Tag Archives: sewing tips

Ebook from Craftypod

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Diane Gilleland, aka Sister Diane, is one of Portland’s top crafters and craft authors. Her podcasts, tutorials, tips and tools have helped guide many crafters and small business owners through the murky waters of the handmade movement.

That is what this blog is about too. I started this whole experiment as a test. To see if I could really do it. Teach myself to sew, learn how to read patterns, find a community and a group of people that help to spark my creativity and inspire me to learn and do and handmake more.

And the more I’ve learned the more I’ve tried to share with you. So what could be better for my Sew, Mama, Sew December Giveaway Day contribution then a chance to help Sister Diane spread the word! Diane has graciously offered up one of her ebooks (winner’s choice!) for giveaway and all you have to do to win is leave a comment here before Sunday December 6th, (midnight PST) telling us which ebook you would be interested in winning and why.

For an extra chance to win please leave a second comment telling us your favorite crafty charity. I know a lot of people are feeling the need to reach out this holiday season and your comment might give someone the information they need to do some good.

Diane, along with Susan Beal, Linda Permann, Kayte Terry, Betz White, and Patricia Zapata are helping reach out by donating 15% of each sale of their new ebook Crafty Tree Trimmings to Project Linus. They’re a nationwide charity that collects handmade blankets for children who are suffering from serious illness, trauma, or otherwise in need. This ebook will be on sale only until December 31, 2009!

Thanks for reading this past year. Make sure to check out Sister Diane’s podcasts and tutorials. Her book Kanzashi in Bloom is on sale now. And good luck! I’ll pick the winner at random and I’ll announce it on Monday. Good luck!

Your Tip for Tuesday: Diane Gilleland

In her upcoming book, Kanzashi in Bloom: 20 Simple Fold and Sew Projects to Wear and Give (available for pre-order now!), Diane Gilleland demystifies an ancient Japanese art form into projects even a beginning crafter can relate to. Through her blog CraftyPod and her numerous pod casts on everything from All About Glue to Crafting as Spirituality, Diane guides us in all things craft. She is a beacon to Portland crafters with her DIY Alerts website and her tutorials in Craft Magazine and Craftstylish have been aide and inspiration to the entire online crafting community. Today, lucky readers, Sister Diane has been kind enough to share her top sewing tips and advice with us.

– Sewing is full of little steps that may not seem to relate to the finished project: measuring out the straight of grain, pressing your seams, clipping the seam allowances at corners. But don’t skip them! All these tiny techniques make a huge difference in the quality of the finished project.

Start with small, simple projects, and work your way up to garments. When you make clothing, you’ll need to pay lots of attention to fit (see the next tip) – so it’s a good idea to be comfortable with the basics of sewing seams and pressing first. Tote bags are great beginner projects, as are pillows.
When you work your way up to garment sewing, try your project on frequently during the process. With most garment projects, you’ll need to make little adjustments in the fit – taking in a seam here, letting a seam out there. You want to find and make these adjustments as early in the process as possible. Nothing’s sadder than finishing a whole garment, trying it on, and THEN finding out that it doesn’t fit right!

Thank you so much for the advice, Diane! Those are tips everyone can use.

Your Tip for Tuesday

Over 450 of you commented on my May Giveaway Day Beginning Sewing post. You guys rock! It was great reading about your first sewing projects: the skirt sewn on backwards, the funky 80’s culottes, the crooked tote bags. A lot of you have only been sewing a short while, perhaps putting the knitting needles and hot glue guns down to try a new craft or simply wanting to sew clothes for your precious little ones. It started me wondering what advice I could share…Once I realized that my top 10 sewing tips really amounted to 1. The iron is your friend, I wised up and called in the big guns!

Fellow Portlander, Amy Karol is the author of Bend the Rules Sewing and the soon to be released Bend the Rules with Fabric. She is also the well-loved blogger of Angry Chicken. (Pretty much if you have a craft blog, Angry Chicken is on your blogroll and if you have a craft library, Bend the Rules Sewing is on your shelf. If its not it should be!) I introduced myself and The Handmade Experiment and asked for her help.

Amy was really encouraging and with some email “big hugs” she passed on this top sewing tip…

“My #1 advice is don’t make it up as you go. I think so many new sewers don’t want to fail, so they don’t use patterns because they are afraid they won’t do it right, so they avoid them. This can lead to so much frustration. Patterns and books are tools to help (of course I’m going to say this because I have written 2 sewing books) but learning enough to be comfortable is key. That’s when it’s fun, after you take the time to learn the basics. Sewing has been around for so long, there is no reason anyone should try to reinvent the wheel. All the answers are out there if you look and ask.”

Thanks Amy! Words to live by people. 🙂