Archive | Techniques RSS feed for this section

Skills check: How far have I come?

17 Sep

I started sewing about 2.5 years ago (I think!). I walked into my sewing class not even knowing how to thread a machine. Wide eyed, I sat down and learned how to use my machine for various tasks using small calico squares. Then it was on to the beast that is the overlocker – and more calico squares.

I recently read Ginger’s Check the Technique page, and it’s prompted me to have a think about what I’ve learned (what I haven’t learned!) and how far I’ve come in the last few years. I’ve made a start with her list, and expanded 🙂 I’ve also had a quick think about which garments I’ve made covering off some of these techniques…


Seams and seam finishes


  • Straight tapered dart – lots!
  • Shaped tapered dart
  • Cut-away dart
  • Fisheye dart

Neckline plackets

  • Shirt neckline placket
  • Tailored shirt placket
  • Hidden button placket

Pleats and tucks

  • Knife pleat – V8560
  • Box pleat – V8560
  • In-seam pleat
  • Release tucks – V1186
  • Pin tucks – V8774 (in progress)



  • Flat, stand or roll collar
  • Shirt collar with separate stand
  • Burrito / sandwich collar
  • Tie collar
  • Shawl collar
  • Revere collar


  • Patch pockets – V8774 (in progress)
  • Front hip pocket – V8774 (in progress)
  • In seam pocket – V8560
  • Bellows / cargo pocket
  • Welt bound pocket
  • Bound flat pocket


Fabric types

Pattern drafting / alterations

Lining and interfacing

  • Free hanging skirt lining – Check Mate Skirt
  • Free hanging pants lining – V1186
  • Underlining – V1174
  • Fusible interfacing – lots
  • Sew in interfacing – V1186



  • Notched collar
  • Pad stitching


  • Traditional straight waistband
  • Tailored straight waistband – Simplicity 3688 (not blogged)
  • Belt carriers – V8774 (in progress), Beignet
  • Elastic waistband
  • Drawstring waistband
  • Faced waistline – Check Mate SkirtV1186
  • Waist stay
  • Thread loops for buttonholes or belts
  • Outside casing


  • Bustier – V1174
  • Boning – V1174
  • Making a fabric covered belt
  • Tailors tacks – everything!

After reviewing everything here, it looks like I need to make a shirt and a jacket to hone in my tailoring, plackets and collars! Any pattern suggestions? What skills do you think you need to work on?

On second thought, I never wear shirts, so maybe I don’t want to spend weeks making one… What do you guys think? Do you only make garments you want to wear? Or do you try things you usually wouldn’t wear just to learn mad skills?

Z xx


Finish off with a zig and a zag

9 Aug

I recently acquired a top from Country Road – one of my favourite places to acquire new things actually. 🙂

It’s from their Spring release, and I think it’s versatile enough to be on trend for this season, without screaming, “that’s so last season” in the future – well I hope so anyway. Here’s a pic from their site; the pink panel is covered with sequins. The sequins actually remind me of fish scales… which is a bit gross.

Sequin Front Top - Country Road

For illustrative purposes only – linked to source.

Anyway, I’m posting about this because of the edge finish. I thought it was pretty from the moment I saw it. But on its first wear today I took the time to actually look properly at how the edges had been finished. They’re raw, and just finished off with a neat zig zag. Cool hey? I think it gives a great effect, but I can see how it may not look so great if it wasn’t neatly sewn.

Sequined top zig zag edging

Here’s another look at it.

Zig zag edging

I’m not sure how sturdy this kind of finish is, but given that it’s a silk top covered in sequins it’s going to be treated delicately anyway.

I don’t recall ever seeing this before. Me likey. Not only is it pretty, but a time saver. Win win! What do you guys think?