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Page 1

sewing
for

Beginners:

sewdaily
sewdaily

Sewing BaSicS
and Easy Sewing Projects

for Beginners

Page 2

© Interweave Press LLC
Not to be reprinted. All rights reserved.

sewing for
Beginners:
Sewing BaSicS and Easy Sewing
Projects for Beginners

PagE 1 of 19
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1 2

3 4

all about
Thread

fabric
gift Tags

at-Your-fingertips
Pincushion

calendar
Patchwork Tote

Sewing
Basics

1

5

2

3

4
sewdaily
sewdaily

sewing made modern.

GettinG Started
A quick reference

guide to basic tools,
techniques and terms

5

Page 10

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Sewing BaSicS and Easy Sewing Projects for Beginners

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eMbellish
5If desired, embellish the pincushion with
running or backstitches. Tie a knot on one end
of a 24" (61 cm) length of embroidery thread and
thread the size 10 needle on the other side. Pass
the needle through the bottom of the pincush-
ion so that the knot is hidden under the button.
Stitch as desired. The white/gray/red pincushion
was embellished with lines of running stitch; the
white/green/black pincushion was embellished
with loopy lines of backstitch. When tying off, be
sure to hide the knots under a button.

MAke sTrAp
6Use the iron to adhere the fusible web to the
center back of the 10" × 1" (25.5 × 2.5 cm) piece
of fabric, according to manufacturer’s directions.
Before removing the backing paper, cut the
fabric in half lengthwise so it measures 10" × ½"
(25.5 × 1.3 cm). Remove the web’s backing pa-
per. Lay the ribbon facedown on the terry-cloth
towel on the ironing board, then lay the fabric
down on top of the ribbon with the fusible web
sandwiched in between. Use the iron to fuse the
fabric to the back of the ribbon.

7Use the sewing thread that matches the rib-
bon and the size 10 needle to stitch the snaps to
the ends of the strap, placing them so that the
ribbon will fit snugly around your wrist (make
sure that one side of the snap is stitched to the
top side of the ribbon, and the other side of the
snap is stitched to the underside). Stitch the
remaining button to the top side of the ribbon,
concealing the stitches created when attaching

the snap (stitched to the underside). Trim the
ribbon ends at an angle and lightly melt with the
lighter to prevent fraying.

8Center the strap over the button on the back
of the pincushion and slip-stitch it in place,
stitching lines across the ribbon on both sides
of the button. Make several passes to secure
the strap.

meLinda Barta is editor of Beadwork
magazine. She is the author of the best-selling
books Custom Cool Jewelry (Interweave,
2008) and hip to stitch (Interweave, 2005),
coauthor of mixed metals (Interweave, 2009),
and has filmed many instructional DVDs. Look
for her newest book in late 2012.

Find STITCH magazine, and
sewing epatterns and
books in our online store
www.interweavestore.com

Find STITCH magazine, and
sewing epatterns and
books in our online store
www.interweavestore.com

Find STITCH
& sewing
epatterns
visit us online

Find STITCH magazine, and
sewing epatterns and
books in our online store

www.interweavestore.com

Find STITCH magazine, and
sewing epatterns and
books in our online store

www.interweavestore.com

Contemporary sewing
that celebrates the

handmade
lifestyle!

Contemporary sewing
that celebrates the

handmade
lifestyle!

Contemporary sewing
that celebrates the

handmade
lifestyle!

Contemporary sewing
that celebrates the

handmade
lifestyle!

Contemporary sewing
that celebrates the

handmade
lifestyle!

www.interweavestore.com

Find STITCH
& sewing
epatterns
visit us online

Contemporary sewing
that celebrates the

handmade
lifestyle!

www.interweavestore.com

http://shop.beadingdaily.com/store/a/136-Melinda-Barta.aspx

Page 11

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sewing for Beginners:
Sewing BaSicS and Easy Sewing Projects for Beginners

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by SuSan waSinGer

Transform vintage kitchen
calendar towels into an eco-
friendly tote to take you to
the market in style. Create
the patchwork by cutting out
interesting graphic words and
images from the towels for a
one-of-a-kind design.

