Sewing Techniques


Material and tools required:

  • Rulers – Straight, L, Hip curve and French curve.
  • Basic Blocks – Front and back.
  • Pattern making paper.
  • Sharp pencil and eraser.

Measurements needed:

  • Full Length of the blouse
  • Chest = divided by 4 + 1/2 inch
  • Bust = divide by 4 + 1 inch
  • Waist = divide by 4 + 1/2 inch
  • Chest Depth
  • Bust Depth
  • Bust Span = plus ½ inch, then divided by half
  • Side Length
  • Shoulder Length


Follow the figure and understand the instructions as given below.

A – O = Bust point.

A – F and I – L = Total length of the shoulder length.

K – M = Side length of the blouse.

B – J and G – K = The cup length.

L – M = The length of the armhole.

F – J = Full length of front blouse.

  1. First, prepare the pattern making paper and the basic front pattern with pencil, eraser and the rulers. Trace the Front Pattern using basic bodice block on the pattern making paper including the dart.
  2. Use a straight ruler, find A (centre of the total shoulder length from F – L) mark it. Join A to O (bust point).
  3. Use a hip curve ruler to draw a slight curve from B to C and D to E. Join F (shoulder length) to C.
  4. Mark 1/2” inch inside from D to G and same for B to H. Use a french curve ruler to draw a slight curve.
  5. Mark 1/2” inch out from A (centre of the shoulder length) to I. Draw a slight curve I to O.
  6. Mark J as the length of front blouse from F to C. Draw a straight line, A to F and join to J.
  7. Use french curve ruler, draw curve from B to J and D to K.
  8. Mark the total shoulder length from I to L. Join L to M (armhole). Join M (armhole) to K (side length).
  9. Highlight A – O – H – J – F – A as Pattern piece 1 (P1).
  10. Highlight I – O – G – K – M – L – I as Pattern piece 2 (P2).
  11. Make a string.

Pattern Pieces of the front blouse:

Each of the pattern pieces have to cut 4 pieces – 2 pieces of P1 and P2 for (Main fabric for the front left and right).
           – 2 pieces of P1 and P2 for (Lining for the front left and right).

Sample of the Pattern Pieces of the Front Blouse after the cutting.


Follow the figure and understand the instructions as given below.

A – B = Design of back blouse.

B – G = Side length of the blouse.

C – D = Bust point.

E – F and H – I = Total length of the shoulder length.

I – J = Neckline of back blouse.

J – A = Full length of back blouse.

  1. First, prepare the pattern making paper and the basic back pattern with pencil, eraser and the rulers. Trace the Back Pattern using basic bodice block on the pattern making paper including the darts.
  2. Use a straight ruler, make a straight line from B to G (same measurement as front pattern K to M) for the side length of the blouse.
  3. Use a french ruler, make a curve line from A to B (for back design of the blouse).
  4. Join a straight line from C to D (bust point). Mark E to F (same measurement as front pattern I to L) for shoulder length, then make a slight curve from F to G for armhole.
  5. Mark H to I (same measurement as front pattern A to F) for shoulder length.
  6. Join I to J for the back neckline design.
  7. Highlight B – D – C – E – F – G – B as Pattern piece 1 (P1).
  8. Highlight A – D – C – H – I – J – A as Pattern piece 2 (P2).
  9. Make a string.

Pattern Pieces of the back blouse:

  • Each of the pattern pieces have to cut 4 pieces – 2 pieces of P1 and P2 for (Main fabric for the front left and right).                                                            – 2 pieces of P1 and P2 for (Lining for the front left and right).

Sample of the Pattern Pieces of the Front Blouse after the cutting.

Sewing Techniques

How to Overcome Your Fear of Cutting and Ruining Fabrics.

You are not alone in this. I used to almost get a panic attack when I had to cut my leather hides, yeah, you read it correctly. I was a leather design student, therefore I made leather garments. When it comes to garment manufacturing, leather is one of the most costly materials. If you’re afraid of cutting cloth, consider what it’s like to cut a valuable piece of hide on which you’ve spent your entire months budget.


Here are few tips and tricks that can help you over come those fears 🙂


1. Convince yourself that you can accomplish it.

You’ve seen a stunning style that appears to be absolutely out of this world; look at it and convince yourself you can accomplish it. Remove the notion that makes you feel inadequate.

