

How to make

Preparation
– Apply fusible interfacing (if you are not using laminates or thick fabrics)

  1. Make coin compartment – Sew front piece of coin compartment to the bottom edge of the zip. Sew backing piece for coin compartment to the top edge of the zip. Open up the two fabric pieces so that right sides are facing up. Topstitch the fabric onto the zip. Foldover the backing piece so that the short edges are aligned. Set aside.
  2. Make ID holder – Clip the two strips of bias in place to the longer sides of the plastic sheet. Sew down one side, with the bias sandwiching the plastic sheet. Set aside.
  3. Assembling the inner fabric piece. Place coin compartment, right sides aligned (as referred to in top diagram), clip in place. Baste the coin compartment to the inner fabric on the right and left sides, with a 0.5cm seam allowance. Next, place the plastic sheet 1cm away from the coin compartment, clip in place to the inner fabric. Sew the other side of the bias (the side that has not been sewn) so that the bias sandwiching the plastic sheet is sewn down to the inner fabric all in one stitch.
  4. Position Velcro pieces – using the layout diagram above, mark with a washable fabric marker/chalk, the velcro hook and loop tape positions  respectively on the outer and inner fabric pieces. Sew the velcro pieces on.
  5. Attach labels (optional step)
  6. Finish top edge of inner fabric – using the cotton twill tape, cover the edge of the inner fabric and sew down with a 0.7-0.8cm seam allowance.
  7. Assembling the wallet – Place outer fabric with right sides facing down (note orientation of velcro), place billfold lining fabric on top (wrong sides of fabric facing each other), and stack the inner fabric with the sewn on ID holder and coin compartment on top of it. Align the bottom edge of all pieces (the bottom edge is the one nearest to you).
  8. Important! Check the position of the velcro strips. Now fold up the wallet to check the orientation of the velcro. If it is correct, sew a 0.5cm seam allowance basting stitch around all 4 sides to hold all the layers in place.
  9. Finish – Using the cotton twill tape, sew all around the raw edges of the wallet, making sure to sew through all the layers.

I feel a headache reading what I just wrote 😛 It’s hard to imagine orientation and right sides and wrong sides without actually seeing it! So please watch the video, it will make things so much clearer. If you have a fast internet connection, watch in HD!

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy sewing video tutorial. Even if you did not sew along, bookmark the page for you might want to make this one day. Happy sewing and stay tuned for my next sewing video tutorial next month. I will be sewing using a pattern from one of my Japanese sewing books!

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Simple wallet sewing video tutorial with free pattern – Sew-along Day #1

February 17, 2014

This month’s sew-along, or rather, sewing tutorial, is a simple wallet that I made for my girl to carry to school. As she is only in primary school, she only needs to carry some loose change, a couple of bills occasionally, as well as a single student ID card.  So this is a very simple, minimalistic wallet, which I thought will be great for traveling as well.  There is one zipped coin compartment, one ID card holder, as well as an additional card slot (behind the coin compartment). Both card slots are sized to fit a standard credit card size, but in actual fact there’s enough room for a few cards in both slots.

wallet

I am using naniIRO’s Field STAR Hooray_やっほー  laminated cotton. Isn’t it lovely? I bought it last June during my trip to the nani IRO atelier. I wasn’t looking for laminates in particular but there it was, standing against the wall in the corner, calling out my name ;P  I have been keeping it aside to make a bag of my own, but since it was so precious I was always afraid of sewing with it and possibly ruining it! This is a small little project which only requires a little bit of fabric so I mustered up the courage to cut! and I’m so glad I did. 🙂

walletdiagram

It is really a very simple wallet and quick to sew, so there will only be two posts on this sew-along. Today is all about the materials, and I will post the pattern, or rather, the layout diagram, sewing video and how-to-make on Wednesday. This is so that you can have some time to get your materials ready. Please read my notes below with regards to the materials. Making a wallet usually requires interfacing but due to my choices of fabric I did not have to use any. So do prepare some medium/heavy weight interfacing to give your wallet some structure if you are using light/medium weight fabrics.

Materials

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materials_2

materials_3

About the materials

Outer fabric
I am using laminated cotton fabric, which is great because it can stand up to dirt and stains. It is also quite stiff and sturdy thanks to the laminated layer. If you are using normal cotton fabric, you can use normal fabric reinforced with medium-heavy weight fusible interfacing. There are also iron on vinyls like those from Heat ‘n’ Bond if you have a favorite print you want to use that does not come in laminate options.

