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Sewing Techniques

Simplicity wants to help you be a better sewer. So we've asked our expert staff to prepare some basic sewing tips that we thought would come in handy. They can each be viewed simply by clicking on the tip, below.

Fabrics Techniques
  • Working With Knits

    Working with Knit Fabrics


    Knit fabrics have become a staple in sewing, combining comfort and easy care with style. Choosing the right knit and proper handling and sewing techniques are the key to getting beautiful, professional results. Below you will find more about the construction, handling and sewing of knits.

     
    If you find these tips helpful, you will love the Simplicity Fabric Guide, an exciting 176-page reference guide to fabrics of all types. With over 500 full-color photos and illustrations, this is an essential tool to anybody who is passionate about sewing, quilting or creative arts.


    Knit Fabric Construction


    Knitted fabrics are woven from a continuous length of yarn that is manipulated into interlocking loops to create a flat fabric. The looped construction provides the fabric with much more give and flexibility than its more rigid woven cousins. There are two types of machine knitting construction: WEFT and WARP

      WEFT KNITTING was developed to copy the look of hand knitting and employs a continuous length of yarn to form crosswise rows of loops that interlace row by row to produce a flat fabric. Weft knit fabrics include:

    Jerseys or Plain Knits have a flat surface that looks like a series of interlocking V-shapes (knit stitches) on the front, backed with short, horizontal loops (purl stitches)



    Double Knits are made on a special interlock machine that uses two yarns and two sets of needles to draw the loops through from both directions. The result is a thicker, firmer, more stable knit the resists runs.



    Rib Knits are made with alternating sets of knit and purl stitches in the same row. On the surface of the fabric the knit stitches form a raise vertical ridge while the purl stitches recede. The number of knit and purl stitches in the pattern determines the width of the ridges. Ribs provide a snugger fit than other knit and are often used at cuffs, necklines and hems.



      WARP KNITTING can only be accomplished by machine and utilize multiple yarns that are wound parallel to one another on a warp beam. As the yarns feed into the machine they form loops in the lengthwise direction. Each yarn is controlled by its own needle and progresses in a zig zag pattern, interlocking with the other yarns as it moves along the length of the fabric. Warp knit fabrics include:

    Tricot Knits have more stretch in the crosswise direction and has a fine crosswise rib on the wrong side of the fabric.



    Raschel Knits have a textural appearance and can be made with varying weights of yarn. A fine chain of yarn usually runs the length of the fabric, stabilizing the more openly knit textured yarns. Sweater knits are often this type of construction.



    Using the Pick-A-Knit® Rule


    Because knit fabrics have give, garments made from knits usually stretch enough that no closures (zippers, buttons, etc.) and fitting darts and seams are needed. Patterns for knit garments generally use what is called the Pick-A-Knit® Rule, which is a guideline for how much stretch is needed in the fabric to obtain the construction and fit intended. The Pick-A-Knit® Rule is found on the back of the envelope, and looks similar to a ruler:



    Take your fabric and place it at the beginning of the black area of the guide. Pull the fabric from the end of the black area until the end of white area of the guide. This is the amount of stretch the fabric will need for that pattern. If your fabric doesn't stretch to the end of the white area, the fabric is not suitable for that particular garment and may not fit as designed. The Pick-A-Knit® Rule may vary from pattern to pattern, so always test the stretch of your fabric before cutting and sewing.


    Layout and Cutting Tips


      Use a double thickness cutting thickness layout, except for sweater knits which require a single thickness layout.
      Use a "with nap" cutting layout. Knits frequently have one-way shading that may not be discernible until the garment is finished. Many knits also have directional motifs or knit-in designs.
      Always position the pattern pieces so the greatest amount of stretch goes around the body.
      Use pattern weights rather than pins for sweater knits.
      Choose a lightweight nonwoven or stretch interfacing. Avoid fusibles, which do not give with the knit fabric. When applying interfacing to knits, apply to facings rather than the body of the garment.
      Use scissors or a rotary cutter for cutting knits.


    Needle and Machine Settings


      Use a ballpoint or stretch needle in a medium weight size: 75/11 HS to 90/14 HS (Schmetz) or 11 to 14 Yellow Band (Singer). Using a standard needle may result in skipped stitches.
      Use a narrow zig zag or stretch stitch, which will give with the fabric when wearing.
      Decrease the pressure of the presser foot for heavier knits; increase the pressure for lightweight and tricot knit.
      Sergers are a great way to sew knit fabrics – the stitching has inherent give and the seam allowances automatically get trimmed to a neat, narrow finish.


  • Sewing Sheer Fabrics

    When you think of soft, pretty, feminine fashion for everyday as well as special occasions, sheer fabrics almost always come to mind. Sheer fabrics like chiffon, organza and voile have also become popular year-round choices for home decorating, from window valances and bed canopies to elegant table dressings and chair drapes. While sheers may require a bit more attention than most fabrics, yet you can successfully create the light, airy looks you love by following a few easy guidelines:


    Layout:

      Use a single or double thickness layout with right sides together.
      Use a "without nap" layout.
      A cutting surface with a contrasting color will help you get the best view of your sheer.
      Soft sheers will slip easily off grain, especially when cut on the bias. Use pushpins to anchor the fabric to a padded cutting surface. Insert pins along the selvage and across the cut edge of the crosswise grain.
      Pin only within the seam allowances, especially on crisp sheers. Extra fine pins are suitable on crisp sheers, but may easily fall out of soft sheers. Insert pins at more frequent intervals than usual.


    Cutting:

      Use scissors with serrated blades or a rotary cutter to reduce fabric slippage as you cut.


    Sewing:

      Use a standard universal point needle in a light to medium weight size, such as size 70/10 H to 80/12 H (Schmetz) or size 10 to 12 (Singer)
      Stitch with fine cotton-covered polyester thread, or try lingerie thread.
      Set your machine for a slightly smaller stitch length than usual – about 10 to 15 stitches per inch.
      Increasing the pressure on the presser foot may be helpful with some lightweight sheers.
      Use a small, single-hole throat plate when sewing straight seams. This prevents toe fabric from being "swallowed" into the machine. A narrow straight stitch foot and / or flat-bottom presser foot may also be helpful.
      If you do not have these machine attachments, consider moving the needle to the far left to provide support on three sides of the fabric.
      If needed, substitute organza (for soft sheers) or organdy (for crisp sheers) in place of a commercial interfacing.
      Seam options for sheers include a double-stitched seam and French seam.


