Bias tape 101
Bias tape is a very useful tool when sewing, but leaves a lot of people confused. What's the difference between bias tape and a simple strip of fabric? What can you use it for? Can you make it yourself?
Let's take a look.
(Image source) [ID: three spools of bias tape wound around a piece of white cardboard. The three tapes are made out of a white fabric with orange, blue, and green flowers, a pink fabric with blue and red flowers, and a white fabric with red diagonal stripes.]
What is bias tape:
Bias tape is a strip of fabric that's been cut on the bias of the fabric, then folded so it's easy to work with. You can both buy commercial bias tape or make it yourself.
Bias tape has many uses, including binding necklines and armholes, making drawstrings and straps, used as trims, casings, hemming, binding edges, finishing seams, appliqué,...
What makes bias tape different from just plain old strips of fabric?
There are two types of fabrics, generally speaking: woven and knit. Woven fabrics consist of threads that criss-cross each other, while knit fabrics have threads that loop into each other. Knit fabrics are stretchy, but woven fabrics aren't.
(Image source) [ID: woven versus knit: threads that criss-cross each other versus threads that loop into each other.]
There's one way to get a little stretch into projects using woven fabric: cutting your pattern pieces on the bias of your fabric. This means aligning your pieces in such a way that they follow the diagonal direction of your fabric (a 45° angle), rather than the straight grain.
(Image source) [ID: a diagram with a blue square representing a piece of woven fabric. A diagonal line shows the bias grain. The sides of the square show the width/weft thread, the selvedge edge, and the length/warp thread of the fabric. Text: "sewguide.com".]
Fabric cut on the bias will stretch more than fabric cut on the straight grain. It will also drape better and be less prone to fraying. The downside is you'll need a lot more fabric to make a bias-cut garment than a straight-cut garment.
Bias tape will have all of these advantages over strips of fabric that have been cut on the straight grain of the fabric.
(Image source) [ID: a diagram of a blue rectangle representing a piece of fabric, with its selvage edges and width denoted on the sides. A bodice pattern is laid out three times on the fabric: once on the straight grain, once on the diagonal/bias grain, and once on the crosswise/off grain. Text: "sewguide.com".]
How to make bias tape:
As I've mentioned, you can buy commercial bias tape in most craft stores. These are great if you need quick access to tape, or if you're daunted by the prospect of making it yourself.
Making your own bias tape is useful if you want your tape to match the fabric you're working with, an advantage you'll never have with store-bought bias tape. Bias tape is also a good stash buster: the climate impact of bias tape you've made from leftover fabric scraps is lower than bias tape that was commercially made and shipped to a store, as you're reusing pre-existing material rather than buying something new.
If you only need a little bias tape, the easiest way to make it is to start by drawing a line at a 45° angle on your fabric. Mark adjacent lines running parallel to your original line on your fabric for the width of tape you need.
Cut your fabric on your marked lines, then join the ends together to create longe strips. Don't just sew them together in a straight line, as this will take away some of the bias stretch. Place one end of a strip on top of another at a 90° angle, right sides together. Draw a line between the two points where the strips cross, then sew along that line with a backstitch. Iron your seam, and cut away the excess fabric.
(Image source) [ID: six photo's showing how to make bias tape by cutting diagonal lines out of fabric, then sewing the resulting separate strips together at a 45° angle.]
(Image source) [ID: close-up of a diagonal seam where two strips of bias tape have been joined. The seam has been pressed open and the excess fabric cut away. Text: "Press open seam. www.treasurie.com."]
If you need a lot of bias tape, joining all of your separate pieces is a lot of work. An easier method to accomplish this is the continuous bias tape method. This method is a little too complex for me be able to explain it properly, but both Sew Guide and Treasurie have good tutorials on how to do it.
(Image source) [ID: a photo of a continuous strip of bias tape made from blue fabric with white polkadots, followed by text ("Continous bias tape. www.treasurie.com.", following by an 8 picture diagram showing how to make continuous bias tape by creating a fabric tube and cutting it into strips.]
How to fold bias tape:
You now have a length of bias tape, but how do you use it? Isn't it supposed to be folded?
While there are different techniques to start sewing with the bias tape you've created, you'll have an easier time using it once you've folded it. Three common methods to fold your bias tape are the single bias tape, the single fold bias tape, and the double fold bias tape.
(Image source) [ID: three close-up's on a piece of green bias tape folded in different ways: a double fold bias tape (edges folded inwards, then folded in half), a single fold bias tape (edges folded inwards), and a single bias tape (tape folded in half).]
The easiest way to fold your bias tape is to use a bias tape maker. These little gadgets will fold your tape for you.
(Image source) [ID: a strip of green fabric is pulled through a metal bias tape maker. The unfolded end is fed into one end and comes out with its edges folded inwards at the other end, where it's ironed in place with an iron. Text: "Pull and press. www.treasurie.com."]
If you don't have a bias tape maker, you'll have to fold and iron your tape yourself.
Single bias tape: fold your tape at the centre with its wrong sides facing each other, then iron it. You're done.
