Questions tagged [sewing]

The craft of connecting two things using a needle and thread. This tag can cover all methods from hand-sewing to machine sewing. Questions specifically about specialty "sewing" crafts like embroidery or cross stitch should use those tags instead.

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19 votes
3 answers
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How do you choose a stitch length when straight stitching an arbitrary fabric?

When looking to sew a piece of fabric, what factors are looked at to determine the correct stitch length?
beattyac's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do I know when my sewing machine needs a service?

I have inherited a sewing machine from my grandmother and have just started sewing. How do I tell that my machine needs a service? Is there a recommended schedule or some tell-tale sign that it's time ...
user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
464 views

What criteria should I be considering when looking at a second hand sewing machine?

I understand the basic concept of how a sewing machine works. I also know there are many varieties of sewing machines e.g. they are capable of doing their own sets of stitches and what not, supporting ...
Matt's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
559 views

What is this tool in my sewing kit?

I found this tool in my sewing kit, and I wanted to know what it is. It is a couple of inches (centimetres) long. It has two metal prongs on one end and one of them has a plastic ball protecting the ...
Dimitrios Desyllas's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I hand-sew an "invisible" hem?

I'm sitting at work and my pant cuff started unraveling. Luckily I have a needle and thread in my purse, and I would like to repair this while I'm on a conference call with little else to do. Since ...
Erica's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
294 views

How can I finish stitching those last few inches?

I am a gifted amateur when it comes to sewing - at least with a blanket stitch. Never touched a sewing machine in my life and do it all by hand. My kids are naturally rough with toys and their clothes....
Matt's user avatar
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12 votes
8 answers
3k views

How to reuse a sewing pattern without damaging it

What's a good strategy for reusing a sewing pattern without damaging it? Say I have a pattern I like, I can fuse some interfacing to it to make it last longer. That said, the way I was taught to cut ...
wyer33's user avatar
  • 221
11 votes
8 answers
10k views

How do I keep ribbon ends from fraying?

My teenage daughter dances ballet, and on a fairly regular basis we need to get her new pointe shoes. After so many pairs, I've gotten surprisingly good at sewing in the elastic and ribbons that need ...
Erica's user avatar
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11 votes
8 answers
26k views

How can I stop my thread from bunching when using a sewing machine?

I've recently started using a sewing machine to make simple cushion covers. But I've run into a consistent problem of bunching. Below is an example of what I'm experiencing: I've checked that my feed ...
BeaglesEnd's user avatar
  • 1,358
11 votes
2 answers
611 views

Why are needles designed for sewing thick canvas or heavy leather three-edged?

Needles designed for sewing thick canvas or heavy leather (e.g. on a traditional sailing ship) have a triangular point, see example 1 and example 2. (These needles are sometimes also called “rigging ...
marianoju's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes
2 answers
310 views

What to look for in a good beginner's sewing machine?

I've been thinking about learning to sew and would like to get to the point where I could possibly make a dress (and try to invent one with pockets). I've repaired buttons and rips by hand but guess ...
user1605665's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
295 views

How to pick an embroidery machine

I'm looking at buying an embroidery machine (or more specifically my partner is). We only have one real hard requirement: The machine must be capable to accepting a pattern from our computer that ...
user6916458's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I determine what size zig-zag stitch to use?

I have a standard sewing machine, not a serger, so I use a zig-zag stitch when sewing knits. Typically, I just use trial and error on scrap pieces to figure out a good size of zig-zag stitch for ...
user812786's user avatar
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9 votes
6 answers
508 views

Can I replicate this "bumpy" fabric on a pillow?

I saw this pillow for sale and would like to make it with my own fabric, in a different color. How can I replicate this look? I have a sewing machine and moderate confidence in my by-hand skills as ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 4,376
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

What fabric would work well for a flag?

I want to sew together a flag and I was wondering what type of fabric would be best to use. I'm looking for something opaque, thin, non-stretchy, and available in various colors. I initially thought ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 473
9 votes
3 answers
24k views

What kind of stitch makes up t-shirt seams on commercial grade clothing?

I recently decided to take up sewing, but the stitches I use to hold two pieces of fabric together (like the side seams of a shirt for example) is a simple lock stitch. My machine (like most I've seen)...
leigero's user avatar
  • 1,102
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

How can I trace a pattern from a top with darts?

