Inspiration, Tips & Tricks

  • Measure yourself for sewing patterns correctly – don’t make these mistakes!

    Think you know how to take your body measurements for sewing patterns correctly? You might be surprised. Let me show you how to accurately measure yourself for sewing patterns and help you steer clear of the most common measuring mistakes, ensuring your sewing projects fit perfectly every time.

    Join the 5 Day Stitch Your Style Sew Along and make your own perfectly fitting tee!

    Click the link below to join today.

    To check out in $USD https://members.sewandtell.com.au/sti…

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    — Recommended Videos —

    📹 How To: Measure (Fitting, Dressmaking, Sewing) by @madetosew

    👉🏻 How To: Measure (Fitting, Dressmaking…

    — Tools & Resources —

    🔧 Sewing Kit & Tool Recommendations
    👉 https://sewandtell.com.au/sewing-resources/

    — Freebies & Community —

    📕 FREE guide on How to improve your stretch fabric sewing in 30 minutes or less:
    👉🏻 https://sewandtell.com.au/improve-your-stretch-fabric-sewing/
    💻 Ready to boost your stretch sewing skills and gain the expertise and confidence you need to tackle stretch fabrics with ease? Join Conquer Stretch Fabric Sewing here.
    👉🏻 https://sewandtell.com.au/csfs/
    🖥️ Join a supportive community of other sewists in The Sewing Corner. An exclusive membership offering detailed tutorials and expert guidance to help sewists enhance their skills.
    👉🏻 https://sewandtell.com.au/the-sewing-corner/

    — Chapters —

    00:00 Measure yourself for sewing patterns Correctly – Don’t make these mistakes!

    00:41 Sewing Tools to take your body measurements

    02:15 How to correctly take your own Bust Measurement

    04:00 How to correctly take your own waist measurement

    05:28 How to correctly take your own Hip measurement

    — Measure yourself for sewing patterns Correctly – Don’t make these mistakes! —

    Join Megan from Sew & Tell Australia in this detailed video where Megan shows you how to accurately take your body measurements for sewing patterns, helping you avoid common mistakes that could spoil your projects. Learn why it’s essential to check the accuracy of your tape measure, the importance of wearing the right undergarments, and why measurements should be taken before you start a new garment. This video is filled with essential tips to help you achieve an impeccable fit, ensuring your sewing projects turn out perfectly every time.

    Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this video if you find it helpful. Your engagement helps us grow and continue providing great content. Happy sewing!

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    DISCLOSURE: We often review or link to products & services we regularly use and think you might find helpful. To support the channel, where possible, Sew & Tell Australia registers for affiliates for the patterns, tools and resources we love. Several links on this page are affiliate links. Clicking on these links and making a purchase may earn us a commission, with no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Top stitching with a twin needle, the secret hack to hemming pants, dresses and more

    Discover the secret sewing hacks of Top Stitching with twin needle sewing needles. Make hemming pants, dresses, t shirts easy and give your garments a more professional finished look.

    — Recommended Videos —

    📹 What is the difference between Stretch Fabric and woven fabric? 👉 https://youtu.be/Dr7rH5ogQuI?si=5pcHPcV2t8Y_oDVp

    — Tools & Resources —
    (when available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission)

    🔧 Sewing Kit & Tool Recommendations
    👉 https://sewandtell.com.au/sewing-resources/

    🔧 Conquer Stretch Fabric Sewing Course
    👉 https://sewandtell.com.au/csfs/

    — Freebies & Community —

    📕FREE guide on How to improve your stretch fabric sewing in 30 minutes or less:
    👉 https://sewandtell.com.au/improve-your-stretch-fabric-sewing/
    💻Ready to boost your stretch sewing skills and gain the expertise and confidence you need to tackle stretch fabrics with ease? Join Conquer Stretch Fabric Sewing here.
    👉 https://sewandtell.com.au/csfs/
    🖥 Join a supportive community of other sewists in The Sewing Corner. An exclusive membership offering detailed tutorials and expert guidance to help sewists enhance their skills.
    👉https://sewandtell.com.au/the-sewing-corner/

    — Chapters —

    00:00 Top stitching with a twin needle, the secret hack to hemming pants, dresses and more
    01:09 What are Twin Needle Sewing Needles – a detailed explanation
    01:59 How to install your twin needle sewing needles in your sewing machine
    02:37 How to thread your twin needle sewing needles in your sewing machine
    04:46 What settings to use with your twin needle sewing needles
    05:36 Sewing a hem with your twin needle sewing needles
    06:54 Troubleshooting the tension of your twin needle sewing needles
    07:57 Understanding and troubleshooting tunneling with your twin needle sewing needles
    05:56 The final garment after you’ve finished with your twin needle sewing needles

    — Top stitching with a twin needle, the secret hack to hemming pants, dresses and more —

    Discover the secret sewing hacks of Top Stitching with twin needle sewing needles. Make hemming pants, dresses, t shirts easy and give your garments a more professional finished look.