Single fold bias tape: fold your tape at the centre with its wrong sides facing each other, then iron it. Open up your tape again, then fold the edges towards the centre crease you've just created, and iron them. You're done.
Double fold bias tape: fold your tape at the centre with its wrong sides facing each other, then iron it. Open up your tape again, then fold the edges towards the centre crease you've just created, and iron them. Now re-fold your tape at the centre and iron it again. You're done.
(Image source) [ID: two pictures of a strip of blue fabric with white polkadots being ironed into bias tape. The first picture shows how the strip is folded in half and pressed. The second picture shows how the ironed strip is opened up again and the edges pressed towards the centre crease of the strip, meeting at the centre.]
You now know what bias tape is and how to make it yourself! Once you've gone through all of the steps above, you'll have a length of tape that's ready to use however you want.
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This ratty, tattered blanket is about 17 years old, and is actually my most beloved of blankies. It has a really good weight and feel, and is one of the first "nice" adult purchases I'd made for myself that wasn't from Walmart or a thrift store.
It's all cotton with a cotton and bamboo core so it pretty much was bound to fall apart eventually, but its life span was diminished because THIS TINY BASTARD likes to let me know his beans need a trim by sharpening his claws on it.
(He was literally doing it just before I turned the camera on him! Bad cat. Worst animal. He's lucky he's so babie.)
I really love this blanket, so I'm gonna try to do my best to save it with some patches. It'll be a pretty solid way to work through my spool ends and scrap stash, plus my awesome blanket will be even prettier!
Right now, I don't really have any plans aside from "patch the holes, tears and stains and bind the edges". I know all the basic stitches and a couple of repair stitches (although I hate darning, tbh), but I'm crap at embroidery. Maybe I can learn to do it better as I go.
Probably don't wanna do anything super-fancy though, since Mr. Wonder Bread Tiger will still wanna shred it when I'm not paying close attention...
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Nothing went right craft wise this weekend, so it's back to old faithful; the second End of the Yarn (eternal WIP) so to feel better.
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Mending a new to me comforter that did not appreciate the agitator in my washer... mattress stitch to the rescue.
Beers with an ecological goal. Made with wild herbs, aged bread, berries, and fruits; and smoked malt made with goose droppings. Made in cooperation with Ant Brew in the Finnish city of Lahti.
The Finnish city of Lahti is known for their pioneering environmental action, and for their open-minded co-operation with local people. Now the European Green Capital 2021 joins forces with the local microbrewery Ant Brew by crafting a new beer series. The Wasted Potential beers are brewed with wild herbs, local food waste, like bread, berries and fruits – and even goose droppings.
The poop is used in a food-safe way to smoke malt to create a unique stout beer. The goose droppings are gathered from local parks, where geese are causing a messy problem. Now, the local parks get cleaner and the special edition summer beverages are perfect for a picnic in the park – a true two birds with one stone type of solution.
The beers showcase how all waste can be utilized. City of Lahti aims to be completely wasteless circular economy city by 2050, and at the moment 99% of the city’s household waste is already repurposed.
A taste of potential that was not wasted
– A sustainable future demands effective use of resources and innovative ways of recycling. Lahti has several well-known breweries, so what would be a better way to celebrate our environment this summer than locally brewed beers, says Saara Piispanen, Head of Communications of Lahti European Green Capital.
The beer that uses goose droppings in the malt smoking process will be released later in the summer. First to be released is a wit-style beer inspired by waste-free circular economy: brewed with orange peels from a local market’s juice pressing station, and fruit purees that have exceeded their best before-date.
– This series of beers is our way to create important discussions about food waste, utilization of waste, urban farming, and local and wild food among beer enthusiasts. Working with the Lahti Green Capital has been great. We are constantly developing ways to utilize new ingredients in brewing, and are not afraid to think outside of the box, says Ant Brew’s Kari Puttonen.
– Our environment and circular economy are important for us, and we want to discuss these topics in interesting ways. Together we can create solutions that are eco-friendly and represent sustainable consumption, says Piispanen.
Lahti – The European Green Capital of 2021
Lahti is the first Finnish city to win the European Green Capital Award. A sustainable future calls for action, which is why Lahti will achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. Lahti sees its year as the European Green Capital as an opportunity to showcase the best of European green innovation, promote Finland’s climate targets, launch a range of ambitious partnership projects and make life better for local residents. Lahti is a City of Makers that tackles future challenges together. Lahti – Enduring change. https://greenlahti.fi/en/
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“Well, im sorry that you have never before been so warmly welcomed! Also im glad you asked! Bare with me its quite a lot of information to take in.” He smiles and gestures for the vampire to walk with him.
“Zevlow is a large territory run by the ice wolf clan known as the howler clan. Their princess Sage Howler, rules here in zevlow which is a territory of thinder paw island and she runs this territory with an iron but loving paw, shes a real princess of the people!” Violet eyes twinkle as he speaks of their beloved ruler.
“The territory of zevlow itself is backed by the ocean and surrounded around almost its entire circumference by a mountain range known as the fang mountains, a very hostile and unfriendly and unforgiving mountain range which keeps us safe. It has one land exit through the mountains at the front and some sea passages through the jungle beach ports!” He spins on his heels in a circle, arms outstretched wide.
