100+SEWINGandQUILTING
TIPSandTECHNIQUES
NANCYZIEMAN’S
SewingAtoZZIEMAN
YOUR SOURCE for SEWING and QUILTING
TIPS and TECHNI...
Nancy Zieman
Krause Publications
CINCINNATI, OHIO
YOUR SOURCE for SEWING and QUILTING
TIPS and TECHNIQUES
N A N C Y Z I E ...
TO CONVERT TO MULTIPLY BY
inches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . centimeters . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
As the figurehead of aTV show and direct mail company,I tend to
receive undeserved accolades for the succes...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR. . . . . . . . . . . . .3
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
A
Anchor Cloth . . . . . . . . ...
L
Layering a Quilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64
M
Markin...
INTRODUCTION from NANCY
My first job after college was teaching sewing
at a Minnesota Fabrics store in Chicago. Setting
up ...
Anchor Cloth
1Fold a scrap of fabric 2 or 3 times to form an anchor cloth.
2Begin stitching on the anchor cloth.
It’s some...
Appliqué: EDGE SATIN STITCH
A satin stitch is the most basic appliqué stitch and can be done on any machine that has
an ad...
NOTE from NANCY
OPEN TOE
PRESSER
FOOT
PRESSING SHEET
2Position and fuse the appliqués on
the base fabric, web-side down.
P...
BEGIN STITCHING
ABOUT 1
⁄4" (6MM)
FROM EDGE
OVERSTITCH
STARTING
POINT
Stitching Inner Corners
(as on a heart)
Begin stitch...
STITCH SEVERAL
STITCHES PAST
CORNER
PIVOT AND
CONTINUE
STITCHING
OUTWARD CURVE:
STOP WITH
NEEDLE IN RIGHT
POSITION
INWARD ...
PAPER
SIDE OF
FUSIBLE
WEB
Realistic inner details make appliqués more artistic and full of character. Transfer inner
appli...
Appliqué: INTERFACING TECHNIQUE
This appliqué technique is a variation of the turned-edge appliqué that quilters are so
fo...
Basting is the temporary stitching that is used for marking pattern pieces, matching
plaids, attaching interfacing, holdin...
I like to make fabric loops for slacks and purses,as ties and hangers,and even as a unique
coordinating trim. Make them qu...
Thread loops are perfect for holding a belt on a fitted dress,as button loops,as corded but-
tonholes and even for making t...
Bias
Bias is the direction of fabric that has the most stretch.True bias is located in a 45-degree
angle between the lengt...
CUT 1
⁄2" (13MM) BIAS STRIPS
RIGHT SIDE
WRONG
SIDE
WRONG
SIDE
TRIM
TRIM
Bias Strips
1Cut bias strips.
Align the 45-degree ...
Bias Tape
1Create ¼" (6mm) bias tape.
Insert a ½" (13mm) bias strip, wrong side up, into the wide
end of a ¼" (6mm) bias t...
Binding
Add a finishing touch to your quilts, wall hangings, home décor and wearable art when
you cover the raw edges with ...
FOLD
BINDING UP
FOLD
BINDING DOWN;
STITCH
INSERT BINDING END; STITCH REMAINDER OF SEAM
STITCH IN THE DITCH
BACKING SIDE
ST...
Blanket Stitching: HAND
Getting hand-stitched blanket stitches perfectly spaced once required tedious, time-
consuming mea...
Blanket Stitching: MACHINE
Small, even blanket stitches can be achieved effectively by using your sewing machine
with a fe...
PICK UP A FEW THREADS OF
FABRIC WITH EACH STITCH
Blind Hemming: HAND
The main goal in blind hemming is for the stitches to...
Blind Hemming: MACHINE
It’s always faster to hem by machine rather than by hand.The important step is to always
test the s...
NOTE from NANCY
Take a careful look at the back of the buttonhole foot. When you
place a button in the tray and slide the ...
STABILIZER
3Select a stabilizer.
Use lightweight tear-away stabilizer
under woven fabrics.
Use water-soluble stabilizer bo...
CENTER
FRONT
1
⁄8" (3MM)
CENTER
7Mark the buttonhole spacing on
the project.
Decide whether the buttonhole will
be horizon...
Corded Buttonholes
1Use purchased cording, or make your
own cording using this easy technique.
Use a conventional presser ...
Buttons
Save time sewing buttons by using your sewing machine,and create beautiful thread
shanks with ease. Some sewing ma...
Casings
Casings are generally made to enclose ribbon,self-fabric ties or elastic to gather up fabric
for fitting,closing or...
WRONG SIDE
Stitch around the lower edge of the casing. Use a stitching
guide so the stitching is a uniform distance from t...
Chain Stitch: QUILTING
The process of stitching multiple patchwork blocks, triangles or strata pieces
without cutting the ...
Circles
Mark and cut circles with ease using one of the many cutters and rulers on the market,
or use your imagination and...
Cutting: PATTERNS
Streamline your pattern cutting time whether you use a pair of shears or a rotary cutter.
One of my favo...
Cutting: QUILT STRIPS
Stratas, or strips of fabric sewn together, are the basis for many patchwork designs.
Rotary-cut fab...
NOTE from NANCY
For greatest accuracy, I prefer to have the major-
ity of the fabric to the left of the ruler when I
make ...
Darts
Do darts have you in a dither? Stitch a straight, dimple-free dart in seconds using your
top thread as a stitching g...
Decorative Stitches
Decorative stitches are a mainstay on most sewing machines,yet unfortunately we rarely
use them. Here ...
NOTE from NANCY
If your machine does not have two
spool pins, wind an extra bobbin
and stack the bobbin with the
spool on ...
NOTE from NANCY
Ordinarily, we stitch directionally from the lower edge to the top edge of a
garment seam. But if one seam...
Use two pencils with erasers—and a little sewing know-how—to ease sleeves. Or choose
one of the other methods for easing s...
NOTE from NANCY
If you use a marking pen or pencil, remember
that pressing over those marks often makes them
permanent or ...
Braided Elastic
Strong, general-purpose elastic
Sizes: ⅛"–⅜" (3mm–10mm)
Fiber content: 100 percent polyester
Use for fabri...
NOTE from NANCY
If your waist is quite a bit smaller than your hips, pin
the elastic together without trimming off the exce...
1Cut a piece of clear elastic the length of the seam.
2Stitch the clear elastic to the fabric using a narrow zigzag
(.05–....
RELEASE
HOOK BY
TURNING
COUNTER-
CLOCKWISE
INSERT ROLLED-
UP FLEECE IN
ONE END OF TUBE
TAPE
FLEECE
PULL
GENTLY
TO ENCASE
F...
NOTE from NANCY
Use pinking shears to grade and trim the seam
allowances in one step. When using lightweight fab-
rics, tr...
Fusible Web
Fusible web is available by the yard or on a narrow roll. Sandwich fusible web between two
layers of fabric an...
Gathers add an attractive accent to a project, but preventing gathering threads from
breaking and getting the gathers even...
Grading
Grade seam allowances by trimming each seam allowance to a
different width. Grade seams such as collars, cuffs and n...
NOTE from NANCY
I like to use a Quick Quarter
for ease in marking half-square
triangles. The center slot pro-
vides an acc...
Hems
Nearly everything you sew has a hem—skirts,pants,sleeves and even home décor items
such as curtains and table linens....
Hooks and Eyes
Use hooks and eyes to fasten garment openings where there will be lots of stress,
such as on waistbands. Us...
NOTE from NANCY
Before purchasing interfacing, feel the weight and
think, “Less is best!” A weight lighter than the fabric...
Jackets: EXTENDED FACINGS
Give an unlined jacket all the benefits of a lining without all the work with this quick
pattern ...
STITCH FACING
SHOULDER SEAMS
TRACE NEW FACING
LINES ON WAXED PAPER
2"–3”
(5CM–8CM)
2Prepare a back facing pattern.
Pin the...
Jackets: SLEEVE LINING
Here’s a fast lining technique that gives jacket sleeves additional body and makes the
jacket easie...
Knit: IDENTIFICATION
Sewing knit fashions can be a very speedy process and one that’s truly creative and enjoy-
able. Sele...
1
⁄4" (6MM)
5
⁄8" (16MM)
Knit: SEAMS
The beauty of sewing knits is that there are very few rules to follow.The sewing
is t...
NOTE from NANCY
If the knit fabric is all or part cotton, prewash the
fabric before cutting out the garment to remove
any ...
Layering a Quilt
In making most quilts,the layers of backing,batting and quilt top are pinned together to
secure them for ...
NOTE from NANCY
Use the Kwik Klip in combination with
your safety pins when pinning. It helps
close the pins to cut down o...
Layout
Accurately laying out the pattern is an essential part of constructing any project.
The pattern guide sheet provide...
NOTE from NANCY
For greatest accuracy, I like to extend the pat-
tern grainline so it’s visible the entire length of
the p...
