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7

You cannot trust those chart sizes because of a phenomenon called "vanity sizing". Once upon a time women's clothes where all tailored to fit the individual person or altered (if bought second hand). When industrial mass production set in, manufacturers wrote a measurement into the garment to make it easier to find one that fits. That number was ...


7

Basically what makes good sewing scissors is that they are nice and sharp, and will make a clean cut. So the simplest way to find out if your scissors are good for cutting fabric is to test them on some fabric. Take a scrap of fabric (not a large piece that you want to use for a project) and try to cut it. If you can cut a nice clean line in a single snip, ...


7

Many sewing machine issues can be resolved by simply removing the thread and re-threading it. Your machine's manual should have a diagram showing how to insert the thread. Even if you're sure you already know how to thread the machine, find that diagram and follow it step by step. You may find that you've been missing a step, or putting the thread in the ...


5

I have a few suggestions to add to Elmy's excellent answer. In case you can only get a rough estimate of your sister's measurements, it will help if you choose a pattern that has some flexibility in terms of sizing. The most extreme example of free-sizing is a wrap skirt. You can make a wrap skirt for someone with only a rough estimate of their waist and hip ...


5

Anything you can sew on a machine, you can also sew by hand. But It will take much longer. If the seam is visible you must take special care to sew evenly or it will look ugly. It's harder to sew a straight line if you don't mark it on the fabric. (There are special markers that disappear when heated for that reason). Is it a good idea? For the whole skirt:...


5

Home sewing machines use the same style of needle. Any store that sells sewing supplies for home crafters (as opposed to manufacturers) should have that type of sewing machine needles, and only that type. If they have multiple brands of sewing machine needle, any brand should work, and the choice is merely one of brand preference. The part that fits into the ...


4

It could also be the threads fault. I've had similar problems very recently. I sewed some seams with new synthetic thread and never had a problem. Then I switched colors and grabbed a random spool from my moms stash and the thread snapped several times. It was a spool of cotton thread that was at least 20 years old and the thread was slightly thicker (I had ...


4

What you're looking for is foam interfacing (Pellon Flex Foam, Annie's Soft & Stable, Bosal In-r-Form, etc). This is a soft foam material generally about 1/4" (6mm) thick, designed to be sewn into projects like bags, totes, and hats to provide them with a stable structure while still allowing them to flex--it's meant for exactly your intended use. ...


4

What you're looking for is called a "mockup" or "mock." It's very common to make a prototype of a garment from cheap fabric first, then test the fit and, if everything's alright, repeat the process with the expensive fabric. The mockup fabric should be at least similar to the final fabric in terms of stretchiness and heaviness. Usually ...


4

It's mostly a question of personal preferences and boils down to a mix of what shapes you need to cut and your bodily capabilities. Shapes If you need to cut many straight lines, gentle curves or use a hard template to cut out many pieces, most people prefer a rotary cutter for its speed and capability to cut around the edges of a template without having to ...


3

If the only problem with the craft foam is the floppiness, you may have luck with high-density EVA foam. Depending on where you're located, there are a number of online cosplay suppliers who have it available, and I know that TNT Cosplay, at the very least, provides free samples of their foam. Speaking from experience, high density 2mm EVA (the thickness of ...


2

There are rule of thumb estimates for standard items of clothing. If you go to a good fabrics shop the experienced staff may still know them. I do not expect to find them in the instructions for buying online. They were rough estimates at best and mostly you would buy more than you would need. The best way to work out what you need will be making the pattern ...


1

Can you scale them up directly and get a perfectly workable pattern just by doing that? Unlikely, unless the pattern itself is particularly simple (a basic skirt or loose-fitting garment). But can you do it? Sure. You'll need to accept that, once you've got the overall idea worked out, you'll have to make some further adjustments in tailoring after scaling ...


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