Yes, you are just beginning out as a dress maker, and you may not be familiar with fabric, but tell yourself you can do it. You’re already on your way to successfully cutting and sewing a garment without fear if you keep a good attitude.


2. Visualize

Sewing is similar to photocopying. The way you see it is how it was probably drafted. Keeping the end result in mind can help you keep going and identify any mistakes you are making. If you don’t get it right the first time, try again. You will ultimately achieve the appropriate outcome through stitching by trial and error. When you consider how an item was cut and you have learned the fundamentals of sewing, project gets easier and easier day by day. And if you wish to ‘up’ your sewing game, pick up a good online pattern making course.


3. Practice is progress

After you’ve analysed a design and imagined how it might be cut and assembled, the following step is to practise. Instead of practising on textiles, practise on newspapers, brown papers, pattern papers, and so on.

Practice as often as possible, and begin with tiny quantities rather than huge portions. Practice makes perfect and helps you overcome any fears you may have.

When you are certain that you have mastered the art of cutting, you may progress to working with textiles. Always begin with a low-cost cloth.


4. Use pattern with seam allowance to cut your fabric.

Try to avoid the temptation of marking the measurements directly on the fabric. Use patterns, your own or ready made, that have seam allowance marked already. This will give you extra boost of confidence.


5. Smooth out your fabric and check that it is even on all sides.

When it comes to basic bodice design and cutting, your fabric is generally folded into four. Make certain that your cloth is smoothed out at each step of the folding process. Iron it if it is rumpled since little imperfections on the cloth impair your cutting .

Also, ensure that the fabric hems are even on all sides. If you’re dealing with a meter wide cloth, make sure each side is a meter long before cutting. If it is not , you can trim the extra with scissors ( perhaps mark first !)


6. Cut and Sew.

Go ahead and cut once you’ve double-checked that everything is in order. When you set your mind to it, cutting and stitching are really straightforward.

When you’ve cut everything on your inexpensive fabric, stitch it up and figure out where you went wrong and what you need to fix. Continue doing it, and you will undoubtedly improve.


Just start! It’s not as hard as it seems. Mistakes are ok, it’s just material 🙂

Sewing Techniques

How-to-sew-girls-dresses-Waist Cut frock

To learn pattern making basics join our ONLINE PATTERN MAKING COURSE



– Printed cotton fabric, approx 3.5m


a. Chest

b. Lengthr

c. Waist

d. Across shoulder


1. From point O mark A i.e. shoulder to waist length.

2. From point O mark B which is 1/2 of across shoulder

3. From point O mark C i.e. 1/4 th of chest.

4. From point C mark point E which is 1/4th of chest +


5. From point B mark F i.e. 1/36th of chest

6. Mark point H from point A i.e. 1/4 th of waist + 1″

and join HA with straight line

7. Join FO with straight line. Join HE with straight line.

8. From F mark point Y i.e. 1.5” on line FO.

9. Mark point X from point O i.e. 1/12th of chest + 1”.

10. Mark point W on centre front from point X i.e. 1.5”.

11. Mark diagonal line from point E to O.

12. Now we get point R, from point R to E make a slight

curve for arm hole and give shape as shown in

the figure.


1. Draw a rectangle WXZY as shown in the figure.

2. WY= 12” and WX=20”.

3. Draw 2” rectangle inside WXZY as shown.

4. Place CD on AB and EF on GH and MN on KL and OP

on QR and make pleats .

5. Similarly repeat the steps for back.


1. Stitch the side seams with French seam

2. Finish the hem with blind hem.

3. Concealed zipper will be attached at back .


1. Decorative laces and trims can be added at the


2. Colorful buttons can be used as show buttons.

3. Colorful threads can also be used for stitching.

4. Different fabrics in the same color tone (one solid

and one printed ) can be used


Sewing Techniques

How to Sew Saree blouse How to cut your fabric using the pattern

In this blog I’m explaining how to use the pdf saree blouse patterns. 

Pay attention to the instructions given on the pattern and cut accordingly. Front or back pattern will be either cut on fold or cut in 2. If it is ‘cut on fold’ you will keep the pattern at the fold of the fabric without providing any seam allowance. If it is to be ‘cut X 2′ then you will keep it away from the fold. Seam allowance for the these patterns is not provided hence you can mark your preferred SA. 3/8 inch or 1 cm allowance usually works well. At the side seams you can give 1 inch allowance in case you need to adjust the size later on.