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
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Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques
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Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques

As the fi gurehead of a TV show and direct mail company, I tend to receive undeserved accolades for the successes of both entities. The proverb that includes the words “it takes a village” applies to life in general. My village is a tight-knit group of people who have worked with me over many decades.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Design      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Nancy zieman's sewing a to z your source for sewing and quilting tips and techniques

  • 1. 100+SEWINGandQUILTING TIPSandTECHNIQUES NANCYZIEMAN’S SewingAtoZZIEMAN YOUR SOURCE for SEWING and QUILTING TIPS and TECHNIQUES FEATURING 100+ TECHNIQUES N A N C Y Z I E M A N ’ S SewingAtoZ EAN Y0005 FnL104012401JUYrVyBQdWJsaWNhdGlvbnMsIEluYyAo02SW9sYSBkaXZpc2lvbikPR3JlZ29yeSBL03cnVlZ2VyAE10zTEEMTAuNAI4MAExBkVB04Ti0xMw05NzgxNDQwMjE0Mjk1AA== 781440 2142959 52999 ISBN-10: 1-4402-1429-8 ISBN-13: 978-1-4402-1429-5 US $29.99 (CAN $33.99) FnL104012001JUYrVyBQdWJsaWNhdGlvbnMsIEluYyAo02SW9sYSBkaXZpc2lvbikPR3JlZ29yeSBL03cnVlZ2VyAE10zMoCMTMDMTAwATEFVVBD04LUEMMDc0OTYyMDEyNzg0xA== 74962 012780 4 UPC Arranged in alphabetical order for fast and easy reference, this handy guide will make its permanent home by your sewing machine or on your workspace. With over 100 topics ranging from Appliqué to Zippers, Nancy will help you achieve beautiful results with every project. Helpful Notes from Nancy throughout the book provide insights and tips for a variety of sewing techniques and skills. Spiral binding allows the book to lay flat for hands-free reference while you sew, cut or press. Clear, concise instructions and detailed illustrations make even the most advanced techniques easy to understand and successfully execute. • • • • • Nancy Zieman is executive producer and host of Public TV’s Sewing With Nancy and the founder of Nancy’s Notions, a source for sewing and quilt- ing products. As one of the sewing industry’s most trusted voices, she has been honored and celebrated by organizations from the National 4-H Club to the American Sewing Guild. Visit Nancy at www.nancyzieman.com. Whether you’re a novice sewer or a skilled seamstress, who better to go to for sewing answers and advice than expert Nancy Zieman? Set aside your sewing fears and let Nancy guide you step-by-step through 100+ basic to advanced sewing methods and techniques. A wealth of information and instruction from your favorite sewing expert is at your fingertips in this go-to guide! Stitch with ease and assurance with Nancy Zieman’s SewingA to Z by your side! The answers to all your sewing questions! SEWING Y0005 NZ SewingAtoZ-flat.indd 1Y0005 NZ SewingAtoZ-flat.indd 1 3/16/11 1:10:44 PM3/16/11 1:10:44 PM
  • 2. Nancy Zieman Krause Publications CINCINNATI, OHIO YOUR SOURCE for SEWING and QUILTING TIPS and TECHNIQUES N A N C Y Z I E M A N ’ S SewingAtoZ Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 1Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 1 3/15/11 2:03:45 PM3/15/11 2:03:45 PM
  • 3. TO CONVERT TO MULTIPLY BY inches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . centimeters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.54 centimeters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . inches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.4 feet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . centimeters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30.5 centimeters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . feet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.03 yards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . meters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.9 meters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . yards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.1 Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z. Copyright © 2011 by Nancy Zieman. Manufactured in China. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. Pub- lished by Krause Publications, a division of F+W Media, Inc., 4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45236. (800) 289-0963. First Edition. 15 14 13 12 11 5 4 3 2 1 DISTRIBUTED IN CANADA BY FRASER DIRECT 100 Armstrong Avenue Georgetown, ON, Canada L7G 5S4 Tel: (905) 877-4411 DISTRIBUTED IN THE U.K. AND EUROPE BY F&W MEDIA INTERNATIONAL Brunel House, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 4PU, England Tel: (+44) 1626 323200, Fax: (+44) 1626 323319 Email: enquiries@fwmedia.com DISTRIBUTED IN AUSTRALIA BY CAPRICORN LINK P.O. Box 704, S. Windsor NSW, 2756 Australia Tel: (02) 4577-3555 ISBN 13: 978-1-4402-1429-5 SRN: Y0005 Edited by Kelly Biscopink Designed by Julie Barnett Production coordinated by Greg Nock Photography by Al Parrish and Dale Hall Illustrations by Laure Noe Nancy’s Notions editorial staff: Diane Dhein and Pat Hahn Measurements have been given in imperial inches with metric conversions in brackets—use one or the other as they are not interchangeable. The most accurate results will be obtained using inches. metric conversion chart www.fwmedia.com Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 2Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 2 3/15/11 2:03:47 PM3/15/11 2:03:47 PM
  • 4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS As the figurehead of aTV show and direct mail company,I tend to receive undeserved accolades for the successes of both entities. The proverb that includes the words“it takes a village”applies to life in general. My village is a tight-knit group of people who have worked with me over many decades. MyTV program should really be called SewingWith Nancy,Donna, Pat,Laure,Kate,Diane D.,Diane S., Deanna,Lois,Gail and Erica. They comprise the dedicated village that shares a love of sewing and quilting.To them I extend my appreciation and give a heartfelt thank you for being loyal members of my team and great friends. About the Author Nancy Zieman is executive producer and host of PublicTV’s SewingWith Nancy,where she has been teaching viewers the art of sewing,quilting and embroidering since 1982. She also founded Nancy’s Notions,a mail-order and online source for sewing and quilting products.As one of the sewing industry’s most trusted voices,she has been honored and celebrated by organizations from the National 4-H Club to theAmerican Sewing Guild. So wherever you see a Note from Nancy,you’ll know you’re getting expert advice! Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 3Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 3 3/15/11 2:03:47 PM3/15/11 2:03:47 PM
  • 5. ABOUT THE AUTHOR. . . . . . . . . . . . .3 INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 A Anchor Cloth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Appliqué:Edge Satin Stitch . . . . . . .8 Appliqué:Inner Details . . . . . . . . . . .12 Appliqué:InterfacingTechnique . . .13 B Basting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Belt Loops:Fabric. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Belt Loops:Thread. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Bias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Binding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Blanket Stitching:Hand . . . . . . . . . .22 Blanket Stitching:Machine . . . . . . .23 Blind Hemming:Hand. . . . . . . . . . . .24 Blind Hemming:Machine. . . . . . . . .25 Buttonholes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 C Casings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Chain Stitch:Quilting . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Circles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Clipping. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Cutting:Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Cutting:Quilt Strips. . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 D Darts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Decorative Stitches . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Double Needles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 E Easing:Seams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Easing:Sleeves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Edgestitching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 ElasticTypes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Elastic:BasicTechnique . . . . . . . . . .45 Elastic:ClearTechnique . . . . . . . . . .46 F FabricTubes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Facings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 FusibleWeb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 FusibleWeb:Paper-Backed . . . . . . .49 G Gathers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Grading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Grainline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 H Half-SquareTriangles . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Hems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Hooks and Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 I Interfacing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 J Jackets:Extended Facings. . . . . . . .56 Jackets:Sleeve Lining . . . . . . . . . . . .58 K Knit:Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Knit:Seams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Knit:Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 contents Techniques A to Z Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 4Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 4 3/15/11 2:03:48 PM3/15/11 2:03:48 PM
  • 6. L Layering a Quilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 M Marking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 Mitered Corners:Pockets . . . . . . . . .68 Mitered Corners:Quilt Borders . . . .70 N Nap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 Needles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72 Nips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 Notches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 O Organizing:Fabric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74 Organizing:Needles . . . . . . . . . . . . .74 Organizing:Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Organizing:Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 P Patch Pockets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 Pintucks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78 Piping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 Pivoting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82 Pleats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 Pocket Flaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Q Quarter Marks:Pins. . . . . . . . . . . . . .85 Quarter Marks:Pressing . . . . . . . . . .85 Quarter-SquareTriangles . . . . . . . . .86 Quilting Options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88 R Ribbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94 Ripping:Serged Seams . . . . . . . . . . .96 Ripping:Stitched Seams. . . . . . . . . .96 Rod Pocket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 Ruffles:Using a Ruffler Foot . . . . . . .98 S Seam Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 Seams:French . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 Seams:Traditional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Serging:Chain Stitch. . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Serging:Cover Stitch. . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Serging:Flatlock Stitch (3-Thread). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Serging:Overlock Stitch (4-Thread). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 Serging:Overlock Stitch (3-Thread). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109 Serging:Rolled Edges . . . . . . . . . . . .110 Serging:Rolled Lettuce Edge. . . . . .111 Sleeves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112 Snaps:Basic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115 Snaps:Swing/Hanging . . . . . . . . . . .116 Squaring a QuiltTop . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 Stabilizers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 Staystitching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120 Strata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120 T Tension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121 Thread. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122 Topstitching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 U Underlining. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Understitching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124 V Vinyl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125 W Waistband. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126 Wrapped Corners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128 Y Yo-Yos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130 Z Zigzag Stitch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132 Zippers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132 RESOURCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 5Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_001-005.indd 5 3/15/11 2:03:50 PM3/15/11 2:03:50 PM
  • 7. INTRODUCTION from NANCY My first job after college was teaching sewing at a Minnesota Fabrics store in Chicago. Setting up twenty folding chairs in the middle of the store fifteen minutes prior to the demonstration constituted my first classroom. Since then,I’ve taught in almost every venue possible,with the TV studio being my most recognized classroom. During the past thirty-five years,I’ve tweaked and personalized many of the common tech- niques. Many of these methods have been pub- lished in other books of mine,but they’ve never been gathered together in anA-to-Z reference. My hope is that you’ll enjoy this quick reference and that these techniques will fine-tune your sewing and quilting skills. 6 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 6Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 6 3/15/11 2:03:59 PM3/15/11 2:03:59 PM
  • 8. Anchor Cloth 1Fold a scrap of fabric 2 or 3 times to form an anchor cloth. 2Begin stitching on the anchor cloth. It’s sometimes easiest to begin stitching in the middle of the cloth. Kiss the fabric next to the edge of the anchor cloth and continue stitching. 3After the seam is completed, clip away the anchor cloth. ANCHOR CLOTH Stitch on a small scrap of folded fabric,or anchor cloth,to secure your stitches before sail- ing through the stitching of your project. Just a small stitching anchor solves a multitude of stitching problems!An anchor cloth prevents the fabric from being drawn down into the bed of the sewing machine and helps heavy fabric feed freely into the machine. A 7 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 7Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 7 3/15/11 2:04:00 PM3/15/11 2:04:00 PM
