Category: Tutorials

DIY – How to Machine Sew a Buttonhole and Men’s Shirt Pattern Review

Hello again and I hope you are all enjoying the fall season!

This month I completed a huge first from my list of things I wanted to attempt sewing… *drum-roll please* a tailored menswear button-up shirt! It ended up being a huge success and I really enjoyed the (somewhat stressful) process of pattern matching and endless top stitching! Go figure.

I purchased this lovely plaid flannel from Michael Levine’s ages ago and at the time thought that 2yds would be plenty for a men’s flannel shirt. BOY, WAS I LUCKY. If you’ve never attempted pattern matching before, you might not realize how much extra fabric it takes to make sure you’re cutting everything just how you want it. It wasn’t until after I cut out the front & back pieces (thank GOODNESS I did this on the fold so they ended up symmetrical!) that I realized I need to put extra thought into my cutting if I wanted certain pieces on the bias. I chose to cut the yoke, plackets, cuffs, and pockets all diagonally and by some miracle, I barely made it in 2 yards. Take advice from me and buy at least a 1/2yd to 1yd extra. Cutting mistakes are all too easy and heartbreaking if you run out of your precious fabric!
Since this was my first attempt at menswear, I decided to purchase a ready-made pattern to test out. I used Simplicity #1544 and followed view D, without the shoulder tabs. The correct neck size left me with a shirt that was much too large in the sleeves and body, so I took both in by several inches. Overall I thought the pattern was very easy to follow and created a lovely, crisp end product! I’d highly recommend this pattern to anyone attempting their first button-up shirt as well.Now after all this rambling, I’ll move on to the real reason for this post. One of my most dreaded tasks has always been attempting to get a clean button-hole with my machine. Sure, I could hand-bind each one, but on a shirt with TWELVE buttons, who’s got time for that!? Well I think I’ve finally mastered the buttonhole attachment for my machine and I wanted to share a few tips and tricks I learned to help you with yours.I’ve created a little video showing how I sewed one on my flannel shirt so you can follow along. Hopefully this helps! If you are attempting the same and have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading and happy sewing!
-Maggie Jean

DIY – How to Sew a Fabric Bow

Today I’d like to show you how to create your very own fabric bow, one of the easiest things you’ll ever do! The best part is that you can add these to virtually any project. Add one to a handmade skirt, dress, handbag, or even use simply as a hair bow or a hat ornament.. you name it!

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DIY – How to Copy a Dress Pattern!

Hello my lovely readers!! Today I’d like to show you how to copy your very own pattern from any dress in your closet! This skill is a wonderful tool to learn because I’m sure as a sewer (or aspiring sewer) you own one or two beloved dresses that you’ve always hoped to recreate in different fabrics. I’d like to challenge you to figure out how to accomplish this! Of course the process vary slightly depending on the dress you’d like to use, but the basic principles stay the same. For my chosen dress, I will be focusing on the bodice portion. The skirt is a basic dirndl/gathered skirt, which I’d blogged an earlier tutorial for HERE and HERE.

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How to Create a Swing Tack

Have you examined a lined skirt or dress and noticed those little thread tacks that hold the lining down to the outer shell near the hem? Ever wonder what those are called? They’re Swing Tacks! This is a very tactful name considering the sole purpose for them is to allow the lining to “swing” freely from the skirt. If you’ve ever made the decision to fully attach a lining around your hem, you may have noticed it constrains

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How to Sew a Button!

Today I’d like to show you a basic skill that I firmly believe EVERYONE (yes men, especially you!!) should know how to accomplish… sewing a button!! We’ve all experienced the woes of buying a new shirt or jacket to find out that after one wear or wash, one of our lovely matching buttons has magically detached itself from its proper place. This is sadly due to the fact that most ready-to-wear (store-bought) garments have buttons that were sewn on by machine, which is an efficient, inexpensive way to go, but not nearly as sturdy as good old-fashioned hand sewing. 

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DIY Skirt for the LAZY Sewist! (Part 2)

Hello again and welcome to PART 2 for making this simple gathered skirt! If you need help with cutting the fabric, please refer to PART 1 earlier in my blog. Today, we will cover how to sew all of the pieces together to complete your beautiful skirt!

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DIY Skirt for the LAZY Sewist! (Part 1)

I must admit, I am a LAZY sewer.  This is mostly the case when I am working on a personal project and not necessarily when sewing for other people. In fact, I am quite OCD when it comes to things I make to sell or gift away, but if I can find an efficient way to cut corners and save time, then I surely do! Any other fellow sewists out there feel the same? 

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