“Depending on where you enter zevlow you can wind up in a wide range of climates as our lovely territory is zoned!” Sean stops a moment and points to a map on the wall that holds a small keyed map of the entire territory.
“Each zone is a different climate that is maintained by a power crystal! That way all the different manner of species who live here can find a comfortable spot to lay their head no matter what! In the center of zevlow are two nutral zoned territories, they dont have power crystals that control the climate, they follow natures law. And those two zones are the marketplace and lightning claw city, which were in right now.” He gestures to the technologically advanced city around them.
“Lightning claw is the heart of our dear territory. The central technological hub! All matter of science and advanced magics are done here and distributed throughout the zones! We have cars, hover crafts, flying carpets and enchanted cairrages. Its a very busy place that runs completely off of green wasteless energy!” His voice is filled with pride when he speaks about it.
“And if you look at the map, you can see what each zone is like! Fascinating right? But the most fascinating part are the people! You see zevlow lies in the demonic realm, but the veils around here are thin and we often times get visitors or new residents by folks from the other three realms, human, angelic and magic, by folks just accidentally waltzing in like you yourself had done! You came through a known veil in the human realm!” Sean walks passed the map and urges the young vamp to follow along as he prattles off some more information.
“We have were creatures, mer folk, an array of avian species, vampiric creatures, demonic, angelic, elven, dwarven, halfling and human, orc and ogre- though their numbers are smaller than most as many are too domineering and violent to stay inside the mountains and often times leave for the fatal flatlands and bloodlands beyond our borders.” He visably shudders at the thought. Youd think a demon would love a place with a name as gruesome as that, but sean wasnt that type of demon.
“But! everyone lives in peace and harmony here. If they dont, Sage can choose to take extreme measures and we have unfortunately had a few public executions of folks who absolutely refused to uphold the law. Its a bit archaic and barbaric i know, but it works. Its really only for extreme measures and cases anyway. Murders, rapes, things of that nature.” He led them to a small tea house.
“Lets grab a bite to eat and drink. It may be overwhelming, but what do you think of our home so far?”
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Jordacoln And Many More Loud House Relationship
(Look at this rice crispy and cheesecake Boner's story,Their still trying to cover godvoid's dimensional forces and hide it upclose for the indenial mistakes they can't be admitted,Some will have nightmares and daymare hearing this conspiracy theory because we talk about the ships again here,Which is not appreciating sometimes but I like it in a teasing joke way,It's a great thing I watched that equipped green lantern movie and injustice too Mortal Kombat at understanding furtherly about all the absolute morals and lessons I needed too discussed about all the philosophical topics I need too inspired y'all my wisdom I'm sharing)I love all the(The series is not the worst but the best of all time that will never be unforgotten the whole time because it brings heartwhelming moments and not judgement of the characters or events.Because the original creator made this,It's one of the topest cartoons that is marked amazing at history)ideas(Additional trivial parts are coming here:The proposal of adult Lincoln at grown up Ronnie ann is a reminder to me at the savino's incident,Between Chris and Bethany,That fan art's I seen so far for sonson-sensei,vinzound,spriteman vuk,and many more drawing artists are a trigger too me at Chris ex-wife,Which that is really bothering and disgust me alot.I don't wanted too keep it my owned hidden oneself and disrespectful at my perilous too their own life,But now where here and it's happening,I can't ignore it anymore longer than anything else).Also(My own opinion too javi suzumiya's multiverse,Which also include's too julex93 and the other unique artist who has their own fated crafted destiny for the arted fictions of the AU timeline's,Without them,We can't be anything so I thank and supported them alot of their acknowledgement,To earthrealmer 518 and 319 Lincoln's,I have no word's at the samcoln timeline,I ignored it and you know the reason why Guy's.But the 319 LINC reminded me Of HR at the arrowverse the flash series but except the differences this main character is a responsible and caring fairest man that does not seek conflicts everywhere but peace too anyone,Almost having absolute divine charisma as his powers,This is probably the best Lincoln i seen so far he maided,Right along with julex and sonson-sensei.I will call him LM so too not be confused at the original Lincoln Loud,That name stands for Lincoln Marie Loud at the LML short too longer pronouncationic for being the sexist all time character,That's why I like him alot,He's the reals charming lady manhood and gotta the throwing popularity that's got the looks of being family too his perfected life,This is a welcome nicest word of speeches too the artists again that I have evered maded),Here's(I just hardly and easily noticed that how leni's friendmate Jackie looks like Ron at my each other opinion.I thought observing them it would seems to solve it that accurately and pretty obviously greatly how their designs are similar too each other adults,The familiarities of their face's recognition are totally and literally are look alike at another)mine(I'm kinda of the jealously mood right now because it's very disappointing that neither Lincoln will not have a bond connection proposal with the adult girls as a official couple gift certificate at the end,Including the little kid characters that are fragility small as a mice are Example like Jackie,Carol,Whitney,Mrs.Johnson,Darcy,Claire,Sasha,And many more,but we both know well that this was