Cover image for Sew fast sew easy : all you need to know when you start to sew
Title:
Sew fast sew easy : all you need to know when you start to sew
Author:
Meyrich, Elissa K.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xi, 99 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm + 3 folded folded patterns
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780312269098
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Includes three ready-to-use patterns

Reinvent Sewing for the Twenty-first Century!
"Where did you get your skirt?"

Ever want to create your own designer-look fashions? Develop unique accessories or home decor? Even if you've never held a needle or used a sewing machine, this book is all you need. With three simple patterns and easy-to-follow instructions, you can put your own stamp on fashion and step out in style--yours!

You'll learn:
- Tips and techniques from a fashion industry insider
- How to use your sewing machine to express your creativity
- How to custom-fit commercial patterns for that sexy look
- All about the latest fabrics and the best ways to use them

Plus a glossary of sewing terms makes quick reference easy.

So don't wait. Use the ideas and simple how-to instructions in this book, and everyone will want to know the secret source for your fabulous clothes and accessories!


Author Notes

Elissa K. Meyrich is one of the garment industry's true insiders. A designer and mixed-media artist, she teaches her techniques to sold-out classes in New York City's fashion district at her store, Sew Fast Sew Easy.


Excerpts

Excerpts

SEW FAST SEW EASY Chapter 1 Your Survival Sewing Kit: WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED Tools of the Trade With these supplies--or notions as they are frequently called--on hand, you'll be able to complete most sewing projects. You should be able to find all the items in any sewing or craft store.       Scissors, an 8- to 10-inch pair. The best kind is all metal. They will cut fabric easily and will last much longer. Remember that scissors are an extension of your own hand and are a very important tool. They must remain sharp--there is nothing more frustrating than dull scissors (don't use them to cut paper--just fabric!). The handles of the scissors are designed for you to hold them a certain way. This will help you to cut better. The longer oblong opening is for you to insert the first three fingers of your hand and the circular hole is for your thumb. Clear ruler, 18 inches by 2 inches . A see-through ruler makes it easy to lay a pattern out correctly and to make corrections while fitting. Tape measure. This is always a good tool to have. You'll use it to measure your body, the width of your fabric, the length of your cut ...you get the idea. It will also help even your hems. Make sure you buy a good-quality one that will not stretch and has measurements clearly marked on both sides, starting at opposite ends. It could have centimeters if you go shopping in Europe. Tailor's chalk, dry kind. Tailor's chalk comes in many forms. You want the dry powdery kind; the marks from the greasy type cannot be removed from the fabric. Dressmaker's tracing wheel. Used with dressmaker's tracing paper, it transfers markings from the pattern to your fabric.   Dressmaker's tracing paper. Used with the wheel to transfer markings from the pattern or to draw new lines for alterations. Magnetic seam guide. So simple, you'll wonder why you didn't invent it. Place this nonslip power-grip magnet on your sewing machine to sew even seams. Definitely a garment industry secret! Dressmaker's pins (size 17). Pins come in all sizes and many varieties. Size 17 will go through most fabrics without leaving large holes. It is best to get the nickel-plated stainless kind, so they can be picked up by a magnet. Seam ripper. Even a good sewer can make a mistake. A seam ripper can be used in two ways: to remove a few stitches or seams, use the point to lift the loops of each stitch and pull out the thread end; to remove larger areas, cut the thread every few stitches (i.e., five), then on the back of the fabric pull the bobbin thread on that side. It should be easy to pull away. If not, cut more threads on the first side. Hand sewing needles . Great for hand-sewn hems and small repairs. One package of "household assortment" multisized needles can take care of all your hand repairs. Tailor's ham or dressmaker's ham. It really does looks like a ham. A hard pillow, the tailor's ham is an ironing tool, which will help you iron any curved surface, such as darts. Fuse tape. Sold under such brand names as Stitch Witchery® and Jiffy Fuse®, this is a form of glue. You will use it to finish the envelope edges of the pillow and for the slit of the skirt. It's also useful for quick hem repairs. You iron it on. It is washable and dry cleanable. Thread to match your fabric . When selecting thread for garments and crafts, always choose all-purpose thread. There are many different types of threads meant for different purposes. Button and carpet thread is for sewing on