  • 9. Appliqué: EDGE SATIN STITCH A satin stitch is the most basic appliqué stitch and can be done on any machine that has an adjustable zigzag stitch. The stitches are formed so close together that they take on a satin appearance. Satin stitch appliqué eliminates the need to turn under the edges of the appliqué to keep it from fraying, plus it gives the project an enhanced appearance, especially when specialty threads are used for the stitching. PAPER SIDE OF FUSIBLE WEB WRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE 1Prepare the appliqués. Trace the appliqué patterns onto the paper side of paper-backed fusible web. Roughly cut out the designs, leaving ⅛"– ¼" (3mm–6mm) along the outer edges. • • Press the paper-backed fusible web onto the wrong side of the fabric. Interface light-colored or sheer fab- rics to prevent the fabric under the appliqué from showing through. Cut out the appliqués following the traced outlines. • • Remove the paper backing. To make it easier to remove the backing, lightly score the paper with a pin. Doing so provides an edge that simplifies removal. • The completed appliqués will be mirror images of the tracing. Patterns that are already mir- ror images so they appear cor- rectly on the completed project are the easiest to work with. If they are not already mirrored, trace the wrong side of the pat- terns over a light box. A NOTE from NANCY 8 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 8Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 8 3/15/11 2:04:11 PM3/15/11 2:04:11 PM
  • 10. NOTE from NANCY OPEN TOE PRESSER FOOT PRESSING SHEET 2Position and fuse the appliqués on the base fabric, web-side down. Position background appliqués first on the base fabric; then position the foreground appliqués. Cover the appliqués with an appliqué pressing cloth or sheet, and fuse them in place. • • 3Set up the machine for appliqué. Choose an embroidery needle, size 75. An embroidery needle has a long, wide eye to provide room for thread to pass through the needle. Choose a 30–40 wt. rayon, cotton or polyester thread, depending on the project fabric. Rayon and polyester embroidery threads provide a more lustrous sheen than cotton. Choose a lightweight bobbin thread. A lighter thread helps keep the bob- bin stitching from showing on the right side of the fabric. Choose an open toe or embroidery presser foot. The grooved section on the underside of the foot allows stitches to easily flow through the machine, and the open area at the front of the foot allows you to more readily see where you’re stitching. • • • • 4Adjust the machine settings for satin stitching. Set stitch to zigzag. Set the stitch width to about 2.5mm. Set the stitch length to about 0.5mm–0.8mm. Reduce the upper tension by about two numbers or settings to keep the bobbin thread on the underside of the fabric. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations for your machine. The feed dogs should remain in a raised position. continued on next page > • • • • • I am often asked what the difference is between a press cloth and sheet. The cloth, since it is fabric, can be dampened prior to pressing, which provides extra moisture to your fabric. The sheet is more transparent since it is made of Teflon. You can easily see through the sheet to make certain that the appliqués are in the correct place. The sheet also helps keep your iron and pressing surface clean from stabilizer residues, starches and fusible webbing. 9 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 9Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 9 3/15/11 2:04:14 PM3/15/11 2:04:14 PM
  • 11. BEGIN STITCHING ABOUT 1 ⁄4" (6MM) FROM EDGE OVERSTITCH STARTING POINT Stitching Inner Corners (as on a heart) Begin stitching inside the heart, about ¼" (6mm) from the edge. • When you approach the starting point, sew several additional stitches, overstitching the corner. • STABILIZER STOP WITH FINAL STITCH AT CORNER PIVOT AND CONTINUE STITCHING FOREGROUND ELEMENT BACKGROUND ELEMENT 5Stitch the appliqués. Back the appliqué with a tear-away or cut-away stabilizer suited for the fabric and project. Stabilizer pre- vents stitches from tunneling and helps to ensure professional results. • Always test stitching on a scrap before stitching on the project. Lock stitches at the beginning of the stitching. Stitch background elements first; then stitch foreground. One edge of the zigzag should fall on the appliqué; the other should fall just past the raw edge of the design. • • • • Stitching Outer Corners Satin stitch to the corner, with the final stitch exactly at the corner. Stop with the needle in the right posi- tion with the needle down in the fabric. Raise the presser foot and pivot the fabric so the next edge of the appliqué is in line with the needle. • • • Lower the presser foot. Give the fabric a little nudge with your hand as you stitch over the previous stitching to help the fabric advance. Continue stitching. • 10 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 10Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 10 3/15/11 2:04:22 PM3/15/11 2:04:22 PM
  • 12. STITCH SEVERAL STITCHES PAST CORNER PIVOT AND CONTINUE STITCHING OUTWARD CURVE: STOP WITH NEEDLE IN RIGHT POSITION INWARD CURVE: STOP WITH NEEDLE IN LEFT POSITION REDUCE STITCH WIDTH WHEN APPROACHING POINT PIVOT AND INCREASE STITCH WIDTH Stitching Conventional Inner Corners Stitch to the corner; then continue stitching three or four stitches (the width of the zigzag) past the corner. • Stop with the needle in the left position, with the needle down in the fabric. Raise the presser foot and pivot the fabric so the next edge of the appliqué is in line with the needle. Lower the presser foot and continue to stitch. • • Stitching Curves Use your left hand to lightly anchor the fabric to the sewing machine bed and gently turn the fabric as you stitch. On sharp curves, you may need to periodically stop and reposition the fabric to obtain a smooth curve. For outward curves, stop with the needle down in the right position. Raise the presser foot, pivot slightly, lower the foot and continue stitching. For inward curves, stop with the needle in the left position. On pronounced curves, reduce the stitch width to get a smooth curve. • • • Stitching Points Stitch the first side of the appliqué. As you approach the point, gradually decrease the stitch width. Sew two or three stitches; reduce the stitch width to 2.0. Sew two or three more stitches; reduce width to 1.5. Repeat, tapering to a point and stopping with the needle down. • Raise the presser foot. Pivot. Lower the foot and continue sewing, gradu- ally increasing the stitch width to the normal 2.5 setting. • 11 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 11Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 11 3/15/11 2:04:23 PM3/15/11 2:04:23 PM
  • 13. PAPER SIDE OF FUSIBLE WEB Realistic inner details make appliqués more artistic and full of character. Transfer inner appliqué markings with ease using my favorite technique. Appliqué: INNER DETAILS WRONG SIDE PIN PAPER IN PLACE STITCH OVER DETAIL LINES ZIGZAG OVER STITCHED LINES 1Prepare, fuse and stitch the appliqué. Prepare the appliqué as for the satin stitched appliqué, tracing both the appliqué outline and any inner details onto the paper side of paper-backed fusible web (page 8). • Press the web to the wrong side of the fabric and cut out the appliqué follow- ing the traced outline. Carefully remove the paper backing. Try to avoid tearing the backing—it will be used to transfer the inner markings to the appliqué. • • 2Transfer the inner details using the paper backing as a guide. Highlight the inner details on the paper backing using a dark marker. Because the finished appliqué is a mir- ror image of the tracing, this makes it easier to see the markings when transferring them. Flip over the paper; position and pin it in place over the appliqué. • • 3Stitch the details. Remove the paper from the appliqué piece. Adjust the machine for a zigzag, using a stitch length of approxi- mately 0.7mm–0.8mm and a stitch width of approximately 1.5mm. Stitch over the straight-stitched lines, gradually decreasing the width to 0 at the point. • • Adjust the machine for a straight stitch with a short 0.6mm–0.7mm stitch length. Stitch over the traced detail lines. The short stitch length perforates the paper making it easy to remove. A short stitch length also helps produce precise details when stitching things like facial features. • Position and fuse the appliqué to the base fabric. Satin stitch around the outer edges, as for satin-stitched appliqué (pages 9–11). • A 12 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 12Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 12 3/15/11 2:04:24 PM3/15/11 2:04:24 PM
  • 14. Appliqué: INTERFACING TECHNIQUE This appliqué technique is a variation of the turned-edge appliqué that quilters are so fond of. In this version there is no hand-stitching, and the curved edges have a smooth finish with minimal effort.This easy technique works best with simple shapes rather than those with significant details. Cut appliqué shapes directly from fabric,adding 1 ⁄8" (3mm) around the outer edges. WRONG SIDE INTERFACING INTERFACING CUT SLIT CLIP CLIP WRONG SIDE 1Position the appliqué shapes, right sides down, on a layer of lightweight interfacing. 2Stitch completely around the appliqué just inside the cutting line, using a short stitch length. Using a short stitch length is crucial for getting smooth edges on the finished appliqué. • 3Cut a slit in the middle of the interfac- ing, taking care to avoid cutting the fabric appliqué. Press the appliqué. 4Complete the appliqué and stitch. Trim the excess outer interfacing close to the stitching line. Clip any inside corners. • Turn the appliqué right-side-out. Roll the edges to get a crisp edge. Using a tool such as Wrights EZ Bamboo Pointer & Creaser may help achieve smooth curves. Optional: For less bulk, trim any excess interfacing inside the design to approximately ¼" (6mm) from the edge. • • Glue-baste the appliqués to the background. Stitch the appliqués in place with monofilament thread. A blanket stitch or a blind hem stitch works well for this method of appliqué. The outer edge of the stitch should follow the outer edge of the appliqué, while the zig will fall on the appliqué. • • A 13 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 13Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 13 3/15/11 2:04:25 PM3/15/11 2:04:25 PM
  • 15. Basting is the temporary stitching that is used for marking pattern pieces, matching plaids, attaching interfacing, holding slippery fabric pieces together for stitching and more. Hand-basting,pin-basting and machine-basting are the methods traditionally used. Choose the method that is the easiest for you to accomplish and enjoy. Basting Pin-Basting for Fitting To pin-baste a garment, place pins on the right side of the garment parallel to the seamline. This allows you to move pins as the garment is being tried on. • Machine-Basting Machine-baste sturdy fabrics that aren’t slippery and won’t show needle marks. Set your sewing machine for the longest stitch and loosen the upper tension slightly for easier removal. Or clip the top stitches at intervals; then pull on the bottom thread to remove the stitches. Many machines have a special extra-long basting stitch that is very easy to remove. This specialty stitch is especially nice for quilting to temporarily hold fabric layers together. Check your manual to see if this stitch is available on your machine. • • RIGHT SIDE USE EVEN STITCHES IN AREAS SUBJECT TO STRAIN BACKSTITCH USE UNEVEN STITCHES IN AREAS NOT SUBJECT TO STRAIN BACKSTITCH Use an uneven basting stitch to hold fabric together at seams and edges that are not subject to strain, such as in a hem. Take a long stitch on top and a short stitch through the fabric. Start and stop stitching with a backstitch rather than a knot. • Hand-Basting Use an even basting stitch for long seams that are subject to strain and for areas such as set-in sleeves that demand close control. Space the stitches evenly, about ¼" (6mm) long and ¼" (6mm) apart. Start and stop stitching with a backstitch rather than a knot. • B 14 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 14Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 14 3/15/11 2:04:29 PM3/15/11 2:04:29 PM
  • 16. I like to make fabric loops for slacks and purses,as ties and hangers,and even as a unique coordinating trim. Make them quickly by using my easy-fold technique or by using a specialty belt loop binder attachment for a cover stitch serger. Belt Loops: FABRIC Easy-Fold Fabric Loops 1Cut 1½"–2" (38mm–51mm) crosswise fabric strips the length needed. 2Fold and press the strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. 3Open the fold and align the lengthwise edges with the fold mark. Press. 4Fold the strip in half lengthwise. Then edgestitch to hide and secure the raw edges. FOLD TO MARK CENTER FOLD TO CENTER MARK EDGESTITCH FOLD Cover Stitch Fabric Loops Check your serger owner’s manual to see if a belt loop binder attachment is available for your machine. Follow the instructions for your specific serger to make these belt loops using a triple cover stitch. They’re just like the ones shown on ready-to-wear garments! • • BELT LOOP BINDER ATTACHMENT TRIPLE COVER STITCHED FABRIC LOOPS B 15 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 15Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 15 3/15/11 2:04:29 PM3/15/11 2:04:29 PM
  • 17. Thread loops are perfect for holding a belt on a fitted dress,as button loops,as corded but- tonholes and even for making tassels. Make thread loops quickly using your conventional machine or a chain stitch serger. Belt Loops: THREAD Conventional Thread Loops 1Zigzag over six strands of thread while holding them taut. 2Use a stitch width of 4 and a stitch length of 1. ZIGZAG OVER 6 THREADS CHAIN STITCH OFF EDGE FABRIC Serger Thread Loops 1Adjust your serger for a center needle chain stitch. (Check your serger manual to make sure your machine is capable of doing a chain stitch.) 2Disengage the blade and upper looper. Attach the sewing table. 3Use a decorative thread in the chain looper if desired. 4Fold a piece of cotton fabric in half and position it under the needle as an anchor cloth (page 7). On many chain stitch sergers, it is necessary to start a chain stitch on an anchor cloth. 5Serge beyond the fabric to form a thread chain the desired length. B 16 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 16Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 16 3/15/11 2:04:30 PM3/15/11 2:04:30 PM
