Busy sewing bee

I joined a dressmaking course last month to help me tackle some of the sewing and upholstery projects I have lined up. I will generally have a go at most things but sometimes feel I am missing the basics and would like some formal instruction. By joining the class I hope to perfect different types of seams, get a better understanding of what my sewing machine can do, learn new techniques for making projects look more professional and generally learn the tips of the trade.


Sample course work: concealed zip

Each week we are covering different seams and basic sewing skills. So far we have sewn a straight seam, French seam, jean seam, corner seam, facing, round and pointed collars, and put in a dart using tailor’s tacks. We have also looked at general machine use, measuring and cutting out fabric, seam allowances, pressing out seams and troubleshooting. During this week’s class we went through the process of adding a zip to a skirt – using both machine and hand tacking, a close top stitch and a ‘quick unpicker’ to reveal the concealed zip.

I have already taken on board this zip technique because over the weekend I needed to make my nine year old nephew a maths-inspired cushion for his bedroom. Before assembling the zip-linked panels I cut out a series of number templates based on images I found on the internet and used a wide zig-zag stitch to fix them to the front panel using the same colour cotton thread.


Attaching numbers

A cushion, it seems, is no more tricky than a skirt; you just have to remember to open the zip before you sew the remaining three sides!

Now that’s done it’s time to tackle the padded cushions for the outside wooden chair – I keep putting this project off because I need to find an implement to cut through foam. Apparently an electric carving knife (used for cutting the Christmas turkey) works well. I will report back soon on that particular success (or failure)! SCH

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