LEARN HOW TO SEW, BECOME A SEAMSTRESS
You will then be able to work in a fashion workshop, work as an independent seamstress in your workshop or from your home, open your own business, progress in your hobby or teach easy sewing to others.
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Free Easy Sewing course, 1st level
Make a fluid long sleeve top with pants: You will learn to overlock – The basic seam – How to set a straight sleeve – Sewing an invisible zipper – The hem – Application of strings and beads for embellishments
What are you going to work on?
Here are the garments you’ll cut and sew in this 1st level of my free sewing course, a long sleeve tunic and matching pants. The level of difficulty is easy and everything is explained in the videos. Fashion Designer Anya Camau chose to apply gilded cords and glass beads so that this simple set becomes a real fashion creation that you will be (very) proud to have sewn with your hands. You can choose to skip the embellishments however the technique chosen by Anya Camau to embellish her garment set is easy and very well explained. So why not give it a try?
Cut the fabric
See how to prepare the fabrics, how to use the pattern pieces and how to cut after you added seam allowances.
if you didn’t attend to my free pattern making course level 1 and made your own pattern or this tunic and pair of pants, you can buy it in my online-shop (soon available)
The fabrics must be prepared before cutting, this to avoid any unpleasant surprise once the garment has been finished up when washing or cleaning this fabric. Indeed, a fabric can shrink, lose its stiffness, rub off and many other inconveniences during washing are possible. Therefore, it is prudent to wash your fabrics before cutting, if they are washable, and check carefully that they do not dye in the machine (wash them separately) and check fabric dimensions once it has been washed. If it has shrunk, it could continue to shrink on the second wash, for example.
The video shows how to place the fabric on the table for cutting. Since the pattern pieces need to be cut twice, once for the left side and once for the right side, and in order to ensure that these two sides will be similar but symmetrical, it is recommended to cut with the fabric folded. Some pieces will be cut along the fold, which makes it possible to obtain a single piece of fabric for the two sides without stitching in the middle, as for the front of the tunic.
Before cutting, add the seam allowances. It is additional fabric all around the piece of the pattern on which the seams will take place during the sewing. The value (width) of these allowances varies depending on its location. Traditionally it is 1cm at the neckline, armholes and waist. It is 1.5cm at the sides (tunic and pants). Finally, its value is often 5cm (as for this pants) for a classic hem but can also be 1cm if another piece comes to be sewn with the hem, as in the case of the tunic for example.
Download the list of pattern pieces with their number and their sewing allowances: by clicking on List of pieces to cut
DIY: Follow this video to cut your tunic and pants, using the pattern you drew during the free pattern making course, level 1.
If you have not drawn your pattern previously, you can buy this pattern in my online store or follow my free pattern making course level 1 and draw yours for free.
Prepare and overlock
Now that all pieces for the tunic and the pants have been cut as well as the embroidery stabiliser, and before sewing these two garments, it is necessary to “prepare these pieces”. That is to say, place and fix the embroidery stabiliser on the wrong side where we will set the embellishments later on.
This step is very important to obtain a nice result at the end, because the fabric and stabiliser must not move, they must stay perfectly joined during the following steps. If you miss or neglect this step, there will be gathers around your embellishments and the result will be very disappointing.
Then you have to overlock the pieces. I explain that some edges should not be overlocked, even if your fabric is fraying a little. Indeed, some edges will be finished with facings or bindings (to make a clean edge and wrong side), thus some edge margins will be folded. The fabric will then be protected and will not fray any more. In addition, the overlock stitch would add another thickness at this folded (turned over) edge, which is not what we want. In addition, some fabrics, including microfibre or crepes, should get marked and reveal the pattern of the overlock stitch on the right side when you press them. All this above to make understand that it is not always necessary to overlock all around all the pieces, so you save time …. and thread.
DIY: Attach your stabiliser and overlock your pieces of fabric as you see in the video. The overlocker is not mandatory, if you don’t have one, just make a zig-zag stitch along the edge of the piece with your sewing machine, taking care to lower the thread tension so that the edge of the fabric remains flat.
Before you set your embellishments
Here are the last operations to be carried out before setting your embellishments (or whatever you decided) on this tunic and these pants.
You must first close the two bust darts, then sew on the areas of the garment where you plan to fix embellishments. For my own tunic and pants, I have to sew the two side seams of the tunic, as well as the shoulders and, for the pants, only the two side seams.
As after any sewing, a good pressing of your seam allowances is essential. These seams are pressed open flat.
The last operation to do is to materialise the cords patterns. I do it with a simple straight stitch with same thread colour as the fabric, and by the same wait joins together the fabric and the stabiliser all along with the pattern. In my opinion, this operation is necessary to obtain the best result easily because I don’t want to worry about fabric, stabiliser, gathers when I stitch the cords. If you are not setting cords or ribbons, you can skip this step. I transfer the pattern of my embellishments to the fabric, then I follow this pattern using “free stitching” method, a bit like quilting method. You will get great results by lowering your thread tension and your foot pressure. Since any tight curve, while stitching with the machine would create gathers with along the pattern, I stop my free stitching before the scrolls that are finishing up each of my patterns in the cord. I will make these scrolls and fix them directly without any previous marking on the fabric.
Tips: For a first home-made outfit, this sewing lesson may seem too difficult. I chose a tunic and pants with a simple pattern and without significant sewing difficulty to make it an easy but appealing outfit to start with sewing and you can choose to stop there. For those who wish to give a try with the embellishments, they will learn how to stabilise a fabric, train with free stitching and the handling of the machine, learn to set the proper settings of their machine according to the stitch and most of all, you will make a real outfit more easily than you think and your friends will say to you: “no, you didn’t do it yourself, you bought it!”. This is what you want to hear, isn’t it?
Now that everything is ready for the embellishments set, all you have to do is fix them with a narrow zigzag stitch, following the pattern which is materialised by same coloured-thread stitches. Since the fabric and the stabiliser are joined together by these stitches, you don’t have to worry at all and will get a nice result easily. Look how I just stitch my cord on, following the scrolls of my drawings.
I also show you how to start with a cord scroll and how to finish it with a nice result. It is much easier to do than you think because everything has been well prepared before!
Free stitching: Commonly used in quilting, free stitching is the best training to handle your fabric under the sewing machine in an easy way. Set your machine very carefully and stitch slowly, following your embellishments patterns. It’s fun to do and you will be amazed by the results you get.
Finishing up the tunic and the pants
Here we are, at the end of this first level of the free sewing course, all that you have to do is to finish the tunic and the pants. Don’t forget to make fittings all the way through this step!
While finishing these two garments, you will learn these sewing techniques: set an invisible zip on the back of the tunic, finish up the neckline setting a binding inside and also a bias, fix a straight sleeve, finish up the hems with bindings, set a pants zipper with a pad and a reinforcement at the waist of the pants.
Tip: When you learn a technique you don’t know, watch the video several times. Do not hesitate to zoom in to fully understand how the elements are sewn together and do not forget that you can send me your question by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.
So let’s go sewing! just follow my explanations, and when you are done, you will be amazed, and proud, of what you have achieved!
So let’s go, you just have to follow me along!
Thank you for attending my course,
please use comments boxes or forms to ask me your questions, I always answer myself,