never gonna happen almost because so far,The cashed ship is really sailed at roncoln to become the one and truly disenabled canon's,Also I believed the non-canon game operation night of the star dance made by the amazing company Apollo with the unique artist around the world will harness that changes and fix that issue problems of us fan's once and for all,We don't need too worry alot,Which infuriates us alot that all these girl's will be just friends similar how it happened in Disney SVTFOE multiple ships at the seasons like Jarco,Markapoo,Kellco,Janco,Higco,And many more,Which are all a wasteless of time at watching these show's over the past,present,future year's,An unforgotten mistake that we're going too have at living on forever at our lives),I want too see a romantic moments of Lincoln And Girl Jordan(Along with the other popular ships like joy,Dana,Stella,Becky,Mollie,And many more)Since pasture bedtime in previous season episode is giving a hint of them having a temporal bond too each other since it makes sense(Similar too the Theory of clori and luaggie which are taking forever but it's still a possibility too happen similar in SVTFOE at the ship of Kellco became true once).Jordan giving a lingering look at linc on study muffin too teacher Union and other previous episodes,Jordan respecting Lincoln alot,She hitting and teasing him at dodgeball,Last and not least they have something in common.I'm really hoping it will 100%happen,But what if not and their only friends then it's okey since we still got the other unique ship's(It's too bad that Lincoln won't end up at the rivalry females like Mollie or even Joy,They both fit in the profile each other since opposite's can make a differences similar at the SVTFOE of Janna a filipina miss fit criminal and Marco the smartest,Only ending up as best friends at the end)!I know that,I also miss the Lori and Clyde gag moment(So far season 3 is the only episode they suppressed it),Since change of heart is also my favorite episode(That episode confirmed how Lori Care's and like's Clyde more of than a pawn,Which it is not a rumored of cheating but the express of feeling at another of who you love too),I ship them too and I'm betting their would be an season 4 episode of Lori getting jealous that Clyde has a girlfriend now and is spending more time often than her now(Neither Haiku or Penelope but I am sure the fitting girl for Clyde is Pen since they have something in common).The story gets dense and intense until finally Clyde has finally moved now with her feelings at Lori and both confronted face to face again in apologizing at not saying what they feel,And at the end the 2 just became normal friends again.I like that is theory and I have been patiently waiting for it too happen for the past 2-3 year's ever since season 2 premiered.I am also 100%its gonna happen(Listen too the audio that is emphasizing and all the previous discussion I just made so that you may understand well).😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😇😇😇😇😇😍😍😍😍😍💙💙💙💙💟💟💟💟💟💟😊😊😊😊😇😇😇😇😇😍😍😍😍😍💛💛💛💛💛💛💟💟💟👍👍👍
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A Bunch of Headcanons Part 3: It Is 1 AM Edition and This Probably Sucks
“Cleanliness” of surroundings means different things to different flights.
“Neat” on special occasions with surfaces buffed clean, junk and litter stowed away, with every rock it its proper place. A light dusting is usually observed since most Earth homes are naturally dusty and really it’s probably going to take an eternity to keep things dust free. Dirt and mud are welcome, so long as they don’t get into what they shouldn’t.
“Fresh” for the most part due to not staying still enough to accumulate a mess. Mobile lairs are aired out, and washed things always left to dry outside as weather (or weather magic) permits, with a quick wipe usually enough for most things. The flight of 5 minute showers probably. Any permanent hideaway used as a pit stop is usually full of junk though.
“Clear”, especially in lairs with structures built above water. Things are washed and polished until water runs clear. Keeping reflective surfaces shiny and scry-friendly is a must. Things meant to last such as marble and stone are well-maintained, while wood is almost always just for the rotting beachy bohemian look unless it’s sealed with a magic varnish. The rotting beachy bohemian look includes seashells welded together with calcium, big seaweedy rocks, and barnacles on everything.
“Pure”, especially pertaining to metals and crafts. Fire lairs are cleansed of soot and smoke, while metal wares and crafts and polished to their brightest. Paws are washed and claws clipped of grime on the regular because that stuff gets all in your nails. The best lair hearths are those that produce the least smoke and projects the clearest light. Sometimes they throw in fragrant herbs and flowers and everyone has a real good time.
“Pristine” in that structures made of ice ought to be made flawless on the get go since it ain’t easy repairing on account of the whole “brittle and meltable and gross when slushy” nature. The key is maintaining the clean and stable by magic or careful addition of water left to freeze at certain points of a structure. Furs and leathers are carefully treated but otherwise are left to wear and tear in the naturally cold environment.
“Stainless”: please keep your workstations clean at all times! Trash receptacles are found everywhere for easy disposal of litter. Workbenches are all neat with tools arranged and oiled in leather wraps and cases. Paperwork must be filed away at the proper desk trays! But honestly your bed can look like a featherback boar’s behind and no one would give a fuck so long as you keep your crumbs to yourself.
“Bright” means everything jewel-encrusted and metallic and pale gets a scrub and polish and dry. Marble floors are so polished they are viable murder weapons on slippage alone. All the windows open to maximize the natural light, but curtains elegantly at the ready in their own little holders. Everyone’s teeth are brushed and sharpened, all the better to smile with. The third best flight at cleaning blood stains off of things.