  • 18. Bias Bias is the direction of fabric that has the most stretch.True bias is located in a 45-degree angle between the length and the width of the fabric. Bias-cut fabric or trim can be manip- ulated with ease around curved areas of garments and used to form shapely designs. Bias Basics The construction of woven fabric is made up of two sets of yarns: lengthwise yarns and crosswise yarns. Lengthwise yarns, or warp yarns, run parallel to the selvage edges and have a very small amount of stretch. Crosswise yarns, or weft yarns, are woven across the fabric from selvage to selvage at right angles to the lengthwise yarns. Crosswise yarns tend to stretch more than lengthwise yarns. Measure from the corner of the fabric the same distance both along the selvage and the crossgrain. Draw a line connecting those two points to find the true bias or the highest degree of stretch in the fabric. The bias of a woven fabric stretches, even if the fabric is very stable. That bias stretch allows bias trim to be molded and shaped around curves, and it can be used to finish curved gar- ment edges, such as armholes and necklines. Create custom bias strips or bias tape from the woven fabric of your choice. • • • • 10"(25CM) 10" (25CM) DRAW A LINE CONNECTING THESE POINTS B 17 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 17Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 17 3/15/11 2:04:32 PM3/15/11 2:04:32 PM
  • 19. CUT 1 ⁄2" (13MM) BIAS STRIPS RIGHT SIDE WRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE TRIM TRIM Bias Strips 1Cut bias strips. Align the 45-degree angle of a quilting ruler along the fabric selvage and cut the angle with a rotary cutter. Or form a true bias (page 17), and cut along the line. • Cut ½" (13mm) strips along the bias edge.• 2Join the bias strips. Place the short ends of two strips right sides together at a 90-degree angle, offsetting the ends by approximately ¼" (6mm). Small triangles of fabric will extend on each edge. Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner. Using a short stitch length, stitch along the line. • • Press the seam open. If desired, trim the triangle extensions.• Join additional strips to obtain the necessary length of bias strips. • 18 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 18Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 18 3/15/11 2:04:32 PM3/15/11 2:04:32 PM
  • 20. Bias Tape 1Create ¼" (6mm) bias tape. Insert a ½" (13mm) bias strip, wrong side up, into the wide end of a ¼" (6mm) bias tape maker. Use a pin to advance the fabric through the opening slot in the bias tape maker. Press the fabric as it comes through the tool. When nearing a seam, press the seam allowances away from the bias tape maker. As the seam goes through the tool, you may need to advance and press in even shorter increments to prevent the seam allowances from buckling and creating a taper with an uneven width. • • • PAPER SIDE OF FUSIBLE WEB Fusible Bias Use ready-made fusible bias, such as Quick Bias, as an easy alterna- tive to making your own bias with fusible web. Fusible bias is a prefolded, preshrunk ¼" (6mm) bias tape with finished edges and a fusible backing. It is available in a variety of solid and rainbow colors, as well as metallics. It is used mainly for trim on garments and quilts and for a decorative effect in stained glass appliqué. Remove the paper from the adhesive side of the fusible bias. Position the bias with the fusible side down on the fabric. Press into position. • • REMOVE PAPER FROM ADHESIVE TAPE AND PRESS TO FUSE 2Add fusible web to the bias tape. Cut scant ¼" (6mm) strips from a fusible web, such as HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive. Position the fusible web on the wrong side of the bias tape. Press, fusing the web to the tape. • • NOTE from NANCY Save time by using a fusible bias tape maker. It guides the fabric strip and fusible tape through separate openings. It folds the fabric strip and positions the paper-backed fusible strip so that when they come out the tip, they are aligned and ready to be pressed together. NOTE from NANCY When using a bias tape maker, it’s important to work in small increments, advancing the fabric no more than 1" (25mm) at a time before pressing. This helps ensure that the completed tape will be smooth and of a uniform width. 19 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 19Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 19 3/15/11 2:04:34 PM3/15/11 2:04:34 PM
  • 21. Binding Add a finishing touch to your quilts, wall hangings, home décor and wearable art when you cover the raw edges with binding.The techniques for double- and single-fold binding are easy,and they complete your project with a band of color. Double-Fold Binding 1Cut 2½" (6cm) crosswise strips of binding, joining the strips as needed for extra length. Join the short ends of the strips with diagonal seams to reduce bulk when the binding is folded to the wrong side. WRONG SIDE RIGHT SIDE WRONG SIDE FOLD FUSIBLE WEB MARK 1 ⁄4" (6MM) FROM CORNERS 4" (10CM) STOP STITCHING AT MARK 2Cut one end of the strip at a 45-degree angle. Fold in ¼" (6mm) at the angled end of the binding. (Optional: Press a ¼" [6mm] strip of paper-backed fusible web on top of the folded-under edge.) Fold the binding in half with wrong sides together, matching the lengthwise edges. Press. (Leave paper in place.) 3Mark the quilt top ¼" (6mm) from each corner. 4Place the raw edges of the binding right sides together with the quilt top, beginning at the center of one edge of the quilt. Stitch the binding to the quilt top with a ¼" (6mm) seam, starting stitches about 4" (10cm) from the end of the binding. Stop stitching at the marked point. Lock stitches by stitching in place or stitching in reverse. NOTE from NANCY Use bias binding strips to bind large curved areas. Find more information about bias strips on page 18. B 20 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 20Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 20 3/15/11 2:04:38 PM3/15/11 2:04:38 PM
  • 22. FOLD BINDING UP FOLD BINDING DOWN; STITCH INSERT BINDING END; STITCH REMAINDER OF SEAM STITCH IN THE DITCH BACKING SIDE STITCH BY HAND WITH SINGLE THREAD 5Fold the binding up at a 45-degree angle, aligning the cut edges of the binding with the cut edge of the quilt. 6Fold the binding down, matching the binding fold to the top edge of the quilt, and matching the binding cut edges to the quilt side edges. Starting at the marked point, stitch a ¼" (6mm) seam down the side. Repeat at the remaining corners. 7When the binding reaches the starting point, overlap the binding and trim the excess. If a strip of paper-backed fusible web was used, remove the paper backing from the folded- under end of the binding. 8Fold and press the binding away from the quilt. 9Fold the binding to the wrong side, covering the stitching line and tucking in the corners to form miters. Hand-stitch the folded edges of the binding to the quilt backing, or stitch in the ditch, sewing in the well of the seam. Single-Fold Binding 1Cut 1½" (4cm) crosswise strips. 2Stitch the binding to the quilt or wearable art by following steps 4–9 as detailed in Double-Fold Binding (pages 20–21). 3Fold the cut edge of the binding under ¼" (6mm), and fold the binding to the back of the quilt or garment. Stitch the binding down by hand with a single thread that matches the binding color. NOTE from NANCY Use single-fold binding for midweight to heavy- weight fabrics, such as those used in wearable art. 21 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 21Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 21 3/15/11 2:04:39 PM3/15/11 2:04:39 PM
  • 23. Blanket Stitching: HAND Getting hand-stitched blanket stitches perfectly spaced once required tedious, time- consuming measuring. Here’s a clever way to add uniform blanket stitching to an edge with absolutely no measuring involved:Turn that task over to your sewing machine! A B C 1Adjust the sewing machine. Set the machine for a long blind hem stitch. Loosen the top tension by two numbers or notches. Stitch an even distance from the edge, approximately ¼"–½" (6mm–13mm) from the edge. • • • 2Hand-stitch a blanket stitch by bringing the needle through the fabric at each zig of the blind hem stitch. Insert the needle from the back at point A. Insert the needle at point B, and bring it out again at point C at the edge of the fabric. Make sure the thread or yarn is under the point of the needle as shown. • • Repeat, working from left to right and always keeping the needle over the yarn. Remove the basting stitches after the hand-stitching is completed. • • NOTE from NANCY Some of my favorite threads to use for blanket stitching include DMC floss or Madeira Silk Embroidery Floss. The size of the hand sewing needle depends upon the number of strands of floss selected. Select a hand sew- ing needle that will accommodate the thickness of the floss. B 22 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 22Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 22 3/15/11 2:04:40 PM3/15/11 2:04:40 PM
  • 24. Blanket Stitching: MACHINE Small, even blanket stitches can be achieved effectively by using your sewing machine with a few minor adjustments. Machine blanket stitching is perfect for appliqué when you want a unique stitch that resembles folk art appliqué! PAPER-BACKED FUSIBLE WEB ALLOW 1 ⁄4" (6MM) SEAM ALLOWANCES WRONG SIDE REMOVE PAPER BACKING 1Adjust the sewing machine. Set the machine for a blanket stitch with a stitch width of 2.0mm–4.0mm and a length of approximately 2.5mm. Test the settings by stitching on a scrap of fabric, and adjust if necessary. 2Trace the appliqués on paper-backed fusible web. Roughly cut out the appliqués leaving ¼" (6mm) around the outer edges. • • 3Apply the paper-backed fusible web appliqués to the wrong side of the fabrics; press with a dry iron to secure. Cut out the appliqués along the traced lines. Remove the paper backing. 4Fuse the appliqués to the background fabric with steam or a dampened press cloth according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add stabilizer if necessary. 5Machine-stitch around each appliqué using the blanket stitch. The straight stitch should follow the edge of the appliqué, with the zig falling within the appliqué. B NOTE from NANCY Some paper-backed fusible web products have a tacky web that allows you to position pieces temporarily before fusing them in place. This helps you audition the placement of the appliqués before fusing them permanently. 23 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 23Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_006-023.indd 23 3/15/11 2:04:41 PM3/15/11 2:04:41 PM
  • 25. PICK UP A FEW THREADS OF FABRIC WITH EACH STITCH Blind Hemming: HAND The main goal in blind hemming is for the stitches to be practically invisible. It’s important to allow a little slack in the thread to prevent puckers. EXPOSE 1 ⁄4" (6MM) OF HEM ALLOWANCE WRONG SIDE STITCH RIGHT TO LEFT 1Press up the hem. 2Fold back the main fabric, exposing ¼" (6mm) of the hem allowance. 3Anchor the thread in the hem allowance by taking two or more stitches on top of each other. 4Stitch right to left in the fold of the fabric, picking up just a few threads of fabric with each stitch. 5Stitch from right to left in the hem allowance, approximately ½" (13mm) from the stitching in the fold. The stitch resembles an elongated X shape, which builds in a slight amount of stretch so the hem doesn’t pull and pucker. NOTE from NANCY I like to use a metal hem gauge when pressing a hem so I can press and measure in one easy step. A hem gauge has both curved and straight edges to accom- modate straight or curved hems. B 24 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:24Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:24 3/15/11 2:04:49 PM3/15/11 2:04:49 PM
  • 26. Blind Hemming: MACHINE It’s always faster to hem by machine rather than by hand.The important step is to always test the stitch to make certain that the width of the stitch isn’t set too wide. BLIND HEM STITCH 1Press the hem following steps 1–2 of Blind Hemming: Hand (page 24). 2Set up the machine for a blind hem stitch as detailed in your owner’s manual. 3Attach a blind hem foot with a center guide. 4Stitch with the fold of the fabric along the guide on the blind hem foot. Test to make sure the stitch is catching the fold of the fabric. If the stitch shows too much on the right side or doesn’t stitch into the fold, lengthen or shorten the stitch width to correct the problem. • B NOTE from NANCY Use monofilament thread in the needle to assure that the hem is invisible. 25 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:25Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:25 3/15/11 2:05:01 PM3/15/11 2:05:01 PM
  • 27. NOTE from NANCY Take a careful look at the back of the buttonhole foot. When you place a button in the tray and slide the tray back, part of the button can extend into the opening at the end of the foot. This could make your finished buttonhole too small. To compensate, lengthen the buttonhole by ⅛" (3mm). Or as an alternative, care- fully place the button so it does not extend beyond the tray. Buttonholes Perfectly sized buttonholes are a must for garments that look nice and are securely fastened. Learn buttonhole basics to accurately measure, mark, stitch and open but- tonholes. If you anticipate that your buttonhole will get a lot of wear, consider making a corded buttonhole. It’s a great buttonhole reinforcement! MARK LOWER EDGES OF BUTTONS TAPE EXTEND MARKS Buttonhole Basics 1Determine the correct length of the buttonhole. Use tape to measure proper buttonhole length. Place a length of tape, such as Sewer’s Fix-It Tape, over the button. Start at the lower edge, extend the tape across the top, and stop at the opposite lower edge to allow for both the length and width of the button. Mark both lower edges of the button on the tape. • ‒ ‒ Remove the tape from the button. Straighten the tape and extend the marks. Save the tape to use as a guideline when sewing the buttonhole. Stitch the buttonhole next to, but not through, the tape. ‒ 2Use a sliding buttonhole foot. Place the button in the sliding tray at the back of the foot so it’s even with the edge of the tray. Slide the tray to meet the button. • • B BUTTON SHOULD BE EVEN WITH END OF TRAY Note the position of the arrow at the front of the foot. Grids are marked on the foot in ¼" (6mm) increments. Place a piece of tape half a marking (⅛" [3mm]) lower than the arrow position to allow for the depth of the button. This identifies the position where the buttonhole should stop. Remove the button. • • TAPE 26 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:26Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:26 3/15/11 2:05:02 PM3/15/11 2:05:02 PM
