Want to try your hand at sewing you ll need some sewing patterns

These days, sewing patterns are widely available. Almost any department store or even some discount stores carry sewing supplies and some even carry sewing machines. As this hobby grows, the amount of available products grows as well. Once a necessity, sewing has become a hobby among young and old. And, in this age of the world wide web it is now easier then ever to sell hand made articles as well. First, patterns. People who are new to sewing will need to buy a book or two (or find them in the nearest library) and read up on the lingo and techniques. Once an understanding of how to use the sewing machine (and even how to thread a needle) is learned, finding projects to do is simple.

There are many, many books that can provide ideas. Sewing patterns themselves can be found in craft and fabric stores and also some department stores. Many times they can be found online as well. Every imaginable pattern is available.

Or, creating a new idea is an alternative as well. The average person who is new to sewing and sewing machines, will need some practice and tons of patience! There is also a need for basic supplies such as needles, threads of different colors and strengths, fabric, and maybe a how to book to help them along. All of these supplies will be available in craft or fabric stores. Of course the best way to experience the art of sewing is to do it. Having an experienced teacher is also a big advantage as there is not a book out there that can top experiencing hands on training. There are also many sewing classes available. Try looking into area recreation centers or even local colleges that offer mini courses. Mostly, practice will be a guide as to what can be created, that and of course, imagination. So, pick a pattern that is not too complex, gather the supplies, and try to sew!

Can technology and sewing get along

Some old fashioned industries are leveraging the internet and technology in ways that just weren’t possible only a few years ago. Sewing has always been a bigger market than you would think. However, the latest technology makes this $8.7 Billion dollar market seem like it has been given a whole new life. “It’s quite amazing to think where all this is heading,” Said Tom Michaelson of Tomssewingguide. com. Most people think of sewing as something their grandmother did to fix their buttons on their shirts. More think that sewing patterns are for the small hobbyists. These days, sewing is a whole lot different. The collaborative spirit of the internet has made all hobbies easier to enjoy. Banks of free sewing patterns exist all over the internet. Yahoo groups, and private email lists have helped sewers connect with each other all over the world. The revolution is here. Even Singer (the company that makes Singer sewing machines) has a website. If a company as old and respected as Singer has made an investment in the online world, the web is definitely here to stay. Furthermore, many of the big retailers have at least experimented with custom made clothing. High speed data lines allow measurements to be taken at the local mall with the custom sewing and tailoring done thousands of miles away. “I think this might be just the beginning. The world’ of opportunity that technology opens up to everyone is mind boggling” said Michaelson.

Industrial sewing machine versus domestic sewing machine for clothing alterations

Let me tell you a story. When I opened my first clothing alteration shop, I started out with a borrowed over locker from my sister in law, and my very old mini Elna sewing machine. I remember an Asian gentlemen walking up to the door of my shop and saying to me “You can’t do clothing alterations on that machine! You need an industrial sewing machine!” As the business grew, I got more domestic machines, and when I opened my second shop, I put domestic machines in. I did buy a semi industrial blind hemming machine, but I can tell you we had an exceptional reputation for superior workmanship. We had customers coming to us from the other side of Sydney. So I had domestic sewing machines in all my shops, except one. That one I put 2 industrials in but the shop was sold soon after to people who believed in industrial sewing machines.

My favorite domestic sewing machine is the Janome My Excel which isn’t expensive and does everything that I need to produce high quality clothing alterations. Industrial sewing machines were designed for factory work. In particular piece work. The machines were in rows and the seamstresses using were sewing just one particular part of a garment, and another person was sewing another part of the garment.

They are very fast, so for piece work they are excellent. I actually find them too fast. Let me explain. If I am re stitching the facing back on to a gown after I have taken the straps up, I am only sewing a section of say 2” or 5 cm. With my domestic machine I lock off at the beginning, sew the seam and lock off at the end. With an industrial machine, you have to slow it down because it would sew too fast, and you wouldn’t get the machine sewing into the seams as you need to. People who use industrial machines, and have worked out how to stitch in this way I admire. My hat goes off to you. Personally I could never control the monster. The other reason I like domestic machines is the fact that they can do zig zag and many other types of stitches. Most industrial machines can only sew straight stitch. You can get industrials machines that do other stitching, but why have so many machines when you can have one. Yet another reason is the fact that the domestic sewing machine has an arm on it for sewing sleeves and hems with ease. The industrial machine has a flat surface to work on. This means you have to try and lay the fabric as flat as possible to sew correctly. With the domestic machine you can slip the hem over the arm of the machine and stitch around with ease. All my step by step manuals will be on how to do clothing alterations on your domestic sewing machine. I will also go through what you need to perform an alteration with the same workmanship that I performed in my shops.

