Have you ever been working on a sewing project and come to a step that looks too complicated or intimidating?
Or, having you got Sewing 101 basics down and are ready to learn some next level sewing?
You’ve come to the right place!
Today, we’re going to grow through 10 advanced sewing techniques that every intermediate seamstress (or seamster) should have in her or his arsenal. These are tips and tools that you can use in a multitude of projects, and once you know them you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
1. French Seams
French seams seem (heehee) complicated, but they’re no more difficult than sewing a regular seam. There’s just a couple more steps. The folks over at Craftsy have created a great tutorial to walk you through it.
A French seam is best used for delicate fabrics or fabrics that fray easily. It creates a sort of protected seam to keep it from coming apart and is ideal on a material where surging may not be appropriate.
Piping, or welting, is an easy way to add a fun touch to a project. This is commonly used when making pillows and cushions, but piping also creates an elegant and classic detail for clothing. Swoon Sewing Patterns has an easy guide to show you how it’s done.
You can use a variety of sizes for the inner cord depending on the look you want for your project. Just make sure you have a sewing foot that is either a zipper foot or allows you to adjust your needle to the right or left so you can get a really close stitch. This will ensure your piping looks neat and clean.
You may have run across projects that involve bias tape. If you haven’t, here’s a great place to start.
Binding is similar to bias tape, except the tape part is usually made from the fabric of your project (or a similar fabric). Meaning, essentially, that you make your own bias tape.
This is a spectacular way to finish off edges of garments that will make them look professionally made. Sewing binding on knit or stretch fabrics can be particularly tricky. Lucky for us, Sarai Mitnick at Colette has created an awesome in-depth instructional that will show you every stitch and fold of the binding process.
4. Flat Felled Seams
Take a look at the seams that run down the legs of a pair of jeans. Those are flat felled seams, and they come in handy when you’re working with thicker fabrics, or pieces where fit is a concern and you don’t want bulky seams mucking it up. It also creates a clean look on pieces where you don’t want exposed seams showing. Sew4home shows you just how to do it.
5. Invisible Zippers
Invisible zippers might look scary, but they’re just as easy to install as standard zippers. Chances are, once you learn how to use the invisible ones, you’ll have a hard time going back to the regular kind. They look much more polished in clothing and cushions or pillows.
While an invisible zipper foot for your sewing machine makes it a little easier to install them, it’s not necessary. Much like piping, as long you can adjust your needle to the right or left, you’ll be just fine. Kay at Serendipity will demystify the mighty invisible zipper for you in this tutorial.
6. Rotary Cutter
Have you ever been frustrated by trying to cut a straight edge on your fabric? The rotary cutter is for you! If you make anything involving straight lines, such as quilts or pillows, the rotary cutter, cutting mat and clear ruler are must-haves. This is another one of those tools that, once you have it, you won’t believe you’ve been sewing without it. Quackadoodle Quilt is going to tell you everything you need to know about these handy gizmos.
If you already know sewing basics, making a quilt is one of those things that looks complex but is pretty easy once you try it. There’s such an endless variety of patterns, and the beauty of a quilt is that they always look great and you’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t appreciate receiving one as a gift. Check out this guide of patterns for beginners to get started.
8. Metal Grommets
Metal grommets are included in everything from curtains to lace-up garments. While they look like they involve some heavy machinery to put in place, they simply require a hammer and small setting kit which can be purchased at any craft or sewing store or are even included in some grommet sets. Our friends at sew4home are going to break it down for you.
9. Princess Seams
Princess seams are essential to make good-fitting and nicely tailored clothing to fit around the curves of a woman’s bust line. It’s what transforms a flat piece of fabric into a wearable shape that contours to the body. There are a few tips that make creating these seams easier, so we’ve rounded up tutorials from Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing and Sew 2 Pro who both offer helpful tricks.
10. Button Placket
If you’re sewing a top or dress, a button placket is a detail that makes your homemade clothing look next-level.
Did we miss any helpful sewing techniques? Share them with Wunderlabel in the comments section!