  • Tips for Sewing Fleece

    Fleece fabric is strong, hard to puncture or tear and doesn't pill. It also doesn't ravel, so there is no need to finish the raw edges of seam allowances or hem allowance.


    Pinning
    Short pins get lost in the fleece, so use long ones...the type with bead heads are easiest to see.


    Stitching:

      Use a narrow zigzag stitch. Experiment on scraps of the fleece, adjusting the stitch width and length until you like the way the seam looks.
      Stitch slowly and carefully. Because stitches are hard to remove, this will actually save you time.
      When sewing around curved areas (such as necklines or armholes), stitch slowly and be careful not to stretch the fleece as you guide it through the machine.


    Pressing
    Avoid pressing with an iron. Often, finger pressing will do just as good a job. If the seam allowance still curls, topstitching can eliminate the problem and add a decorative touch. If pressing is absolutely necessary, use a press cloth between the fabric and your iron.


    Hemming
    For an easy hem, topstitch ¼" (6mm) from the cut edge of the hem allowance, through all of the layers.

  • Working with Satin Fabrics

    It seems that all year long, satin remain the fabric of choice for special occasions. Wedding dresses & accessories, prom fashions, holiday party dresses and other special occasion designs depend on this smooth-surfaced, shimmering fabric for a look of elegance and drama. Since it's a fabric you probably don't sew every day, it makes sense to review some simple guidelines to make the most of your one-of-a-kind outfit:


    Preparation:

      Use a double thickness cutting layout, right sides together.
      Use a "with nap" cutting layout – satins tend to shade in different directions.
      Pin within the seam allowances only, using fine pins
      Mark with dressmaker's chalk, as fabric-marking pens tend to bleed into the fabric, and wax dressmaker's carbon may leave spots.
      Cut with scissors with a serrated edge or a rotary cutter for a clean, precise cut.


    Sewing:

      Test a standard universal point needle in Lightweight size, such as a 70/10 H (Schmetz) or a sixe 10 (Singer) If runs or pulls result, try a lighter weight Microtex needle with a sharp point.
      Use standard or fine cotton-wrapped polyester thread, or a lingerie thread.
      Set your machine for a slightly smaller stitch length than usual – about 10 to 15 stitches per inch.
      Increasing the pressure on the presser foot may be helpful with some lightweight satins.
      Use a small, single-hole throat plate when sewing straight seams. This prevents toe fabric from being "swallowed" into the machine. A narrow straight stitch foot and / or flat-bottom presser foot may also be helpful. If you do not have these machine attachments, consider moving the needle to the far left to provide support on three sides of the fabric.
      Interfacing options include sew-in wovens or nonwovens. Also consider organza or organdy for lightweight satins.
      Sew plain seams. A French seam is also suitable for straight seams, but not for curves.


    Finishing:

      If finishing seams with a serger, use lightweight thread or woolly nylon thread to prevent thread imprints on the fabric face.
      If the garment is underlined, the hems can be hand sewn; otherwise, the hand stitches will show on the right side. Silk organza is a great underlining for satins because it has a soft hand but will support the weight of a hem.
      Press satins with a warm, dry iron, preferably on the wrong side of the fabric. If you must press on the right side, be sure to use a press cloth.
      Avoid steam, as satins tend to water-spot.


    Press seams open over a seam roll or seam stick, or insert paper beneath the seam allowances to prevent ridged from forming on the face of the garment.

Fusing & Pressing
  • Interfacing

    What is interfacing?
    Interfacing is an extra layer of fabric that provides shape and support in detail areas of the garment. Interfacing is frequently used in collars, cuffs, lapels, necklines, pockets, waistbands and opening edges.


    How do I choose an interfacing?
    The two basic types of interfacings are sew-in and fusible. Both are available in woven, knitted and nonwoven versions, and in a variety of weights, ranging from heavy to sheer weight. The rule of thumb is that the interfacing should always be slightly lighter in weight than the fashion fabric.

    Choosing between a fusible and a sew-in interfacing is really a matter of personal preference. In general, fusibles provide slightly crisper results. Because fusibles "set" the yarns, they're an excellent choice for fabrics that fray. However, some fabrics do not react well to fusibles. This group includes metallics, beaded, sequined or re-embroidered fabrics, rayon and acetate velvets, most brocades, fake furs, leather, vinyl and openwork fabrics, such as lace and mesh. Always test the fusible interfacing on a scrap of the fashion fabric before you begin to be sure it works and that you like the results.


    Most people think of fusibles as easier to use and they are, as long as you take time to follow the manufacturer's fusing directions carefully.


    Do you have any tips for getting a good bond with a fusible interfacing?
    A successful bond is the result of the optimum combination of steam, pressure and time. Start by reading the instructions that come with your choice of fusible interfacing, then test-fuse, using scraps of interfacing and fashion fabric:


    1. Check your iron setting. "Wool/steam" is generally recommended but irons can vary. You may need to set yours higher or lower to find the proper fusing temperature.
    2. Place the interfacing fusible-side-down on the wrong side of your fashion fabric. Cover the area to be fused with a press cloth. Although some moisture is needed, the pressing cloth should not be soaking wet—just dampened or misted.
    3. Move your iron over the area being fused by lifting the iron up and putting it back down in an overlapping pattern. Use downward pressure and count for the recommended time (usually 10-15 seconds). Count "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, etc." so you know you aren't scrimping on the required time.
    4. Cooling time is as important as fusing time. Let everything cool completely before handling.


    Once the interfaced fabric is cool, check the bond. First, try to pull the layers apart. Next, roll the interfaced fabric over your hand, then fold it half. When you do this, make sure you are satisfied with the way it looks and the way it feels.


    If you're not satisfied with the results, here are some things to try:

    1. Go through the entire fusing process twice, first on the wrong side and then on the right side of the garment section.
    2. If you need more pressure, try lowering your ironing board. You'll be exerting more pressure as you lean over.
    3. Instead of buying exactly the amount of interfacing that the pattern calls for, buy several yards of varying weights and types. This way, if your first choice doesn't work, you'll have others on hand to experiment with.

    Roll it


    Fold it


    Feel it

  • Fuse Hints #1

    The bond between a fusible interfacing and the fabric is intended to be a permanent bond. We recommend test fusing to be sure you will get the result you want in the completed garment.


    First, remember this all important combination of elements for successful fusing:


    To Test the Fuse

    Step 1.