Sewing a hobby or profitable business

Today young people are excited about the hobby of sewing now days. When I say young that really accounts for a large segment of younger citizens. In this case, sewing has caught on with young children of all ages including Post-College adults. Now considered a great hobby, fashion-minded folks are designing and also making their own clothing on a regular basis. Driven by famous celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and P. Diddy and other famous people, young people are adamant about dressing themselves like the people they admire so much. It doesn't stop there though. Many go a step further and take a stab at designing their own wears for the market as professionals.

This can developed into a profitable career in the fashion industry. As a result of all of this sewing awareness and creativity, sewing and stitching classes are popular these days. This allows interested people who enjoy sewing as a hobby to turn their needlework and pattern creation into a profitable business. Creating different patterns and sewing individualized hand bags are among the items that are in demand. You can also transform left over scraps of cloth into unique gifts and one of a kind items for friends, family or business associates.

Christmas is a great time to make long lasting and memorable gifts. Sewing can be considered just a hobby or you can make it a long term project if you decide to treat it as a business. A sewing hobby has become the focal point for unbridled creativity. Being able to sew and wear clothing items as wearable art, makes sewing a fun and profitable hobby.

A guide to antique sewing machines

Sewing machines have been mass-produced worldwide for more than two-hundred years. Early models featured unique designs to add beauty and appeal to buyers. The wide variety of styles and manufacturers make antique sewing machines a favorite collectible. Because of the quality workmanship and heavy materials of the early machines many of the antique sewing machines are still working models. The antique sewing machines will typically be made of cast iron and feature the patent information in a visible location. The machines may have a hand crank or a treadle, which was a flat pedal for both feet to provide the motion for the sewing mechanism. The treadle machines would be mounted onto their own table or cabinet, while many other machines would be in a carrying case and the machine would be placed on the kitchen table. Miniature, antique sewing machines are some of the most desirable, as they are smaller working models that served as salesmen’s samples, used while traveling or for mending. These small machines doubled as children's sewing machines specifically for use by young girls, since they were expected to learn how to sew. Machines that were intended to be marketed as a child's machine were often painted in a different color or have floral motifs painted onto the body of the machine. Over the past two centuries many sewing machine companies were successful for a time before closing operations, making for the wide variety of machines to be found.

Many companies were not able to survive having their manufacturing facilities converted for wartime use, but also lost to post-war Japan's ability to produce cheap products. Singer is the first sewing machine company and continues to have antique sewing machines that are the most recognizable and most popular with collectors. The Singer Featherweight model #221, referred to as the Perfect Portable, continues to be a favorite of quilters.

Sewing machine purchasing

Technology has made the sewing machine, once a high priced item, very affordable for most sewing applications. The only major decisions are choosing between a traditional or embroidery sewing machine and how powerful you require it to be. The more power provides a quicker job and longer lifespan of the machine. Only a handful of companies compose a very large percentage of the sewing machine market. These include Singer, Brother, Husqvarna Viking, White, and Pfaff. All of these brands have a product range from the entry level to expert quality. As with any buying decision, the history of reliability and warranty features are the most important considerations. Deciding where to purchase is the next step after deciding on the brand and model you want. Buying from a local retail location offers the ease of returning a product that is damaged at the start or within its warranty period. You can save money purchasing from online stores or an Ebay auction. However, the money saved may not be worth the risk of the trouble you may go though if something should go wrong. Sewing machines have more moving parts than the average electric device. The more moving parts, the higher chance of a problem during operation. Embroidery sewing machines are generally more expensive than traditional sewing machines. A traditional Singer can be had for around $150. The embroidery Singers range from $600 to over $3000. Singer is the most popular brand, but in second place are Brother sewing machines. They also have a range from the inexpensive $100 price point up to the industrial grade $10,000 embroidery models. The average non-commercial sewing machine, regardless of brand, is around $300 which is sufficient for the majority of consumers. My advice is to check consumer feedback sites like epinions. com and magazines like Consumer Reports so you can make an informed decision based on the experience and research of others.