At the sleeve hem you can give 1 inch seam allowance for folding in.

Some patterns have belts under the bust to give support. those patterns will require fusing (stiff sticky fabric) The fusing is cut in a similar way as the belt.

Some patterns have neck facing. See the blog on ‘how to sew Neckline’ for guidance.


Sewing Techniques

Gathered neck summer dress tutorial. summer dresses for women summer dresses 2021 sundress

Part 1 – Create the pattern using the basic block.

Summer dress , draw string dress
Summer dress

Summer is approaching and if you are anything like me you probably have started pinning summer dress pics on your Pinterest board labelled dream summer wardrobe. This year I decided to upgrade my wardrobe not based on trend and fashion but based on questions like do I need this style ? How does it make me feel when I wear it ? Does it have any emotional attachment? While answering these questions I ended up getting rid of few clothes, upcycling my old favourites and sewed some fresh clothes that were comfortable, practical and made from fabric I loved and cherished.

This dress is my latest addition to my wardrobe made from much loved crinkled cotton fabric. Very simple to make and even simpler to sew.

Step 1.

Pattern Making.

Use your basic block to create this pattern. Close the waist dart (not completely as this design is quite loose at the waist) and open it at the shoulder.

Don’t have a basic block yet ? Watch this tutorial and learn how to make one.

Mark a point 1 inch below the neckline and connect it to the shoulder tip. follow the armhole curve and connect a short straight line upward.

The front pattern will be cut on fold. Follow the seam allowance marked and cut the fabric accordingly.

For the back pattern use the same pattern but cut away from the fold. Bring in the Center back slight to give a gap for tying the string.


For the skirt you will need to cut your fabric in a rectangle with length as you desire and width as waist multiply by 2, this would give you just enough gathers but if you wish to have more gathers you will need to increase the width more.


Your patterns are now ready! sundress summer dresses for women summer dresses 2021

Sewing Techniques

Tools to get you started. sewing tools hand sewing machine seam ripper

In order to use ready made patterns, or making patterns from the scratch you will require a few tools and equipments. I have listed below bare minimal tools for you to get started.

Sewing machine.

Any basic model will do. I use a very inexpensive machine, and it works just fine.

Tracing paper.

Large sheets if possible for tracing the patterns.


Used to attach tracing paper together when drafting or altering patterns.


This machine is helpful if you plan to sew with knits. There are a couple of dresses in the book sewn from ponte, a double-knit fabric that, unlike most knits, has enough body that it can be used for fitted dresses. If you don’t have a serger, you can substitute a woven fabric that has a bit of spandex in it and use your regular machine. Or use your regular machine to sew knits using a small zigzag stitch and a ballpoint needle. Sewing machine needles. You’ 11 need universal, or basic all-purpose needles, plus a ballpoint needle for sewing knits and a variety of machine needles for light/delicate, medium-, and heavy-weight fabrics.

Invisible-zipper presser foot.

Though you can actually sew an invisible zipper effectively using a

regular zipper foot (truth be told, I often do), an invisible-zipper foot is helpful for inserting invisible zippers as it allows you to get very close to the zipper teeth. Though most machines come with a regular zipper foot, they don’t usually come with an invisible-zipper foot. You can usually buy a plastic one that works with most machines wherever invisible zippers are sold, though plastic feet are . not nearly as sturdy as metal ones. You can find a metal foot that is compatible with your particular

sewing machine online or by contacting your machine’ s manufacturer.

Hand-sewing needles.

Various sizes will allow you to baste fabrics and hand-hem skirts.


Choose thread that matches the dominant color in your fabric. All-purpose polyester thread is the best choice for sewing dresses as it’ s strong and has a bit of flexibility in other words, it won’t break when stretched a bit.

Pins and pincushion.

I find pearl-tipped pins easier to work with, but regular pins workjust fine. Silk ‘ ‘ pins are very thin and are used for silk and other delicate fabrics.

Safety pins.

For turning small pieces, such as straps, inside out.

Good fabric shears. It is really worth spending the money for a good pair of shears and having them professionally sharpened when needed. They make cutting so much easier and more accurate. Don’t use your good shears to cut anything else! Especially paper.