FAbric
— ¾ yd (68.5 cm) of cotton canvas or duck
2 or 3 (or more) cotton or linen vintage kitchen
calendar towels

oTher supplies
—Matching thread

—Handsewing needle

—Tailor’s chalk or marking pen

—Acrylic quilt ruler

Finished size
— 17½" (44.5) at the widest top opening tapering

to 11" (28 cm) wide at the bottom × 16½" (42
cm) tall.

cuT ouT FAbric
1Cut 2 pieces of 19" × 4½" (48 × 11.5 cm) cotton
canvas or duck for the top band.

2For the 2 central patchwork bands (1 for each
side of the bag), I pieced fabrics together so
the finished patchwork bands measured 19 ×
8½" (48 × 20.5 cm) each. See Steps 5 and 6 for
instructions.

3For the bottom of the tote bag, cut a 19" × 19"
(48 × 48 cm) square of cotton canvas or duck.

4Cut 4 pieces of fabric, each 2" × 23" (5 × 58.5
cm) for the 2 straps.

For expLanationS oF
termS + techniqueS uSed

cLick here For our
SewinG BaSicS onLine

calendar
patchwork
tote

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sewing for Beginners:
Sewing BaSicS and Easy Sewing Projects for Beginners

Stitch GLoSSary
A quick reference to the hand and machine
stitches used throughout the project instructions.

Standard hand-
appLiqué Stitch
Use this stitch for either the Freezer-Paper
(or Template-Plastic)-and-Starch method
or the Needle-Turn method.

Cut a length of thread 12" to 18" (30.5 to
45.5 cm long). Thread the newly cut end
through the eye of the needle, pull this
end through, and knot it. Use this tech-
nique to thread the needle and knot the
thread to help keep the thread’s “twist”
intact and to reduce knotting. Beginning
at the straightest edge of the appliqué
and working from right to left, bring the
needle up from the underside, through
the background fabric and the very edge
of the appliqué at 1, catching only a few
threads of the appliqué fabric. Pull the
thread taut, then insert the needle into
the background fabric at 2, as close
as possible to 1. Bring the needle up
through the background fabric at 3, 1⁄8"
(3 mm) beyond 2. Continue in this man-
ner, keeping the thread taut (do not pull
it so tight that the fabric puckers) to keep
the stitching as invisible as possible.

1

23

straight stitch

2
1

SLip Stitch
Working from right to left, join two
pieces of fabric by taking a 1⁄16–¼"
(2–6 mm) long stitch into the folded
edge of one piece of fabric and
bringing the needle out. Insert the
needle into the folded edge of the
other piece of fabric, directly across
from the point where the thread
emerged from the previous stitch.
Repeat by inserting the needle into
the first piece of fabric. The thread
will be almost entirely hidden inside
the folds of the fabrics.

SpLit Stitch
Working from left to right, bring the
needle up at 1, insert at 2, and bring the
needle up near the right end of the pre-
vious stitch (between 1 and 2, at 3), in-
serting the needle into the thread to split
the thread in two. When you’re working

1
2

1

2

3

whipStitch
Bring the needle up at 1, insert at 2, and
bring up at 3. These quick stitches do not
have to be very tight or close together.

with multiple strands of thread, insert
the needle between the strands.

3

2

1

ZiGZaG with
French knotS
Working from right to
left, bring the needle
up at 1 and insert at 2.
Bringing the needle
back up near 2, repeat
for the next stitch, but
work from left to right.
Complete a French
knot near the open end
of each zigzag.

1

22

1

StraiGht Stitch
+ runninG Stitch
Working from right to left, make a
straight stitch by bringing the needle up
and insert at 1, 1⁄8 to ¼" (3 to 6 mm) from
the starting point. To make a line of run-
ning stitches (a row of straight stitches
worked one after the other), bring the
needle up at 2 and repeat.

overhand knot
Make a loop with the thread. Pass the
cord that lies behind the loop over the
front cord, then through the loop and
pull snug.

