Simplicity Sewing Tips With Wendy Gardiner – Learn To Sew
Wendy Gardiner is Simplicity’s Sewing Guru and loves to share tips and techniques to make sewing easier and fun. For more tips, fitting advice and to browse and buy Simplicity, New Look and Burda patterns visit www.simplicitynewlook.com
Wendy passionately believes in passing on sewing skills and knowledge so that more people can make their own fashion and furnishings and realise it’s a pastime that can be fast, fun, fashionable and affordable. With today’s modern equipment and sewing machines it really can be easy to sew – In this mini series Wendy Gardiner will share tips and trips for getting the most out of your makes!
Simplicity Sewing School With Wendy Gardiner – Learn To Sew
Dressmaking and all sorts of sewing is big news right now – but don’t worry if you are a newbie! Simplicity Creative Group have a whole range of patterns especially for beginners.
The Learn to Sew range in the Simplicity collection are specially created for those that have never sewn before. They include all the pattern pieces and easy to follow step-by-step instructions to complete the projects of course, but they also include some sewing tutorials to help you increase your sewing skills. The choices range from skirts, trousers, tops and dresses to PJs, kids’ clothes, bags and fancy dress costumes.
Take a look at Simplicity 2286, suitable for absolute beginners this A-line mini skirt pack will help you learn to choose the correct size, cut out the pattern, stitch seams, apply trims, make elastic casing for the waist-banding and stitch a hem. All useful transferable techniques you will use again on your next pattern! Simplicity 2147 is another Learn to Sew pack which includes a dress or top, Simplicity 2061 is pack of trousers and Simplicity 1935 is a pack of easy bags – learn a little patchwork as you sew.
Simplicity isn’t alone in producing this new range of patterns, New Look has also got some Sew New, Learning the Basic designs such as 6004, an A-line elasticated waist skirt and Burda has classified many of it’s easy patterns as Super Easy so you know you can have a go, even if you are just starting to learn to sew.
So, whatever you want to learn to sew, you can find it in the Simplicity, New Look or Burda ranges! So go on – have a go – and if you already sew, encourage your friends and family – point them in the right direction and watch as they get the bug too…
Take a look at SimplicityNewLook for more pattern choices and helpful tips!
Wendy’s Top Tips for Starting Sewing!
1 Choose and easy-sew pattern and don’t be put off by the fabric colour shown on the envelope. Remember what you make it in is your choice. Make sure you use the right size – check your measurements against the pattern envelope and opt for the size that closely matches your measurements. It is important to note, that you will probably not be the same size as clothes you buy from the high street. Remember, with multi-size patterns you can easily and quickly cut from a small waist to bigger bust or hips.
2 Invest in a sewing kit which includes good quality dressmaking shears and new, sharp pins. Also, use good quality sewing thread – ditch the old reels you’ve inherited – old and cheap thread can weaken, which will split or break as you stitch.
3 Read all the instructions and look at the cutting layout before you begin, it will give you an idea of how it will all comes together. Take care cutting out – get that right and the rest will be a breeze! Make sure that you follow the right layout for the style that you are making and the fabric width that you are using. mark it with a star or outline it so you don’t accidentally follow the wrong layout. Also, make sure that you place all the pattern pieces as shown – with the grain lines on the pattern pieces parallel to the selvedges or bound edges of the fabric. The grain line on the pattern piece is shown why a thick line with arrow heads at either end. This is so important – failure to cut on the grain can cause the seams to pucker, twist or ripple.
4 Use a new needle with every project. Blunt needles cause hellish problems, including skipped stitches, broken thread and more. Make sure you inset the needle ‘flat to back’ so the flat part of the shank is towards the back of the machine, and push it up into the holder as far as it will go. The tighten the needle screw with the screwdriver provided with your sewing machine’s tool kit, so it can’t work loose as you sew. Make sure the needle size is appropriate for the fabric, for example jeans needle for denim. Generally, light-weight fabrics need finer, sharp tipped needles and heavier fabrics need thicker needles – the lower the number on the needle the finer it is. Use stretch or ballpoint needle when stitching stretch fabrics as these have a rounded tip which prevents snags and skipped stitches.
5 Make sure the presser foot is raised before you thread your machine – this releases the tension discs so it is easier for the thread to slip between the discs as you follow the threading path. Also, make sure you insert the bobbin the right way round – incorrectly placed and you get skipped or broken stitching. Usually it is dropped with thread coming anti-clockwise from the bottom.
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Watch this space…Wendy will be back next week with tips on how to sew with knit fabrics!