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Teach Yourself VISUALLY Sewing

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Sewing

Debbie Colgrove

ISBN: 978-1-118-15337-6

Jul 2011

304 pages


Product not available for purchase


If you're tired of items that just fit so-so—sew, sew! This guide will have you expressing your personal in no time. You'll learn the basics of hand sewing and sewing with a machine and get detailed information about tools and fabrics. From there, you'll progress to sewing seams, darts, facings, zippers, fasteners, and more. You'll learn to use patterns and try your hand (and your sewing machine) on warm-up projects like a tote bag or a baby receiving blanket. Then it's on to more creative designs like a stylish messenger bag and fun, flanged pillow shams. If you learn by seeing and doing and want to create chic, unique accessories and home décor, this book is a perfect fit!

Concise two-page lessons show you all the steps to a skill and are ideal for quick review

  • Each skill or technique is defined and described
  • Detailed color photos demonstrate each step
  • Step-by-step instructions accompany each photo
  • Helpful tips provide additional guidance
Chapter 1: Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine.

The Parts of a Sewing Machine.

Sewing Machine Needles.

Sewing Machine Options.

The Manual.

Setting Up Your Sewing Area.

Basic Troubleshooting.

Chapter 2: Selecting and Using Sewing Tools.

Measuring Tools.

Cutting Tools.


Hand-Sewing Needles.

Straight Pins and Pincushions.

Marking Tools and Seam Rippers.

Ironing and Pressing.

Chapter 3: Fabrics.

Beginner Fabric Choices.

Fabric Characteristics.

Test Fiber Content.

How Fabric Is Sold.

Find Bolt End Information.

Prepare Fabric to Cut and Sew.

Chapter 4: Lining, Interlining, and Interfacing.


Interlining and Underlining.


Chapter 5: Hand Sewing.

Threading a Hand-Sewing Needle.

Knotting the Thread.

Double Thread or Single Thread.

Hand Basting/Running Stitch.




Blind Stitch.

Chain Stitch.

Thread Chains.

Buttonhole Stitch/Blanket Stitch.

Ending Hand Stitches.

Chapter 6: Basic Techniques.

Threading the Bobbin.

Placing the Bobbin in the Machine.

Threading the Sewing Machine.

Cutting Fabric with Rotary Cutting Tools.

Squaring Fabric with Rotary Cutting Tools.

Cutting Fabric with Scissors.

Removing Stitches with a Seam Ripper.

Marking Fabric with Dressmaker’s Carbon.

Marking Fabric with Tailor’s Chalk and Quilting Pencils.

Machine Basting.



Sewing Badges and Purchased Appliqués.


Chapter 7: Sewing Seams and Seam Finishes.

Seam Guides.

Testing Seam Guides.

Straight Seams.

Curved Seams.

Pressing Seams.

Clean-Finished Seams.

Zigzagged Seam Finishes.

Corded Seam.

Lace Set in Seams.

Turning Corners with Seam Insets.

Chapter 8: Making Darts.

Marking Darts.

Pinning and Basting Darts.

Basic Darts.

Double-Pointed Darts.

Special Finishes for Darts.

Pressing Darts.

Chapter 9:  Sewing Facings and Edge Finishing.

Preparing a Facing.

Grading and Clipping a Facing Seam Allowance.


Exploring Bias Tape.

Double-Fold Bias Tape to Enclose Edges.

Making Facings with Bias Tape.

Turning Corners with Bias Tape.

Chapter 10: Sewing in Zippers.

Parts of a Zipper.

Types of Zippers.

Centered Zipper.

Lapped Zipper.

Finishing the Ends of a Zipper.

Chapter 11: Adding Fasteners.


Flat Buttons.

Shank Buttons.


Prong Snaps.

Hook and Eyes.

How to Sew Hook and Eyes.

Hook and Loop Tape.

Chapter 12: Hemming Techniques.

Amount of Hem.

Mark a Garment Hem.

Turn and Prepare a Garment Hem.

Topstitched Hem.

Invisible Hem.

Faced Hems.

Stretchy Knit Hems.

Decorative Hem Additions.

Chapter 13: Warm-Up Sewing Projects.

Sew a Sachet.

Bottle Gift Bag.

Simple Tote Bag.

Reversible Table Runner.

Reversible Placemats.

Cloth Napkins.

Baby Receiving Blanket.

Balloon Window Valance.

Straight Window Curtain.

Chapter 14: More Sewing Projects.

Pillow with a Zipper.

Round Pillow with a Zipper.

Messenger Bag.

Small Pouch with a Zipper.

Flanged Pillow Sham.

Tabbed Valance and Curtain.

Hostess Apron.

Gathered Bed Skirt.

Chapter 15: Using a Purchased Pattern.

Find a Pattern.

Envelope Information.

Inside the Envelope.

Layout, Cutting, and Marking.

The Instruction Sheet.

Pattern Sizes.

Chapter 16: Expanding Your Horizons.


Marking Fabric with Tailor Tacks.

Flat-Felled Seams.

French Seams.

Shortening a Zipper.

Serger/Overlock Machine Possibilities.

Machine Embroidery Possibilities.


"Even the accomplished sewer will find new and improved techniques and tips presented in a user-friendly way." (Decorating Digest’s Craft & Home Projects, Fall 2006)