“Slick” means clean enough but so long as you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Hence the second best flight at cleaning blood stains. Waxes and varnishes often used on surfaces. Every Shadow laundry dragon knows the secret to preserving dark fabrics in the wash and thus makes good coin from clans that regularly shop at Dragon Hot Topic.
“Wasteless” means immaculate on account of every possible scrap is squirreled away for eating later or consumed by someone else. Both cooking and hunting/working implements are regularly cleaned and maintained. A deep understanding and respect for disease paved the way for remarkably effective aseptic techniques in both experimentation and everyday life. The best flight at cleaning blood stains–either an industrial grade cleaner or a sufficiently thirsty clan member’s tongue will suffice.
“Harmonious” in that things aren’t kept clean so much as they are leaft to grow and camouflage itself. Lairs often overrun with all manner of creeping vegetation and subsequent pests (insects, rats, etc); some call it filth, others call it efficient hunting. Most are hoping the outdoorsy jungle portrays a “charming” sort of messiness. Whatever junk and clutter can’t be ignored is often stored in tree trunks.
“Organized” in that it doesn’t actually matter if your surroundings are junk-filled or filthy, so long as you know where everything is. Magical storage portals grant a plethora of options in tossing shit out of sight until hammerspace beckons again. It is vital that arcane crystals and energies never be disturbed in case Weird Shit happens.
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Easy knitted sweater
It's sweater weather! Or it is where I live, at least.
Sweaters can look really intimidating to new knitters, but they don't have to be. There's one type of sweater you can knit with just rectangles (and very little shaping): the boxy boatneck sweater.
All you need to know to knit this sweater is how to:
Stockinette (or your preferred stitch - as long as you've got the same gauge, you're good)
Increase or decrease stitches (depending on whether you start at the bottom or the top for your sleeves - or you could forgo the shaping and go for an oversized sleeve)
Sew knitting together
I've got three free patterns here for just such a sweater:
The Basic Sweater with a Boatneck Collar (by Elaine Phillips / ABC Knitting Patterns): this pattern contains written instructions for a form-fitting boatneck sweater.
The Over Sweater (by Pierrot): this pattern contains visual instructions for an oversized boxy sweater.
Long Turtleneck Sweater (by Pierrot): this pattern contains visual instructions for a long boxy sweater with a turtleneck. If you leave out the turtleneck, you'll end up with a boatneck again.
(Image source) [ID: photo of the finished basic sweater with a boatneck collar by Elaine Phillips: a boxy form-fitting sweater in brown and beige yarn and with a ribbed edge at the neck. Text: "abc-knitting-patterns.com".]
(Image source) [ID: knitting diagram for the Pierrot Over Sweater: visual instructions on how to make a boxy sweater with long sleeves and a boatneck collar.]
Not sure where to start? My knitting tag might be useful to you.
Need a different size? Check out this guide on resizing knitting patterns by The Spruce Crafts.
New to Western knitting patterns? This guide on how to read a knitting pattern by the Craft Yarn Council will help you out.
New to Japanese knitting patterns, like Pierrot? This guide on reading Japanese knitting patterns by Twig & Horn shows how to read their shaping instructions.
Want to make these sweaters in a zero waste way? Check out my crafting on the cheap post to see how to get second-hand supplies (yes, even the yarn!), and learn how to knit with chopsticks as instructed by Tumblr-user Millenniumbreak.
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Hi i was wondering if ypu had any advice for widening an armhole on a nightgown? I have a goregous linen nightgown with lace that fits be perfectly everywhere but the armholes. Basically unless i have perfect posture it begins to dig into un underside of my arm and tightens across my back
I desperately want to use it more but i toss and turn as i sleep and am worried ill ruin it
A linen nightgown sounds really nice, especially for summer. However, a nightgown that's uncomfortable to sleep in kind of defeats its own purpose.
I have a few posts on altering arm holes and sleeves that might be of interest to you:
How to upsize clothes
Upsizing arm holes
If you don't need a lot of extra space, check how much seam allowance your gown has. Letting out the seams might be sufficient. Check out my post on letting out pants to see how it's done. It's a different garment, but the technique's the same.
You could also try using insertion lace. This might look odd at the bottom of your armpit, but could make for a cute detail at the top of your shoulder.
If you end up having to add in extra fabric, try looking for a scrap of fabric that's made of linen, too. Linen is very breathable, and inserting something like e.g. polyester in the armpit region would render it less effective in that regard.
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(this is the closest i could get without making the pic blurry)
so context i was about to start working on this big embroidery project on this shirt and like an idiot i caught the shirt in a nail (don't ask me how idek). it's one of those stretchy form fitting delicate shirts and im afraid to even touch it at this point because i know the hole will be the size of a coin before i even know it. how do i fix it in a way that's not noticeable and i can still stitch in this zone?
[ID: close-up on a small hole in a white knit fabric.]
No need to feel like an idiot. It happens to the best of us. I've managed to get holes in my clothes in the weirdest ways. :)
You've caught the hole early, which is a good thing. The smaller a hole is, the easier it is to fix in a subtle way. Take a look at my post on mending fragile fabrics to get an idea of how to get started.