buttons or repairing carpets; rayon thread is used for decorative machine stitching, topstitching, monogramming, and embroidery. Always be sure to pick a color slightly darker than the predominant color of your garment. A good sewing machine . There is nothing more frustrating than a sewing machine that does not work well. Clean your sewing machine with small brushes, cotton swabs, or a can of compressed air. Also, you can call your local sewing machine dealer to schedule a tune-up. Patterns Once you have all of your basic supplies, you're ready to deal with patterns. There's no need to buy patterns to make the three projects detailed in this book--they're conveniently glued to the back cover. But when you're ready to try something new, keep these things in mind: 1. In order to purchase the correct pattern (and make clothes that actually fit!), you must know how to correctly take your body measurements. To make skirts and pants, you'll need waist and hip sizes; for shirts and dresses, don't forget your bust.   Here's how to take your measurements: Waist: Find your waist by tilting your body to the side as if you were exercising. Put your right hand on your hip and your left hand up over your shoulder, creating an arc. Start bending toward the right. You will feel your body form a crease on the right-hand side. Repeat on your left side. The creases are your waistline. Wrap the tape measure around yourself comfortably and take the measurement. Hip: Finding your hips is much easier once you've found your waist. Take your tape measure and hold it at your waist, letting it drop to the floor. Your hip is usually about 7 to 9 inches down from your true waistline. Your hips are the fullest part between your waist and thigh. (You can find it when you look for where last night's cheesecake, pizza, or chocolate brownies landed.) Once you've found your hips, wrap the tape measure around them comfortably. Now read your hip measurement Bust: Wrap the tape measure around your shoulder blades and across the highest point of your bust. Be especially careful to keep the tape at an even height. Don't let it slide down your back. Use a mirror to check that it's even. 2. Use the chart on the back of the pattern envelope to determine which size comes closest to your body measurements. Most patterns come with a range of sizes in the envelope. Make sure to buy a pattern that will be the same size or slightly bigger than your measurements. (Contrary to popular belief, patterns are not sized like clothes in the store. It will probably shock you to learn that in a sewing pattern your size will be at least two sizes bigger than your usual store-bought clothing size.)   3. Examine the pattern picture very carefully, especially the back views. You may think you have a skirt with an elastic waistband, but it may be another style.   4. Since you are a beginner, always start with a SIMPLE-TO-MAKE STYLE. Do not choose styles with collars, set-in sleeves, zippers, or close-to-the-body fit if you have never sewn before. To start, use the skirt pattern in this book.   5. Your fabric choice will be 75 percent of your sewing success. If you buy a commercial pattern, on the back of the envelope will be a list of the best fabrics for the style. There will also be a list of all the sewing notions you will need to make the garment.   6. Check to make sure that you are buying the amount of fabric needed for your project. The back of the pattern envelope has a yardage chart for each style. Note that fabric is measured in yards, not feet or meters.   7. All major American pattern companies include % of an inch seam allowance in their patterns. The skirt pattern in this book does too. Seam allowance is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the sewing line. European patterns sometimes do not have seam allowances, so you must add them or your garment will be smaller and may not fit properly.   8. Pull the instruction sheet out of the envelope. Look at the style you have chosen to sew and cut out only those pattern pieces.   SEW FAST EASY . Copyright (c) 2002 by Elissa K. Meyrich. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, adress St. Martin's Press. 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010. Excerpted from Sew Fast Sew Easy: All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew by Elissa K. Meyrich All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
How to Use This Bookp. xi
Chapter 1 Your Survival Sewing Kit: What You Need to Get Startedp. 1
Chapter 2 Fabric Has Personality: Buying the Right Fabric for Your Projectp. 11
Chapter 3 Before You Start Cutting: Pattern and Sewing Terms You Should Knowp. 20
Chapter 4 The Cutting Rulesp. 22
Chapter 5 Sewing Machine Fear: How to Get Over it for Goodp. 25
Chapter 6 Go to It: How to Make an Envelope Pillow Coverp. 37
Chapter 7 Go to It: How to Make a Tote Bagp. 45
Chapter 8 Go to It: How to Make a Skirtp. 59
Chapter 9 Finishing Up Your Skirt: Getting the Correct Fit, Putting in the Elastic, Pressing, and Hemmingp. 71
Glossaryp. 88
Appendix Sewing on a Buttonp. 98