    Iron setting - Wool and Steam (irons vary - you may need to set yours higher or lower to find the proper fusing temperature.)
      Step 2.


    Use downward pressure for 10-15 seconds each position. Do not glide iron back and forth, but lift and press.
     
    Step 3.


    Effect of heat and pressure squeezes softened resins into fashion fabric.
      Step 4.


    Some moisture is needed, never soaking wet. Press cloth dampened or misted only.
     
    Step 5.


    Cooling time is as important as fusing time - Let cool completely before handling.
      Step 6.


    Record and file your test results - even the rejects - for future reference.

    Fusing Hints - Courtesy of Handler Textile Corp.

  • Tips for Pressing

    Why do so many sewing steps include instructions to press?
    The fastest way to improve your sewing skills is to learn the proper pressing techniques. Pressing blends and sets your stitches, eliminates or reduces bulk in some areas and helps create a garment that lies flat and falls properly when you wear it.


    What's the difference between "pressing" and "ironing?"
    When you "press," you move the iron across the fabric by lifting it up and putting it back down in an overlapping pattern. When you "iron," you slide the iron across the fabric with a back-and-forth motion. Ironing may stretch or distort the fabric; pressing won't.


    Can I wait until I finish my garment before pressing it?
    No. The rule of thumb is "press as you go." And it's important to remember that you NEVER, NEVER cross one seam with another without first pressing the original seam open or to one side, per the sewing instructions.


    You can minimize the number of times that you have to go back and forth between sewing machine and ironing board by organizing your sewing. For example, you can work on different sections of the garment, going as far as you can on each part UNTIL the instructions tell you to press. Then take all the sections to the ironing board at the same time, and press everything that needs it.


    Is there a correct way to press a seam?
    This easy, three-step pressing technique will magically improve your sewing skills:

    1. Press the seam flat along the stitching line to blend the stitches.
    2. Press the seam allowances open or to one side, as indicated in the pattern instructions.
    3. Press the seam or detail area from the right side. If necessary, protect the fabric with a press cloth.

    How much pressure should I apply when pressing?
    Generally, light to moderate pressure is sufficient if your iron is at the correct temperature. Too much pressure can cause the cut edge of a seam to make a "bad impression" on the right side of your fabric. If you use too much pressure when working on velvet or other nap fabrics (corduroy, velour, etc.) you may flatten the nap. Also, if you press too hard on the right side of your fabric you may scorch it or make shine marks. Using a press cloth can help to avoid this problem. It's also a good idea to "test press" on scraps of your fabric to be sure you are using the optimum iron temperature and pressure.


    What kind of pressing equipment do I need?
    Start with a good dry/steam iron and a sturdy ironing board with a clean, padded surface. The fabric guide on your iron is helpful for choosing the proper temperature setting. There are lots of special pressing aids on the market, but you can create easy substitutes for many of these items. For example, a man's handkerchief or a square of your fashion fabric makes a good press cloth. For pressing seams open on long cylindrical sections (think sleeves, pant legs, tie belts, etc.), make your own seam roll by placing a magazine on top of a piece of muslin, rolling the two up tightly together and securing the ends of the muslin with a few rubber bands.


    For more information on pressing techniques and pressing equipment, see pages 99-101 of the revised edition of Simplicity's Simply the Best Sewing Book.

Fleece Techniques
  • Stitching + Applique

    How-to: Blanket Stitch

    The blanket stitch is one of the most familiar finishes for fleece projects, used to secure applique's as well as to trim garment edges and detail areas like pockets, necklines and more. It takes just a few stitches to get into the rhythm of this easy stitch.

    To make the blanket stitch, working from LEFT to RIGHT, bring needle out at point A (outer edge). Insert at point B (adjusting the amount of spacing to your liking), then with thread below the needle, come out at point C directly below. Continue in this manner, noting that point C now becomes point A for the following stitch. Be sure to keep the spacing even between stitches.

    Running Stitch

    Looking for a super-simple yet effective touch of embellishment that's great for fleece? Accent your fleece project with running stitches. These long hand stitches are worked in yarn, embroidery floss or other highly visible threads.

    You can also twist several strands of thread together - try using different hues and textures together - for a true one-of-a-kind designer effect - be creative!

    Your choice of yarn for the running stitch can dress fleece up or down with ease - imagine gold threads worked through a black fleece scarf and hat set for evening flair... or pair up the team colors of your favorite sports enthusiasts for the big game!

    Running stitches are usually sewn along seams, where you would normally use topstitching.

    When sewing multiple rows of running stitches, match them up along each row, or alternate the stitches row by row for a different look (think of the layout of a brick wall). Whichever stitch layout you prefer, be sure your stitches remain consistent throughout the piece.

    Appliques

    Colorful, non-raveling fleece fabrics let you be creative in so many ways, whether you're a beginning sewing enthusiast or a seasoned professional. Applique's are a quick, eye-catching embellishment just right for fleece fabrics. Layer applique's for a three-dimensional effect, choosing easy shapes such as flowers, geometric shapes, even lettering. Show off your artistic side on ponchos, jackets, hats and more.

    When sewing appliques to fleece, you can use a highly visible stitch that becomes part of the design, such as a hand blanket or running stitch in a contrast color thread, or you can simply sew on the appliques using a machine zigzag stitch in matching thread that will blend in with the appliqué itself.

    Applique Tips

      For multi-layer appliqués, like a two-tone flower with a round center, layer the components and appliqué the smaller on to the larger one. When the layering is complete, treat it as a single appliqué, stitching it to the garment around the edges of the largest layer. You can also attach multi-layer appliqués in the center only, leaving the edges free, to create a 3-dimensional affect.
      When positioning the appliques on the garment, be sure to clear all seam allowances, zippers, buttonholes and other garment details.
      For hand stitching around the appliques, several stitches can be used. Try several threads together, or embroidery floss, so stitches will be visible, and use a large eyed needle.

  • Fleece for Pets

    Fleece for Pets

      Fleece coats and hats will protect them from the elements.
      Softness and durability make fleece a perfect choice for pet beds.
      Blankets made of fleece stay soft and are easy to clean.

  • Weaving Workshop

    Garment Details: Weaving Workshop

    This season, fashion trims and special effects that add dimension are the scene-stealers! Weaving strips of fleece through the body of the garment is a simple way to achieve the look. Use one or more contrasting fleece colors; you can lace a single strip along the edge of the garment, or weave multiple strips to create an entire woven block.

