Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sew Grateful Week: Sharing resources day

Ooops! I got the days and themes a bit confused, so this should have appeared yesterday. (At least it's still in the right week...)

So today is all about sharing sewing resources. I don't have a tutorial to offer, but I do want to share a few links to resources I've found really helpful in my sewing adventures. I'm super grateful for the online sewing community, both for the (passive and active) encouragement it gives me to keep sewing and stretch myself, but also for all the advice and tutorials out there. My friends aren't particularly into sewing, I live in a small town in a different country to my mum, and don't speak the language that well, so have a limited amount of "real-life" advisors I can turn to. So I turn to the huge wealth of knowledge that is the internet...


Fitting is a bit of a bĂȘte noir for me (ooh, I do speak French!), but one of the main reasons I started sewing was to have clothes that fit my entirely non-standard body. It's all very much still a work in progress, but these are some of the techniques and advice that I have found helpful.

Full bust adjustment (FBA)

Sway back

  • I've started using a new method of adjusting for this, which preserves the CB fold if needed. There's a great explanation on Sherry's blog, plus another way of thinking about it here.

Forward shoulders and sleeves

  • Sleeve cap ease is bogus! And you will believe this too when you read Kathleen's explanation. I've found that sleeves to fit so much better when the ease is taken out - although the shoulder needs to be wide enough, and the armscye needs to be shaped well. There is some information about this here, here and here, and also in the comments of this post.
  • Linked to the fit of sleeves is adjusting for forward shoulder. This is effectively a more exaggerated version of Kathleen's reshaping of the sleeve head, plus adjustment of the shoulder line and neckline on the bodice. There's a nice explanation here, and I normally use Gigi's method for reshaping the sleeve head.

Books I've found useful

Sewing techniques

There's also a wealth of information of sewing techniques out on t'interweb. I'm always a bit wary of online "tutorials" as there are many terrible methods and finishes being sewn. I like to learn from those with experience, and that's one of the reasons I don't describe anything I do as a "tutorial", as I don't think I have the experience or skills to say "that's the way to do it". Anyway, these are a few things that I refer to frequently.


  • Inserting the zip is always something that can make or break the look of a garment. After reading Els's tutorial, I much prefer sewing invisible zips after the seam is sewn up (You can actually still use an invisible zipper foot here, you just have to do the diagonal backstitching by hand). She also gives a tutorial on a neat way to sew the a facing with an invisible zip, and Kathleen shows a similar method here and here.
  • For centred zips and lapped zips, I like to use Kathleen's methods. She gives good explanations to show the construction of both centred zips and lapped zips plus facings.
  • For a neat way to sew an exposed zip in a seam, I like to use Pattern Runway's method.

Buttonholes and loops



There's some good techniques, tutorials and tips gathered in the following places.

Many, many thanks to all those people who share their knowledge on the internet - there are SO MANY more links and books I find useful, but this post has got a little longer than intended! I always try to reference the techniques I've used when I write my blog posts, so you'll find more information there and I hope this little collection of links here proves useful to at least some of you.

Finally, a big thank you to all those who've entered my giveaway so far - I'm so pleased that I've managed to put together something that people like! A reminder that the giveaway closes at the end of Sunday 2 March, so add your comment if you would like to enter.