Regular scissors.

Use these for cutting paper patterns.

Seam ripper.

Remove temporary basting stitches or sewing mistakes with this tool.

Yardstick Keep one on hand for measuring fabric yardage and drafting patterns.

L square or T square. Any ruler that will allow you to check right angles will also work In a pinch, you can use a piece of paper instead.

Soft tape measure.

This tool is essential for taking accurate persona! or dress-form measurements.

Armhole curve ruler, or French curve ( optional). This measures and marks armholes in bodice patterns.

Hip curve ruler

Use this to measure and mark curves for skirts.

Clear ruler

If you are altering patterns or creating a variati on of a pattern, the instructions

may call for a ruler or straightedge.

Tailor’ s chalk or chalk pencils. Transfer nonpermanent markings from the patterns to the fabric with either tool.

Dressmaker’ s pencil.

You can get a sharper, more accurate line than with chalk using these pencils.

The markings can be brushed off or removed with a damp cloth.

Steam iron.

You will frequently need an iron to press open seams.

Tailor’ s ham ( optional). This is very handy for pressing curved areas of a garment such as darts, princess seams, and the shoulders of sleeves, but a roll ed hand towel can also be used in place of this professional tool. sewing tools sewing tools hand sewing machine

Sewing Techniques


A hem in sewing is a garment finishing method, where the edge of a piece of cloth is folded narrowly and sewn to prevent unraveling of the fabric.
During my teaching sessions I often see students (beginner level) struggling to keep the hem folded while they can sew it and for obvious reasons they do get stressed. So here are few tips and techniques that can help you hem comfortably making the whole process enjoyable and relaxing.


1. Pinning: fold the edges based on the seam allowance you are working on using the pins and then hem.


2. Tacking: fold the edges and do a long distant running stitch on it with a single thread. Once you are done with the hem simply remove the running stitch by pulling the end thread.

3. Ironing: you can fold the edges based on your seam allowance and iron on it. But this technique is more useful if you are dealing with stiffer fabric such as linen or cotton.


4. Fabric glue: there are lots of brands in the market like Sewing box, Quick sew etc. that would easily get hem folded while you sew them. However using the glue can get messy and make your fabric slightly stiff. Make sure to thin spread the glue.


Here is a simple recipe to make fabric glue right in your kitchen. All u need is some white flour and warm water. Just mix 1/2 teaspoon of flour in 4 tea spoon of warm or hot water. Mix it nicely and thoroughly to avoid any lumps . Once the paste is smooth apply it on the edges with a thin brush and press fold the hem.


Hope you found the information useful!

Happy sewing!

Kalpana Singh

Sewing Techniques

Visualizing your Design – The very start

More often than not, dress making is perceived as a complicated form of art that has too many technical aspects to it. Newbies, whether you are a first semester fashion design student or a self-learner, often get intimidated by these technicalities. If you are first semester Fashion student, you wouldn’t have much choice, however others conveniently resort to their friendly neighborhood tailors for their sewing needs.

But honestly dress making is a simple process as long as we keep the end result in perspective.
To make things simple I would like to divide the whole process of dress making in four parts —
Pattern making , pdf patterns, sewing patterns , saree blouse patterns

Your ability to imagine an outfit on completion, in it’s full glory. And thereon your ability to work backwards and translate that three dimensional visual onto a two dimensional paper or fabric. This transition from concept to product gets better with every well executed project.

I started making my clothes early on in life. It was more an act of survival. Being a middle child with an elder sister and a younger brother most of my clothes were hand me down. Now that I have two daughters, I understand the joy and pride the younger one feels in owing her sisters clothes. I felt the same joy when I received my sisters’ clothes. The only problem here was they were over sized, and I literally swam in them. So, I would say my experience with clothes had more to do with alterations than making them from the scratch. I would put on those over sized clothes on my petite body and start putting the safety pins around the waist to create the darts, pull in the shoulders to settle the cloth on it and even fold up the hem to reduce the length to match my height. My motivation was simple – I was getting something new to wear. It’s not that I did not have my share of new clothes, but I understood early in life that for a girl there’s never too many dresses. Hence the moment my sister got her new dresses I would start imagining them on me, if I did not like the design or the style I would imagine how I could rip open the seams and redesign it to my liking. That imagination is the key.