  • 28. STABILIZER 3Select a stabilizer. Use lightweight tear-away stabilizer under woven fabrics. Use water-soluble stabilizer both on top of and under knit fabrics. • • 4Set up the machine. Thread the top and bobbin of the machine with matching thread. Since buttonholes may be both functional and decorative, consider using rayon embroidery thread. Loosen the tension by two notches or numbers. Attach a buttonhole foot. Adjust the stitch length according to fabric type. Begin with the settings recommended in your owner’s manual. 5Stitch a trial buttonhole following the instructions in your sewing machine owner’s manual. Duplicate the fabric, interfacing and grainline in your sample because the finished buttonhole may be slightly different if these factors vary. • • • • • 6Use your favorite method for open- ing a buttonhole. I like to use a buttonhole cutter and block. Place the buttonhole over the block, positioning the cutter blade in the center of the buttonhole. Cut. If the buttonhole is smaller than the blade, place half the buttonhole over the block and cut. Repeat on the uncut half. If the buttonhole is larger than the blade, open part of the buttonhole; then repeat, opening the remainder of the buttonhole. • • • continued on next page > 27 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:27Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:27 3/15/11 2:05:12 PM3/15/11 2:05:12 PM
  • 29. CENTER FRONT 1 ⁄8" (3MM) CENTER 7Mark the buttonhole spacing on the project. Decide whether the buttonhole will be horizontal or vertical. Use horizontal buttonholes for closely fitting garments or at points of strain, like waistbands. End horizontal buttonholes ⅛" (3mm) beyond the center front or back. • ‒ Use vertical buttonholes on shirt plackets where centering the but- tonhole would be important. Also use them on knit fabrics, since the crosswise stretch of the fabric may cause a horizontal buttonhole to gape. Position vertical buttonholes on the centerline. ‒ Mark the actual buttonhole positions in one of these ways: Use a fabric marking pen or pencil. This technique is a good choice when using the sliding buttonhole foot or another method where the length of the buttonhole is meas- ured by the foot. Mark beginning and ending points on Sewer’s Fix-It Tape. Place the tape slightly to the side of or below the buttonhole to prevent stitching through the tape. Use Space Tape. This see-through, pressure-sensitive tape is printed with horizontal and vertical markings, in sizes ranging from ½"–1" (13mm–25mm). Corre- sponding buttonholes are spaced 3½" (9cm) apart, the standard buttonhole spacing. The tape acts as a stabilizer as well as a guideline. Stitch through the tape, and then carefully remove the excess tape. Save unused sections on wax paper to use at another time. • ‒ ‒ ‒ 8Seal the edges of the buttonhole opening with a seam sealant, such as Fray Check, to prevent raveling. 28 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:28Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:28 3/15/11 2:05:13 PM3/15/11 2:05:13 PM
  • 30. Corded Buttonholes 1Use purchased cording, or make your own cording using this easy technique. Use a conventional presser foot. Pull the top and bobbin threads together, allowing about 7" (18cm) per buttonhole. Fold the thread back on itself, pulling out a total of about six strands of thread. Twist the strands together and place under the presser foot. Hold threads in front and back of the machine as you zigzag over them using a 2.0mm–2.5mm stitch length. • • • • LOOP CORDING AROUND TOE CROSS CORDING PULL ENDS OF CORDING 2Cut the cording into approximately 7" (18cm) lengths. 3Attach a buttonhole foot. Loop the cording section around the toe at the back of the foot, and bring the cording under and to the front of the foot, crossing the cords in the three- pronged toe. 4Complete the buttonhole. Stitch the buttonhole over the cording. Pull the cut ends of the cording until the loop in the back of the buttonhole disappears. Thread the cut ends through a large- eyed needle and pull to the wrong side of the fabric. Knot the cords together and trim. • • • NOTE from NANCY If the interfacing shows through the buttonhole open- ing, color the fabric edges with a permanent fabric marking pen. 29 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:29Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:29 3/15/11 2:05:15 PM3/15/11 2:05:15 PM
  • 31. Buttons Save time sewing buttons by using your sewing machine,and create beautiful thread shanks with ease. Some sewing machines have a special stitch setting and foot for sewing on buttons,but if yours doesn’t,simply use a fringe foot and zigzag stitch. 1Attach a fringe foot. The center bar of the fringe foot creates the button shank. 2Tape the button to the project using transparent tape or Sewer’s Fix-It Tape. Position the tape so the stitching doesn’t pierce the tape, if possible. Turn the flywheel by hand to ensure the needle bar clears the foot’s center bar and the stitching is aligned with the openings in the button. • • 3Zigzag five or six stitches in place using a length of 0 and a stitch width of approximately 2.0mm. 4Raise the presser foot and remove the stitching from the center bar by gently slipping the stitches off the foot. Cut the threads, leaving long thread tails. 5Separate the button and the project so the thread shank floats between the two. 6Thread a needle with the thread tails. Draw the thread tails to the center, between the button and the fabric. 7Wrap the thread tails around the thread shank. Tie the threads, or bring the tails to the underside of the fabric and tie off. 8Apply a drop of seam sealant, such as Fray Check or Fray Block, to the shank. This reinforces the shank and provides added security. B If you don’t have access to a fringe foot, you can improvise by using a coffee stir stick or toothpick taped to your regular presser foot. Sewing over the stick is much like sewing over the center bar on the fringe foot to give your button a nice shank. It’s rather unconventional looking and not as durable, but it works! STIR STICK NOTE from NANCY 30 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:30Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:30 3/15/11 2:05:15 PM3/15/11 2:05:15 PM
  • 32. Casings Casings are generally made to enclose ribbon,self-fabric ties or elastic to gather up fabric for fitting,closing or decorating an area.You’ll find this technique for an elastic casing to be the simplest one ever! WRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE LEAVE OPEN 3" (8CM) 1Form the casing. Zigzag or serge the casing edge. Turn under and prepress the casing on each cut piece using a hem gauge for accuracy. Prepressing this edge makes it easier to turn and stitch the casing later. • • Stitch the side and/or center seams, leaving one of the seams unstitched from the foldline to the cut edge of the casing. (If there is a center back seam, that’s a good place for the opening.) • Press the seams flat; then press the seams open. Trim away half the width of the seam between the casing foldline and the cut edge to reduce bulk. • • Machine baste each seam allowance to the garment about 3" (8cm) from the upper edge. This prevents the elastic from getting caught under the seam when it is inserted. • Fold the casing to the wrong side along the prepressed casing line. Pin the casing to the garment/project. Check to ensure that the unstitched edges of the final seam meet at the seamline. continued on next page > • C 31 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:31Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:31 3/19/11 10:25:22 AM3/19/11 10:25:22 AM
  • 33. WRONG SIDE Stitch around the lower edge of the casing. Use a stitching guide so the stitching is a uniform distance from the edge. Also stitch around the top of the casing, approximately ⅛" (3mm) from the folded edge. The distance between the two lines of stitching must be slightly greater than the width of the elastic. • 2Measure and insert the elastic. Cut the elastic about 2" (5cm) smaller than the finished measurement desired. Center a 2" (5cm) square of firmly woven fabric under one cut edge of the elastic. Securely zigzag the elastic to the fabric. • • Attach an elastic guide or bodkin to the unstitched end of the elastic. Thread the elastic through the opening in the seam. The fabric square will help stop the free end of the elastic from being drawn into the seam opening. • Kiss the other end of the elastic against the first end. Zigzag through the elastic and fabric several times. • Trim away excess fabric that extends beyond the elastic.• Distribute fullness evenly around the casing. Remove the basting stitches. • 32 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:32Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:32 3/15/11 2:05:19 PM3/15/11 2:05:19 PM
  • 34. Chain Stitch: QUILTING The process of stitching multiple patchwork blocks, triangles or strata pieces without cutting the threads between the units is known as chain stitching. It’s a great time-saving technique. KISS STRIPS AND CHAIN TOGETHER 1Set the machine for a short stitch length, 12–15 stitches per inch. 2Align the blocks, triangles or strips of fabric with right sides together. Stitch a seam as the pattern indicates. 3At the end of the first seam, do not raise the presser foot or cut the threads. 4Kiss the second set of blocks, triangles or strips to the first and continue sewing, chain stitching the sections together. 5Clip the threads between the sections after chain stitching all like pieces. C NOTE from NANCY Serger chain stitching is a specific type of stitch. Refer to page 104 for more information. 33 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:33Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:33 3/15/11 2:05:21 PM3/15/11 2:05:21 PM
  • 35. Circles Mark and cut circles with ease using one of the many cutters and rulers on the market, or use your imagination and various round household items. I use two simple methods to make most of the circles for my sewing and quilting projects. 1Various size round plates work well for marking designs and quilting templates. Cups, saucers and jar or bottle tops serve well for marking yo-yos and appliqué templates. 2A yardstick compass may be a good investment for extra-large circles (up to 72" [183cm] diameter) and those that need to be a specific size. Attach the yardstick compass to a yardstick. Place the pointed end of the yardstick compass at the 0" (0mm) marking and the pencil point at the measurement that is half of the diameter. (For example: Place the pencil point at the 21" [53cm] marking for a circle with a 42" [107cm] diameter.) Draw the circle pattern on paper for your project. • • • Clipping Clipping is a very important part of sewing. Curved areas of a garment like necklines and other curved seams just won’t curve if they aren’t clipped!Those little nips to the seamline on inner curves allow a little flexibility. Just be careful not to clip past the seamline! If a seam has a sharp or pronounced curve, you may need to clip the seam to make it lie flat. Clipping may be necessary on princess-style seams and/or facings. Cut short nips perpen- dicular to the seamline. PLACE POINT AT 0 PLACE PENCIL POINT AT HALF OF DESIRED DIAMETER TRACE CIRCLE ON PATTERN PAPER FACING WRONG SIDE CUT SHORT NIPS C C 34 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:34Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:34 3/15/11 2:05:21 PM3/15/11 2:05:21 PM
  • 36. Cutting: PATTERNS Streamline your pattern cutting time whether you use a pair of shears or a rotary cutter. One of my favorite cutting surfaces is a ping-pong table! If using a rotary cutter,invest in a large cutting mat that can be positioned underneath your fabric before cutting. Cutting Patterns with a Shears Move around the fabric as you cut instead of moving the fabric toward you. You will be less likely to distort the grainline of the fabric. Cut along the marked pattern lines, trimming notches off as you cut for a smoother line. Notches can be marked later with short nips. • • Cut out the interfacing at the same time you cut out the rest of the project. Use a sharp scissors or shears, and cut with long, smooth strokes. For best results, use an 8" (20cm) dressmaker shears for cutting fabrics. Sharpen your sewing shears periodi- cally to ensure clean-cut edges. Use a sharpening stone, sliding the stone upward along the beveled surface of the knife edge blade, working from the shank of the blade to the tip. Cut into a piece of fabric, starting at the base of the shears and cutting all the way to the tip of the shears to remove any burrs left from the sharpening process. After honing, wipe the blade clean. • • • ‒ ‒ ‒ Cutting Patterns with a Rotary Cutter 1Use a cutting mat and ruler with a rotary cutter to cut out patterns. Use a small 28mm rotary cutter for light- to medium-weight fabrics as it provides greater maneuverability around curves and tight corners. Use a large 45mm–60mm cutter for straight edges and heavier fabrics. • • 2Use a clear gridded ruler as a guide when cutting straight lines. C NOTE from NANCY To keep your sewing shears in good condition, use it only on fabric. Cutting paper dulls your sewing shears very quickly. Have a pair of paper-cutting scissors specifically for cutting craft projects and precutting paper patterns. 35 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:35Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:35 3/15/11 2:05:22 PM3/15/11 2:05:22 PM
  • 37. Cutting: QUILT STRIPS Stratas, or strips of fabric sewn together, are the basis for many patchwork designs. Rotary-cut fabric into strips,stitch the strips together and then subcut them into sections. This saves time,increases accuracy and eliminates the need for templates. SELVAGES FOLD FOLD AGAIN 1Prepare the fabric for cutting. Fold the fabric in half, meeting the selvage edges.• Fold the fabric again, bringing the fold to the selvages. (There now will be four layers of fabric.) • Place the fabric on a rotary cutting mat, aligning the fold along one of the horizontal lines at the lower edge of the mat. • Position a ruler on the fabric perpendicular to the fold so it forms a right angle. Straighten the fabric edge, using a rotary cutter to trim away any excess fabric. • C 36 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:36Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:36 3/15/11 2:05:23 PM3/15/11 2:05:23 PM
  • 38. NOTE from NANCY For greatest accuracy, I prefer to have the major- ity of the fabric to the left of the ruler when I make that first cut to straighten the edge. Firmly hold the ruler in position with your left hand, and cut with your right. Then carefully rotate the mat so the trimmed edge of the fabric is on the left before cutting the strips. 2Cut the strips. Determine the strip width. The width of the strip is determined by the completed design. Align one of the ruler’s horizontal lines with the fabric fold. Working from the straightened edge, place the line correspond- ing to the desired strip width along the straightened edge of the fabric. Cut the fabric into crosswise strips. • • • NOTE from NANCY Remember to close or retract the blade of the rotary cut- ter before putting it down to prevent unnecessary cuts. 37 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:37Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:37 3/15/11 2:05:24 PM3/15/11 2:05:24 PM
  • 39. Darts Do darts have you in a dither? Stitch a straight, dimple-free dart in seconds using your top thread as a stitching guide. CLIP WRONG SIDE MARK DART POINT CLIP FOLD DART POINT TIE THE THREAD BY CHAIN STITCHING OFF THE FABRIC ATTACH THE TAIL TO THE DART 1Mark the dart. Make short ½" (6mm) clips at the cut edges of the dart. Use a washable marking pencil or chalk to mark the point of the dart. • • 2Fold the dart, right sides together, meeting the ¼" (6mm) clips. 3Before lowering the presser foot, pull the top thread slightly longer than the dart length. Place the fabric under the presser foot, lower the presser foot and stitch one stitch. 4Lay the thread on top of the fabric to mark the stitching line between the nips and the dart point. 5Set the machine to straight stitch and sew the dart, following the thread guide. 6At the end of the dart, turn the machine’s wheel by hand, just barely catching two or three stitches along the dart fold. 7Tie the thread by chain stitching, sewing off the fabric and allowing the threads to lock together. 8Attach the tail to the dart. Sew two or three stitches; then cut the threads. D 38 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:38Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:38 3/15/11 2:05:26 PM3/15/11 2:05:26 PM
  • 40. Decorative Stitches Decorative stitches are a mainstay on most sewing machines,yet unfortunately we rarely use them. Here are a few tips on how to use decorative stitches so you’ll feel confident adding a touch of artful sewing to your next project. BOBBIN THREAD SHOULD NOT SHOW 1Insert an embroidery or open toe foot and an embroidery needle on your sewing machine. 2Thread the top of the machine with rayon, cotton or polyester embroidery thread. Use a lightweight thread such as Madeira Bobbinfil Thread or prewound bobbins in the bobbin. Using a lightweight bobbin thread helps keep the bobbin thread from showing on the right side of the fabric. 3Use a stabilizer to improve stitch quality. For more informa- tion, see Stabilizers (pages 118–119). 4Loosen the top tension by two numbers or notches. This helps draw the top thread to the underside of the fabric and keeps the bobbin thread out of view. 5Test the stitching on a sample to determine whether the stabilizer and thread tension are appropriate. The bobbin thread should remain on the underside of the fabric. It should not be visible on the right side. The top thread should be drawn slightly to the underside so it is visible on the wrong side of the fabric. • • • • D 39 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:39Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_024-039.indd Sec1:39 3/15/11 2:05:26 PM3/15/11 2:05:26 PM
  • 41. NOTE from NANCY If your machine does not have two spool pins, wind an extra bobbin and stack the bobbin with the spool on the spool pin. Double Needles A double needle has two needles attached to a single shaft, so on the right side of a double-needle stitched hem, you’ll see two perfectly parallel rows of stitching. On the wrong side of the fabric, a single bobbin thread moves back and forth between the two needle threads and looks similar to a zigzag stitch. RIGHT SIDE 1.6MM SIZE 80 2.0MM SIZE 80 3.0MM SIZE 80 4.0MM SIZE 80 6.0MM SIZE 100 Sizes Double or twin needles are identified by the distance in millimeters between the two needles. Common double needle sizes include: 1.6mm needle, size 80 2.0mm needle, size 80 3.0mm needle, size 80 4.0mm needle, size 80 6.0mm needle, size 100 • • • • • Uses Use narrow double needles to sew heir- loom stitches. Use wider double needles for facings, hems and necklines. Double-Needle Hemming A double-needle topstitched hem is ideal for knits, since the bobbin thread zigzags between the top threads to build in stretch, while the top thread forms two parallel rows of stitches. Prepare the hem as you would for a topstitched hem. Select a 3.0mm/80 or 4.0mm/80 double needle appropriate to the fabric. • • Pass the threads through the machine tensions as if they were a single thread, separating them at the needles. For best results, lengthen the stitch and slightly loosen the tension. Test the stitching on a fabric scrap before stitching on the garment. Adjust the tension and stitch length if necessary. ‒ ‒ Use two spools of thread on the top of the machine, positioning them so the threads unwind in opposite directions. This prevents the threads from tangling. • D 40 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 40Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 40 3/15/11 3:05:27 PM3/15/11 3:05:27 PM
  • 42. NOTE from NANCY Ordinarily, we stitch directionally from the lower edge to the top edge of a garment seam. But if one seam edge is longer than the other, disregard that rule. Stitching directionally would mean that on one of the garment seams, the longer edge would be against the feed dogs, and on the other, the shorter edge would be against the feed dogs. Instead, in this case always sew with the longer length on the bottom, regardless of which direction you would be stitching. Easing: SEAMS Whenever one of the seam edges is longer than the other (for example, on pants inseams, shoulder seams or curved princess-style seams), use the feed dogs to efficiently ease the fabric as you stitch the seam. WRONG SIDE Stitch a uniform distance from the hem fold, sewing on the right side of the fabric. Check to ensure the stitching catches the hem. Trim the excess hem fabric after completing the stitching. • • 1Place the longer seam edge next to the feed dogs, with the shorter edge on the top. 2Slightly cant the fabric up as you stitch to allow the feed dogs to bite more of the fabric and ease in the longer layer. Voilà! The edges of the finished seam match perfectly. E TRIM EXCESS HEM FABRIC 41 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 41Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 41 3/15/11 3:05:31 PM3/15/11 3:05:31 PM
  • 43. Use two pencils with erasers—and a little sewing know-how—to ease sleeves. Or choose one of the other methods for easing sleeves mentioned below. Easing: SLEEVES 1 ⁄2" (13MM) PRESS FINGER AGAINST BACK OF FOOT WRONG SIDE GATHER THREADS AND FASTEN Pencil Eraser Method 1Place the cut-out sleeve under the presser foot, beginning at one of the underarm notches. Lower the needle into the fabric ½" (13mm) from the edge. 2Position two pencil erasers on the fabric so one is on each side of the presser foot just in front of the needle. Pull the erasers outward and away from the presser foot as you stitch around the sleeve cap, stretch- ing the fabric in front of the needle. 3Sew over the eased area. Reposition the erasers and continue stitching, again pulling the erasers outward and away from the presser foot as you stitch around the sleeve cap. 4Repeat, stitching small sections at a time until you reach the under- arm notch on the opposite edge of the sleeve. Finger-Easing Method This method requires only one row of stitching between notches and is perfect for lightweight to medium-weight fabrics. Practice on a fabric scrap until you get the hang of it. 1Adjust the stitch length according to the fabric weight: 10–12 stitches per inch (per 2.5cm) for medium-weight fabrics and 12–14 stitches per inch (per 2.5cm) for lightweight. 2Stitch ½" (13mm) from the cut edge of the sleeve cap. 3Firmly press your finger against the back of the presser foot. Stitch 2" to 3" (5cm to 8cm), trying to stop the fabric from flowing through the machine. Release your finger and repeat. Your finger will prevent the flow of fabric from behind the presser foot, causing the feed dogs to ease each stitch slightly. • Machine-Basting Method A third option for easing is to machine- baste two rows of stitching between notches, stitching at ½" (13mm) and ¾" (19mm) from the edge. Ease the fabric by pulling the bobbin threads. E 42 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 42Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 42 3/15/11 3:05:32 PM3/15/11 3:05:32 PM
  • 44. NOTE from NANCY If you use a marking pen or pencil, remember that pressing over those marks often makes them permanent or very difficult to remove. Mark only at the outer edges and then press to identify the entire length of the pleat or tuck. NOTE from NANCY If you do not have an edgestitching foot, move the needle position to the far right side of a standard presser foot. Sew, guiding the foot along the edge of the fabric. Edgestitching To stitch picture-perfect pleats and tucks,or super-straight topstitching,use these edge- stitching techniques.An edgestitching foot is very helpful as it has an adjustable side bar designed with a lip to guide the fabric. It is the perfect guide for stitching even tucks. RIGHT SIDE 1Mark the outer edges of each pleat with a removable marking pen or pencil. Or cut short ¼" (6mm) nips at the outer edges to indicate pleat positions. Press-mark, wrong sides together, to identify each pleat position. Use the side or tip of the iron so you don’t remove previously pressed pleat positions. 2Determine the position for the side bar using test fabric. Mark the desired tuck distance from the fold. Position the fabric under the presser foot, lower the needle at the marked position and adjust the side bar so the folded fabric edge guides along the lip on the bar. To make tucks wider than ¼" (6mm), move the needle position to the left, if possible. • • • 4Repeat, stitching additional tucks at press-marked positions. 3When the bar is positioned correctly, stitch the tucks on the project, beginning about ½" (13mm) from the cut edge to help the fabric feed through the machine. Guide the fabric over the lip and against the side bar. E MOVE NEEDLE TO RIGHT POSITION 43 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 43Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 43 3/15/11 3:05:34 PM3/15/11 3:05:34 PM
  • 45. Braided Elastic Strong, general-purpose elastic Sizes: ⅛"–⅜" (3mm–10mm) Fiber content: 100 percent polyester Use for fabric casings and swimwear Woven Elastic (Non-Roll and Ribbed Non-Roll) Strong elastic that resists rolling and twisting Sizes: ½"–1" (13mm–25mm) Fiber content: 100 percent polyester Use for waistbands and other areas that require a strong elastic Knitted Elastic Soft and stretchy elastic Sizes: ½"–1½" (13mm–38mm) Fiber content: 67 percent polyester and 33 percent rubber Use mainly for knit sportswear and underwear Heavy Stretch Waistband Elastic Heavy elastic that is soft and stretchy Size: 1½" (38mm) Fiber content: 65 percent polyester and 33 percent rubber Use primarily for waistbands in a casing (pages 31–32), or stitch it directly onto the fabric Clear Elastic Very stretchy: Stretches 3–4 times its original length Size: ⅜" (10mm) Fiber content: 100 percent polyurethane Use to stabilize knit seams or to finish neckline, armhole and leg openings on swimwear and activewear • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Elastic Types RIBBED NON-ROLL ELASTIC BRAIDED ELASTIC KNITTED ELASTIC CLEAR ELASTIC HEAVY STRETCH WAISTBAND ELASTIC Tops, pants, dresses, swimwear, aerobic wear—the list is seemingly endless when it comes to using elastic as the hidden shaping secret. Here are the basic elastics that every creative person needs to know about. E 44 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 44Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 44 3/15/11 3:05:35 PM3/15/11 3:05:35 PM
  • 46. NOTE from NANCY If your waist is quite a bit smaller than your hips, pin the elastic together without trimming off the excess. Try on the elastic, pulling it up over your hips. If the elastic is too tight to slide comfortably over your hips, readjust the elastic before sewing it together. Elastic: BASIC TECHNIQUE There are a myriad of elastics and elastic techniques for use in garments and crafts.The following stitch-in elastic technique is a basic method with a variety of uses. If you prefer a traditional casing for elastic, see pages 31–32. WRONG SIDE MATCH QUARTERS; STITCH BASTE AT SEAMS WRONG SIDE STITCH RIGHT SIDE 1Prepare the elastic. Cut the elastic 2"–4" (5cm–10cm) smaller than the waistline measurement, depending on what you feel is comfortable. Anchor the elastic ends to woven fabric (page 32). Or, overlap the elastic ends ¼" (6mm). Zigzag the ends together several times. Use several rows of stitching to join the elastic securely. • • 2Attach the elastic. Quarter both the elastic and the garment waistline; mark with pins or a fabric marker. Pin the elastic to the garment at each quarter point, meeting the elastic to the wrong side of the garment. Serge or zigzag the elastic to the cut edge of the waistband, stretching the elastic to fit. • • • Fold under the elastic for casing. Check to be sure the fabric is securely wrapped around the elastic. Baste stitch through the elastic and garment at each seam. This holds the casing and elastic in position for the final stitch- ing. This stitching is removed after the casing is completed. • • Straight stitch or zigzag along the lower edge of the casing, stretching the elastic to fit. Stitch around the entire waistline, using the initial zigzagging or serging as a guide. Remove the basting threads. • E 45 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 45Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 45 3/15/11 3:05:38 PM3/15/11 3:05:38 PM
