Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sew Grateful - Tutorials

Today Debi is featuring online tutorials and free downloadable patterns as part of Sew Grateful week (and has a freebie up there herself - go take a look!). I consider both of these to be completely out of my league. I am a million years off ever creating a pattern that I would deem worthy of giving to others, and I just don't feel that there are any tutorials I can offer that aren't already out there (and probably done better!).

So instead I thought I would share some of my favourite tutorials, very kindly provided by others. These are not necessarily amazing, awe-inspiring tutes, but ones which I just found particularly helpful, well written, or which just provided the moment where it all clicked! So, in no particular order...

Continuous bias binding tutorial by Colette. I think this is genius. OK, yes you get seams going in different directions, but it produces masses of bias binding with no leftover useless corner bits. It always takes me a wee while to figure out the folding over bit (and I ALWAYS need to consult the tutorial), but once I've got my head round that, and I double check I've measured the width of the bands correctly (perpendicular to the length of the binding, not measuring on a diagonal!), it's a breeze!

Another bias binding one here, this time by Portia, which cleverly uses masking tape to measure the width. This is so clever as it makes measuring and cutting so straightforward and practically error-free. I have yet to try it with the continuous method above, but intend to do so next time I make bias binding. On another note, masking tape is also very handy for taping together printed PDF patterns, as it's less sticky than sellotape, so allows you to remove and re-use it if your pages end up mis-aligned. It can also be written on, if you feel the need to do so!

By Hand London's invisible zipper tutorial - I love invisible zips. I've always found them quite straighforward to install (is that the right terminology?) and I think they just look really professional, however when making my Charlotte I hadn't put a zip in for a good while, so referring to this really helped.

Finally another By Hand London one and one I'd never thought of before, but loved - how to mark darts with pins! I had varying success with this, as my fabric didn't like to keep hold of the pins, but in theory liked how this worked and will use it again.

In terms of free patterns, this is my favourite, another one from Colette, the Sorbetto. I have actually only made this once and wasn't that happy with it, but it was my first downloadable pattern, my first Colette pattern and my first attempt at bias binding. I made the pattern a size too big, used quilting fabric which was too stiff and made my bias binding too narrow. I also felt it was a bit short for my liking, and didn't check before I cut! I have worn it several times, but it needs taken in and the bias binding needs redone (it's fraying). I do however intend to do this at some point, and I love the millions of iterations of this pattern out there on the intraweb. And I do, absolutely, intend to make more of these come the summer (in fact I have a little metre of silk already earmarked for such a project...).

This is not an inclusive list, there will be loads more out there that I've referred to and used over the past couple of years, but these are the ones that instantly sprung to mind. I hope you find them useful. I certainly did! :)

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