Sewing School

Welcome to the Sewing School! I get a lot of emails and comments asking about how to do certain sewing related things and where to find old posts on my blog and so in an effort to consolidate the tutorials and sewing advice you find here on A Fashionable Stitch, I’ve made up this handy dandy Table of Contents page to navigate you through what’s available here. It’s due to be added to every now and then, so check back when you are searching for something and can’t find it. Happy Sewing Adventures! xoxo, Sunni

Making a muslin or a test garment (also known as a toile) is a great way to find out if certain alterations are needed for a particular pattern. Here’s a few posts that will give you an idea of making a muslin, what to look for, and how this vital step can help you achieve great fit:
Testing 1, 2,3….
Fitting My Perfect Spring Dress
How to Fit My Body
Pencil Skirt Lesson #1 – the Fitting
Muslining My Boyfriend’s Jacket
What do I do with a Muslin?
Ginger Muslin
Lonsdale Dress

Alterations for Pants/Trousers
Getting a pair of pants or trousers to fit perfectly can be one of the hardest fittings we ever do as sewists. Here’s a few posts on what to look for, the most common alterations and how to fix it.
Most Common Pant Alterations
In which I finally talk about the word….crotch
Discussing at length, Crotch Length
the Knee & the Hem
Width Alterations for Pants
Fullness & Waistlines
Romper Muslin

Flat Pattern Adjustments
Flat Pattern Adjustments are adjustments made to the pattern before you make a muslin. Here’s a few you can incorporate into your fitting arsenal.
Picking Your Ginger Size
Tall or Short

Using a Sloper
These are my personal adventures with using a sloper and how I’ve used it to fit commercial patterns and slashed and spread it up to create some of my own patterns.
Sloper Sweetness

Ready to add a few techniques to your to your sewing box? Here’s a list of tutorials of how to get your sewing off to its best foot.

Bias Sewing
A few tips and tricks for sewing on the bias.
Sewing on the Bias

Bust Padding – a short bust padding tutorial to add a little oomph to your Lonsdale Dress!
Lonsdale Tutorial – Bust Padding

Curve Clipping
Ever wonder why curve clipping doesn’t work for you? Have a look at this technique for clipping curves to take all your curve clipping nightmares away.
How to Avoid Sudden Curve Clipping Death

Cutting Cloth
Cutting Tips for Beginners
Cutting Bias Stripes
Cutting Slippery Fabrics

Here’s my handy dandy method for attaching interfacing to a facing.
Two Faced

Here’s my tried and true methods for working with silk – great tips and tricks from other’s in the comments section too!
this Girl’s Tips & Tricks to Working with Silk
An Alternative to Silk
Tasia the Sewaholic’s Lesson on Fabric Selection
Pre-laundering Fabric


Have a vintage pattern that needs to be a size bigger or smaller to fit? Try your hand at grading.
Making the Grade
Do you enjoy working with thick fabrics, but don’t know quite how to make those seams thinner? Give these two methods a try:
Two Ways to Thinner Seams – a Sewing Diet

Need a little direction on how to mark a hem? Here’s a great idea:

Adding piping to a garment can give it a little pizazz. Here’s how I do it:

Here’s how I press my pre-laundered/shrunk fabric just before getting ready to layout my pattern pieces and cut.
Pressing Fabric

Seam Finishing
There are a host of seam finishes at your fingertips – learn a few new tricks from this collection of posts!
Basic Seam Finishes
Self Finished Seams Pt. I
Self Finished Seams Pt. II
Decorative Seams Pt. I
Decorative Seams Pt. II

Do you ever have trouble setting in a sleeve? Try sewing in a sleeve in the flat – here’s how:
a Cheater’s Guide to Setting in a Sleeve

Tired of Invisible Zippers? How about trying a lapped zipper? Here’s a technique for how to insert a lapped zipper by hand that has amazing results every time.
Prickstitching a Lapped Zipper
Haven’t found a technique for inserting invisible zippers that works for you? Give my method a try.
Inserting an Invisible Zipper
Inserting a Zipper into a Bias Cut Garment
Don’t know what thread or zipper color to pick for your next creation? Here’s a helpful tip.
Why Zipper & Thread Color Matter

Finished Garments
Pressing Finished Garments

These are tips and tricks especially for Beginners, but there might be even a few things intermediate sewers could benefit from too!

Pattern Sizing
This post comes from the Ginger Sewalong, which was geared towards beginning sewers. Here’s how to pick your size and adjust your pattern for a skirt.
Picking your Ginger Size

Cutting Cloth
Cutting Tips for Beginners

Beltmaking School – need a belt for that dress? Of course you do! Here’s a whole slew of tutorials and tips for how to make a great belt. Need belting supplies? Head on over to the shop!
Beltmaking – Buckles
Beltmaking – Belting
Beltmaking – Eyelets & Snaps
Beltmaking – Toolkit
Anything-But-Basic Belt
Getting Belt Backing to Behave
Hand-covering a Buckle
 the Belt Kit Belt
How to Apply an Eyelet

Pocket Making
Ever tried adding your own pocket to a pattern? It’s a lot of fun and really easy. Here’s a fun tutorial on delving into a little basic pocket making:
Pocket Making

Try giving your garment an even more handmade touch with Hand Worked Buttonholes – a great way to spend an afternoon with a spot of tea and a good movie.
How to Make Hand Worked Buttonholes

Pencil Skirt Vent
Want something a little more stable than a slit in a pencil skirt? Adding a vent is way easy. Adding a lining to a vented skirt takes your creation up even one more notch. Here’s how:
How to: Create a Vent
 How to: Draft a Vent Lining
How to: Sewing a Vent Lining

Want a different look for your fabric? Ever tried dying or bleaching it? Here’s my adventure with bleaching fabric.
Giving Your Fabric a Bleached Makeover

Need a little inspiration? Here’s a few tutorials on fun stuff to make around the house and ideas to add to garments.
How to Beautify Your Nest of Dreams – Pillow Sham Tutorial
Pocket Full of Posies Corsage
How to Make an Ironing Board Cover


Ever used Petersham ribbon? It’s a simply marvelous ribbon to sew with. Here you’ll find a few tips and ideas for what to do with it, plus you can find a nice selection in the shop.
Petersham vs. Grosgrain
How to: Petersham Ribbon Waistband
Using Petersham in a Curved Hem


Already have a perfectly fitting garment in your closet that you would love to make in every color and fabric under the sun? Here’s an idea and book suggestion for how to do a Rub-Off.
the Rub-Off