Going by the picture, you could probably get away by simply sewing the hole shut if you use a matching thread and a small needle. If you were planning to embroider over it anyway, it's okay if it turns out to be a bit more visible than expected.
If it's very fragile, you could try using a tiny bit of interfacing on the inside of the garment to strengthen the fabric around the hole. This will take away some of the stretch, unless you use stretchy interfacing. However, given the size it would probably not matter too much if some stretch was lost.
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hi! this blog's amazing, and i've already bookmarked a bunch of tutorials i'm gonna use in the near future. do you have any advice on mending or replacing the collar of a tshirt that's gone all stretched out and wrinkly?
Thanks! Always happy to hear this blog is useful to people. :)
I wrote a post on fixing up stretched-out t-shirt collars a while ago.
My recent post on shirt collars has some additional ideas on how to rework a t-shirt collar.
Feel free to let me know if you've still got questions after reading these.
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Nightgown asker back again! Found out that THIS is the true issue!
The back seam is too narrow for me so hopefully if i let out the seam then it wont be as bad!
[ID: close-up on a back seam in a white linen nightgown with strips of lace criss-crossing part of the fabric at the top, and gathered fabric at the bottom.]
Glad to hear you've figured it out! A tight back panel can indeed pull on the armpit area of a garment.
It looks like you've got a fair amount of gathered fabric, which I'm guessing is the skirt part, and the back seam part of the top? If letting out the seam turns out to be insufficient, unpicking some of the gathered skirt and adding insertion lace to the top might also work.
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Just wanted to say that I really love that you take the time and go to the extra trouble of adding image descriptions under pictures. Thanks so much for that and all the great tutorials!
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Visible mending is a decorative way to fix up an item. Instead of trying to make your mend as invisible as possible, the idea is to make it part of the garment's design.
Visual mending is not a single technique: it's more of a mindset. If you've got an item you love, it deserves to be mended, and if you're going to put that love into stitches, why not show them off?
That being said, there are some specific techniques that are popular with visible menders. Let's take a look!
Sashiko is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery that is used to both decorate and reinforce fabric. In visible mending, sashiko is often used to cover up holes with patches or to reinforce thinning fabric. This technique uses a variation on the running stitch.
(Image source) [ID: sashiko stitch diagram: the distance between each stitch is 1/2 stitch in length.]
Some resources on sashiko:
SashiCo on YouTube: sashiko livestreams and information on the cultural aspect of sashiko.
Written tutorial by Upcycle Stitches.
Free sashiko templates by TheSpruceCrafts.
Fixing jeans with sashiko by Soluna Collective.
(Image source) [ID: three examples of sashiko embroidery on jeans fabric.]
(Image source) [ID: sashiko embroidery with white thread on blue jeans fabric.]
Regular embroidery is also a popular technique to accentuate your mends. Check out my embroidery 101 post to learn how to get started. You can embroider patches, or use embroidery to hide or accentuate any stitches you've made to fix holes. Embroidery's also a great way to cover up stains.
(Image source) [ID: colourful embroidery floss covers a worn sleeve edge of a jeans jacket]
(Image source) [ID: colourful flower embroidery surrounds a hole in a pair of dark gray jeans. Fabric with a red and black flower print peaks out of the hole.]
There are many ways to add patches to a garment. My tutorial on patches is a good place to start if you want to make custom-shaped patches to sew on top of your fabric. You can also sew your patch on the inside of your garment and have it peek out from beneath the hole you're trying to fix. Fun ideas for this are lace or superheroes.
(Image source) [ID: Spiderman peaking out of a rip in a pair of blue jeans.]
(Source) [ID: a red flannel heart-shaped elbow patch on a gray knitted sweater.]
Darning is a technique used to repair holes in fabric by using running stitches to weave extra fabric over the hole as to fill it up again. While traditionally darning is done in an invisible way by using the same colour of thread as your fabric, you can also use contrasting colours to accentuate your fix. Check out this written tutorial on darning by TheSpruceCrafts.
(Image source) [ID: vintage instructions on how to darn a hole.]
(Image source) [ID: four examples of darning on blue fabric with colourful contrasting thread.]
Visible mending is a creative way to fix up your clothes and give them some personality at the same time.
You should be proud of the fact that you took the time and learned the necessary skills needed to mend your clothes! Show off what you did!
A fun side effect of wearing these obvious mends is that people will notice them. They'll remember your fixes the next time they're faced with a hole in their wardrobe, and it will make them more likely to try it for themselves.
These are just a few ways to visibly mend your garments. Want more inspiration? Check out Pinterest or r/Visiblemending on Reddit.
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Upsizing clothes! There are a million upcycling tutorials for clothes that are too big, but so few on how to make too small clothes you still love bigger!
Thank you for your suggestion! We all go through weight fluctuations in life, so it stands to reason our clothes should be able to fluctuate with us.
Resizing your clothes used to be a very common practice before the advent of fast fashion. Fast fashion sizing is extremely flawed, especially when it comes to plus size fashion, and we're stuck with a lot of vanity sizing, so it's a good skill to have regardless of whether you're looking to mend something old or buy something new.
