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BellaOnline's Sewing Editor

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Basic Techniques

Learning the basics of sewing or brushing up on skills? The links below will lead you on the right path.

Applique (with a dryer sheet) - Tutorial star[offsite link]
Put those used dryer sheets to good use! They are great for light linings for applique shapes.

Applying Bias Tape by Machine - Tutorial star[offsite link]
A video showing how to apply double-fold bias tape by machine.

Basic Sewing Machine Presser Feet star
There are presser feet for basic stitching as well as specific techniques. Learn what the presser feet in your sewing kit do with this illustrated guide to basic sewing machine presser feet.

Basic Sewing Supplies for the Beginner star
An introduction to some basic sewing tools and their uses. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Bias Tape, Double Fold - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to apply double fold bias binding.

Bias Tape, Single Fold - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to use single fold bias tape for trim, facings or casings.

Blanket Binding - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to apply blanket binding.

Blanket Stitch Applique Tutorial star
Step-by-step tutorial showing you how to blanket stitch an applique onto a background fabric.

Blanket Stitch Tutorial - Turning the Corner star
Step-by-step tutorial showing you how to blanket stitch by hand and stitch around a corner.

Care and Feeding of Your Serger star
The serger is a fierce, but delicate, beast and requires special care to keep it purring.

Cording Crash Course - Tutorial star[offsite link]
Step-by-step instructions for making cording. From jcarolinecreative!

Double Row Gathering star
There are several techniques that can be used for gathering fabric. This article explains how to gather fabric using a double row of stitching.

Essential Sewing Tools and Notions star
There are a number of sewing tools and sewing notions that are essential to have in your sewing inventory in addition to a sewing machine. Some items are more necessary while others just make sewing a bit easier (and quicker). What tools do you consider to be essential?

Hem Facing - Applying star[offsite link]
Directions on how to apply hem facing from Wrights.com.

Honeycomb Smocking - Tutorial star[offsite link]
A different way to pleat and smock.

How to Alter Pants star
If you find a pair of pants that fit perfect in one spot, but not another, don't think that you have to put them them back on the rack. Some pant alterations are easy to do and can make all the difference in the world.

How to Blanket Stitch by Hand star
Step-by-step tutorial showing you how to blanket stitch by hand.

How to Make a Pocket star[offsite link]
Customize almost any sewing project by adding a patch pocket with this simple pattern.

How to Make Quilted Fabric star
Pre-quilted fabric can be used in a great variety of sewing projects such as bags, potholders, placemats, and table runners, to name just a few. Unfortunately, the selection of pre-quilted fabric often leaves a little to be desired and the price tag is even worse. Learn how to make your own!

How to Sew - Extended Facings star
Facings are pieces of fabric that are used to finish various types of openings. Extended facings are cut as part of the pattern rather than applied separately.

How to Sew a Basic Straight Seam star
A visual explanation how to sew a basic straight seam. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Cutting the Fabric star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of arranging the pattern pieces and cutting the fabric.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - First Steps star
Sewing men's shirts may seem difficult and complicated, but it really isn't. If you are interested in learning how to sew a men's shirt, you will want to follow this series that will take you step by step through the process of sewing a men's shirt.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Matching the Fabric star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of placing the patterns so that the fabric motifs will match when it is sewn together.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Pocket star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of preparing the pocket for sewing and sewing it onto the shirt front.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Preparing the Pattern star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of preparing the pattern pieces.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Reading the Pattern star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over how to read the pattern and arrange the pattern pieces on your fabric.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing Shoulder Seams star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of sewing the shirt shoulder seams to attach the shirt fronts to the shirt yoke.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing the Collar star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of sewing the shirt collar together.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing the Sleeves star
This is the final installment of the men's shirt sewing series. In this lesson, I explain the process of inserting the shirt sleeves.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - Sewing the Yoke star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of sewing the shirt yoke and yoke lining to the shirt back piece.

How to Sew a Men's Shirt - the Collar Stand star
In this lesson on learning how to sew a men's shirt, we will go over the process of sewing the shirt collar stand together.

How to Sew Burlap star
Burlap is a coarsely woven fabric made from jute, a vegetable fiber. Burlap is different from most other fabrics and requires some special handling. This article presents some basic information on stabilizing burlap fabric.

How to Sew Fleece star
Fleece fabric is wonderful for making fleece blankets and warm outerwear. If you have been wondering how to sew fleece, you will want to read this article. There are also many free fleece patterns, fleece blanket patterns, and fleece hat patterns that are perfect for a beginning sewer.

How-To Make Yards and Yards of Bias Tape star[offsite link]
Easy to understand instructions for making continuous bias tape.

Introduction to Gathering Fabric star
Fabric gathering is an important technique to have in your sewing arsenal. Learn about a few different methods for creating gathered fabric and when to use them.

Introduction to Hand Stitches star
Hand sewing is a bit of a lost art these days, but there are a few essential stitches that every sewer should have in their toolbox. This is part of an ongoing instructional series on hand sewing.

Making Covered Buttons star
You can personalize or add extra pizazz to a sewing project by adding covered buttons. They can give your garments a couture look and make your home decor items look like they came from a decorator's showroom.

Mending Pants star
Save money by fixing damaged garments rather than discarding them. This article shows you an easy way to repair a broken waistband closure on a pair of men's dress pants.

More Essential Sewing Tools and Notions star
There are a number of sewing tools and sewing notions that are essential to have in your sewing inventory in addition to a sewing machine. Some items are more necessary while others just make sewing a bit easier (and quicker) - page two.