    Appliques

      Begin by slashing the garment vertically in equal increments. Cut away seam allowances at ends of slashes, to minimize bulk at the edge of the garment once the fleece strips are woven in.
      Cut strips longer than the garment section to be woven.
      Weave the first fleece strip through the slashes, then continue with the remaining strips, alternating the under-over weaving to create a checkerboard effect.
      Baste edges of the strips to the raw edge of the garment. These will be secured when the garment seam is stitched. Cut away seam allowances at ends of slashes

    Knotted Accents

    The fleece strip that is woven through the slashes is also knotted at regular intervals, to create a unique textured cutwork effect.

      To prepare slash bands, cut slashes in equal increments. Cut sway the second slash band, then cut away every third band, working from the front to the back or the garment.
      Tie the end of the fleece strip into a tight knot around the center of the first two slash bands. Position the end of the knot at the back and cut off its end even with the knot.
      Continue to tie knots around pairs of slash bands until the end. Hand-sew lapped ends of fleece strips together when a new trim section is needed.

    "Braided" Accents

    This look takes classic weaving a step further, by twisting the slashed sections as you weave through them. The braided accent looks great when coupled with knotted fringe, and on collars, cuffs, even pocket openings.

      Begin by slashing the garment vertically in equal increments. Cut narrow fleece strips to weave through the slashes, several inches longer than the section to be woven.
      On the outside, starting at one end of the slash bands, bring the second slash behind the first. Thread the fleece strip behind the second slashing and in front of the first, centering the strip vertically between the upper and lower ends of the slashes. Continue weaving across the piece in this manner, taking care that the woven strip does not restrict the garment section.

  • Classic Weaving

    Woven Trims

    Woven trims lend quality and visual appeal to any garment, and fleece projects are no exception! They function as a simple finishing technique for hems, sleeve and neck edges, and can help define the "mood" of the garment — choose your woven trim carefully, for a look that's sporty, dressy, or somewhere in between.

    Any trim with two finished edges can be applied to the garment. If your chosen trim is too narrow for the desired effect, make it look wider by applying the trim in parallel rows.

    A wide trim should be applied to each garment section before the sections are joined together — this allows you to encase the trim's raw edges within the seam allowance. Topstitch along both sides of the trim. Depending on its width, a narrow trim may be attached using a single row of stitching along the center of the trim, or along both ends as for a wider style.

    Fringe

    Fringe is another favorite for fleece projects, whether plain or knotted for added interest. The keys to a professional-looking fringe are straight and evenly spaced cuts. Practice on a scrap piece of fleece to determine how wide you prefer your fringe cuts to be. Keep in mind that the length and width of the fringe cuts should be in proportion to the garment — fringe sections for a toddler's garment might be smaller and/or more narrow than fringe sections on a man's scarf. Cuts are generally spaced at 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch intervals. If necessary, adjust the width of your cuts toward the end to avoid an odd width of fringe at the end.

    Knotted Fringe

    Knotted fringe is easily created by tying every other fringe section together once they are cut. Note that you might want to cut the fringe longer to allow for the knotting, which will shorten the fringe overall. If the pattern calls only for plain fringe, consider adding about one inch to the end of the garment piece so that you'll be able to cut the fringe sections longer and allow for knotting, without cutting too far into the garment itself.

    Knotted fringe for home de´cor projects can be a wider, "chunkier" look, where the strips are cut wider. Upper and lower layers of the pillow or throw are cut and tied together into a single knot.

    Ribbon Trim

    Ribbon trim is a great decorative touch on fleece projects especially when you select a satin, grosgrain or other textured ribbon that contrasts with the matte surface of the fleece. Depending on the width of the ribbon you choose, consider adding two or three rows of ribbon. For visual balance, remember that the narrower the ribbon, the more rows you can add.

  • Fleece as Trim

    Since fleece is so easy to sew, why not use it to trim the garment, too? Fleece is a versatile trim option, made even more appealing by its non-raveling properties. Express your creativity by combining various techniques, like diamond trim with knotted fringe. Fleece can easily be folded, shifted and stitched into a number of trim styles, including these variations that begin as one-inch strips:

    Twisted Trim

      Mark strip with a horizontal broken line at regular intervals.
      On outside, pin trim to front of garment. Stitch trim along each of these horizontal lines, pivoting at corners of the garment with diagonal stitching. Do not stretch the strip of fleece so that it restricts the garment. To join strips for a continuous trim length, butt the ends.
      To create the twists, fold the inner edge of the trim even with the outer edge of the trim at the center. Pin flat. Stitch in place through the center, between each horizontal line of stitching along the strip.

    Diamond Trim

      Make vertical slashes along the center of each strip, about one inch apart, or as indicated on the pattern instructions. Mark the beginning and end of each slash with a horizontal broken line.
      Pin the strip to the outer edge of the garment. Do not stretch the strip of fleece so that it restricts the garment. Always end with either a full slash or solid section. To join strips for a continuous trim length, butt the ends.
      Stitch along each broken horizontal line and where any ends butt, using a straight stitch or a very narrow zigzag stitch.
      Spread apart the slashed areas of the strip about 1/2 inch; pin in place. Stitch across the center of the slashed area, creating a repeating diamond effect.

    TIPS: Ponchos

      For a fun look choose brightly colored, highly contrasting fleece fabrics.
      Make it original by combining different techniques, for a look all your own.
      Personalize it – add a monogram or an appliqué!


  • Attention to Detail

    Since fleece is so easy to sew, why not use it to trim the garment, too? Fleece is a versatile trim option, made even more appealing by its non-raveling properties. Express your creativity by combining various techniques, like diamond trim with knotted fringe. Fleece can easily be folded, shifted and stitched into a number of trim styles, including these variations that begin as one-inch strips:

    How-to: Make Flower Accents

      Pretty flower accents are one of the easiest and most effective dimensional touches you can add to a fleece garment. Their plush look begs to be touched, whether the flower is accenting a neckline, lapel or purse, or covering a closure.
      To make a fleece rosette, cut a strip of fleece approximately 15 inches long by 2 inches wide. Run a gathering stitch through one long edge of the strip. Draw up the gathering stitches, allowing the flower to take shape as you roll the gathered strip. Adjust the gathers and fullness of the flower, then hand-stitch through the gathered end to secure the arrangement of the flower. Be sure to anchor both the inner and outer short ends of the flower with the hand stitching.