    If you’ve ever looked at store bought clothing and thought how do they get it looking so neat and beautiful, I’m here to share my tips and tricks for using twin needle sewing needles that can be used in your normal domestic machine. Taking that extra step to top stitch your necklines and hems goes such a long way in the final look of your garment.

    Troubleshoot issues such as
    – Twin needle tunneling
    – Twin needle tension settings
    – How to install your twin needle sewing needles

    Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this video if you find it helpful. Your engagement helps us grow and continue providing great content. Happy sewing!

    — Let’s Connect —

    http://www.sewandtell.com.au
    https://www.instagram.com/sewandtellau/
    https://www.facebook.com/sewandtellaus
    https://www.tiktok.com/@sewandtellaustralia
    https://www.youtube.com/@sewandtellaustralia

    DISCLOSURE: We often review or link to products & services we regularly use and think you might find helpful. To support the channel, where possible, Sew & Tell Australia registers for affiliates for the patterns, tools and resources we love. Several links on this page are affiliate links. Clicking on these links and making a purchase may earn us a commission, with no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • How to Pattern Draft: My tips for books that will be your best friend

    How to Pattern Draft: My tips for books that will be your best friend

    If you have ever wanted to draft your own patterns, you might have been a little bit overwhelmed at what needs to be done to get those beautiful finished pieces.

    To help you understand how to get started, I am going to share my top 2 books that really help you get a solid foundation to build from.

    1. Winifred Aldrich's - "Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear"

    This is the number 1 book I use when I am creating any blocks/slopers. For those that don’t know, a ‘block’ or ‘sloper’ is the base of any pattern piece. This is created to your exact measurements and if you made it up, would be like a second skin. 

    Once you have your block, that is when you add your seam allowance and start to design the pattern you want to make. All patterns are drafted from a block. Most pattern companies and even clothes manufacturers have their own set of blocks in different sizes that they base all their clothes off. It’s a big reason why there is such a difference in sizes across the world. Everyone uses their own set of blocks to start with.

    The ‘Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear’ is like the bible for how to create a block in your or your model’s measurements. Winnifred goes into detail about how to measure, draft and create your block, as well as how to turn your blocks into some basic patterns once you’ve created them.

    On its own it can be a little confusing to get your head around how to do all the measurements. I suggest watching a tutorial that uses Winifred’s methods as a companion piece to the book to help you better understand what you need to do. 

    My very first block was made from this book and it turned out great. Remember though, practice makes perfect, and every ‘body’ is different, so you will still need to make toile’s/muslin’s (practice garments) to get your pattern right before you cut into your good fashion fabric.

    Buy Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear Here

    2. "How Patterns Work" – Your Pattern Whisperer:

    “How Patterns Work” is a pattern making book that takes a refreshing back-to-basics approach, making it an ideal starting point for total beginners. It simplifies the complex world of pattern making by focusing on fundamental principles rather than overwhelming measurements and ratios. This book serves as a prequel, perfect for those new to sewing or home sewers looking to transition into making pattern adjustments. It is equally beneficial for fashion design students, offering key terms, concepts, and basic pattern changes to boost confidence in creating unique designs. Even fashion professionals can find value, especially when faced with complex alterations or creative experiments.

    The 2D to 3D approach is a highlight, emphasising the translation of body curves into a 2D blueprint, a crucial concept in pattern making. Rather than drowning readers in measurements, the book acts as a pattern making companion, explaining common terms, ensuring accurate communication, and providing simple pattern alterations. The second half introduces a range of pattern changes through various methods, allowing readers to see the impact on fabric without getting bogged down by specific garment shapes.

    Forget about endless tables of measurements – this book focuses on the logic behind pattern changes, designed to help concepts ‘click’ for the reader. It builds pattern confidence by teaching the ‘why’ behind pattern changes, empowering individuals to apply these principles independently. In essence, “How Patterns Work” serves as a guide to understanding the mechanics of pattern and fabric interactions, equipping readers with the skills to make changes confidently without relying solely on specific pattern recipes.

