Sewing Tutorial


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The Magic of the Sewing Machine





How to make a crib skirt with inverted pleats and piping

The crib skirt has four separated pieces with inverted pleats.

For the crib sheet you will need:

White cotton cut 51″+1″= 52″ seam x 28″+1″ seam = 29″
This is sheet that will anchor the skirt.

For the skirt you will choose a fabric of your choice, I chose grey to coordinate with the theme of the room.

The skirt width is  63 1/2″ + 1″ seam = 64 1/2″ x 40 1/2″ + 1″ = 41 1/2″ 

Cut  two pieces  63 1/2″ + 1″ seam = 64 1/2″

Cut two pieces 40 1/2″ + 1″ = 41 1/2″

(These measurements include the extra for the pleats)

(after the pleats are in the measurements should be: 51″ x 28″)

Length of crib skirt: 15 1/2″ Add an extra two inches on each panel

ie: the length you will cut 15 1/2″ + 2″ = 17 1/2″

You will stich the piping at the end of the 17 1/2″ and turn over the 2″ so the finished skirt will be 15 1/2″

Bias Binding for piping 2″

You can purchase bias binding at the fabric store, or you can make your own





Buy 2″ bias binding for the trim at the bottom of the skirt



sew piping on the edge at the hem, then fold over 2″ and top stitch.

Do this on all four panels the skirt



To make inverted  pleat fold fabric in half to determine center of pleat. fold over approx 3″ on each side and pin

The back of pleat should look like a box pleat


Make pleats on all four panel. 

Press in place

The finished pleat should look like the above diagram




Now you are ready to attach the four panels to the white sheet.

You will have four separate pieces for the skirt.

Two pieces 51″ long

Two pieces 28″ wide. (after the pleats are made)

The length should be 15 1/2″.

Attach the pieces to the crib sheet 51″ x 28″.  See diagram.  Tack each of the four corners together.  and press.



The finished skirt should be about 1″ from the floor


Completed Crib Skirt




The Making of a Bedspread!


Making a bedspread is quite simple, like drapery and curtains it requires a lot of stitching, but the outcome can be very fulfilling.

To make a bedspread it’s best to purchase 45 or 60″ fabric.  There are some fabric stores where you can purchase fabric the width of your bed.  In that case all you will need is the length and then you add the fringe or trims you need.



When buying 45″ or 60″ wide fabric measure how long you want the bedspread, then buy double the length, ie: if the desired length is three yards or meters then purchase six yards/meters.

To make a bedspread follow these steps:


1:   Fold the fabric in half – your will have two pieces of fabric three yards each.

2:   Put one piece of fabric away, the other three yards fold length wise and cut down the middle

  • ie: if the fabric is 45″ wide when it is folded in half lengthwise you will have two pieces of fabric 22 1/2″ each.


  • (When using 60″ wide fabric, you will have to adjust the two side pieces to floor length or where you want the bedspread to fall
3:  Take the piece of fabric that you put away and join the 22 1/2″ cut pieces on either side.
  • (The reason you join at the sides is that you don’t have a center seam on the bed spread)  Adjust to floor length.


4:  Hem the bedspread and add any decorative trims or fringes you require.
That’s all there is to making a beautiful bedspread.


Do you have a tablecloth laying around that you never use. 



Let your creative juices flow and turn it into a beautiful summer outfit.




 (This project may be for the advance sewist)



  • This project is ideal for asymmetrical four panel skirt design.  


  • You can cut the skirt at the four corners of the tablecloth to capture the embroidery edges and eliminate hemming.





  •  Place pattern on corners of tablecloth and cut four panels on fold, one on each corner.



  • The panels should look like the above diagram with embroidery forming a triangle at the edge. 


  • Serge or zig-zag the four  panels, then  pin together before stitching.



  • Make small pleats or gather to your waist size – ( I find small pleats more suitable for cotton or eliminate pleats by cutting fabric to exact waist size). 


  • For interest you can make one box pleat in the middle of each panel (this will depend on the pattern of the table cloth – You can let your creative juices flow on this project.


  • Leave an 8″ opening for the zipper at the back or side of the skirt.



Add waistband to complete skirt
  • For the shirt you can use the remnant of fabric. 


  • You will have to play around with placing the pattern and manipulate the fabric to create an interesting design.



For the shirt back I used the center of the tablecloth.
  • For the front I used the end of the tablecloth and manipulated the fabric to get the patterns positioned facing each other. 
  • The remaining embroidery made the collar and cuff of the shirt
  • Serge or zig-zag shoulders and side of shirt before joining together


  • Add collar and cuffs with left over embroidery pieces.


  • Finish shirt with small hem.
There! A fabulous Summer Outfit!






  • In this tutorial I’ll show you how to combine two patterns to make a fashionable maxi tunic dress with slits up the sides to wear over your pants this summer.
  • I made this outfit with a sleeveless top pattern and a one piece summer sheath dress pattern.
 I chose a sleeveless blouse pattern to combine with a simple sundress pattern.
  • Match the waist line mark on the blouse pattern to the waistline mark on the sundress
  • Match both patterns making sure the waistline match and the underarm of both patterns are lined up.
  • Pin both patterns together so it look like one dress pattern. 