    Ruching

    This high-style designer detail is a great way to add dimension to fleece garments. Simply put, ruching (pronounced ROOSH-ing) is a French word for pleating. Strips of fleece are gathered in a repeat pattern, and as the gathering thread is drawn up, uniform scallops or ruffles are formed.

    Use ruching to give fleece scarves, hats or other items a decidedly feminine look. Make the ruched edges in matching or contrast color fleece for different effects. Here's an easy ruching technique that's perfect for a fleece scarf:

      Lap and pin one scarf ruffle over each long edge of the scarf, matching stitching lines. Stitch each ruffle along the double stitching lines, forming casings on each side of the scarf. With pinking shears, trim away the seam allowance of the ruffle, close to the scarf.
      You can add extra fullness to the ruffles by zigzag stitching over the outer edge, stretching the fleece ruffle as you sew. (Begin by making a practice ruffle in this manner, to determine the correct machine settings for the desired effect.)
      Next, cut two lengths of middy braid 40 inches long. Insert one braid into each casing, having raw edges even. Stitch across the ends of the casing, securely catching the ends of the braid in the stitching. Distribute the fullness of the ruching evenly along the length of the scarf.

    How-to: Add Purchased Trim

    This high-style designer detail is a great way to add dimension to fleece garments. Simply put, ruching (pronounced ROOSH-ing) is a French word for pleating. Strips of fleece are gathered in a repeat pattern, and as the gathering thread is drawn up, uniform scallops or ruffles are formed.

    Use ruching to give fleece scarves, hats or other items a decidedly feminine look. Make the ruched edges in matching or contrast color fleece for different effects. Here's an easy ruching technique that's perfect for a fleece scarf:

      Faux fur and chenille or knit fringe trims purchased by the yard can give your fleece garment a luxurious look and feel, as well as textural interest. Just a touch is all you need at the neckline or garment edge. Choose your fur or fringe trim to match the color of your fleece, for a tone-on-tone effect that really plays up the difference in textures, or add contrasting fur or fringe that will really stand out against the fleece.
      To attach fur trim, line up the trim's lower edge with the finished edge of your garment, and pin in place. Stitch along the straight edge, through all thicknesses. Once the outer edge is stitched in place, do the same to the other straight, inner edge of the trim. Because of the plush surface of the fur, the machine stitching will sink in, making the stitches nearly invisible.
      To attach fringe trim, pin the straight edge of the fringe to the lower edge of the garment, turning under and having both ends meeting at one seam, folding out fullness at points. Stitch close to the straight edge of the fringe, through all thicknesses, securing the fringe to the fleece. Slip-stitch the turned edges of the fringe together.

Garment Details
  • Creating the Broomstick Look

    You may want your skirt to have a broomstick crinkled look – after your garment is finished, choose any of the methods listed below to get this effect. Because all fabrics do not crinkle well, test a scrap of your fabric before trying this with your finished garment.



    Broomstick Method

    1. Wet the garment and wring out excess water thoroughly.
    2. Place damp garment over a broomstick and tie with garment fabric straps approximately every 2" (5cm) or so.
    3. Leave garment tied to broomstick until dry. When dry untie fabric scraps, and it's ready to wear!






    Rubber Band Method

    1. Wet the garment and wring out excess water thoroughly.
    2. Twist damp garment tightly, secure with rubber bands approximately every 2" (5cm) or so.
    3. Leave garment twisted and banded until dry. When dry, remove rubber bands, untwist and wear!



  • Easy Machine Hems

    Machine hems are quick and easy alternatives to hand sewn hems. Here are two of our favorite techniques.

    Wide Topstitched Hem Use it for: All fabrics and styles, except for very curved hems. For the most attractive proportions, the hem allowance should be 1¼" to 2¼" (3.8cm to 5.7cm) wide.



    How to do it:
    1. Stitch 1/2" (13mm) from the raw edge of the hem allowance. Fold under along the stitching, rolling the stitches just slightly to the inside of the garment; press. (Note: If the hem is slightly curved, gently pull up on this row of stitches to ease in the fullness.) If you are working with a knit, you can skip this step.
    2. Press the hem up along the hemline.
    3. Working on the wrong side, stitch close to the hem allowance edge, through all of the layers; press.
    4. Stitch again, ¼" (6mm) away from the first row of stitching, within the hem allowance.

    TIP: If you are working with a knit, you can skip Step #1.

    Narrow Machine Hem Use it for: Sheers, lightweight silk and synthetic fabrics and for hemming ruffles. Note: To do this hem, you must have at least a 5/8" (1.5cm) hem allowance.



    How to do it:
    1. Mark the hemline 1/8" (3mm) longer than desired.
    2. Fold the garment up along this hemline, and then stitch as close as you can to, but not more than 1/8" (3mm) from, the fold. Do not press before you stitch. If the hemline is not on straight of grain, pressing at this step will distort the hem.
    3. Using small scissors, carefully trim away the hem allowance above the stitching.
    4. Fold the hem allowance up along the stitching line, rolling the stitching line just slightly to the inside of the garment; press.
    5. Stitch again, close to the inner fold; press.

    To purchase Simplicity's "Simply the Best Sewing Book" click here.

  • Handling Bias Seams

    Bias seams are found in hundreds of styles, from V-neck and asymetrical tops to A-line and flared skirts & dresses to jacket lapels and more. Achieving a smooth, pucker-free bias seam is To join two bias edges, such as the side seam of a bias-cut skirt, hold the fabric in front and in back of the presser foot and stretch gently as you stitch. Although this allows the seam to "give" as you stitch, it will relax into a smooth seam when you are finished.

  • Making a Bound Buttonhole

    Bound buttonholes give a polished look to coats and jackets that quietly proclaims tailoring expertise. To insure perfect results, make a trial buttonhole on the same number of fabric layers as your garment for practice.

    Step 1: Mark buttonhole position and length on WRONG (interfaced) side of fabric. Thread-trace buttonhole position, extending the thread tracing beyond end markings. The thread-traced markings should resemble a ladder.

    Step 2: Cut a self fabric strip for patch on straight grain, measuring 2" (5cm) wide and 1" (2.5cm) longer than the measurement of the buttonhole. Mark a center line along the length of the strip. With RIGHT sides together, baste center of strip along buttonhole marking, extending ends 1/2" (1.3cm) beyond end markings.

    Step 3: On WRONG side, mark lines 1/8" (3mm) above and below buttonhole marking, using transfer pencil.