Learning to take a stitch in time is sew easy

Here's news that may have you in stitches: Sewing is an increasingly popular hobby-and very different from the way it was a generation or so ago. Now, whether you're a longtime expert sewer or just starting out with this useful and enjoyable skill, modern sewing machines offer a variety of wonderful features-if you know what you need. Here are some tips from the experts at Husqvarna Viking on selecting a sewing machine: • Decide what sort of sewing you want to do. Do you want to sew for yourself? Create gifts for family and friends? Make decorative accessories for your home, such as pillows and drapes, or decorate already-made clothing? • Ask other sewers what brands and features they like. • Go to a reputable, independent sewing machine dealer who is knowledgeable about the product. Independent retailers may offer more amenities than mass merchandisers can, such as free sewing lessons when you buy the machine. • Take a "test drive." Sit at the machine and sew a few seams. Test the straight stitches for stitch quality, buttonholes for ease of use and decorative stitches for the fun of it. See how well the machine works with various weights of fabrics and how easy it is to thread and wind bobbins. • Ask for references. How does the dealer handle repair issues, activities and customer support? • Find out about warranties and bonuses. • Look for ease-of-use features, such as those found on today's Husqvarna Viking machines: built-in sewing information that automatically sets your machine and provides you with important facts for successful sewing; a built-in sensor system that ensures smooth feeding of different fabric weights and types; one-touch stitch selection, a convenient time-saver; and instructional video or CDs, which may help you become more comfortable with the machine at your own pace in your own home. • Also consider how much of the sewing you want to do and how much you'd rather leave to the machine. Computer chip technology, for example, has given rise to machines that can embroider all by themselves.

A brief history of sewing machines

Initially, sewing machines were manufactured for garment factory production lines, allowing for clothing to become uniformly mass-produced. It was French tailor Barthelemy Thimonnier who invented the first functioning sewing machine in 1830 for use in his garment factory. This original machine used only one thread and a hooked needle for a chain stitch. His factory was burnt down and he was nearly killed by an angry mob of French tailors who were afraid his machines would leave them unemployed. A few years later in America, Walter Hunt shared the same fears, and abandoned the work to patent his own version of a straight-seam sewing machine. The fears were unfounded, as industrial sewing machines created multiple job opportunities worldwide. Modern garment factories incorporate the same mass production techniques as other industries, with each workstation completing one part of the overall job. Industrial sewing machines are generally designed to perform one specific sewing function such as embroidery. Machines with different functions are operated to complete clothing items in a production line. Marketing to individuals didn't begin until 1889, allowing for women to have the means to create clothing for their family without the labor-intensive hand stitching.

The domestic sewing machine used in the home is manufactured to perform many tasks from sewing straight or zigzag stitches and the creation of buttonholes, as well as stitching buttons on to the piece of clothing. Industrial sewing machines, like their domestic counterparts for the home, were created to simplify and speed up the otherwise labor-intensive hand stitching. The domestic sewing machine is manufactured to perform many tasks from sewing straight or zigzag stitches and the creation of buttonholes, as well as stitching buttons on to the piece of clothing. Sewing machines were adapted for use in industrial settings, allowing for clothing to become uniformly mass-produced. The industrial sewing machines are generally designed to perform a specific sewing function such as embroidery or applying buttonholes. Companies from all over the world manufacture industrial sewing machines with very basic features as well as higher-end computer operated models.

A variety of machines with different functions are operated to complete clothing items in a production line. A few examples would be a Bag Closer sewing machine which is used for sewing a single thread chain-stitch, a high-speed plain sewer is used for stitching seems and double needle machines are used for adding top stitching details to items like jeans. Walking foot machines are invaluable for quilting and sewing coats, as it keeps the fabric moving along without bunching and making for a smoother and faster production. Overlock serger sewing machines, which are also available in smaller versions for the home, create the whipped V stitch along the edge of a seam of T-shirts and other stretchable fabrics.