  • 47. 1Cut a piece of clear elastic the length of the seam. 2Stitch the clear elastic to the fabric using a narrow zigzag (.05–.1 width), often called a wobble stitch (page 60), or serge the seam, including the elastic in the seam. The cylinders used to turn fabric tubes are ingenious and offer a simple time-saving solution to a job that once belonged to the lowly safety pin.After the hook connects with the fabric tube,one slick motion turns the tube right side out. Fabric Tubes WRONG SIDEWRONG SIDE WOBBLE STITCH SERGED STITCH INSERT WIRE AND TURN HOOK CLOCKWISE WRONG SIDE Elastic: CLEAR TECHNIQUE Stabilize shoulder seams to prevent them from stretching out of shape. Use this clear elastic technique for a stretchy yet stable seam with good retention. 1Stitch the lengthwise edges of the tube together using a ¼" (6mm) seam, meet- ing right sides and leaving both ends unstitched. Finger press the seam open. 2Select a fabric tube cylinder that slips easily inside the fabric tube. These cylindrical tubes are available in sizes ranging from ⅛"–¾" (3mm– 19mm) openings. It’s a two-part notion: a cylinder and a slender wire with a pig- tail hook that inserts into the cylinder. • 3Turn the tube right-side-out. Slip the cylinder inside the stitched tube. Wrap and fold one end of the tube tightly over the end of the cylinder. Insert the wire into the cylinder from the handle end. Turn the hook clock- wise (to the right) so the pigtail goes through the fabric. • • E F 46 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 46Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 46 3/15/11 3:05:39 PM3/15/11 3:05:39 PM
  • 48. RELEASE HOOK BY TURNING COUNTER- CLOCKWISE INSERT ROLLED- UP FLEECE IN ONE END OF TUBE TAPE FLEECE PULL GENTLY TO ENCASE FLEECE LEAVE OPEN TO TURN WRONG SIDE Add Cording or Stuffing to Tubes 1Select cording that will fit inside the fabric tube, or cut strips of polyester fleece the width of the original fabric strip. 2Cut, stitch and thread the tube over the cylinder. Insert the hook and pull the first ½" (13mm) of the fabric into the tube as detailed at left. 3Tape the end of the cording to make insertion easier. With fleece, roll and tape the end to form a narrow point that will fit inside the tube. 4Insert the end of the cording/fleece into the end of the tube and gently pull on the hook. The cording/fleece will be drawn into the tube and automatically encased as the tube is turned. Turn Longer Tubes 1Turn large tubes with finished ends by stitching the ends of the tubes closed and leaving an opening in the middle of the tube. 2Thread half of the fabric tube onto the appropriate fabric tube cylinder. Turn the tube right side out. 3Repeat for the remaining half of the tube. Hand-stitch the opening closed. Gently pull the wire back through the cylinder, turning the fabric tube right- side-out. Do not turn the hook or it may release from the fabric. When the turned tube reaches the opening in the cylinder, release the hook by turning it counterclockwise (to the left). Complete the turning by pulling the fabric, rather than the hook, to prevent the wire from breaking. • • PULL WIRE BACK THROUGH CYLINDER 47 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 47Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 47 3/15/11 3:05:40 PM3/15/11 3:05:40 PM
  • 49. NOTE from NANCY Use pinking shears to grade and trim the seam allowances in one step. When using lightweight fab- rics, trim both seam allowances simultaneously. To minimize bulk when using heavier fabrics, cut each seam allowance separately. Facings A facing covers and encloses a raw edge. It usually doesn’t show on the outside of the garment. You may find facings at the neckline, armhole, sleeve, and the front and back openings. ZIGZAG RAW EDGE SERGE RAW EDGE PRESS UNDER EDGE; STITCH CLOSE TO FOLDED EDGE TRIM FACING TO 1 ⁄4" (6MM) TRIM GARMENT TO 3 ⁄8" (10MM) RIGHT SIDE FACING RIGHT SIDE GARMENT RIGHT SIDE UNDERSTITCHING 1Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the facing sections. 2If the facing has several sections, follow the pattern directions for stitching them together. Press the seams open and trim them to ¼” (6mm) to reduce bulk. 3Finish the outer edge of the facing by zigzagging, serging or clean finishing the edges. 4Stitch the facing to the garment, right sides together, aligning the cut edges and matching the notches, seams and markings. 5Cut each seam allowance a different width to reduce bulk all the way around the neckline. This is called grading. Trim the facing seam to ¼" (6mm). Trim the garment seam to ⅜" (10mm). • • 6Understitch as follows, stitching both seam allowances to the facing. Understitching prevents the facing from rolling to the right side. Press the seam flat, then press the facing away from the gar- ment, covering the seam allowance. Press all the seam allow- ances toward the facing. From the right side, stitch the seam allowances to the facing with either a straight stitch, zigzag or multi-step zigzag. Stitch on the facing close to the seamline. • • F PRESS OPEN AND TRIM 48 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 48Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 48 3/15/11 3:05:42 PM3/15/11 3:05:42 PM
  • 50. Fusible Web Fusible web is available by the yard or on a narrow roll. Sandwich fusible web between two layers of fabric and press to secure,following the manufacturer’s instructions. Fusible web usually forms a permanent bond,securing the fabric layers together. Fusible web is often used for emergency hemming. Fusible Web: PAPER-BACKED Paper-backed fusible web has one side that is a fusible web and the other is a paper backing. Pressing on the paper side of the fusible web adheres the web to fabric, securely positioning it for stitching. Fusible webs are available in various weights.Test to find one that works best for the fabric and the project. 7Turn the facing to the wrong side and press. 8Secure the facing to the garment at the seamlines. Stitch in the ditch as follows to prevent the facing from rolling to the right side. Stitch in the groove (called the ditch) of each seam. Stitch from the right side, sewing through all the thicknesses. Pull the thread tails to the wrong side and tie. Clip off the thread tails. • • STITCH IN THE DITCH RIGHT SIDE F F 49 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 49Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 49 3/15/11 3:05:43 PM3/15/11 3:05:43 PM
  • 51. Gathers add an attractive accent to a project, but preventing gathering threads from breaking and getting the gathers evenly distributed can be challenging.Although there are several ways to gather fabric, once you try my favorite technique, there’s no need to try any other method. Gathers 1Place the fabric to be gathered under the presser foot, posi- tioning the needle ½"–⅝" (13mm–16mm) from the edge. Turn the wheel by hand or press the one stitch button to take one complete stitch in the fabric. 2Lightly pull on the top thread and draw up the loop that appears. Bring the bobbin thread to the top of the fabric. 3Grasp both the top and bobbin threads. Pull the threads to measure as long as the area to be gathered. Gently twist the two threads together and position them under the presser foot. 4Adjust the sewing machine for a medium zigzag with the stitch length and width set at approximately 3. Zigzag over the twisted threads inside the seam allowance, making a cas- ing for the gathering threads. Be sure you don’t stitch through the twisted threads! Stop stitching ⅝" (16mm) from the edge. 5Gather the fabric by gently pulling on the twisted threads. Because the threads are anchored in the first stitch, they will not pull out of the fabric. Wrap the thread tails around a pin after the fabric is gathered to the appropriate size. G 50 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 50Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 50 3/15/11 3:05:44 PM3/15/11 3:05:44 PM
  • 52. Grading Grade seam allowances by trimming each seam allowance to a different width. Grade seams such as collars, cuffs and neckline seams to reduce the bulk and help the seams lie flat. Usually the garment seam allowance is left the widest. For example, when trimming a facing, trim the facing allowance to ¼" (6mm) and the garment seam allowance to 3 ⁄8" (10mm). Grainline A straight line with an arrow on each end is the symbol used for grainline. Use this arrow to position the pattern on the fabric. The grainline arrow should run parallel to the selvage edge of the fabric, or the lengthwise grain of the fabric. For more detailed information, see pages 64–65. TRIM GARMENT TO 3 ⁄8" (10MM) TRIM FACING TO 1 ⁄4" (6MM) WRONG SIDE The technique of grading a seam can be found in the earliest of sewing textbooks. The process is simple—a sewing mainstay! The grainline on the pattern—the longest linear line printed on the piece—is given to align with the grainline of the fabric. Matching the grainlines of the pattern and the fabric will ensure that the garment will fit and hang properly. G G GRAINLINE ARROW 51 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 51Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 51 3/15/11 3:05:46 PM3/15/11 3:05:46 PM
  • 53. NOTE from NANCY I like to use a Quick Quarter for ease in marking half-square triangles. The center slot pro- vides an accurate opening for marking the diagonal line, and the edges provide perfect ¼" (6mm) seam allowances on both sides. Half-Square Triangles Make half-square triangles by taking two fabric squares, sewing diagonally with right sides together, then cutting the squares in half diagonally between the stitching lines. Voilà—two half-square triangles! WRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE 1Select two contrasting fabrics and cut block sizes from each as follows: (Includes ¼" [6mm] seam allowances on all edges.) For a 3½" (9cm) block: Cut 3⅞" (10cm) squares. For a 4½" (11cm) block: Cut 4⅞" (12cm) squares. For a 6½" (17cm) block: Cut 6⅞" (18cm) squares. 2Place the two contrasting squares right sides together. 3Mark a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner, and mark ¼" (6mm) seam allowances on each side of the diagonal line. • • • 4Stitch on each of the marked seam allowance lines. 5Cut the squares apart on the diagonal line between the seam allowances. 6Press both sections open to create two half-square triangles. H 52 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 52Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 52 3/15/11 3:05:46 PM3/15/11 3:05:46 PM
  • 54. Hems Nearly everything you sew has a hem—skirts,pants,sleeves and even home décor items such as curtains and table linens. By using a few simple hints, you can turn this time- consuming chore into a simple sewing task. WRONG SIDE FOLD UP HEM WRONG SIDE HEMLINE GRADE SEAM ALLOWANCE IN HEM ZIGZAG SERGE WRONG SIDE FOLD BACK HEM SO 1 ⁄4" (6MM) SHOWS WRONG SIDE 1Fold up the hem. Prepress the hem on each flat piece before stitching it to another piece. This is a great time-saving technique. Use a hem gauge, such as the Ezy-Hem Gauge to provide an accurate measurement and to avoid leaving a hem impression on the right side of the fabric. Place the gauge on the wrong side of the fabric. Fold up the hem allowances over the gauge to the desired width and press. • • 2Grade the seam allowances within the hem area to reduce bulk. 3Finish the cut edge of the hem by zigzagging or serging. 4Hand-stitch the hem in place using a blind hem stitch. Thread a needle with a single strand of thread. Cut the thread about 18" (46cm) long. The thread will tangle and knot more easily if it is too long. Knot one end of the thread. Fold back the hem edge so ¼" (6mm) of the edge shows. • • Work from right to left. Take a tiny stitch in the hem; then take a tiny stitch in the project about ¼" (6mm) ahead of that stitch. Pick up only one or two threads in the fabric. Take a stitch in the hem edge about ¼" (6mm) ahead of the last stitch. Repeat, alternating stitches between the hem edge and the project. Don’t pull the stitches too tight or the hem will pucker. • • • • H continued on next page > 53 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 53Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 53 3/15/11 3:05:49 PM3/15/11 3:05:49 PM
  • 55. Hooks and Eyes Use hooks and eyes to fasten garment openings where there will be lots of stress, such as on waistbands. Use a straight eye when the edges overlap and a looped eye when the edges only meet. Regular hooks and eyes are available in sizes 0–3,with 3 being the largest. 1Sew on the hook. Place the hook on the overlap with its end (the bill) about ⅛" (3mm) from the edge. Use a single, knotted thread. Fasten the thread under the hook. Stitch around both rings, placing the stitches close together. Stitch through only the facing and interfacing. Do not stitch through to the right side of the garment. Before fastening the thread, fasten the bill with several over- hand stitches. This helps keep the top layer flat when the hook is fastened. 2Sew on the eye. Position the hook over the other part of the garment as if it were fastened. Place the straight eye or the loop of the rounded eye directly under the hook. Mark its position. Stitch around the rings of the eye. • • • • • • • 5As an option, stitch the hem using a machine blind hem stitch. Fold back the project edge so about ¼" (6mm) of the hem edge shows. Adjust your sewing machine for a blind hem stitch as detailed in your owner’s manual. Stitch so the straight stitch falls in the hem allowance and the zig just catches the project at the fold. • • • WRONG SIDE STITCH OVER LOWER PART OF BILL H 54 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 54Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 54 3/15/11 3:05:50 PM3/15/11 3:05:50 PM