    Step 4: Using a small machine-stitch, start sewing along one long side of the buttonhole, following pencil lines, being careful to end stitching exactly at thread-traced ends. Do not stitch across ends, back-stitch or pivot at corners. Bring thread ends to WRONG side and tie in a knot.

    Step 5: Snip between the two stitching lines and clip diagonally to corners, as shown. Be careful not to clip through machine stitching. Add a dot of seam sealant (such as Fray CheckTM) to corners, and allow to dry.

    Step 6: Pull patch through opening to WRONG side of front. This opening should form a perfect rectangle. Roll edges of opening between your fingers until each seam is at the edge of the opening. Press so that none of the patch shows on the OUTSIDE.

    Step 7: To form buttonhole lips, fold each long side of the patch over the opening, so that the folds meet exactly at the center.

    Step 8: On OUTSIDE, whip-stitch buttonhole lips together along fold lines and press in place. Whip-stitches should remain in place until garment is completed.

    Step 9: To secure buttonhole lips and keep them from shifting, with front RIGHT side up, fold it back out of the way until you can sew the end of the patch and the triangle (formed by clipping corners in step 5) together. Using small machine stitches, stitch across the base of the triangle, catching patch. Trim end to 1/4" (6mm). Repeat on other end.

    Step 10: Stitch horizontal seam allowance of buttonhole and patch together, just inside the original stitching. Trim patch to 1/4" (6mm). Repeat on other seam.

    Finishing Your Bound Buttonhole

    Step 11: Transfer buttonhole markings to the WRONG (interfaced) side of front facing, and thread-trace markings, same as for bound buttonhole (see step 1). Cut a bias patch of silk organza or lightweight matching fabric 2" (5cm) wide and 1" (2.5cm) longer than the measurement of the buttonhole. Mark a center line horizontally along the patch. With RIGHT sides together, place patch on facing, over thread-traced markings and baste (see step 2).
    Step 12: Using small stitches, start stitching at the middle of one side, stitching a scant 1/8" (3mm) from center basting and tapering stitching at ends. Take one stitch across the end, pivot and continue along remaining side. Overlap stitches at starting point. Remove basting.

    Step 13: Slash between stitching lines, being careful to not clip stitching at ends. Add a drop of seam sealant (such as Fray CheckTM) to ends of opening, and allow to dry.

    Step 14: Pull patch through to WRONG side. Gently "snap" along the bias of patch to create a smooth slit opening. Press. If you prefer, trim edges of patch to within 1/4" (6mm) of opening.

  • What is "Seam-Allowance?"

    What is a seam allowance?
    A seam allowance is the distance between the seam line (where you stitch to join two or more pieces of fabric) and the cut edge of the fabric.

    How much seam allowance is there in a garment?
    Simplicity's standard seam allowance is 5/8" (1.5cm). When the seam allowance is more or less than 5/8" (1.5cm), the amount is specified both on the pattern piece and in the sewing instructions.

    Why is 5/8" (1.5cm) the standard seam allowance?
    A 5/8"(1.5cm) seam allowance provides enough "extra" between the seam line and the cut edge of the fabric to make sure that you will safely "catch" the pieces that you are joining together. This is particularly important when working with fabrics that ravel easily. A 5/8" (1.5cm) seam allowance is also easier to work with when pressing a seam open or topstitching it for a finishing touch. Finally, it also provides you with a small amount of "letting out" space if you should need to make your garment just a little bit looser.

    When is the seam allowance not 5/8" (1.5cm)?
    To make your sewing easier on very small items such as doll clothes, on small detail pieces such as belt carriers and in larger areas where you would need to trim away the excess seam allowance, we typically reduce the seam allowance to 3/8" or 1/4"(1.3cm or 6mm). But, as we said before, when the seam allowance is other than 5/8" (1.5cm), the amount is specified both on the pattern piece and in the sewing instructions.

    What if I need to make a smaller seam allowance?
    On most fabrics, if we have indicated a 5/8"(1.5cm) seam allowance, you can stitch as much as 1/4"(6mm) closer to the cut edge and still have an adequate seam allowance. By doing this, you will make your garment a little bit bigger, either in circumference or length, depending on where the seams fall. CAUTION: If you are working on a fabric that ravels easily, it may not be wise to adjust to a smaller seam allowance, especially if the seam is in an area of high stress such as an armhole or fitted bodice side seam.

    Remember that if you change the seam allowance in one place on the garment, you will have to do it on the corresponding sections. For example, if you change the side seam allowance at the underarm on a bodice, you will also have to change the underarm seam allowance on the sleeve or armhole facing.

    Is the seam allowance ever more than 5/8" (1.5cm)?
    Occasionally there will be a specific reason for using a larger seam allowance, such as 3/4" (2cm) or 1" (2.5cm). One example is on a garment with a very fitted bodice where, because of its close-to-the-body fit, special adjustments may be necessary. We will always tell you when we have done this on a pattern.

    Do I have to follow the seam line exactly?
    Yes! If you want a professional look to your garment, it is important that your stitches be straight, not wobbly or wavy. If your seam lines are uneven, your garment won't hang properly and it probably won't fit well, either. If you have trouble keeping your stitching straight, use the guidelines on your presser foot or throat plate to help you. (If you're not familiar with this feature, check your sewing machine's manual.) You might even want to practice sewing on scraps of fabric or on a piece of typing paper. (For the latter, you don't even need to thread your machine. The needles holes in the paper will tell you how well you are doing!)

  • What is "Stay-Stitching?"

    What is staystitching?
    Staystitching is a line of straight stitches that prevents curved or bias edges, such as necklines, shoulders and waistlines, from stretching out of shape as they are handled during sewing and pressing. The pattern instructions will tell you where to staystitch and the illustrations on the pattern's instruction sheet will you show which way to stitch. Staystitching is always done from the outer or wider edge in towards the center or narrower edge. The only exception is a "V" neck, where the stay-stitching goes from the point of the "V" up to the shoulder edge.

    Where should I do it?
    Staystitch 1/8" (3mm) inside of the seam allowance, between the seam line and the cut edge. On a standard 5/8" (1.5cm) seam allowance, this distance is ½" (1.3cm) from the cut edge.

    Can I omit it?
    It's not a good idea! We recommend it for areas that are prone to stretching. Staystitching takes only a few minutes to do. The rewards are a lifetime of stretch-free wear and a garment that will look more professional. Once you have transferred your pattern markings and removed the tissue, do all of your staystitching. Remember...you don't have to staystitch every seam—just where it is indicated.