The more you sew the more you collect

The More You Sew The More You Collect. Don't we collect a lot? The more you sew, the more you collect. There are the threads, before we go any further, while we are on about threads, don't be tempted to buy up cheap threads when they are on special. No use sewing with good fabric and using cheap sewing thread, it has a habit of fuzzing and breaking when you don't want it to. For storing anything to do with your sewing, you need to be able to see what you are looking for. So containers that are clear and zip lock plastic lunch bags can get you organised very quickly. The zip lock bags come in various sizes and you can also get the 'throwaway' storage containers in various sizes too. Check out the lunch bag aisle in your supermarket. You can get storage drawers, the small kind, Ikea have some great ones that I use. I set up some 'temporary' shelves with these and they worked so well, they have stayed and I have added to them, one at each end, a shelf resting on them, then another two and another shelf. Work your way up until you have the storage you need. The small drawers are ideal for storing all sorts of bits and pieces and there is room on the shelves to fit heaps of other items you want to store. If you're artistic, you can paint on front of each draw what is stored inside, or make up labels. Don't throw away herb and spice jars when you have used the herbs, these are ideal for storing buttons, and other types of fasteners. A cork notice board or pegboard is very handy too. I use both. If you happen across an office filing cabinet, these are great for storing patterns and fabrics. We all have those left over fabric pieces, keep similar color tones together in clear plastic zip lock bags, the large ones. You will be surprised at how creative you will become when you see the tonings and prints together. Patterns are best transferred to plastic sleeves and placed in manila folders with the pattern envelope pasted to the front of the folder. paste it sideways so you can easily see what pattern as you go through the file. Don't forget to include in the plastic sleeve, what you made and the details, any alterations to the pattern etc. This is great for children's sewing, especially if you want to use the same pattern for a younger child. With all your sewing, if you can find a way to keep your various colors together, it will be much easier to find what you want. The more organized you become with your sewing, the more you will enjoy your sewing and by being organized you could even save money, being able to find sewing notions easily will save you buying unnecessary items. The main thing is to enjoy what you are doing. © CTBaird 2006 SewMoreForU

The latest home business trend is 150 years old

One of the hottest new ideas for a home-based business got its start in the Civil War era. By the 1860s, sewing machines had become affordable for the average family, and because these machines reduced the time it took to sew a garment by up to 80 percent, enterprising women had time to sew for extra money. A century and a half later many women, and men too, are earning a living with home sewing. The Small Business Administration estimates that as many as 14 million Americans make their living from home. Sewing has a proven track record as a home-based business in dozens of niches, including upholstery, bridal wear, crafts and quilts. Sewing machine manufacturers have responded by producing "prosumer" models, such as the Janome Professional Series, with professional performance but consumer-friendly ease-of-use, making it possible for even more entrepreneurs to start home-based sewing and craft businesses.

In a world of mass-produced products, shoppers value custom-made items, and many are willing to pay a premium for them. Dianna Grundhauser ran her own quilting store on Maui, Hawaii. After five years, she decided the long hours necessary to run a retail location weren't worth it and began running the quilt-making portion of her business out of her home. "To do the kind of work I do, I needed an industrial machine. But I didn't have the room," said Grundhauser. She purchased a Janome 1600 Professional, a high-speed, straight stitch machine with the performance characteristics of an industrial model - speed, power and durability - and the size and convenience features of a home machine. Grundhauser now has a successful home business and sells her quilts online, which helps keep overhead costs low. But home sewing businesses don't always stay small. Scott Jones didn't even know how to sew when he decided to make a custom-fit fleece jacket for himself as a college junior. His company, Beyond Fleece, now sells to serious outdoor enthusiasts around the world. In addition to the 1600P, Janome's Professional Series includes the 6600P full-featured sewing machine and the CoverPro coverstitch machines.