I have a RTW (ready-to-wear, aka store-bought) dress which fits me well, and I'd like to sew a copy of it. I've done this before with loosely fitted tops, like t-shirts which only have minimal shaping,...
user812786's user avatar
  • 2,375
9 votes
1 answer
195 views

Will lack of a zig-zag stitch be a problem for me?

I just got a secondhand sewing machine. The straight stitch, blind stitch, and stretch stitch settings work, but the zig-zag setting doesn't (the needle doesn't move side-to-side). I plan to use the ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 192
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I convert a V-neck shirt to a square neck?

My daughter needs to dress as Anne Boleyn for a school history report. We're basing her costume off this portrait: We found a cheap long sleeve black shirt to modify with a lace/pearl edging to ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 4,376
9 votes
1 answer
380 views

How to make stitches invisible

I'm working on a DIY kit of a plush doll. This is the first time I'm sewing. Per instructions, I'm using a back stitch to sew together two fleece pieces. The problem is that the stitches are visible ...
HeyJude's user avatar
  • 419
9 votes
2 answers
625 views

How should I go about designing clothing for a teddy bear?

While I can sew on a sewing machine, I've never created a pattern myself, and only seldom worked with them. Now we decided to create a jacket or a nightdress for our teddy bear. The problem is how to ...
Petr's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes
1 answer
349 views

Can I use the potholder quilting technique to make a quilt out of t-shirts?

Has anyone used the "potholder" method of making a quilt out of t-shirts? I'd like to cut the shirt (front and back) and batting at once into a square, then quilt the single square. Not sure whether ...
Not The Face's user avatar
  • 1,659
9 votes
4 answers
14k views

What materials can be used to fill a puffy jacket?

I have this jacket pattern. In case it's relevant, I'll be making it in a medium weight twill. I'm also adding a lightweight silky lining to give it a nice finish and make it easy to put on. In ...
user812786's user avatar
  • 2,375
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can I add an internal pocket to pants that don't have one?

I've got a number of pants and shorts that I'd love to be able to carry my phone in, especially a couple of running shorts. But, they were (inconsiderately!) designed with no pockets. In the case of ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 4,376
8 votes
2 answers
489 views

My grandma's fingers are becoming too old for knitting. What alternatives are there?

My grandma is getting old. She loves her knitting and needlework. Especially with less visitors coming to her retirement home in Covid times, it keeps up her spirits. But now she tells me her fingers ...
henning's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
2 answers
376 views

How to take the measurements of a plus-sized woman?

I'd like to make some clothes designed for my wife, who is plus-sized. I understand the basics of bust, waist, high hip, hip, but I've never taken measurements before. The differences I can see from ...
PaintingFerret's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Corset making: which material should I use for the boning?

I'm interested in historical costume making (or rather "historybounding": integrating historically inspired items of clothing into my day-to-day wardrobe). Currently I want to tackle making ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13k
8 votes
1 answer
384 views

Are you supposed to oil the upper thread tension discs on a sewing machine?

I am getting erratic behavior when I adjust the upper thread tension knob on my sewing machine. For example, no matter how slowly I adjust it, it's either too loose or too tight. Or during sewing the ...
Karabin's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
7 answers
632 views

Fasteners other than Hook and Loop

I am looking for fastener options to connect two fabrics and also keep them detachable. I am working on an adjustable knee brace. Small hook and loop ("Velcro") patches are a good option, ...
Katrina's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
2 answers
294 views

How should I select elastic for a sewing project?

I want to adapt a pair of pants to add elastic to the waistband. I have a particular "stretchiness" in mind for this project, but don't know how that relates to a given thickness, width, material, or ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 4,376
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

What happened to slant-needle sewing machines?

Slant-needle sewing machines used to be all the rage, and it's easy to see why: being able to see what you're sewing better is great. But nobody makes them anymore. Instead, most modern machines have ...
Ingmar Hupp's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
6k views

How to crop a T-shirt without it fraying

I have a plain cotton t-shirt that I need to crop for a costume. I was wondering what is the best method to cropping it without it potentially fraying without a sewing machine?
Kkell1150's user avatar
  • 161
7 votes
2 answers
192 views

How can I splice the tail of my tie and have it not look terrible?