  • 56. NOTE from NANCY Before purchasing interfacing, feel the weight and think, “Less is best!” A weight lighter than the fabric often provides the perfect shaping. When in doubt, press a sample of fusible interfacing on a sample of fabric. You’ll know in seconds if you’ve chosen the correct weight. There are times when a fusible interfacing isn’t the best choice—when working with silk fabric in particular! In that instance, I often cut a second layer of the silk to use as the interfacing. Machine- or hand-baste the second layer of silk in place for a drapable, yet supportive interfacing. Interfacing Interfacings are hidden inside garments,but they’re essential for good construction. Fused or sewn to the wrong side of the fabric,interfacing adds shape and body. ROLL INTERFACING ON TUBE TUCK INSTRUCTIONS INSIDE FULL FUSE INTERFACING FABRIC WRONG SIDE PRESS CLOTH STEAM- BASTE WITH TIP OF IRON Choosing the Right Weight and Type of Interfacing for Your Fabric Nonfusible interfacing is generally basted in place and is later secured in place as the pieces are stitched together. Fusible interfacing is easier to work with and therefore is better suited to beginning sewers. Choose a fusible interfacing that is one weight lighter than your fabric since the fusing resins add weight once the interfacing is fused to the fabric. There are three general categories of fusible interfacing: nonwoven, woven and knit. Each category of fusible interfacing is available in light- weight to midweight. Storing Interfacing To store interfacing, roll it onto a tube. This prevents wrinkles and saves space. Tuck the interfacing instructions for fusing inside the tube. • • ‒ ‒ ‒ • Using Fusible Interfacing for a Fuss-Free Interfacing Application Interface the entire fabric piece. This is called a full fuse. Cut interfacing to the pattern size. • Center the interfacing on the fabric, placing the rough side of the interfacing (the side with the glue dots) next to the wrong side of the fabric. Cover the interfacing with a damp press cloth. Use the tip of your iron to steam-baste the interfacing, secur- ing it to the fabric in a few key areas. Fuse the interfacing following the manufacturer’s instructions. • • • • I 55 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 55Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 55 3/15/11 3:05:51 PM3/15/11 3:05:51 PM
  • 57. Jackets: EXTENDED FACINGS Give an unlined jacket all the benefits of a lining without all the work with this quick pattern change. Extending the facing adds support and shaping, hides shoulder pads and keeps facings in place. FRONT JACKET 2"–3” (5CM–8CM) EXTEND SHOULDER LINE AND ARMHOLE CUTTING LINE ON WAXED PAPER TAPE EXTENSION IN PLACE 1Modify the front facing pattern. Pin the front facing pattern to the front jacket pattern, matching the notches. • Place a length of waxed paper, tissue paper or pattern tracing paper over the pattern pieces. Use a pen to extend the shoulder cutting line of the facing to the armhole. Next, measure down and trace 2"–3" (5cm–8cm) along the armhole cutting line. From that point, gradually taper the cutting line back to the original facing line, providing a smooth curve. Tape the pattern extension to the facing pattern. • • • J 56 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 56Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 56 3/15/11 3:05:52 PM3/15/11 3:05:52 PM
  • 58. STITCH FACING SHOULDER SEAMS TRACE NEW FACING LINES ON WAXED PAPER 2"–3” (5CM–8CM) 2Prepare a back facing pattern. Pin the back facing pattern to the back jacket pattern. Place waxed paper, tissue paper or pattern tracing paper over the pat- tern pieces. (If the pattern does not have a back facing, place the paper directly over the jacket pattern.) Trace the shoulder seams from neck- line to armhole. Measure down and trace 2"–3" (5cm–8cm) on the armhole cutting line. From that point, mark straight across to the center back. • • • • Cut the pattern, placing the center back on the fold. • 3Prepare the facings. Cut fabric and interfacing from the modified front and back facing pat- terns. Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric following the manufacturer’s instructions. • Stitch the facing shoulder seams and press the seams open. • Serge the facing edges to finish them and prevent raveling. Join the facings to the jacket following the pattern instructions. Turn the facings to the inside of the jacket and secure them in place by tacking them to the armhole seam allowances. • • • 57 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 57Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 57 3/15/11 3:05:53 PM3/15/11 3:05:53 PM
  • 59. Jackets: SLEEVE LINING Here’s a fast lining technique that gives jacket sleeves additional body and makes the jacket easier to slip on over a blouse or sweater.You can fully line and hem the sleeve in one step,even if the pattern doesn’t call for a lining. WRONG SIDE FASHION FABRIC LINING LINING LINING 1Verify the sleeve length. Because the sleeve is lined and hemmed simultaneously, it is important that the pattern is altered to the correct length prior to cutting. Double-check arm length against the pattern’s sleeve length. Lengthen or shorten the pattern as needed. 2Create the lined sleeve. Cut out the fashion fabric sleeves (including any alterations made). Interface the hem area if desired. • • • Fold under the hem allowance on the sleeve pattern to make the lining pattern. Cut out the lining using this modified pattern. • With right sides together, join the sleeve and lining at the hem edge using a ⅝" (16mm) seam. Grade the seam, trimming the lining seam allowance to ¼" (6mm) and the jacket allowance to ⅜" (10mm). Press the seam flat, then toward the lining. • • • Prepress the sleeve hemline using a hem gauge, such as an Ezy-Hem Gauge. (This is easy to do while the sleeve is still flat, and it saves time later.) Place the gauge on the wrong side of the fabric. Fold up the hem allowance over the gauge to the desired hemline and press. By using the gauge, you also avoid leaving an imprint on the right side of the fabric. • J 58 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 58Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 58 3/15/11 3:05:55 PM3/15/11 3:05:55 PM
  • 60. Knit: IDENTIFICATION Sewing knit fashions can be a very speedy process and one that’s truly creative and enjoy- able. Selecting an appropriate knit fabric for the pattern you’re using is essential because different types of knits have different amounts of stretch. To determine if a fabric is appropriate, test the crosswise stretch of the fabric from selvage to selvage using the knit guide on the pattern. Position a section of the fabric over the knit guide. Securely hold the knit at the left edge of the guide. • TO HERE OR MORE A AU MOINS LA TO HERE OR MORE A AU MOINS LA LINING KNIT MUST STRETCH TO SECOND GUIDE POSITION Place the underarm seams of the lining and the sleeve right sides together, matching the seam intersection. Stitch the entire underarm seam. Press the seam flat and then open using a sleeve roll to prevent an imprint. • • Reach inside the sleeve; grasp the fashion fabric and the lining at the hemline. Turn the sleeve right side out, aligning the armhole edges. Zigzag or serge the sleeve caps together. Handle the two layers as one when inserting the sleeve into the garment. • • With your right hand, grasp the fabric at the distance indi- cated on the fabric (generally about 4" [10cm]). Stretch the knit. It must stretch to the second position on the guide to be suitable. • • K 59 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 59Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 59 3/15/11 3:05:56 PM3/15/11 3:05:56 PM
  • 61. 1 ⁄4" (6MM) 5 ⁄8" (16MM) Knit: SEAMS The beauty of sewing knits is that there are very few rules to follow.The sewing is truly simple! WRONG SIDEWRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE WRONG SIDE TRIM TO 1 ⁄4" (6MM) SERGER BLADE Seaming Knit Fabric with a Sewing Machine Use a ballpoint or a stretch needle. The specially designed tip pushes the loops of the knit fabric apart, rather than stitching through them. Thread the machine top and bobbin with polyester thread. For stable knits, use two rows of stitching: a straight stitch fol- lowed by a zigzag. If the pattern includes a ⅝" (16mm) seam allowance, trim the seam allowance to ¼" (6mm). • • • For knits with greater stretch, use a wobble stitch. This stitch is really important when stitching slinky knits with a conven- tional sewing machine, but it can also be used on other knits with moderate stretch. Adjust the machine for a zigzag with the stitch width set at 0.5mm and stitch length at 3.5mm. Stitch the seam. Optional: Zigzag edges together with a wider zigzag. • ‒ ‒ ‒ Seaming Knit Fabric with a Serger Use a 4-thread overlock (page 108). Position the pins parallel to the seam allowance to avoid hit- ting the blade mechanism. • • For patterns with a ⅝" (16mm) seam allowance, align the edge of the fabric along the marking appropriate on your serger. For patterns with ¼" (6mm) seam allowances, align the edge of the fabric with the blade. Serge, trimming any seam allowance in excess of ¼" (6mm). • • K 60 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 60Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 60 3/15/11 3:05:58 PM3/15/11 3:05:58 PM
  • 62. NOTE from NANCY If the knit fabric is all or part cotton, prewash the fabric before cutting out the garment to remove any residual shrinkage as well as any sizing that may have been applied during manufacturing. Single Knit Lightweight; ideal for tops One side resembles a knit stitch; the other looks like interlocking loops Interlock Lightweight, but heavier than single knits (A lighter version of a double knit, often 50 percent polyester/50 percent cotton) Lots of stretch in the crosswise grain, but little or none in the lengthwise grain Double Knit Heavier and beefier than interlock Looks the same on both front and back Stretches crosswise, but is stable lengthwise Knits Containing Spandex Very roomy fabric Significant stretch in the crosswise grain and some stretch in the lengthwise grain Raschel Knit A lightweight textured knit Slinky Knit Lightweight and very stretchy (Almost 100 percent stretch in width and about 50 percent stretch in length) Often a blend of 90 percent acetate or nylon and 10 percent spandex Doesn’t wrinkle; great for travel • • • • • • • • • • • • • Knit: TYPES The following are some common knit fabrics and their characteristics. Be sure to choose a knit suited for the pattern you have selected. SLINKY KNITRASCHEL KNIT SINGLE KNIT INTERLOCK DOUBLE KNIT KNITS CONTAINING SPANDEX K 61 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 61Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 61 3/15/11 3:05:59 PM3/15/11 3:05:59 PM
  • 63. Layering a Quilt In making most quilts,the layers of backing,batting and quilt top are pinned together to secure them for quilting. Here are several options to choose from. BACKING WRONG SIDE BATTING 1Cut the backing fabric and batting approximately 3" (8cm) larger than the quilt top on all sides. 2Place the backing wrong-side-up on a firm clean surface. 3Securely tape the backing to the surface, using Sewer’s Fix-It Tape or masking tape. 4Choose the batting that is best suited for your quilt. 5Center the batting over the backing and smooth the surface so that it lies flat. 6Center the quilt top right-side-up over the batting. 7Choose one of the following options for securing the layers: Spray baste the quilt layers. Select an acid-free temporary adhesive basting spray. Follow the directions on the packaging to layer the top, batting and backing without pins or hand basting. Adhesive basting spray holds fabric firmly, yet the fabric can be easily repositioned. • ‒ ‒ L 62 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 62Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 62 3/15/11 3:06:02 PM3/15/11 3:06:02 PM
  • 64. NOTE from NANCY Use the Kwik Klip in combination with your safety pins when pinning. It helps close the pins to cut down on basting time; plus it helps avoid sore fingers and hand fatigue. QUILT BACKING WRONG SIDE SQUARES OF PAPER-BACKED FUSIBLE WEB BATTING Pin the quilt layers. Using size 1 curved basting pins, start pinning at the center and work toward the outer edges. Place pins 3"–4" (8cm–10cm) apart and no closer than ½" (13mm) from the seams to allow room for the presser foot when machine quilting. • ‒ ‒ Fuse baste the quilt layers. Fuse ½" (13mm) squares of paper-backed fusible web (with the paper still attached) to the backing, positioning them every 4"–5" (10cm–13cm) (about a fist width) apart. Remove the paper backing and position the batting over the quilt backing. Fuse ½" (13mm) squares of paper-backed fusible web to the wrong side of the quilt top as detailed above. • ‒ ‒ ‒ Position the quilt top over the batting. Press to fuse all the layers together. The fusible web will secure the layers, so it won’t be necessary to pin through the fabric layers. ‒ ‒ 63 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 63Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 63 3/15/11 3:06:04 PM3/15/11 3:06:04 PM
  • 65. Layout Accurately laying out the pattern is an essential part of constructing any project. The pattern guide sheet provides lots of valuable information. Here are a few additional time-saving tips. 1Roughly position all pattern pieces on the fabric. The illustration features a one-way layout, ideal for napped fabrics and knits. Position all pieces that need to be placed on the fold. Secure the grainline of the other pattern pieces using only two pins. Pin one end of the grainline arrow; measure from the arrow to the fold. • • ‒ Shift the pattern as necessary until the other end of the arrow measures the same distance. Pin that end of the grainline to the fabric. Pin the grainlines of all pattern pieces. Do not pin the outer edges of the pattern. ‒ • L 64 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 64Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 64 3/15/11 3:06:08 PM3/15/11 3:06:08 PM
  • 66. NOTE from NANCY For greatest accuracy, I like to extend the pat- tern grainline so it’s visible the entire length of the pattern. Fold the tissue pattern along the grainline arrow and press with a dry iron to extend the line the full length of the pattern. I also find that using an acrylic ruler to measure the grainline is faster and more accurate than using a tape measure. WEIGHTS 2If the fabric does not have a one-way direction or nap, place straight cutting lines adjacent to each other when possible. This sharing technique saves cutting time, since you’re actually cutting two edges at once. • 3Use weights to secure the remaining pattern edges. Position the weights near the edges of one piece and cut it out. Then, reposition the weights on another pattern piece and cut. Repeat until all pieces are cut. • • NOTE from NANCY Consider substituting small cans, such as tuna cans, for pattern weights. 65 Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 65Y0005i_SewingAtoZ_040-065.indd 65 3/15/11 3:06:09 PM3/15/11 3:06:09 PM

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