Billfold lining
I used an upholstery weight fabric (for cushions and curtains) for this, so I didn’t need to add interfacing. If your fabric is light weight or medium weight it will be a good idea to reinforce this layer with interfacing.

Plastic Sheet
The plastic sheet was actually salvaged from the plastic cover of an old diary. It is slightly frosted which is great because I find that glossy plastic tends to be sticky and sometimes printed cards will get stuck and leave marks on the plastic piece as well. Look around you for something you can recycle, like an old clear plastic file or old book covers. You can even use vinyl sheets (available in some fabric stores), although I must say that cards tend to stick to vinyl.

Cotton Twill Tape
These tapes come in both polyester and cotton options. Both are fine, but try to get one that is not so thick. I found mine a little too thick for my machine to handle, especially around the folds and overlapping bits, I had to manually maneuver my stitches over the thick areas.

Zip
In the list of materials I mentioned a 12cm zip. I chose a metal zip that was slightly longer because the metal zip stoppers on both ends would have made it difficult for me to sew the twill tape over. So I chose to use a slightly longer zip and cut off the excess.

Ok, time to go shopping for your materials! If you have them ready, move on to the next post for the tutorial – Simple wallet sewing video tutorial with free pattern –  Sew-along Day #2

 

 

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Girls Qi Pao / Chinese Dress sew-along Pattern variation

January 31, 2014

I have been seeing lots of YOUR creations on my Facebook page and I can tell you it’s been wonderful seeing them.  Now it’s my turn to show you mine. First of all, I said I was going to sew on Chinese brocade, and I did. I made one dress but I was not happy with it. Firstly, it was hard to sew with, even though I made sure I used the correct needle. The fabric is polyester and frays like crazy, and the binding didn’t catch properly at certain points. Which is probably the reason why they use such thick binding/piping in the mass produced ones. The fabric also puckered along straight seams and I just didn’t have time or patience to try it out on dress number two. So I fell back on my favourite fabric, the same that I made the first dress from. But this time I made a variation to the pattern. I chopped off the pattern at the waistline, and added a flare skirt.

qipao2

Instead of a front opening, I decided to sew the front panels fixed in place, and used a concealed/invisible zip on the back.

qipao1

I stitched in the ditch at the edge of the bias and the fabric, to secure the front panel in place.

qipao3

This is what it looks like from the inside, the inner flap doesn’t have to be so wide/deep now that it is going to be stitched in place, but I was too lazy to cut it off after sewing.

qipao4

 

To make this variation, following the following steps.

  1. For the back pattern piece, instead of cutting on fold, I added a one cm seam allowance to the centre back line. This gave me the extra allowance to fit a zip in. I then measured the waist position on my daughter using the back neck point as a reference, and marked it on the back bodice piece. Remember to add one cm seal allowance to the waist line for attaching the skirt.
  2. For the front bodice, just match the waistline mark with the back piece, making sure the pattern is aligned at the underarm seams.
  3. Cut out the pieces and sew the top bodice as usual.
  4. Combine the two front pieces by laying flat and sewing the top outer flap onto the inner flap, following the curved edge of the bias. Stitch in the ditch.
  5. Measure the width of the front bodice where you cut off at the waist, mine was forty cm. Multiply that figure by two, and cut out a piece of fabric in that width. For the length of the skirt, it is up to you. Mine was eighty cm wide by fifty cm long.
  6. Do the same for the back bodice to determine the width of the back skirt panels.
  7. Sew the side seams of the skirt, make gathers and attach to top bodice.
  8. Attach the concealed/zipper starting from the back neck point down past the waist line, stopping approximately ten cm below the waistline. The actual end point is up to you since it depends on what size you are making.
  9. Finish up the back seam and hem, sew on decorative buttons. And you are done.

P.S. Note how I had to spell out all the dimensions? The entire row of numbers on my mac keyboard is not working. :/

Anyway, here are some pictures of my brocade version if you are interested. It still looks pretty good in pictures… lol…

qipao5

qipao6

qipao7

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Off to go visiting today. Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who are celebrating it. Have a good weekend 😀