    Pro Tip: When diving into pattern making, arm yourself with a flexible tape measure. It’s the unsung hero of accurate measurements! It also helps to have pattern paper,  a set square and french curve ruler for pattern drafting. I’ve listed my faves here.

    Putting Your Knowledge into Practice:

    Pattern drafting is a skill that with time and practice, can be so worth the effort of investing in. Being able to create patterns to your measurements from the start is very satisfying and ensures you get the right fit.

    I won’t lie though, I personally find pattern drafting a challenge and generally opt to adapt someone else’s pattern rather than make my own. However, I understand the basics of pattern drafting so it makes it much easier to be able to adapt patterns and also if I needed to make my own pattern, I know I could. I certainly have in the past and it is so satisfying.

    So now you know where to start, grab these books and get started creating the patterns of your dreams!

    What next?

    Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

    Learn to sew with confidence and let me guide you to more sewing success.

  • The Two Faces of Stretch: Manufactured Stretch (Elastane) vs. Inherent Stretch (Natural).

    Stretch and Recovery Explained

    Have you ever slipped into your favorite stretchy pants and marveled at how they effortlessly hug your curves while maintaining their shape?

    Understanding the magic behind stretch fabrics, like those in your beloved leggings, opens up a world of possibilities in the realm of sewing and fashion. Let’s talk about the secrets of stretch and recovery to help guide you through the maze of stretch fabrics with confidence.

    Diving into the world of stretch fabrics, commonly known as knit fabric, is best done when you have a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts of stretch and recovery. These two cornerstones play a pivotal role in determining whether a fabric is suitable for your chosen pattern and how it will conform to your body.

    The Two Faces of Stretch Fabrics:

    Within the category of ‘stretch’, your fabric can be further broken down into one of two sub categories.

    1. Stretch Fabrics with Elastane: The Ultimate Stretch Duo

    This category includes stretch fabrics that owe their stretchiness to elastane fibers, also known as spandex or lycra. Elastane is introduced during the manufacturing process to excellent and controlled stretch, making it the ideal choice for form-fitting and comfortable clothing.

    2. Stretch Fabrics with Inherent Stretch: Naturally Comfortable

    The second category includes stretch fabrics designed for inherent stretch, achieved through specific knitting techniques. Unlike fabrics manufactured with elastane, these fabrics are engineered to have natural mechanical stretch in their structure, offering comfort in diverse applications.

    Think of it as hand knitting – where the yarn is strategically knitted to possess inherent stretch, eliminating the need for added elastane. Both categories boast unique characteristics, catering to various sewing and fashion needs.

    Choosing the Right Fabric for the Project:

    Understanding these two categories is crucial for selecting the right stretch fabric for your sewing and fashion projects. Fabrics with elastane are ideal for garments demanding controlled and substantial stretch, ensuring flexibility and a snug fit.

    On the other hand, fabrics with inherent stretch find applications in various styles, such as sweater knits, cable knits, and even some waffle knits, providing comfort in a myriad of clothing and textile items.

    Beyond Composition: Unraveling the Fabric Mystery:
    Crucially, even if two stretch fabrics share identical compositions – say, 95 percent cotton, 5 percent elastane – several manufacturing factors can lead to variations in stretch percentage and recovery properties. Elements such as knitting structure, fabric weight, spandex quality, tension, finish, weave density, fiber quality, and pre-shrinking processes all play roles in determining how fabrics behave.

    Ready to Dive Deeper into the World of Stretch Fabrics?

    Join me in my Conquer Stretch Sewing Course if this look into the finer points of stretch and recovery has sparked your interest and you’re ready to become an expert sewer of stretch materials. Explore these fabric secrets and others, giving you the confidence and information you need to sew all your future stretch projects with ease.

  • How to Secure Your Serged Seams – Three Easy Ways to Finish Off Overlocked/Serged Seams

    An important rule to follow in sewing is that you must finish your overlocked/serged seams. If you don’t, the seams can quickly unravel and fall apart, wasting all that hard work you just put into making your project. Learning exactly HOW to finish the ends of your overlocked or serged seams and threads however can be a bit tricky when you first start. I actually used to just cut them straight off! whoops! 

    In this easy to follow blog, I’ll guide you through three simple methods to finish off your overlocked seams, ensuring a neat and secure outcome. Whether you’re working with knit or woven fabrics, these techniques will help prevent unraveling and keep your projects in top shape.

