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We are hoping to cover a variety of sewing topics on our new blog. Our main focus has been designing PDF Sewing Patterns. We have a varied range and will still be adding to it.


Thank you for stopping by, we hope it has been useful.

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Apr 27 2018 02:52PM

Our latest infographic is available below. We have also published our tips in basic text further down the page for our fans who use screen readers or translation engines.

Hi Res Version available here

12 Quick Questions to ask yourself when choosing fabric part 1
12 Quick Questions to ask yourself when choosing fabric part 1

12 Quick Questions to ask yourself when choosing fabric part 2
12 Quick Questions to ask yourself when choosing fabric part 2

When choosing fabric for your project whether it be a garment or a craft item there are number of questions you should ask yourself before buying.

Is the pattern designed for woven fabric or knits?

If a fabric is designed for woven fabrics it can work in a knit, but if it is designed for knit fabrics it rarely works in a woven because there is no give in woven fabrics and it won’t fit well - if at all.

Does the style require a lot of drape or gathers?

If so you need to look at the thickness of the fabric and how it hangs. Pick it up by one corner and see if it drapes well or does it just remain a flat square.

Does the fabric fray?

If you are a beginner and the fabric frays a lot, you may find this an added challenge you could do without.

Is there an obvious pattern to the fabric?

If there is an obvious pattern and you are hoping to pattern match you may need to buy a little extra fabric to achieve this.

Does the fabric have a nap?

Fabrics with a nap can look different from each end because of the way the nap is lying. Think velvet, needlecord, corduroy or fur fabrics. Some patterns will tell you how much extra fabric you need to be able to cut all the pattern pieces in the same direction, but sometimes you may need to work this out for yourself by laying the pattern pieces out.

Is it a stretch fabric?

Stretch fabrics vary tremendously, two way stretch, or four way stretch, with or without elastane, spandex or lycra. You can get stretch woven fabrics, but they have to have elastane, spandex or lycra in them.

Is my fabric two or four way stretch?

This refers to the direction of stretch, if it stretches side to side or up and down only, its two way, if it stretches in both directions it’s four way stretch.

Does my knit have recovery?

To have recovery the fabric needs to have some elasticity usually from elastane, spandex or lycra, this allows the fabric to bounce back into shape, without it just stretches and stretches as you wear it until you wash it.

How much stretch does my fabric have?

Stretch the fabric against a tape measure to see how much stretch it has. This is very important if you are going to rely on the stretch to either make the garment fit or give you support as in lingerie.

Is my fabric washable?

Some fabrics are very high maintenance and are dry clean only, and in some cases like a coat or jacket that isn’t a problem, but if you want to be able to machine wash the end product check along the selvedge first for washing instructions or ask the seller before you buy.

Do I want my fabric to coordinate with another?

If you want two coordinating fabrics because you are doing colour blocking the fool proof way is to use the same fabric in different colours or prints. If this isn’t possible choose fabrics that have the same properties.

What fabric did the designer specify on the pattern?

It is sensible to follow the designer’s recommendations if you want a good finished result. The pattern will have been tested using these fabrics.

This is just a guide to help avoid an expensive mistake. There are no rules and it’s good to experiment with fabrics and ways of using them.

Got the fabric but are going to be choosing a pattern? then check out our 'Which Pattern' Guide on our blog here

Got your fabric and your pattern check out our tips for a professional finish here

Our latest pattern release is the Lucy and Amy Wristlets Combo pack check them out now

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Mar 23 2018 01:21PM

12 Tips and tricks for sewing with knits
12 Tips and tricks for sewing with knits

Read now or watch the quick video in Youtube

When working with fabrics like knit, the first thing to remember is that the fabric is knitted as in knit one, pearl one like a sweater instead of woven. A regular needle isn’t shaped correctly for the looping threads of a knit it can cause skipped stitches, wavy seams, and even holes in your fabric. So here are some tips for working with knits.

1. Use ballpoint pins to avoid damaging knit fabric while cutting and sewing.

2. Use a ballpoint needle its rounded instead of sharp and it is designed to push the thread around the knitting of the fabric, instead of piercing it and passes through the looped structure of the material without laddering it.

3. Use a stretch needle if the knit has a significant amount of Spandex or Lycra, the eye of the needle is designed to help when sewing elastic and avoid the skipped stitches commonly associated with sewing stretch fabrics.

4. Use the correct stitch a stretch stitch or a zig zag will allow the seam to stretch a little. I like to use 2 x 2 zigzag for joining seams.

5. Use stretchable thread for swimming costumes, dancewear or active wear anywhere you need significant stretch and recovery. Use it in the top thread as well as underneath in the spool.

6.Let the feed dogs pull the fabric through on the top and the bottom and support the weight of your project while you sew to avoid unnecessary stretching. You can add tissue paper on top of your fabric, under the presser foot or use a walking foot it helps feed the top layer through evenly with the bottom.

7. Stabilize your hem, either use a fusible knit interfacing/webbing to turn up and stabilize the hem before sewing. Or cut a long strip of your fabric the width of your hem and overlock it to the bottom edge then turn up the hem, this gives it more stability and is more effective than turning the hem over twice.

8. Use a twin needle for top stitching to mimic the finish of a Coverstitch with your traditional machine. You can buy a twin ballpoint needle. When using a twin needle, I pop the second spool of thread into a coffee mug behind my machine and thread as usual

9. Add clear elastic in a shoulder seam, waistline or under bust seam to stabilize it, you will have seen this on bought garments.

10. Loosening the tension can help if your seam is looking wavy but I would call this a last resort and make a note of what your ideal tension is normally before you start adjusting it. Practice on scraps folded in half to give two layers like a seam.

11. If some stretch occurs during the sewing process, hover your iron approximately 1" above the stretched seam and apply steam. The heat and moisture of the steam will help to shrink the seam back to its intended size and shape.

12. Invest in a four thread overlocker/serger to construct your garment and a coverstitch machine to finish your garment off.

If you've found some of these useful please check out our top tips for a professional finish post.

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Jan 14 2018 03:08PM

Top 10 Sewing Tips for a Professional Finish

Follow these sewing tips to make your finished product shine. If you have the time and the resources in your stash then get them used for the perfect finish.

Pin me on Pinterest and share with your followers. Follow our boards for future freebies and guides.

Do you have any tips for other seamstresses who want to take their sewing up a notch? Pop them in our comments.

Check out our sewing guides for piping and binding

Don’t hold back with our 'be a have a go hero' Blog post

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