15 sewing tips to save time and money

I still remember the excitement of my first sewing course. I made a skirt for my young daughter and was thrilled everytime she wore it. Since then I have enjoyed collecting sewing hints to save time and money. Here are few of tips that I would like to share with you: 1. Before discarding pants, cut off the belt loops and use to sew on the inside of children's coats and jackets for a coat loop. No more fallen coats at school. 2. Before sewing on buttons, tape each one where it belongs with a strip of transparent tape. After the first stitches are made you can remove the tape. 3. To avoid pinholes when hemming delicate garments, mark the hemline with tailor's chalk and use clips to hold the fold in place. 4. Prevent future errors in sewing by slipping a memo into individual patterns explaining any size alterations or changes for that item. 5. Prevent fraying by reinforcing the hems with a row of zigzag stitching in a matching or contrasting color. 6. Sew a large button on each end of the drawstring on pajamas and sweat suits. This will keep the string from disappearing. 7. Keep a spool of clear nylon thread on hand. Because it is transparent it will pick up the color of the fabric. This will also work when a bobbin runs out and the spool is almost empty; just put the clear thread on your bobbin. 8. Place a thin sheet of foam rubber under your sewing machine's foot pedal to prevent it from sliding around when you use it on an uncarpeted surface. 9. Store a magnet in your sewing basket to attract loose pins and attach one to your sewing machine to hold extra needles. If you glue a small magnet to the end of a wooden yardstick you won't have to bend over to pick up any pins that fall on the floor. 10. Thoroughly washed and cleaned mascara brushes can be used to clean the crevices of your sewing machine. 11. When letting down a garment hem you can diminish the crease by applying white vinegar to the wrong side of the fabric and steam press it. 12. Try this economical substitute for custom-cut table pads: Place a quilted mattress cover over your table top and trim with scissors for a custom fit. You'll have a sturdy, heat-absorbent table pad to protect the finish of your table. 13. For a substitute needle threader: push the needle through a sheet of white paper, the eye will be easier to see. 14. When shopping for accessories for a recent sewing project, staple a small fabric sample to an index card and carry it with you to the stores. 15. To organize loose buttons: String them on twist ties and twist the ends together for an easy way to store them.

Embroidery adds the finishing touch to fashion

Fashion comes in a wide array of styles, but one accent that continues to be a favorite among designers is embroidery. Embroidered designs are showing up on swimsuits, retro caftan tunics and even on sophisticated eveningwear. If you like the look of high-end embroidery fashion but don't have thousands to spend on your wardrobe, today's advanced sewing machines make it easy for you to create an embroidered look with off-the-rack clothes - even if you're a beginning sewer. There are three ways to add details to garments using a home sewing machine, according to Cynthia Scott, educational coordinator for the U. S. division of Janome, the world's largest manufacturer of sewing machines. The most basic process is called applique, which is simply the process of applying one piece of material to another. Ribbons, lace, pre-embroidered patches or even designs cut out of fabric can be applied to other material by stitching around its edges. Most sewing machines have the ability to apply applique using any one of a number of simple stitches. The satin stitch, zigzag stitch and blanket stitch are all popular applique stitches that both secure your material and add a decorative finish.

Another easy embellishment technique is to use one of the decorative stitches built into most mid-range sewing machines. These stitches range from flowers and other simple designs to heirloom stitches that look like they were done by hand. To copy the more sophisticated embellishments on fashion items, you need a sewing machine that does embroidery in a hoop. This kind of machine gives you the ability to add professional-looking embroidery, of virtually anything you can imagine, to your garment. You don't even have to know how to sew to use these machines. For instance, Janome's Memory Craft 300E only does embroidery. You simply import a design from a design card or the Internet, put your item in the hoop and press "Start." For total control, Janome makes the Memory Craft 10001, which connects to your computer. You use Janome's powerful embroidery design software to create exactly what you want, then transfer the design to the MC10001 to add your own stylish signature to any item.

Mathematician re engineers quilting

During her career as a software engineer, Marci Baker solved difficult mathematical problems. When she became a stay-at-home mom, she turned to solving another problem involving precision and speed: "How do you make a traditional quilt in one-tenth the time?" Along the way she discovered a sewing machine that appeals to both her quilting and her engineering sides. A lifelong sewing enthusiast, Baker had not had much quilting experience. But looking for a creative outlet, she decided to focus on the craft and soon discovered that using the systematic approach of an engineer she could make the time-consuming process of cutting and sewing go much more quickly. Baker developed a method based on "strip piecing," eliminating the need to measure and sew together every small piece of fabric in a quilt top. Instead, strips of fabric are sewn together, cut diagonally, and then pieced together in a pattern. Using Baker's method, a traditional quilt that would normally take about 50 hours to complete can be pieced together in as little as five hours. Realizing she'd created a marketable product, Baker designed patterns and quilting tools and began selling them through her company, Alicia's Attic. With the ability to make quilting dramatically faster and easier, Baker's products turned out to be ideal for the two largest segments of the quilting market: experienced quilters and those who want to learn. Two years ago Baker opened a retail space. She uses it as a workshop, to hold quilting classes and as a place to offer her books, patterns and quilting tools. She also sells the Janome line of sewing machines. She began using Janome sewing machines in her classes because she knew they would be easy for new quilters to operate and give experienced quilters excellent results. Baker does her own quilting on Janome's Memory Craft 6500 Professional machine, which operates at up to 1,000 stitches per minute and has almost twice the workspace of the traditional home sewing machine. Janome designed it to have the power and stitch quality of an industrial machine, but with the quiet operation of a home machine. Baker says she's looking forward to using Janome's newly released Memory Craft 6600, which has even more advanced features.