    Method 1: Sew back over your threads

    This method is a bit different from the start and the finish. At the start by ensure you have a tail of thread. Sew a few stitches in, lift the presser foot, and loop the thread back around itself. You will then stitch the thread down for a few stitches before cutting the thread off as you continue sewing as normal.

    Once you reach the end, stitch just past the end of the seam, lift the presser foot, wiggle the stitches off the stitch fingers very gently, flip and turn your project so you start to sew back up the seam you just sewed, and sew back a bit before gently tapering off.

    This method ensures a sealed edge that prevents unraveling, keeping your garment intact.

    Method 2: Needle Threader or Crochet Hook Finish

    After sewing your fabric, use a needle threader or use a crochet hook to insert it along a couple of lines of the overlock. Thread your tail through the needle threader and pull it back through, securing it in the seam. Trim the excess, and you’re left with a secure finish. Needle threaders are easy to find at most sewing/craft shops or you can find them here.

    Method 3: Tying Off the Ends

    This is probably my favourite way and I think the easiest way to secure your serged ends.

    You start by sewing your fabric together and, once finished,  grab your tail. Use an unpicker or seam ripper to choose one thread to pull through, allowing the tail to unravel.

    Seperate the threads and then tie off the threads two or three times for a tight finish. Trim the excess, and your seam is secure!

    Do I need to tie off EVERY thread?

    The short answer is no. 

    My rule of thumb is, if the seam is going to be finished some other way, for example, folded up into a hem or sewn into another seam etc, I don’t tie off my ends.

    It is only for when you have an open seam, which is prone to unraveling such as linings and sleeves that you should be tieing off your threads.

    If you found this tutorial helpful, there is a full video  demonstration inside my membership, The Sewing Corner. You can find out more and how to join here.

  • Picking the Perfect Fabric: A Guide to Choosing Patterns and Fabrics for Seamless Sewing Success

    When starting any new sewing project, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is selecting the right fabric. Your choice can make or break the final outcome, affecting both the look and comfort of the garment. In this blog, we’ll break down the key considerations to make sure your fabric suits perfectly with your pattern and vision.

    1. Understanding Pattern Specifications

    A confident and elegant woman, donning a leopard print dress, striking a pose for a photo with style.

    Before diving into the sea of fabrics, take a close look at your pattern. Are there suggestions for fabric types? Note any minimum stretch requirements. These details are your starting guides in a fabric jungle.

    2. Stretch and Adaptation

    Consider the stretch percentage required by the pattern. If your dream fabric doesn’t suit your pattern, it’s ok, there are a couple of tricks you can try. Adding zips or buttons can be the secret to a perfect fit. It is possible to adapt a woven pattern into a stretch fabric one — with a few thoughtful adjustments.

    3. Drape and Composition

    Drape, otherwise known as the way a fabric flows, and composition, the materials it’s made of, are vital. Fabrics with good drape elegantly conform to the body, enhancing comfort and aesthetics. Natural fibers like cotton breathe well, while synthetics like polyester may trap heat.

    4. Comfort and Durability

    The composition of fibres in a fabric can affect how comfortable a garment feels against the skin. Natural fibres promote breathability, while synthetics might interfere with airflow. Additionally, consider durability; some garments need the strength of synthetic fibers.

    5. Fabric Weight

    The weight of your fabric influences the garment’s performance. Heavier fabrics like denim provide sturdiness, while lighter ones like bamboo or modal offer a flowy feel. If you’re not sure what weight your fabric is, you can calculate fabric weight by dividing its weight by the length and width, using this formula: (Weight / Length x Width).

    6. Practical Tips

    To make the best fabric choices, read fabric composition charts and make notes on what you like in a fabric and, dislike. Understanding the nuances of different fabrics, weights, and stretches will help you to buy online more  confidently.

    Choosing the right fabric is an art, and with time as you become more comfortable, it enhances the joy of sewing. By considering pattern specifications, stretch, drape, composition, comfort, durability, and weight, you’ll find choosing fabric for your project so much easier.

    Remember, each project is a learning opportunity. Take notes, look at how garments fit and adapt to challenges. You will be sewing beautifully crafted garments in no time.

    Happy sewing!

    Megan

  • My Favourite Tres Belle Hack – Pattern Review!

    Pattern: Tres Belle Dress with Willow Wrap Flutter Sleeves
    Designer: Ellie & Mac (Tres Belle), Love Notions (Willow Wrap)
    Fabrics: Viscose Jersey from Wattle Hill Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Size made: 2XL
    Adjustments: I used the flutter sleeves from the Willow Wrap and mashed them straight into the Tres Belle Bodice
    Pros: I’ve done this mash a couple of times and it NEVER fails to impress me. It is light, breezy and super flattering.
    Cons: The binding on the neckline can be a little intimidating, but take it slow and you should have no problems.