  • I tapered the skirt for a slimmer fit (however that is optional.
Place and pin pattern on fabric, determine the length you want and mark the hemline before cutting.
  • Place cut fabric on facing and cut facing the shape of the neck and armhole
  • When making a sleeveless outfit I cut the neck and armhole as one piece.This gives the garment extra body and a neat finish.
  • You will notice that the shoulders are narrower in the back diagram.  You will need to adjust front shoulders to the same size of the back
If you decided to pipe the neck and arms Join the front and back shoulders together then base the bias binding on to the neckline and armhole to secure in place .
Place the facing so that the piping will be between the facing and the dress fabric.
Piping is optional.
If there is no piping you can eliminate the above step.
 Determine how high you want the slits and stitch sides of garment together.
Finished summer tunic with slits.







Combining two patterns to recreate a style

I used the “New Look” Pattern for the dress and the “Simplicity” pattern  for the jacket. .





  • I extended the New Look bodice pattern as seen in diagram.


  • Use the same method to cut the lining.


  • Because the lace is very light, I pinned the lace to the lining before basting to  keep in place and add weight.



Join front and back of dress together by basting before stitching.




  • I faced the neck.  Press seams open and put in zipper and hemmed dress to desired length


  • I used the Simplicity pattern for the jacket.


Completed Dress with Long Jacket.






Cutting a straight line on chiffon could be challenging because the  characteristic of the fabric is unstable and shift causing difficulty when cutting.  To cut a straight line measure the length you want then select on thread and pull.  Cut along the line as show in the diagram, this will ensure you get a straight and even cut.
  • Cut fabric to desired length, plus 2″ for hem plus 4″ to turn over at the top to insert the gromets  (ie if the length of the finished curtain is 36″ you will need to cut the length of the fabric 36″ + 2″ for hem + 4″ for top heading = 42″.
  • Next cut fabric twice the measurements of the shower rod with an extra 4″ for  – you will have a 2″ hem at both sides of the curtain.  If you are working with light weight fabric chiffon etc.,  use interfacing at the top to stabilize the fabric so you can insert the gromets.
  • For the top – where the gromets will be inserted – Fold over the 4″ at the top with the interfacing between.  Stich in place.
  • Fold the 2″ hem at the both sides of the curtain and stitch
  • Fold the 2″ hem at the bottom and stitch.
(if you decide on a valance there is one extra step – For an 8″ valance cut the fabric three times the length of the curtain rod and double the width of the finished valance and fold in half before gathering or pleating -ie: if you want an 8″ valance cut the fabric 16″)
  • Gather or pleat the valance to the width of the shower curtain after it is hemmed at both sides.
  • Before stitching the top hem in place – put the valance underneath then stich the valance with the hem)
You are now ready to insert the gromets (The standard shower curtain have twelve gromets or buttonholes for hooks)
To insert gromets as per the following diagrams:
  • The gromets will come with a template:  Before drawing the template on the fabric pin to prevent fabric shifting
  • Draw templates on the fabric
  • You can use your existing shower curtain to determine placement of the grommets.  The standard shower curtain have twelve hooks
  • Place bottom grommet underneath
  • Place the top grommet on top and snap into place.
If you want to have tie effect of  a tie back, after placing valance cut the shower curtain up the middle and add trim.




Sewing tulle requires some patience.  When making a skirt in other fabric the fabric is cut lengthwise, however when making a tulle skirt it’s easier to use the length of the tulle.  The only seam will be the back seam.  



  • Determine how wide you want the skirt.  If you want a very wide skirt purchase between 8 to 11 yards of tulle.  Purchase less if you don’t want it very wide.
  • You will need crinoline to make the skirt stand out –  You can purchase two yards less of crinoline which is like tulle, just stiffer.  (if you purchase eight yards of tulle, purchase 6 yards of crinoline).
  • You will need about one yard of lining 45″ wide.
  • The crinoline can also be cut in tiers and added only at the bottom of the lining, depending on the effect you want.
  • (Elastic for the waist of the lining is optional for versality so it can be worn under other skirts)
  •  Join the ends together, Leave about 7-8″ opening at the seam of the tulle for ease when putting on the skirt.
  • If you have a gather presser foot, this will be very helpful when gathering the skirt, if not adjust the tension so the thread will be loose and stich on the fold of the tulle, then gather by pulling the thread  to the size of the required waistline.
  • I find it easier to do this in sections.
  • Repeat this method with the crinoline. Cut the lining the desired skirt length and gather the 45″ to the waist measurement.
Tulle is very forgiving, you don’t need a zipper.  Before adding the waistband gather the waist 4″ more than the actual waist.  (if the waist is 30″, measure the waist 34″.  The four extra inches will be the over lap at the back so you don’t need a zipper.
Add hooks or fasteners the exact measurement of the waist line.  In that way the overlap will eliminate the need of a zipper.
Tulle Skirts are beautiful and feminine.
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