Piping - Applying star[offsite link]
Learn how to apply pre-made piping.

Quilt Binding - Tutorial star[offsite link]
Illustrated tutorial on applying quilt binding using white glue. Link opens a .pdf document.

Reverse Applique Tutorial star[offsite link]
Photographic demonstration of how to do the reverse applique technique.

Rick-Rack - Applying star[offsite link]
Rick-rack is an easy way to add punch to your projects.

Ruching, Ruffles, and More star
A brief introduction to some additional techniques for adding texture and depth to fabric including ruffles and smocking.

Seam Finishes - Bound, Clean and French Seam star
Learn about the most commonly used seam finishes and how to create them.

Seam Finishes - Mock French and Flat Felled star
Part two of the discussion about the most widely used seam finishes. This installment explains the Mock/False French Seam and the Flat-Felled Seam.

Sewing for Prom star
Have you ever been frustrated when shopping for a prom dress? Perhaps you find a style you love, but the color is all wrong? Well, you can solve this problem by sewing your own gown. The first step is selecting a pattern that best suits your body type; here are some tips to help with that.

Sewing Gathered Fabric star
This article is a continuation of the discussion of different gathering methods and includes tips for attaching gathered fabric to another piece of fabric as well as comparing the results of the different gathering methods.

Sewing Lesson - Basic Folded Hems star
Learn all about hems in this group of articles - this segment focuses on basic folded hems. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Lesson - How to Press Seams star
Learn the difference between "ironing" and "pressing" and why it is so important to press your seams as you sew. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Lesson - How to Sew a Blind Hem star
Learn how to sew a blind hem on your sewing machine without a special presser foot. Make hems that are neat and professional looking. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Lesson - How to Sew Curved Seams star
Learn how to sew and clip curved seams so that they look smooth and even. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Lesson - Introduction to Hems star
Learn all about hems in this group of articles. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Lesson - Sewing Blind Hems star
Instructions for sewing blind hems on your sewing machine. Part of the "How to Sew" lesson series.

Sewing Machine Needle Types star
There are many types of needles available for your sewing machine. Learn what they are used for.

Sewing Machine Needles - How to Choose star
When faced with the different types of needles available for your sewing machine, it can be hard to know which one to purchase and use. Here is an explanation of the different types and their uses in sewing.

Sewing Satin star
Satin fabric is glossy and luxurious and the perfect match for sewing garments for special occasions such as prom or a formal event. Satin does require some special handling though. Read more about satin and learn some tips for sewing satin.

Sewing Terms and Their Meanings star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Align to Asymmetrical star
Learn your sewing terminology from align to asymmetry.

Sewing Vocabulary - Backstitch to Binding star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Blanket Stitch to Buttonhole star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Casing to Cutting Line star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Darn to Draping star
Familiarize yourself with sewing terminology with this handy glossary of sewing terms.

Sewing Vocabulary - Ease to Fusible star
Another installment in the sewing glossary.

Sewing Vocabulary - Gather to Gusset star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Gather and Gusset.

Sewing Vocabulary - Ham to Horsehair Braid star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Ham and Horsehair Braid.

Sewing Vocabulary - In-seam Pocket to Knife Pleat star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between In-seam pocket and Knife pleat.

Sewing Vocabulary - Lapel to Muslin star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Lapel and Muslin

Sewing Vocabulary - Nap to Overlock star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Nap and Overlock

Sewing Vocabulary - Pad Stitch to Prick Stitch star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Pad Stitch and Prick Stitch

Sewing Vocabulary - Quilting to Running Stitch star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Quilting and Running Stitch

Sewing Vocabulary - Sample Size to Sep. Zipper star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Sample Size and Separating Zipper

Sewing Vocabulary - Serge to Sloper star
This installment in the sewing glossary covers the meanings of the terms between Serge and Sloper

Single Row Gathering star
There are several techniques that can be used for gathering fabric. This article explains how to gather fabric using a single row of stitching.

Techniques for Adding Texture to Fabric star
You can change the look of fabric by folding, twisting, and gathering it in different ways. In this article, I explore some of the various methods for adding texture to fabric.

Tips for Cutting and Sewing Burlap star
This article continues the discussion of burlap fabric, presenting some tips for cutting burlap and sewing with burlap.

Tips for Sewing Satin star
Tips and tricks for making garments out of satin. Part two of Sewing Satin article.

Tips for Sewing Sheer Fabrics star
Sheer fabrics are those that are classified by the fact that they are see-through or transparent. Used in both home decor and apparel, sheer fabrics can add a special look to your projects. Learn more about sheer fabrics and some tips for seaming them in this article.

What to Do When Your Sewing Machine Thread Jams star
Have you ever been sewing along and all of a sudden your machine makes a little clunk and jerks to a stop and then when you pull the fabric out and turn it over, there is a clump of knotted up thread on the bottom? If so, here are some tips for solving and preventing thread jams.

Working With Sheer Fabrics star
Sheer fabrics are beautiful to look at and add elegance to your look. Because they are see-through, they require some special treatment when being sewn so that seam show-through is minimized.

Zigzag Stitch Gathering star
There are several techniques that can be used for gathering fabric. This article explains how to gather fabric using a zigzag stitch.

Links marked with the [offsite link] designation point to websites not associated with BellaOnline.com. BellaOnline.com is not responsible for the material found there.

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Introduction to Gathering Fabric

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