Sewing Resources

Guides, tutorials, tips, and tricks.

My body type analysis (aka, me in my underwear)

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I’ve been interested in body type analysis recently because of my fitting drama with the M6696 shirtdress. You can’t talk about fitting without talking about unique features of your body — short waistedness, sloping shoulders, swayback, etc. Body type analysis lets you identify unique figure features and sew clothes that better fit everything you’ve got going on between your chin and ankles. […]

M6696 update: Worshipping at the altar of Nancy Zieman

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After my last post on working with McCall’s M6696 shirtdress, I checked out some books on pattern fitting. One of my library books is “Pattern Fitting with Confidence” by longtime public television sewing educator, Nancy Zieman. I just happened to start with her book first, and I haven’t looked back. Her fitting technique made a world of sense to me, and I don’t understand why I haven’t seen it in other places. […]

How I sew a muslin + Sew Caroline Larchmont T

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Instead of a straight-ahead sewing pattern review, I thought I’d walk through my process for making a muslin. I stitched the Sew Caroline Larchmont T that appears in the new “Weekend Style” sewing book. It’s a simple woven T-shirt pattern that was a freebie in the spring issue 2017 of Sew News magazine. Because it’s only three […]

Sewing knits with a sewing machine: Testing foot-tension-needle combos

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I am sergerless. At Van Handel Headquarters, I’m sewing knits with a sewing machine. And, for the most part, sewing knits without a serger works just swell for me. I’ve sewn scuba knit, sweatshirt fleece, ponte, heavy sweater knit, cotton spandex, and more on my Babylock Elizabeth machine and been happy with the results. And then I sewed my Bridgetown backless dress. And I scowled a lot. That experience inspired an epic sewing experiment. […]

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