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  • Tutorials

    Tutorial: Add pockets to the Violet Blouse (with free pocket…

    Whether it’s a snazzy style statement or a place to stash your pen collection, adding pockets to the Violet blouse (or any other blouse) is a fun and easy way to switch things up. Below are the instructions for adding a basic rectangular pocket. At the end of the post is a free pattern download …

  • Inspiration

    Our most popular posts, topics, freebies, and patterns in 2014

    It’s December, the perfect time to start looking back at what you’ve gone through in the last year: the things you’ve put out into the world, the trials you’ve lived through, the people you’ve met or become closer to. Today, I thought I’d take a look at all the things we’ve done this year. At …

  • Sponsored Posts

    How to sew a couched edge finish

    The other day, I was perusing the Bernina blog and came across a tutorial for an edge finish technique I’d never tried before – a couched edge using cord. Susan over at We All Sew demonstrates this technique for craft and decorative projects such as book covers and wall hangings, but I wondered how it …

  • News

    Join the Dahlia Sewalong!

    Just a quick note to let you know that the Dahlia sewalong is just getting started over at our Sewalongs site! Don’t worry if you’re not quite ready yet. This is just the introduction, and you’ll have two weeks before we even start sewing. In the meantime, Devon will begin talking about fabric and pattern …

  • Tutorials

    Free download: How to match plaids and stripes

    I wrote these instructions for making Dahlia or other garments in plaid or stripes for this blog post before deciding to also create the free download. If you don’t have them already, click the button at the end of this post to get the download. They’re helpful for all kinds of plaid and stripe situations. …

  • Tutorials

    How to sew bias tape straps

    Today, we’re going to go step by step through the process of sewing the bias tape straps for Version 2 of the Dahlia dress. We’ll be using bias tape to both finish the raw edges of the neckline and create the straps. As stated in the pattern, you’ll need 3 yards of ¼” double fold …

  • Tutorials

    Sign up for your free copy of The Colette Guide…

    Well folks, Sept-HEM-ber has officially drawn to a close. I’d like to thanks Devon for her wonderful contributions all month long. Aren’t her tutorials great? We hope to have her back again very soon. I thought I’d share a few pages of The Colette Guide to Sewing Hems, the book I put together from all …

  • Tutorials

    How to sew mitered corners

    When hemming two edges that meet, the multiple folds along each edge pile up on top of each other and create an excess of fabric at the corner. Mitered corners reduce the bulk, allow the edges to meet evenly, and look oh-so-satisfyingly neat and tidy. Here are two different methods for making mitered corners. Topstitched …

  • Tutorials

    How to sew a baby hem

    A baby hem is essentially a very small rolled hem done on the machine without a rolled hem foot. It’s a pretty and delicate hemming option that is perfect for lightweight and sheer fabrics. (A baby hem isn’t really suitable for thicker fabrics, as they would be too bulky to create the small folds.) How-to …

  • Tutorials

    How to sew a faced or shaped hem

    Using a facing for a hem is a fun way to customize an edge. Add scallops, zigzags, or whatever else you can dream up! Before we can sew, we’ll need to draft a pattern piece for our facing. On your skirt piece (or whichever piece has your hem), draw the finished hem edge at the …

  • Tutorials

    How to sew a machine rolled hem

    Today, we’re going to tackle one of the trickier hems you might want to sew – the machine-rolled hem. I struggled with this hem for a long time. I consider it to be a little on the advanced side, because it requires careful handling of the garment while you sew. If you’re new to the …

  • Sponsored Posts

    How to hem Jeans, with Bernina

    Have you ever tried to hem a pair of jeans? If you have, you probably realize that there are a few special considerations, both because of the fabric (denim is thick!) and the look (decorative topstitching). For your next pair of jeans, I’d like to point you to this wonderful tutorial from the folks at …

  • Tutorials

    4 ways to sew a turned hem

    There’s no doubt that the easiest way to sew a hem is to do a simple turned hem on your sewing machine. With no handstitching required, this hem is fast, easy, and efficient. Because the stitching from a turned hem shows on the outside of your garment, turned hems tend to have a very casual …

  • Tutorials

    5 ways to hand stitch a hem

    While machine sewing a hem is fast and easy, hand sewing can give you a nearly invisible finish. Below are five different options for hand stitching your hems. Before we begin, let’s go over a few basic techniques that will be the same for all hand stitching. Anchoring and tying off Work with an arm …

  • Tutorials

    6 ways to finish the edge of your hem

    Finishing the raw edge of your hem not only makes it look cleaner and more professional, it also adds durability and helps give your hem a longer life. Here are six different methods you can use to make your hems strong and tidy. Serged Serge along the raw edge of the hem, aligning the cut …

  • Tutorials

    Everything you need to know about stabilizing hems

    Let’s investigate the mysterious world of hem stabilizers today. Hem stabilizers are one of those things many of us might have heard of, but are never quite sure when to use. Like other forms of stabilizers (namely interfacing), there are a wide variety of choices for different applications. Unlike interfacing, it’s not likely that your …

  • Tutorials

    How to get a level hem

    Have you ever put together a garment – whether it’s a dress, a skirt, pants, or a blouse – only to notice afterwards that the hem seems to be drooping in certain areas? It’s not necessarily the fault of the pattern. There are a few reasons you might experience this, but it’s an easy one …

  • Tutorials

    It’s Sept-hem-ber! All month, we’re talking hems.

    When I first learned to sew, I didn’t give hems much thought. I’d learned to do a simple turned hem on my first dress, and didn’t really look back. Hems are a piece of cake, I thought. That is, until I tried to sew my first circle skirt. The deep curve of the hem – …

  • Finished Projects

    Download a free pattern hack: The mod-ified Laurel

    I made this Laurel last month, inspired by some super-cute mod scooter dresses from the 1960s. I liked it so much, I made a free download of complete instructions so you can get more from your pattern too. I’m a big believer in the LBD (little black dress), but in the summer there’s a variation …

  • Tutorials

    How to Use PDF Sewing Patterns (with downloadable checklist!)

    Today, we have a guest post from Devon, who recently taught the Moneta sewalong over on the Colette Sewalongs website, and is currently running the Myrtle Sewalong. Devon is an experienced, professional sewing teacher, and today is here to talk about best practices for using PDF sewing patterns. Plus, at the end, I’ve put together …

  • Tutorials

    How to clean finish a waistband without hand stitching

    Let me be honest with you. I do not enjoy hand stitching. Wait, let me qualify that. I like it just fine in the right context. Stitching things by hand can be soothing, just like any other form of hand needlework. There’s nothing wrong with sitting in front of my laptop with the latest season …