Sewing a button on by hand

I have so many people come into my shop saying something like “I can’t even sew on a button”. How sad it is that a whole generation has lost out on learning how to do just the basic skills of sewing. Sewing buttons on to clothes doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact it will take you just a few minutes with my quick and easy technique. Follow these steps and you will have your buttons on in no time at all. 1. Pull the thread from the reel and pull out to arms length 2. Now pull out another arms length of cotton. This means you now have a very long piece of cotton 3. Fold the cotton into two making sure that the ends are even 4. You now have a fold one end and two joins the other end 5. Thread the two joins into the eye of the needle. Lick the ends if necessary to moisten 6. You will now have four threads in the needle 7. Knot the end of the four threads. To make a knot I just roll the end of the cotton around my index finger and pull or roll the thread through the hole in the cotton. If you have threads past the knot, trim these off 8. Push the needle through the fabric going from the right side to the wrong side in the position that the button is going to be. This means when you sew the button on the knot will be underneath the button 10. Bring the needle back from the wrong side to the right side that the button will be on. 11. Put the button on to the needle and push the button down on to the fabric, covering the knot 12. Now put the needle through the opposite hole on the button and back through to the opposite side of the fabric 13. If you want to come back through one more time you can or you can knot off by putting the thread through itself and pulling the thread. Do this twice and cut the thread Ok, so there you have it. A button has been sewn on to your garment and it will have taken you no time at all. Welllll. Maybe the first time took you a little longer than me, but hey, eventually you will become quicker at sewing on buttons. Always keep your cottons, needles and pins in the same place. When you need to sew on a button quickly, its good to know where the items are, so you don’t waste a heap of time searching for the needle and thread.

How to sew a blind hem stitch

A blind stitch is a terrific stitch to learn for hemming just about anything... when you don't want stitching to show through on the face of your fabric. A blind hem stitch consists of 3 straight stitches in a row and then one zig-zag stitch. The idea is to have the straight stitch on the folded material of the hem and the zig-zag just catch a few threads of the main panel of fabric. When you turn your piece right sound out, you will barely see small tacking that is holding your bottom hem in place.

You can use this technique for hemming lined drapes, curtains, roman shades, side hems for draperies and for hemming clothing. The one thing I want to say about this stitch is practice before you use this technique on your projects. The thicker your material... the trickier this stitch is... so practice... and worse case scenario you hand stitch the hem or straight stitch it. You will need a blind hem presser foot, also known as blind stitch foot for your sewing machine AND a blind hem stitch on your machine. 1. Lay your fabric with the folded hem facing up with the outer folded edge of the hem pointing toward your sewing machine. 2. Fold the pinned bottom hem under the fabric. 3. Leave ј" of the folded hem peaking out from under the fabric. So... you will have your fabric panel laying right side down, with the folded hem folded under the panel... leaving only 1/4" showing from under the panel. 4. Slide the fabric under your presser foot with the folded edge of the fabric panel against the flat vertical bar of the presser foot... the ј" piece of the hem that is peeking out from under the panel is under the needle. 5. The needle should stitch the straight stitch in the ј" of the hem and swing to the left to catch the folded edge of the fabric on the zig-zag. If this is done correctly you will only see tiny vertical stitches across your hem on the front of your shade. Practice this stitch on similar fabric and thickness to make sure your zig-zag is not too wide... this will cause a larger vertical stitch on the front of your shade... which you don’t want. Mastering this stitch will take your projects to the next level. It's the next best thing to an industrial hemmer. Most of us can't afford a hemmer, but you can very similar effects with the blind hem stitch. So, practice, practice, practice... and use if it for all hems including your side hems. Happy sewing! Jennifer Thoden ps. for more free sewing tips and sewing projects visit simplesewingprojects. com