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  • Inspiration

    Fabric Covered Buttons

    The origin of buttons is difficult to establish, but the word itself probably stems from either the French bouton for bud or bouter to push. The French were passionate about the potential of the button and by 1250 had established the Button Makers Guild. The Guild produced beautiful buttons with great artistry, much to the …

  • Tutorials

    Tips for starting to sew

    I was so fascinated by all the responses to the questions about learning to sew that came in last week! Natalie B asked me if I might summarize some of the discussion, so I’m going to take a stab at condensing some of your experiences into some helpful tips for the aspiring seamstress (or… seamster? …

  • News

    Free Pattern to Download: The Madeleine Mini Bloomers

    Valentine’s day is coming this weekend, and whether you love it or hate it, you must admit having something adorable to lounge around in makes any day that much sweeter. So I present to you the madeleine mini bloomers, a free sewing pattern that you can download! It takes only a yard of fabric (along …

  • Tutorials

    Better body measurements

    {image above via vain and vapid} The other day, I was having coffee with a woman who has been making custom clothing for quite a long time. She told me how difficult it was for her to get women to take their own honest measurements. “Women hate taking their measurements!” she declared, and told me …

  • Tutorials

    Make Do and Mend: Darning

    A few weeks back I wrote a post which served both to introduce a book entitled Make Do and Mend and to give a general overview of the deprivations effecting the civilian population, particularly in the UK, during the Second World War. Many people took the time to add some fascinating comments regarding this subject, I …

  • Tutorials

    Dritz Bound Buttonhole Tool Review

    Update: If you’d like a tutorial on using this tool, I’ve posted one here: How to use the Dritz bound buttonhole tool Have you ever come across one of these? It’s a Dritz Bound Buttonhole maker, a vintage sewing tool that’s been out of production for some time and is increasingly hard to find. I …

  • Tutorials

    Tutorial: How to sew a fagoted seam

    A fagoted seam is a decorative seam that joins two pieces of fabric together with a space between them and a row of hand stitching. It’s a very pretty detail seen most often in vintage clothing. It’s easy to incorporate this kind of seam into any patterns you make that have a yoke, or any …

  • Tutorials

    Sew and Save!!!

    We all know that there are many benefits to be enjoyed by creating a garment by hand as opposed to buying one: saving money sometimes being one of them. But the cost of garment patterns, fabric, mock-up fabric, linings and notions can really add up. However, sewing needn’t be an exclusive activity, only to be …

  • Inspiration

    Fancy Headbands

    Have you seen this tutorial for fancy headbands over at A Field Journal? So so lovely and perfect for holiday soirees or gifts.

  • Tutorials

    Bias tape bows

    I’m a little obsessed lately with very simple vintage blouses. You know the type: they’re from the 1940s, have cap sleeves, and they button up the back. I have several old patterns and I’ve been collecting all sorts of vintage novelty prints to make them in (but not much time to make them). I was …

  • Tutorials

    Adjusting Parfait for a small bust: a tutorial from Gertie!

    I am very excited about this. I’ve received several emails asking how certain patterns, but especially Parfait can be adjusted for a smallish bust measurement. Well, I’m pleased to announce that the beautiful and talented Gertie has written a wonderful tutorial on doing a small bust adjustment and has graciously allowed me to repost it …

  • Tutorials

    Tutorial: How to make bias tape (piecing method)

    {photo of liberty bias trim by poshyarns} ETA: Also check out the continuous loop bias tape method for a faster method (it’s just slightly trickier the first time). As I mentioned recently, I think bias tape is wonderful stuff. It’s a terrific help if you can learn to make it yourself. Yes, it’s a bit …

  • Tutorials

    Transforming a dress with elastic shirring

    This pretty little sundress started out life as a baggy, shapeless 80s suburban housewife dress, but with the help of some scissors and elastic thread, I gave it a facelift. Elastic shirring is much easier to create than it appears! Some of my best fitting sundresses have panels of elastic shirring, which help the dress …

  • Tutorials

    Tutorial: Make a silk scarf

    Fall is the perfect time of year for extra-long, colorful silk scarves that can be tied in a big floppy neck bow. This scarf would be particularly awesome with a matching skirt and little jacket or sweater. It’s made in silk charmeuse, which shows off saturated colors so well. And depending on how you tie …

  • Tutorials

    Tutorial: How to create a french seam

    French seams are wonderful for professional-looking, clean seams. The raw edge of fabric is essentially encased within the seam. They are perfect for light, delicate fabrics such as silk. This tutorial will produce a 5/8″ seam. If you are making this silk scarf, you can use a french seam to join the two pieces of …

  • Tutorials

    Tutorial: How to create a hand rolled hem

    Hand rolled hems are so lovely, and with a little practice and a few tricks, quite easy to do (if a bit time consuming). Begin by machine stitching 1/4″ from the edge along the entire edge. Press the stitching flat. Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread. For a delicate fabric such as this …