How to upsize clothes:
There are many different ways to make a garment larger. The following list is not exhaustive, just a few ideas to get you started.
If you're making your own clothes, it's always useful to know how to modify a sewing pattern. The easiest way to adjust a pre-existing pattern to your size is slash and spread grading. First, you need to define which spots on the pattern need extra space. You then cut your pattern in that spot, and slide the resulting pattern pieces away from each other until you've got the size you need. Use paper to fill in the gaps. To ensure the resulting pattern makes for well-fitting clothes, make a mock-up and add, move, or remove darts where necessary to adapt it to your body type.
The image below shows potential slashing lines on a set of standard pattern blocks. Each line is a spot that allows you to add extra space. To read more about this process, check out the corresponding article by Threads Magazine.
(Image source) [ID: a diagram of slashing lines on a pattern block for a dress, bodice, skirt, sleeve, and a pair of pants.]
To make your clothes easier to let out in the future, make sure to provide ample seam allowance when cutting out your pattern pieces. This surplus fabric has several different uses, including giving you some wiggle room for when you need to size up your garment.
Now, let's take a look at pre-made garments.
A garment that's too short on you is easy to modify. Just add more material!
If it's a skirt or a dress, add ruffles to the bottom. Ruffles are easy to make by hand or with a sewing machine. You could also add lace, or wear the item with an underskirt.
For pants, let down your hem or sew on a new cuff. If this isn't enough, maybe consider turning your trousers into capri pants or shorts.
As for shirts, sewing an extra layer to the bottom edge is the easiest way to go, too. You could even combine two shirts into one to get an extra long shirt.
Another option is to cut your item in two and insert extra fabric between your separated garment parts.
(Image source) [ID: a pair of blue pants with cuffs sewn onto the bottom of the legs to lengthen them. The cuffs are made out of a fabric with a blue and brown geometric print.]
(Image source) [ID: a before and after picture of a red t-shirt that was lenghtened by adding in a patch of colourful fabric at the waist.]
Letting out seams/darts:
Remember how we made sure to have ample seam allowance earlier? When a garment has surplus fabric in the seams and you only need a little extra space, you can undo the seams of your garment and sew them back together again, this time with a smaller seam allowance than before. The Spruce Crafts has a pretty good tutorial on how to let out seams. You won't be able to make major size changes using this technique, but if you only need a few centimetres, this is a good way to go.
A lot of garments also have darts. Darts are fabric folds that are sewn down in strategic places to help the fabric follow the body's curves. If a dart doesn't fit you the way you want it to, then unpick the dart and try on the garment. Either leave the dart open, or pin the dart in place however you want it, then take off the garment again and sew the dart back together.
Be careful not to rip the fabric when using a seam ripper. Also note that removing entire darts may change the garment's fit.
You can also add custom darts to achieve a better fit, but that's a topic for another time.
(Image source) [ID: twelve different types of darts on a feminine bodice block.]
Adding extra fabric to your garment:
If we need to add more room than seam allowance or darts can provide us with, we need to add extra material. Remember those slashing lines we looked at earlier? If you're working with a pre-existing garment rather than a pattern, those are the perfect places to chop up your clothes and add in extra fabric.
Check your sewing stash for fabric that's similar in weight and material to your original garment, or go thrift shopping for an item you could use to upsize your garment. Long skirts and maxi dresses are a great source of fabric for alterations like these!
Lace inserts are also a fun choice to add some room, and if you're working with a knit item, you could even knit or crochet your own custom insert.
Define the area where you want to add extra fabric on your item, and measure how much you need. Draw a straight line on your garment with chalk/soap. Make sure the line doesn't cross any important structural or functional parts of your garment like darts or button holes: refer to the slashing diagram we saw earlier if you're not sure what spot to pick. Cut the line open (or unpick the seam if it's situated on a seam), and add in your extra fabric. Finish off your new seams so they don't unravel later on, and you're done!
You can add straight strips of fabric for extra width or length, or you could use flared panels or even godets to make your item flair out.
Want to see this technique in action? Check out this video by Break n Remake:
This Pinterest user cut a straight line down the front of a t-shirt and inserted a lace panel to add extra width in the front of the garment.
(Image source) [ID: a blue t-shirt with a panel of dark blue lace added in at the centre front.]
Busy Geemaw cut open the side seams of a shirt and used flared panels to add some extra width in the bust and hip area.
(Image source) [ID: a green and white long-sleeved shirt with a striped flared panel in matching colours inserted at the side seam.]
This person added a panel to the sides of a pair of jeans to give them more space in the hip area. You could easily use a long straight panel or a panel that flares at the bottom to resize the entire garment instead of just the hips, or use a wide piece of elastic for extra stretch.
(Image source) [ID: a side view of a pair of light blue jeans with a dark blue wedge-shaped denim insert running down from the waist and ending above the knee.]
This person added a godet in the back of their shirt in order to get more space in the back.
(Image source) [ID: a blue and white plaid shirt with a white lace godet inserted in the back.]