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sewing for Beginners:
Sewing BaSicS and Easy Sewing Projects for Beginners

BindinG techniqueS
A quick reference to creating your own binding.

FoLd BindinG
A. double-fold binding This option will
create binding that is similar to pack-
aged double-fold bias tape/binding. Fold
the strip in half lengthwise, with wrong
sides together; press. Open up the fold
and then fold each long edge toward the
wrong side, so that the raw edges meet
in the middle (1). Refold the binding along
the existing center crease, enclosing the
raw edges (2), and press again.

b. double-layer binding This option cre-
ates a double-thickness binding with only
one fold. This binding is often favored by
quilters. Fold the strip in half lengthwise
with wrong sides together; press.

Folding Binding

Attaching Binding with Mitered Corners

Cutting Bias Strips

1

2

Folding Binding

Attaching Binding with Mitered Corners

Cutting Bias Strips

Folding Binding

Attaching Binding with Mitered Corners

Cutting Bias Strips

Folding Binding

Attaching Binding with Mitered Corners

Cutting Bias Strips

1

2

3

cuttinG StraiGht StripS
Cut strips on the crosswise grain, from
selvedge to selvedge, cutting to the
width indicated in the project instruc-
tions. Use a rotary cutter and straight-
edge to obtain a straight cut. Remove
the selvedges and join the strips with
diagonal seams.

Folding Binding

Attaching Binding with Mitered Corners

Cutting Bias Strips

Folding Binding

Attaching Binding with Mitered Corners

Cutting Bias Strips

1

2

cuttinG BiaS StripS
Cut strips to the width indicated in the
project instructions. Fold one cut end of
the fabric to meet one selvedge, form-
ing a fold at a 45-degree angle to the
selvedge (1). With the fabric placed on
a self-healing mat, cut off the fold with
a rotary cutter, using a straight edge as
a guide to make a straight cut. With the
straightedge and rotary cutter, cut strips
to the appropriate width (2). Join the
strips with diagonal seams.

BindinG with
mitered cornerS
If using double-layer binding (option B at
right) follow the alternate italicized instruc-
tions in parenthesis. Open the binding
and press ½" (1.3 cm) to the wrong side
at one short end (refold the binding at the
center crease and proceed). Starting with
the folded-under end of the binding, place
it near the center of the first edge of the
project to be bound, matching the raw
edges, and pin in place. Begin sewing
near the center of one edge of the project,

diaGonaL SeamS
For JoininG StripS
Lay two strips right sides together, at
right angles. The area where the strips
overlap forms a square. Sew diagonally
across the square as shown above. Trim
the excess fabric ¼" (6 mm) away from
the seamline and press the seam allow-
ances open. Repeat to join all the strips,
forming one long fabric band.

project back. Slip stitch or blindstitch the
binding in place, tucking in the corners to
complete the miters as you go (3).

along the first crease (at the appropri-
ate distance from the raw edge), leaving
several inches of the binding fabric free
at the beginning. Stop sewing ¼" (6 mm)
before reaching the corner, backtack,
and cut the threads. Rotate the project 90
degrees to position it for sewing the next
side. Fold the binding fabric up, away
from the project, at a 45-degree angle (1),
then fold it back down along the project
raw edge (2). This forms a miter at the
corner. Stitch the second side, beginning
at the project raw edge (2) and ending ¼"
(6 mm) from the next corner, as before.
Continue as established until you have
completed the last corner. Continue
stitching until you are a few inches from
the beginning edge of the binding fabric.
Overlap the pressed beginning edge of
the binding by ½" (1.3 cm, or overlap
more as necessary for security) and trim
the working edge to fit. Finish sewing
the binding (opening the center fold and
tucking the raw edge inside the pressed
end of the binding strip). Refold the bind-
ing along all the creases and then fold it
over the project raw edges to the back,
enclosing the raw edges (there are no
creases to worry about with option B). The
folded edge of the binding strip should
just cover the stitches visible on the

create BindinG

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