    Do I have to remove the staystitches after I sew the seam?
    No. Staystitching remains in the garment as a permanent aid to prevent stretching and buckling. Because it is in the seam allowance between the seam line and the cut edge, it will be invisible on the finished garment.



  • Sewing Pleats

    Pleats are a popular garment detail, lending visual interest and controlling the fullness in a garment. These fabric folds add motion and fun to a skirt, whether they run its entire length, or decorate only the lower hemline edge. Pleats can be soft or crisp, pressed or unpressed. Basic formations include the knife pleat, the box pleat and the inverted pleat . While pleats aren't difficult to sew, professional results require accuracy in cutting, marking and stitching. The effect is created by the use of multiple folds, so remember that if any of these important steps is "off" by even 1/8" on each fold of an 8-pleat skirt, the distortion is also multiplied and the result is a waistline that is a full inch too small or too large at the waistline.

    Pleat detailing is prominent in current skirt styles, and is sure to continue through the summer and into autumn fashions. These easy tips will help you to create pleats you'll be proud of:

    Marking:

      Use your scissors to snip-mark the pleat lines within the seam allowance.
      Use straight pins to mark the remainder of each pleat line. By using two different types of pins (or pins with two different colored heads), mark solid lines with one pin type and mark the broken lines with the other.
      Crease fabric along the solid line, press lightly and remove the pin. Bring the pressed edge to meet the broken line and pin the pleat in place.
      Form all pleats in the same fashion. Machine baste across the top of the pleats.


    Pressing:
      Careful pressing is the key to great-looking pleats. Once they are formed and basted into place, always use a press cloth or a scrap of your fashion fabric.
      Cut a strip of brown paper bag, inserting it between the garment and the unbasted fold of each pleat as you press.
      For soft pleats: Cover pleats with a dry press cloth. Hold the iron 2" to 3" above the fabric and apply a bit of steam only, without resting the iron on the fabric.
      For crisp pleats: Cover pleats with a dry press cloth. Use ample steam and the full pressure of the iron. Since the garment is not yet hemmed, press lightly to within 8" of the hemline. After hemming, press this lower area thoroughly as well. Let garment dry completely before handling to allow the pleats to set.


    Topstitching and Edgestitching:
      Topstitching and edgestitching are used to hold pleats in place and to accentuate the pleat detailing. On a skirt, topstitching usually begins at the waist and extends down to the hip area, through all layers.
      For fabrics that do not crease well, edgestitching is recommended below the hip, catching in only the fold of the pleat in your stitching. Use edgestitching on garments that will be machine laundered rather than dry-cleaned; this makes the re-pressing of the pleats much easier.
      To give topstitching and edgestitching the look of one continuous line, do the edgestitching first, stitching below the hipline to within 8" of the hemline. Then, beginning stitching at the waistline, topstitch to the hip area, carefully overlapping the start of the previous stitching. After the garment is hemmed, complete edgestitching.


    Hemming:
    If a seam falls at the inside fold of a pleat, follow these steps for a smooth, flat finish:
      Clip the seam allowance to the line of stitching at the top of the hem allowance.
      Press the seams open below the clip and trim them to ¼".
      Finish the raw edge of the hem allowance. Hem the garment.
      Working on the inside of the garment, edgestitch the pleat folds within the hem allowance to keep it flat. Once the garment is hemmed, re-press the lower edges of the pleats.


    Although it is usually easier to work with the purchased versions of these tapes, you can make your own bias tape. For information on how to do this, see pages 117-118 of the revised edition of Simplicity's Simply the Best Sewing Book.

Zipper Techniques
  • Zippers



    Zippers give fleece garments a casual, sporty look. Consider using a zipper in a contrasting color as a great focal point, or conceal the closure by using a matching color zipper, allowing other details to take center stage.

    Zippers have always had a reputation for being difficult to install, but these simple tips will have you adding zippers to your fleece garments even beyond the pattern instructions; in addition to the usual jacket front opening or neckline closure, zippers are a fun touch at the sleeves, shoulders and the lower edges of fleece pant legs.



      Be sure you purchase the proper zipper style for your project, whether it's a separating zipper or a standard zipper with a built-in stop at the bottom.
      As an easy alternative to hand basting, use washable basting tape or spray adhesive to position the zipper just before stitching.
      Use a zipper foot for both basting stitches and permanent sewing. The zipper foot can be positioned to both the left and right sides of the zipper, making the installation easier, and your stitching straighter.
      Sew each side of the zipper in the same direction to prevent puckers or distorted seams (for both basting seams and permanent stitching).

  • How to Insert an Invisible Zipper

    Unlike traditional zippers that have exposed teeth, invisible zippers are designed with coils that run the length of the zipper tape and roll inward, with the coils concealed by the zipper tape. The result is a no-show opening that, when closed, looks like a continuous seam, without any top-stitching or fabric lapped over to cover zipper teeth. This gives a clean and refined finish to special occasion garments, dresses and suit skirts and pants.

    Some sewing machines come with special rolling zipper feet, designed exclusively for inserting invisible zippers. Here is an easy method that gives professional results, without any special equipment – all you need is a standard zipper foot.

    Step 1: Open the zipper and press the tape flat. Do NOT press the coils. Position the open zipper face down on the RIGHT side of the fabric, with the coils running along the seam line and the tape within the seam allowance. Pin in place.

    TIP: You may want to hand-baste the zipper in place to ensure it does not shift during machine stitching, until you get comfortable with the technique.

    Step 2: Starting at the upper edge of the garment, uncurl the coil in front of the presser foot. With your zipper foot positioned on the LEFT side of the needle, stitch along the tape as close as possible to the coils, all the way to the slider. Back-stitch to reinforce stitching.


    Step 3: Position and pin the other half of the zipper tape in the same manner. Move zipper foot to the other side of the needle and make sure that the lower edge of the garment is even. Uncurl coil and stitch in place as for the first side.


    Step 4: Close the zipper and check that it is invisible from the OUTSIDE. Pin the LEFT side seam together below the zipper, pinning to the end of zipper stitching. Pull the free end of the zipper tape away from the seam allowance. Using your machine's regular zipper foot, finish stitching the seam, overlapping the stitches at the bottom of the zipper.