    Romance in Every Stitch: Mastering the Tres Belle Dress with a Flutter Sleeve Hack

    So, I guess the first question I ask is, can you ever have too many beautiful dresses?

    Answer, NO!

    I think this is the 3rd or 4th Tres Belle I have made and at least the 2nd or 3rd I’ve made with the Willow Flutter Sleeve hack. I just love the romanticism of the flutter and softness it brings. I find that using soft fabrics such as Modal’s, Viscose Jersey, Bamboo Lycra and Rayon Jersey/Lycra’s work best if you want a really soft look, while something like a 220gsm Cotton Lycra/Elastane will have slightly more structure to it. 

    In terms of the hack, its a pretty straight hack. I used the sleeves from the Willow Wrap and put them straight onto the Tres Belle armcyes at the same size. For example, my armcye was an XL, so I cut the XL flutter sleeve on the Willow Wrap and it fit in nicely.

    Of course the other staple that is always in any dress I make, is pockets! I just can’t imagine having dresses without pockets now haha. 

    I think one of my favourite things about this style of dress is the cross over front that flares from under the bust, helping to skim over my tummy, which is the area of my body I am most self conscious about. I am working on accepting myself as I am, but being able to make clothes that help me feel more confident is definitely part of that process.

    I hope this review has inspired you to explore the fluttering elegance and comfort of the Tres Belle with the Willow Sleeve hack. It’s such a joy to create garments that not only look beautiful but also make you feel confident and comfortable in your skin. If you’re looking to enhance your knit fabric sewing skills further, take a look at my free guide, ‘Improve Your Knit Sewing in 30 Minutes or Less’, and start making your sewing journey even more rewarding. 

    Use code ‘sewwithmegan10″ on any Love Notions Pattern for an extra 10% off.

    Ellie & Mac also have 50% off ALL patterns during November 2023. Grab it while it’s on sale!

    What next?

    Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

    Learn to sew with confidence and let me guide you to more sewing success.

  • The 3 Mistakes You’re Probably Making With Knit Fabrics

    Knit fabrics can be a double-edged sword. They offer comfort and flexibility but can be tricky to master. So, let’s cut through the confusion and talk about three common mistakes you might be making when sewing with knit fabrics—and how to fix them.

    Mistake 1: Neglecting to Pre-Wash Your Fabric

    The Problem:
    Skipping the pre-wash can lead to a world of regret. Imagine putting hours into a project only to have it shrink or warp after its first wash. It’s the stuff of sewing nightmares.

    The Fix:
    Always pre-wash your fabric in the same way you intend to wash the finished garment. This sets the stage for a project that’ll last, helping you get rid of any shrinkage or unwanted chemicals before you even start cutting.

    Mistake 2: Using the Wrong Stitch

    The Problem:
    If you’re using a straight stitch for your knit projects, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Straight stitches don’t stretch, which means they can pop and unravel.

    The Fix:
    Swap that straight stitch for something with give. Consider using a zigzag stitch or a lightning stitch. If you’re looking for a more professional finish, a twin needle can work wonders.

     

    Mistake 3: Over stretching While Sewing

    The Problem:
    Over stretching can happen when you’re either pulling the fabric through the machine or your machine settings are off. The result? Unflattering wavy seams.

    The Fix:
    A walking foot, also known as an even feed foot, can be a game changer here, or simply adjusting the pressure on your presser foot. Always remember, let the machine do the work. You’re there to guide, not to pull.

    So there you have it—three mistakes you can easily avoid to elevate your knit sewing projects. Keep learning, keep experimenting, and don’t forget to check out my guide “Improve Your Knit Sewing in 30 Minutes or Less” for more tips and techniques.

    Happy sewing!
    Megan

  • The power of pockets – 3 common pocket types

    🧵 Let’s Talk Pockets: The Great Pocket Showdown! 🧵

    Today, we’re diving into a pocket showdown, where it’s patch pockets, welt pockets, and inseam pockets duking it out for the title of “Ultimate Sewing Sidekick!” I often comment, if it doesn’t have pockets, I didn’t want it anyway, pockets are life! Let’s take a look at the top 3 and see which pocket will win the top pocket prize.

