Over the years I’ve come across some very useful knitting and sewing ideas worth sharing. Here they are:
- Basic Sock Pattern – Regular Heel
- Basic Sock Pattern – Eclectic Heel This is the pattern I use for all of my socks
- Long Tail Cast On This a rather detailed description of how to do the “long tail” cast on which is what I use
- Eclectic Heel An alternative to the conventional K1Sl1 heel
- Kitchener Stitch – for grafting toes
- Reknitting Sock Heels Got holes in the heels of socks?
No need to throw them out—here’s how to reknit them
- Info on Knitting Socks Lots of useful information on yarn, needles, sources for patterns (took a bit of tracking down to find the archive but here it is)
- Knitting Socks Toe Up – I knit socks cuff down but here are instructions for knitting socks starting with the toe (If the link doesn’t work here is the original link which may…)
- How to knit small diameter round with a single (32″) round needle – it works! (BTW you can buy 9″ circular needles for sock knitting – I saw some at my local wool shop recently, haven’t used them myself.)
- Another link to Magic Loop Knitting
- My Sock Sizing Chart – number of stitches, rows, foot length, etc. It’s handy to print this out and keep it nearby for reference
- Women’s/Children’s Shoe Sizing Info – helpful to relate to my sock sizing chart above
- Children’s sock sizing – sizing info for children
- Elastic Inserts Waist of pants too small?
Here’s how to give increased girth and flexibility at the same time to the waist of pants (or to a fitted skirt)
- Flat Fly Front (Sandra Betzina) A very simple way of putting in a fly front on pants.
- Wide Brim Summer Sun Hat I came across a set of instructions for drafting a pattern for a wide-brim sun hat. I gave them a try. The hat turned out surprisingly well. So I’ve provided the original instructions along with the modifications I made.
I’ve been teaching a class on constructing a Jean Jacket (V1036 – Sandra Betzina’s Today’s Fit – Out of Print Pattern, too bad!). I’ve come across a number of items that are helpful:
- Armani Jackets: The Inside Story – an article from Threads Magazine deconstructing an Armani Jacket. Lots of useful ideas here for making a jacket. The article has information on sleeve headers, interfacings, …
- Hidden Zippered Pockets: The Jean Jacket has two shallow outside pockets which aren’t much use for anything but carrying a Kleenex. In my jackets I’ve inserted hidden zippered pockets between the front facing/side front lining panel which are large, and secure, enough to carry some ID, a credit card, even keys. My instructions are based on Kenneth King’s process described in Cool Couture. I’ve added a zipper to the hidden pocket.
- Sleeve Header: These are Kenneth King’s instructions for inserting a sleeve header essential for producing a smooth sleeve/shoulder line. The above article on Armani Jackets offers another method.
- Shoulder Pads: Shoulder Pads shouldn’t be left out – they give a smooth line to the shoulder area of any jacket. The article on the Armani Jacket has some instructions for making your own. There are many different ways of constructing shoulder pads, I’ve been using this version I took from Reader’s Digest Complete Book of Sewing, 1979, pp. 376-277.
- Hong Kong Seam Finish – In the Jean Jacket the sleeve cuff is on the inside of the sleeve and is used to enclose the sleeve and lining together at the bottom of the sleeve. In order to get a nice finish on the inner edge of the cuff I used a Hong Kong Seam Finish – a bound edge that is very easy to hem to the lining so that edge barely shows. I used the lining fabric to create the Hong Kong Seam Finish.
Here are more useful links for sewing techniques used in constructing a jacket:
Richard The Thread (this is the only source I could find for ice wool/woven lambswool for sleeve headers – by far the best material for this job – expensive, but it shapes wonderfully well and a yard will last 30 years!)
Finishing Textile Art:
- Adding Borders and Piping – I usually finish a textile art piece with a narrow inner border, a narrow piping, and a wider outer border/frame. Here are the instructions I handed out to a class recently describing how I do this: https://jmn111.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/creating-borders.pdf
- Adding Borders and Piping II – This second version of the process is a recent adaptation for the adding of borders and piping to a textile panel. I think I prefer it, because there seems to be less tightening of the panel itself as a result of the sewing:
- Pillowcase Turn – Sometimes I finish a piece with what’s called a “pillowcase turn” – laying the backing right sides together on the front of the textile art, sewing a 1/4″ seam around three sides and including the corners of the fourth side leaving an opening so I can turn the whole thing inside out, press, then hand stitch the opening closed. Here are Susan Brubacker Knapp’s instructions for doing this: https://jmn111.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/pillowcaseturn.pdf
- Hidden or Knife Edge Binding – This is a binding applied only on the back of the quilt and the open edge hand stitched in place. Here are instructions I found online from “Bloomin’ Workshop”: https://jmn111.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/knife-edge-binding.pdf
- My Instructions for a Hidden Binding for a Watercolour Panel – My method for doing a hidden binding are slightly different:
I make zippered bags two ways – one using zipper tape which gives a very nice finish to the bag. I also make bags using zippers.
I prefer using zipper tape because it simplifies the process.
I purchase my zipper tape from The Zipper Lady who sells the tape by the yard in a gazillion colours – she also sells zipper pulls.
Here’s another set of instructions for making embroidered zippered bags.
Seat Belt Covers:
I’ve made ~40 pairs of seat belt covers this fall – women drivers find them useful, particularly short women! The soft padded moveable cover prevents the seat belt cutting your neck when wearing t-Shirts and other low neck garments.
Here’s a link to a blog post where I describe how I made them: