Serpentine Stitch

4:44 PM

Serpentine Stitch: a stitch that creates a curved snake-like pattern. Serpentine stitching is used for finishing seam edges, and decorative top stitching.

This picture demonstrates the finishing of a seam with a zig zag stitch. The stitching is right along the edge of the fabric, so the stitching catches the edge and keeps the fabric from fraying.

Note: You will need to change the settings on your machine to a slightly longer stitch length. Practice on a scrap first.


Pressing seams

3:36 PM

To ensure a professional finish, press all the seams in the garment!

First, trim the seams, then press the seam to set the stitches. This set almost acts like a glue. The fibers from the thread and the fabric meld together.

After setting the stitches, press the seams open. This ensures a crisp looking seam. This is good to do on every seam even if the seam allowance will be folded back together.


Shirtail Hem

9:30 PM

Shirttail Hem: a narrow hem that is usually placed along the bottom of dress shirts and some skirts or dresses. This is a good hem for subtle curves.

 How to:

Turn fabric under 1/4", then 1/4" again and edge stitch.


Staystitch 1/4" away from raw edge- this will help the fabric easily turn under. If a thread from the stitching is pulled slightly on outward curves, it will help the fabric compress or ever-so-slightly gather, for a smoothly turned hem. Note: do NOT staystitch on inward curves of hems.


Stay Stitch

9:21 PM

Stay Stitch: a line of stitching that is meant to stabilize a piece of clothing. It prevents fabric from stretching or distorting in the process of sewing the piece. Stay stitching is the first step after cutting and marking the fabric. It is usually done 1/2" away from the edge. Stay stitching is done on the shoulders, along the neckline and on pieces that are cut on the bias.

Note: Stay stitching must be done directionally so that the fabric is not distorted even more.


Directional Stitching

9:17 PM

Directional Stitching: the rule that all stitching must be stitched in a certain direction. The stitching must start from the widest point of the piece to the narrowest point.


Knit Elastic

10:22 PM

Knit elastic: a stretchy band of yarns (usually polyester and rubber) that is created by knitting the materials together. Knit elastic is not as durable as woven elastic, but is lightweight. Knit elastic can also roll, so it is not ideal for waistbands, but works well for underwear, sleeves and necklines.


Woven Elastic

10:27 PM

Woven elastic: a stretchy band of fiber (usually polyester) and rubber that is created by weaving the materials together. Woven elastic is the most durable elastic, although it can also be the most bulky. Woven elastic is an excellent choice in making stretchy/elastic waistbands in pants. It is also a great choice in jackets or coats.


Pinking Shears

11:19 PM

Pinking Shears: Scissors/shears that cut in a zig-zag pattern rather than a straight line. Pinking shears are perfect for trimming seams along outward curves like Peter Pan collars. They imitate cutting notches to reduce bulk on curved seams. Pinking shears are also great for finishing seams as it reduces fraying.


Sewing Kit additions for the intermediate sewer

8:15 PM


Once you get sewing more complex things, you may want more tools! Here are some things you may want to add to your sewing kit:
  • One pair of small shears with sharp points (great for clipping threads, and making snips)
  • Pinking shears

  •  Various sized and types start with  of machine sewing needles. Start with stretch, sharp and denim needles.

  • A rotary cutter
  • One gridded clear ruler (This is helpful when you get into pattern making.) 

  •  A large self healing cutting mat

  • You may want to invest in an iron that steams well. I love mine from T-fal.

For a printable list, click here.



7:53 PM

Bobbin: A short metal or plastic spool that is placed under the sewing plate of a sewing machine. It holds the thread that is looped and caught from the bottom. A bobbin is placed in a bobbin case that can be either removable or not removable from the bobbin housing.



7:50 PM

Thimble: a metal or plastic cap that is usually placed on the middle finger. A thimble protects the finger when hand sewing. It is most often used when tailoring suits or hand quilting.

Thimbles come in different sizes, so it is essential to try them on to check for fit. You're looking for a fit that is not to tight and not too loose. You should be able to feel the thimble wrap around your finger, but it should not feel uncomfortable.

Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images