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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16
votes
3answers
4k views

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?
15
votes
2answers
814 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
308 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
289 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
177 views

How can I finish stitching those last couple 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
675 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
469 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
365 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
351 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
182 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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,...
8
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
616 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
806 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
185 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
10k 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)...
7
votes
2answers
399 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)?
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
332 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
150 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
104 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
270 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
509 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 "...
6
votes
2answers
143 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
776 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
286 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
156 views

Removing stitching from jacket

I have a sports jacket from a team I used to play for. It's a very high quality jacket and I would like to continue wearing it, but the team name is written in large text across the upper-back of the ...
6
votes
5answers
139 views

Fasteners other than Hook and Loop

I am looking for fastener options to attach 2 fabrics and also keep them detachable. I am working on an adjustable knee brace so small hook and loop patches are a good option but they are difficult to ...
6
votes
1answer
99 views

What stitches are strong for clothing seams when done by hand?

As discussed in the question about What kind of stitch makes up t-shirt seams on commercial grade clothing? we can now identify the overlock stitch. A cursory look at the Wiki for that stitch shows ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between serger, coverstitch, and overlock machines?

I have a standard sewing machine, but am thinking about buying a machine that is better suited to knits. I thought they were are all just "sergers" but after doing some research I've heard: serger ...
5
votes
6answers
376 views

Fabric alternative for leather

I'm planning to sew a costume based on a character who is wearing what appears to be a leather duster. I'm trying to pinpoint what fabric to use, as leather is expensive and I can't afford to buy ...
5
votes
2answers
108 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
117 views

Are there cases where we do not reverse stitch when sewing?

I purchased a Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine and am watching tutorials. In one of them, the lady demonstrates how to make a simple stitch. She goes a few stitches forward, a few stitches back, and ...
5
votes
3answers
188 views

Finding fabric and thread thickness

I was at Joann fabric store recently and couldn't figure out the thickness of the fabric or thread I was looking at. The fabric was just wrapped around some cardboard that just had a name and material....
5
votes
2answers
342 views

How to stitch together two fabric pieces without creating “lips”

Take a look at the stitches of this doll. It is sewn so that the shift from the upper fabric piece to the lower one is very smooth: Compare it with this kind of sewing: The shift from the two fabric ...
5
votes
3answers
71 views

What is the best way to sew knit/stretchy fabrics?

I’ve done my research and actually tried some of them but the end results are the same: wonky. I’m using needles specifically for knit fabrics, I have used a knit foot. I have tried adjusting the ...
5
votes
5answers
534 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? ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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. Which kind of glue should l use?
5
votes
3answers
255 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
198 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
648 views

Creative embroidery technique to fix a damaged knitted sleeve

What would be a good darning or embroidery technique for fixing the frayed/missing edges on the sleeves of a machine-knitted cardigan? The cardigan material is 100% wool (see picture below). I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I fix or prevent getting holes in my jeans near the crotch?

I am a male and I get a hole in the crotch of my jeans all the time. It happens in about 6-12 months of owning the jeans. It always happens in the same spot. I have tried many different brands now and ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

How can I secure the front and end of my hand-stitches without adding knot to needle, or back-stitching

I am following this tutorial for Cutting thread for embroidery project Threading the needle Adding a knot to end of needle What is the alternative to adding knot to of end to needle. I wish to ...