Antique stores, thrift stores, garage sales, and grandma’s attic often have a treasure trove of old textiles that may include linens, tapestries, handmade quilts, or needlework projects. You may also come across christening gowns, wedding gowns, and other cherished garments from days gone by. These items are wonderful to look at and fun to consider […]
We see them everywhere—from hoodies to waistlines, necklines to sleeves. What are they? The humble drawstrings. A simple, but oh-so-functional, fashion touch that we sometimes take for granted, but there’s a lot to be said about drawstrings. These handy pull-strings can be made from fabric, cord, flat trim, braid, ribbon, twill tape, thin rope, bias […]
What is it about beads that make these shiny objects so alluring? Take one bead by itself and nothing much happens; group several together and you’ve instantly created an eye-popping sensation. Bead embellishment has been around for hundreds of years, appearing in everything from ethnic costumes to haute couture. In fact, beading has become so […]
Sometimes things normally found in our sewing rooms end up with surprise uses. Such is the case for zippers! With the myriad types of zippers available, they can definitely do more than close a garment. Think about them turning into jewelry or becoming piping or a surface trim. When grouped, they can also cover an […]
Even though it may seem inconvenient and a waste of time, preparing your fabric before sewing ensures that your finished garment will look, hang, and wear well. Laundering: Many fabrics will shrink or pucker along the seams the first time they’re laundered, so it’s a good idea to wash or dry-clean it before you cut […]
Perhaps you remember that challenging childhood game of pick-up sticks where you had to carefully remove a stick without disturbing the others around it? Well, that nostalgic game has inspired a fun sewing technique showcasing brightly colored channels inset at various angles onto a base fabric. Whether you use this technique to create artistic fabric […]
Sometimes a hem just doesn’t cut it—maybe you want something a little snugger, a little warmer, or even a contrast color. Look no further than ribbed cuffs to make all those things happen. They add a professional looking finish to any garment from outerwear to sport and loungewear, including our beloved joggers. But, how do […]
The gilded chain is an attractive, decorative trim on the inside of most Chanel jackets at the hemline, and is one of the most Chanelisms (the term used by the editors of Vogue Magazine to describe distinctive Chanel techniques). The chain is generally made of brass or heavy metal and is used instead of inexpensive […]
We all know the convenience of elastic—it allows us flexibility around the waistline for that extra helping of dessert and also holds up our undies in style. But there are so many types of elastic it’s hard to know which one to choose for what. Some elastics are hidden inside casings, while others show themselves […]
Custom shirt expert, Pamela Erny shares her sewing tips for achieving impeccable results, as well as ideas for adding a personal twist to traditional silhouettes. Pamela told us that many of her techniques can be used with both men’s and women’s shirts. Men’s shirts, women’s shirts, and children’s shirts all present countless opportunities for boundless […]
Watch this 60 second video on how to use a piping foot.
Some tools/notions used in sewing are not necessarily purchased as “sewing” items. ASG member, Judith Weyl shared some of her favorite innovative notion ideas with us: Home Improvement Stores A 3′ Section of Wood Handrail makes a wonderful tool for pressing seams open without leaving an imprint on the garment. It’s round on one side […]
One Layer at a Time There are times when more than one layer of fabric really isn’t necessary or desired—think bulky hems, facings, etc. Single-layer construction techniques to the rescue! Fabric Choices Many types of fabrics are suitable for single-layer construction, but those that are most commonly used are sheers, laces, handwovens, fleeces, boiled wools […]
This article is Part 2 of the Fabric Sources: Minerals series and is the final article in our Fabric Sources series. Plants (part 1) | Plants (part 2) Living Things: Silk | Living Things: Wool | Other Living Things Minerals: Acrylics, Polyester, & Nylon (part 1) | Minerals: Spandex and Rayon (part 2) Spandex (Lycra) […]
This 1-minute video from the American Sewing Guild will show you how to apply knit binding. Sew easy!