I was making some clip on ties for work for me to wear on casual Fridays. I could not wear regular ties with t-shirts as that would just look odd. I picked up some second hand ties to make into clip ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 11k
7 votes
2 answers
512 views

Sew Hidden Seam

I have a leather couch that the seam on the arm split. How can I sew this up without showing the stiches (or least obvious that it was hand sewn)?
Dman's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
4 answers
274 views

How can I cover my desk chair's seat?

My desk chair has started peeling. I think the cat scratched it, and now more comes off after every seating. Here's what the seat shape looks like: After looking into this a bit more, I realized ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is a "triple interlocking stitch"?

I'm looking at the stitching on my hammock, wondering what kind of stitch it is and how to do it myself. I see this marketed as a "triple interlocking stitch." But searching on Google only brings up ...
Mike M. Lin's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
168 views

Cuff strategy to maximize longevity of pants

When the bottom hem of pants/slacks gets frayed there are various ways to re-sew the hems or cuffs so that the frayed material is no longer exposed. Presumably there are ways to optimize/extend the ...
ebpa's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
1 answer
356 views

What type of sewing machine is appropriate for making heavy fabric bags?

I've been making custom bags, purses and totes out of heavy cloth fabrics for the last several years and have been struggling with my two home sewing machines (Brother CS6000i and Janome HD3000). I ...
moof2k's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

When to add a waist stay?

I'm working on a dress with a strapless bodice and a gathered skirt. I'm designing my own pattern, but for an example it will have a similar shape to this dress. From browsing online I've seen that "...
user812786's user avatar
  • 2,375
6 votes
2 answers
132 views

Permanently mark pin placement for shirt

I have a light blue button shirt with a couple of ribbons that are attached via pins. The placement is very specific and I'd like to mark the exact position of the pins on the shirt. I thought about ...
Rick's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
5 answers
875 views

Efficient cutting and preparation of fabric for sewing clothing

My questions: Is there an 'ideal' size to cut / store fabric for making clothes? Do other sewers have an efficient system in place for cutting / preparing their fabric for future sewing projects? ...
Candlejack's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
4k views

Glue for sides of cross stitch work

I would like, in order to prevent frays, to glue the sides and the thread stops of a finished work. The work should then be washable, since it is for a baby toy. The sides of the work will be tucked ...
Oneira's user avatar
  • 1,333
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the best way to attach backing on a quilt with irregular pattern?

I'd like to make a quilt with a design such as the one in the picture: I understand that normally, when a quilt is just made up of squares or rectangles, you can just stitch a bunch of lines up and ...
Raksha's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
2 answers
430 views

Does this type of hemming have a name, and is it fixable by hand?

Both sleeve ends of a jacket end in this type of stitching, which after a decade, is starting to come apart. The jacket itself is Tyrolean, made of loden, which is a type of melton wool. I don't know ...
David's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
3 answers
798 views

Sewing machine problem: machine won't tighten the loops under the material

A year ago I loaned my Brother XL-2600i to my kid's school, and only now have I tried using it again. Yep: they messed it up. The thread tangles up around the bobbin, and it makes grinding noises. ...
Daniel Griscom's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
197 views

How to cut intricate patterns from velvet?

I want to recreate a certain type of costume: Image source and copyright: Heimatmuseum Dahme My specific problem is that the black stripes on the skirt are supposed to be velvet. As far as I know ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13k
6 votes
1 answer
931 views

Is there a way to "revive" or protect hand sewing needles from corrosion?

I often find myself hand sewing small seams or buttons, repairing a garment or embroidering something using standard hand sewing needles. After about 8 hours of active use, the needles start to become ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13k
6 votes
2 answers
847 views

How can I identify/select a foam for stiffening a bag (buying online)?

I've started making my own bike luggage. The first is a simple zipped frame bag, unlined. Now that's finished successfully I want to make a full length toptube bag. Because these sit on top of the ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 6,799
6 votes
1 answer
336 views

Trying to find a sewing pattern or style name for this style of dess

Hello I am trying to find a sewing pattern that has the same type of style for the chest area of this dress or just the name of the style so that I have something to go on. I'm not too worried about ...
V Grophey's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
221 views

Captain America suit's raised surface pattern?

What is the technique/fabric technology to make raised surface pattern as seen on Captain America suits (see the image below)? At first sight, I thought it was quilting pattern, but upon closer ...
Tan En De's user avatar
  • 163