Blue Corduroy enlarged a pair of shorts by opening up the side seams and adding in strips of fabric.
(Image source) [ID: blue denim shorts with a floral fabric insert at the side seams.]
You don't need to resize the entire garment if you don't want to. For example, One Brown Mom turned this ankle-length skirt with a too small waistband into a well-fitting knee-length skirt by taking advantage of the skirt's flared shape.
(Image source) [ID: a woman wearing a black shirt and a brown tartan knee-length skirt.]
Throughout our lives, our weight will fluctuate and our bodies will change. There's no shame in this: it's just a fact of life. Therefore, knowing how to upsize an item that is too small for you is a useful skill to learn.
If you want more inspiration, check out these projects by Confessions of a Refashionista, One Brown Mom, and Thriftanista in the City.
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Hello! Your post on Visible Mending just crossed my Dash and I'm very interested in it! I can only really do basic hand sewing (Haven't tried to get fancy) and I ended up buying a pair of pants with manufactured holes in the knees. I don't like them but the pants are comfortable (And were decently expensive) Which might be the best way to mend away these holes with one of those tecniques?
I'm happy to hear my post on visible mending has inspired you!
Mending knee holes in pants:
There are multiple methods you could use to fix holes in the knees of pants, depending on the type of hole.
If it's a simple rip (no missing fabric or damaged edges), you could use a ladder stitch to close the rip. You'll still see a line where the rip sat, but at least it'll be closed. If the look bothers you, you can always add some embroidery to hide the seam. You don't need amazing embroidery skills to do this: there's a lot you can do with a basic straight stitch or running stitch.
If you have a sewing machine and some fusible interfacing handy, you could also try this invisible denim repair method by Goheen Designs.
(Image source) [ID: a diagram showing how to do the ladder stitch. A threaded needle connects eight parallel points on two separate pieces of fabric. Text reads "Ladder Stitch. Squishicutedesigns.com.]
If we're talking actual holes, as in missing or damaged fabric, a ladder stitch won't suffice. You'll need to add extra fabric to replace that's been lost.
Take a look at this tutorial by Wren Bird Arts on how to patch up a hole from the inside of your garment. She explains how to do this both by hand and by machine.
The only stitch you need to know to follow this tutorial by hand is the running stitch, although I would also recommend a blanket stitch or whipstitch to finish off your raw edges. By reinforcing these edges, you'll prevent the fabric from unravelling. This will make your mend last longer.
If you decide to use this method, you'll need to find fabric that matches your pants if you don't want to draw attention to your fix. You could also go the opposite route and use a contrasting fabric or even a bit of lace to make your mend a design element rather than just a fix.
(Image source) [ID: close-up of the crotch of a pair of blue jeans. Each side has a hole that's been mended: one by hand and one by sewing machine, as indicated by text and arrows.]
Sashiko, a type of traditional Japanese embroidery, is another method you could try. Check out this sashiko tutorial by Soluna Collective, or take a look at the links on sashiko in my visible mending post.
(Image source) [ID: close-up of a hole in a pair of blue jeans that's been mended with sashiko: a geometric pattern of crosses sewn with white thread holds a patch of fabric in place.]
If you want to get really creative with patching, you could also make custom patches in any shape or fabric you want. Sew them on with a backstitch and finish off the edges with a whipstitch or blanket stitch.
(Image source) [ID: close-up of a green fabric patch shaped like the Pokémon Oddish sewn onto a blue pants leg with the use of a backstitch and a blanket stitch.]
You also could try darning, which means weaving extra fabric over the hole. Tumblr-user Delicatefury does a great job at explaining how to do this. You'll need an embroidery hoop and embroidery floss (or something similar) for this. Darning can be tricky, so if you've never done it before, practice on fabric scraps first to get the hang of it before you start working on your pants.
(Image source) [ID: six photo's show the progress of a hole in a red piece of knitted fabric being darned with green thread. A needle first sews new warp threads across the hole with yarn, then weaves new weft threads over and under these warp threads.]
There are plenty of ways to fix up holes at the knees of a pair of pants. Have fun with it!
If you're scared of putting that first stitch into your pants, remember that you probably won't really wear them anyway until you've fixed the thing that bothers you about them. So even if you mess up, you won't have lost much. Plus, most mends can be undone or covered up if you don't like the final result, so you can always start over. :)
If you're looking for inspiration, check out Pinterest or take a look at the following fixes:
(Image source) [ID: a patch of colourful darning on a piece of black denim fabric.]
(Image source) [ID: close-up of a hole in a pair of gray jeans that has been patched up and embroidered to look like a night sky with a dark cloud, white stars, and a crescent moon.]
(Image source) [ID: monster patches: holes in the knees of a pair of jeans have been patched up to look like monsters. The hole forms the mouth of the monster, with white felt teeth poking out. Two embroidered white crosses form the eyes of the monster.]
(Image source) [ID: a close-up of a hole in a pair of light blue jeans that has been patched up with a blue floral fabric. Blue flowers have been embroidered around the patch.]
(Image source) [ID: a pair of jeans that has been mended and embroidered at the knees with geometrical patterns in gold thread.]
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