    🌟 Patch Pockets: The Versatile Darling 🌟

    Pros:
    – Simplicity at its best! Patch pockets are beginner-friendly and can be added to almost any garment.
    – Instant functionality. They’re like the handyman of pockets, always there when you need them.
    – Customize to your heart’s content! Play with shapes, sizes, and embellishments to make them uniquely yours.

    Cons:
    – Style-wise, they can be a bit casual, so they may not be your go-to for dressier outfits.
    – If not securely attached, they can sag over time and lose their shape.

    *Elodie Dress with Patch Pockets Pictured. Read the Review here

    🌟 Welt Pockets: The Elegant Enigma 🌟

    Pros:
    – Sleek and sophisticated! Welt pockets bring an air of elegance to your garments.
    – They are discreet but mighty. Keep your essentials close without compromising style.
    – Versatile placement. You can add them to pants, skirts, or even jackets for a polished look.

    Cons:
    – Precision is key! Getting those corners perfect can be a tad tricky, especially for beginners.
    – Mistakes can be hard to undo. Once you cut that welt, there’s no turning back, so measure twice!

    *Women’s Adventure Jacket Pictured. Buy the Pattern here.

    🌟 Inseam Pockets: The Seamless Surprise 🌟

    Pros:
    – Seamlessly stylish. These pockets blend into your garments like a secret agent at a fancy gala.
    – They’re spacious without adding bulk, making them perfect for dresses and slim-fit pants.
    – Comfort is king. Inseam pockets won’t disrupt the clean lines of your outfit.

    *Cons*:
    – Placement matters! If not positioned correctly, they can be a bit awkward to reach.
    – Sewing them requires precision, and any uneven seams will be visible, so take your time.

    *Woman’s Cheyanne Dress Pictured. Buy the Pattern here.

    🏆 The Verdict 🏆 It's a Tie!

    There you have it! The ultimate pocket showdown ends in a tie because, in sewing, it’s not about one being better than the other; it’s about choosing the right pocket for your project. Patch pockets are your casual companions, welt pockets bring a touch of elegance, and inseam pockets keep things seamless.

    Ready to continue the pocket adventure? Click below to join our membership and get an exclusive masterclass on the top 3 pockets and tips and instructions on how to sew them. Not to mention support and community from other incredible creatives.
    Let’s sew, chat, and create together! 🪡👗🧵

  • 3 Tips for a BEAUTIFUL rolled hem

    Achieving a flawless rolled hem on stretch fabrics can be a bit of a challenge. Unlike woven fabrics, stretch fabrics, also known as knit fabrics, have their unique quirks—stretchiness, curling edges, you name it. But don’t let these challenges deter you! A well-done rolled hem can transform your stretch fabric projects, giving them such a gorgeous and pro looking finish. Here are three pro tips to guide you:

    1. Mind Your Thread Tension

    Tension settings on your serger play a crucial role in how your rolled hem turns out. Too loose, and the fabric won’t roll properly; too tight, and you’ll get puckering. A well-balanced tension is key. Adjust your tension dials gradually, and always test on a scrap piece first. Your machine’s manual might offer some guidance, but remember, every stretch fabric is different. You’ll often need to trust your instincts.

    2. Keep Your Cutting Blade Engaged

    The cutting blade on your serger helps trim off the excess fabric as you sew, making sure that the hem rolls neatly. Some people disengage it, thinking they’ll achieve more control, but for most stretch fabrics, keeping it engaged ensures that the fabric is guided correctly and cut evenly. Again, practice on a scrap piece to make sure you’ve got the blade position just right.

    3. Use a Wooly Nylon or Maxi Lock Stretch thread

    For a rolled hem that looks smooth and feels soft, woolly nylon or Maxi Lock Stretch thread can be a game-changer. This type of thread has a bit of stretch and a fluffy texture, which fills in the gaps in the rolled hem, giving it a fuller, more professional appearance. The stretch in woolly nylon and Maxi Lock Stretch also accommodates the natural give in stretch fabrics, reducing the likelihood of popped stitches. Just thread it into your loopers (I use it in my upper) and you’ll see the difference it makes.

    Ready for More?

    These are exactly the kind of tips you’ll get in my exclusive sewing community, The Sewing Corner.

    If you’d like to be involved in monthly live sew alongs, live sew together sessions and amazing guest experts, come join our community. Sewing can be a lonely hobby, but you don’t have to sew alone any longer!

    Don’t miss out on this opportunity to improve your skills and achieve the results you’ve always wanted in your sewing projects. Click here to learn more and join.