Before you even start taking the measurements for yourself or for someone you want to sew you have to imagine and visualize that garment on the body. For which its also important to understand the body, its shape and curves. Body is the platform where your dress will develop. Your measurement will help you understand the body but your visual will make you understand how the design will drape and fall on that surface. Of course it would help if you belong to the same gender as the clothes you plan to make. for example women would find it easier to visualize women clothing than men but with time and after taking many measurements one starts to understand the body well.

Another important aspect to visualization is the communication of that visual. Its not just enough to be able to see the design in your mind, unless you are the one who is sewing that design one should be able to translate that design visual first on the paper and then on the fabric.

I firmly believe pattern drafting is the back bone of dress making and a good pattern leads to good fabric cutting. Sewing is just a matter of attaching pieces of fabric together that can be mastered by consistent practice. With the accurate body measurements and the instructions you can achieve the basic fit and design and with time can incorporate more creative and innovative patterns in your dress making.

If you interested in Culturally inclusive sewing patterns and you wish to try them here is the link –

Wanna try them for free ? Download the free patterns here

Do consider joining the support group to know how to use these patterns here

Sewing Techniques

Seam Allowance – why not !

Seam allowance (sometimes called inlays) as Wikipedia defines it is the area between the edge and the stitching line on two (or more) pieces of material being stitched together. Seam allowances can range from 1⁄4inch (6.4 mm) wide to as much as several inches.

Sewing, pattern making, pdf patterns, sewing classes malaysia,


Now it is but obvious that creating a seam allowance is a bit of a lengthy work especially when you are trying to create a uniform seam allowance i.e. Making extra effort by measuring the seam and marking accurately. We do sometime get tempted to skip this step and directly go ahead with cutting the fabric by assuming the allowance ( I myself have been guilty of doing the same! ) But if you can actually do an eye measurement and gauge the allowance just by assuming ( which obviously mean you have been sewing for quite some time and can tell the measurement by just merely looking at it ) I would say go ahead and cut the damn fabric!! But if by any chance you are a beginner , which means either this is your first garment or you have sewn 2-3 garments already then please do take the pains of measuring the seam allowance , mark accurately and then only cut the fabric. Here is the reason why – as a beginner your sewing on the machine becomes much easier if you have your lines drawn clearly on your fabric. But as you get experience you might not spend so much time and effort drawing your lines on each and every piece of the fabric cut hence your straight stitches can only be ensured if you align your edge of the fabric to the lines marked next to the machine foot.

If the seam allowance itself is not uniform your sewing on the machine too will not be straight. The logic I often give for spending a little extra time and effort on uniform seam allowance is – “the amount of time spent on removing your stitches is much more than the amount of time spent on marking uniform seam allowance !!” Hence do mark the seam accurately and equally.

Happy sewing !

Sewing Techniques

One size “does not” fit all

Over the past 2 decades, the cost of production of garments has gone down drastically. With brands like H&M and Zara offering clothing for less than $5 people are not really keen on spending money to first buy fabric and then to pay tailors to sew it. One would argue about the economic prudence of getting a bespoke dress done when a mass produced product is available for a fraction of the cost.

Yes it’s true that one can buy clothing at very low prices at these brand outlets or even on some China based online platforms but there are many reasons why tailor made clothes are superior to the store bought ones from the perspective of quality to environmental aspects, which I will touch upon in the coming chapters. But one of the most important reasons why tailor made clothing (whether you sew it yourself or get it stitched for you) will always stand way above the ready-made clothing is the “Size”.

Customized clothing is based on your measurements. Let’s face it, not all of us have a perfectly proportioned body, although the garment manufacturers would love to believe so (we would love to believe that too!) They follow their standard measurement charts for different sizes. You see a small tag at the back the garment that says S M L or 6,8,10 along with the brand label? Those are the size categories the brands have followed. So your upper body might be size 6 or 8 but lower body might be 10-12 or vice e versa. Many people struggle with this measurement mismatch and alter their store or online bought clothes which explains the sudden influx of alteration specialized shops.

Another way to combat the sizing issues is to work with fabrics that are stretchable in nature. Stretchable fabrics are quite forgiving when it comes to fitting and you can easily accommodate two sizes in one garment.