Glossary
  • Glossary of Terms

    Asymmetrical - Staystitching is a line of straight stitches that prevents curved or bias edges, such as necklines, shoulders and waistlines, from stretching out of shape as they are handled during sewing and pressing. The pattern instructions will tell you where to staystitch and the illustrations on the pattern's instruction sheet will you show which way to stitch. Staystitching is always done from the outer or wider edge in towards the center or narrower edge. The only exception is a "V" neck, where the stay-stitching goes from the point of the "V" up to the shoulder edge.

    Bias - Any diagonal direction. Fabrics stretch in the bias direction.

    Bias Tape - A finishing trim that is made from fabric strips cut along the bias grain. Because fabric cut on this grain has a great deal of stretch, the tape fits smoothly around curves without adding unnecessary bulk.

    Single-fold bias tape - actually has two folds – one running along each long edge of the tape. When single-fold bias tape is used to finish neckline or armhole edges, it is stitched to the garment edge with right sides together, and then it is turned to the inside of the garment and stitched again. The tape never shows on the outside of the garment.

    Double-fold bias tape - single-fold tape with an additional lengthwise fold. This fold is slightly off center, making one side just a little bit wider than the other. It's used to encase raw edges, creating a decorative finish that is visible on both the inside and outside of the project.

    Box pleats - A pleat style featuring two straight fabric folds facing in opposite directions.

    Double Stitched Seam - The seam is stitched and finished all in one step: Stitch a plain seam; stitch again, 1/8" away, within the seam allowance using a straight or zigzag stitch. Trim close to the second row of stitching; press seam flat to set the edges. Often used on sheer fabrics.

    Edgestitching - An extra row of stitching that appears on the very edge of a garment, usually 1/8" or less from a seamline, foldline or finished edge. Thread color always matches the fabric color.

    French Seam - A narrow finished seam with a couture look, where the raw edges are completely encased inside the seam allowances: With wrong sides together, stitch a 3/8" seam; trim the seam allowances to a scant 1/8" and press open. Fold the fabrics right sides together along the stitching line and press. Stitch ¼" away from the fold; press seam allowance flat, then to one side. Often used on sheer fabrics.

    Gathers - A fashion detail that provides fullness in garment areas such as the waistline, the cuff of a full sleeve, or a sleeve cap. Also used to create ruffles, such as those found on decorative pillows.

    Inverted pleat - A pleat style featuring two straight fabric folds that face each other, forming a pleat underlay. Often used at the center front or center back of a garment.

    Knife pleats - A pleat style featuring fabric folds all facing the same direction. Also called straight pleats.

    Pleats - Fabric folds that control fullness in a garment. Variations include box, inverted and knife pleats.

    Self-Fringe - A trim created, usually on loosely woven fabrics, by pulling out the crosswise yarns along the edge of a garment so that the remaining lengthwise yarns create a fringe effect. Once the desired amount of fringe is created, a line of stitching just above it secures the fringe form additional unwanted raveling.

    Topstitching - An extra row of stitching on the outside of a garment along or near a finished edge, usually as a decorative effect, but sometimes functional as well, such as on a patch pocket or pleat. Can be done in matching or contrast thread.

    True Bias - The diagonal edge formed when a fabric is folded so that the lengthwise and crosswise grains are aligned. True bias occurs at a 45-degree angle, and woven fabrics have the greatest amount of stretch along the true bias.

    Underlining - A layer of fabric that is sewn as one with the fashion fabric, wrong sides together. Underlining serves as a buffer between the fashion fabric and inner details like interfacing, zippers and more that are stitched to the underlining rather than the fashion fabric.

    "With Nap" - Refers to a fabric that has a texture or design that must run in one direction on the finished garment. Fabrics with a nap can look different depending on which way you hold them, though sometimes the difference might be a very subtle variation in color. Examples of "with nap" fabrics include velvet and corduroy, satin, knit fabrics and toile designs.

    "Without Nap" - Refers to fabrics that do not have a particular one-way texture or design. If you are unsure whether your fabric has a nap, use the "with nap" layout.

Home Décor and Crafts
  • Measuring for Windows

    WIDTH

    1. First, decide where the rod is to be placed. This is a crucial decision because it determines the width as well as the length of the window treatment. This will also determine the size of the rod you need to purchase.
    2. Consider the fact that the rod may be placed any distance to the right and/or left of the window frame to give a good proportion to the room.
    3. Measure rod width from end to end; this is your face width.
    4. Add projection or returns to the face width; this is your finished width.

    LENGTH
    1. First, decide where the rod is to be placed. This is a crucial decision because it determines the width as well as the length of the window treatment. This will also determine the size of the rod you need to purchase.
    2. Consider the fact that the rod may be placed any distance to the right and/or left of the window frame to give a good proportion to the room.
    3. Measure rod width from end to end; this is your face width.
    4. Add projection or returns to the face width; this is your finished width.

    Piecing for Bedding


    To avoid an unattractive center seam, the center panel of the duvet cover or comforter should use approximately one entire width of 44/45" (115cm) or 54" (140cm) fabric. For Twin and Double/Queen sizes, the remaining fabric length is split into two equal width side panels. For King size, each panel uses an entire width of fabric.

    As a guide for standard sized mattresses, you can use the PIecing Diagram to the right. They include the suggested length and width measurements for each panel.

Trims + Notions
  • What is Bias Tape?

    SEWING SAVVY: Bias Tape


    Bias tape is made from fabric strips that are cut along the bias grain. Because fabric cut on this grain has a great deal of stretch, the tape fits smoothly around curves without adding unnecessary bulk. Bias tape can be used in place of a facing to finish curved edges, such as armholes, necklines, as well as the outer edges of vests and jackets. It is also used to finish the edges of many home dec items, such as pot holders and place mats.

    There are two types of bias tape. The list of notions on the pattern envelope back will tell you which type to purchase; the sewing instructions will tell you how to apply it.

    Single-fold bias tape actually has two folds – one running along each long edge of the tape. When single-fold bias tape is used to finish neckline or armhole edges, it is stitched to the garment edge with right sides together, and then it is turned to the inside of the garment and stitched again. The tape never shows on the outside of the garment.

    Double-fold bias tape is single-fold tape with an additional lengthwise fold. This fold is slightly off center, making one side just a little bit wider than the other. Double-fold bias tape is used to encase raw edges, creating a decorative finish that is visible on both the inside and outside of the project.

    Although it is usually easier to work with the purchased versions of these tapes, you can make your own bias tape. For information on how to do this, see pages 117-118 of the revised edition of Simplicity's Simply the Best Sewing Book.

* For further information contact our Consumer Relations Department. Click here.







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