Technique Index : H – Z

Sewing with Good Skills

Index to Techniques A – G is here.

Techniques which give high quality results, but not usually couture.

A mixture of tutorials and videos by other people, plus instructions from me when I couldn’t find what I wanted (of course I haven’t seen every tutorial on every topic. . .).

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Halving and quartering

Hand stitching
Starting and finishing hand stitching
Basting, running, gathering
Backstitch, combination stitch
Blanket stitch, buttonhole stitch (they’re different !)
Overcasting and whipstitch/ overhanding
Ladder stitch
Pixie Faire have a video course on hand sewing many of these stitches, also buttons, small buttonholes, snaps.
Hand sewn seam – video from Bernadette Banner.
Hand sewn hems, several methods which differ in speed and how visible the result is from back and front, photo tutorial from Colette patterns. With a close match of thread and fabric colour the result can be beautiful.
Hand embroidery stitches – clear videos for stitching, from Needle ‘n Thread. If you prefer written instructions, here are the basic embroidery stitches from Sublime Stitching.

Hems – by hand and machine.

Hong Kong finish, a photo tutorial from Colette patterns.

Inset corners, photo tutorial from Paper Theory patterns.

Interfacing fusing instructions for clothes and bags.

Jeans, see links in Intermediate Classics post.

Knit Fabrics
General :
DoItBetterYourself is one of the people who knows a lot more about sewing knits than I do.
Sewing with knits is a Threads magazine video, and see other videos in their right side menu.
book : Colette Guide to Sewing Knits.
Sewing knit fabrics on a sewing machine
Stretch stitch settings on a sewing machine
More specific :
Sweater knits from O Jolly.
Fleece, from Threads magazine.
Fehr Trade patterns have an e-book on sewing active wear.
Tips for machine embroidery on knits from Sewing Mastery.
Neckbands :
Neckline binding for knits, video from Sarah Veblen at Threads.
Sewing knit neck bands, video from Lauren Guthrie (from 3.20).

Start on an ultra large scale (super chunky yarn and 12mm/US 17 needles) – see the knit school videos and photos from I Knit Pretty.
Or here’s a video on how to knit a basic hat.
UK/ US needle sizes and yarn weight names are different. Here are tables from Wool Warehouse.
Once you know how to knit, the Ravelry site is a place of many wonders.

Sewing Leather

Bag your jacket Lining, written tutorial from Threads magazine.
How to bag a jacket lining, photo tutorial from Grainline Studio patterns.
Jacket lining by hand and machine methods, pdf from the University of Kentucky.
For couture, here’s a video from Kenneth King on re-lining a coat.
Lining a skirt, pdf from the University of Kentucky.
Easy Guide to Sewing Linings, Threads magazine book.

Magnetic snap – fitting this bag closure, video from eHow. For extra strength, fuse a scrap of interfacing behind where the snap will go, before cutting the slits for the prongs.

Marking tools and methods
Tracing wheel, tracing paper

Unpicking and recovering from mistakes

Notches and Notching (video from Sure Fit Designs) : the same word for 2 different things, clip in the seam allowance for :
– marks to match up pattern pieces,
– clips which allow the fabric to spread round a curve.

Openings / Plackets – somewhat challenging techniques for visible openings in quality garments (neckline, wrist, waistline).

Patchwork Piecing and Quilting
I learned how to do this too long ago to remember the details. There are now many ways to learn on the web.
Missouri Quilt Company is a much loved site.
I developed my piecing skills at the fore-runner of the Academy of Quilting.
I’ve never developed any skill with machine quilting. However, here are some links to people who do give help with free motion stitching. And here are some easier methods : Walking foot and Ruler work Quilting

Pattern ‘hacking’ – changing a pattern to make a different style.

Make piping and attach to a straight edge, photo tutorial from Bernina on using a zipper foot.
2 photo tutorials from Closet Core patterns, on using a piping foot :
making bias tape and piping (see also this post on cutting bias strips).
attaching piping.

Plackets – see Openings

Pockets – patch, slant, letter box, and welt.

Making a perfect point by David Page Coffin in Seamwork magazine

Pressing an open seam
Using a pressing ham

Princess seams

Quilting – see Patchwork above.

Rouleaux and other turned tubes, such as for bag straps and button loops.

Ruffles photo tutorial from Sew Essential, see also Gathering.
Some sewing machine companies have a mighty ruffler presser foot. This example from Bernina sews gathers and small pleats.
A ruffle is a long rectangular strip gathered along one long edge.
Not the same as a flounce, see Techniques A-G.
Hmm, in their free download instructions, Mood fabrics does call flounces ruffles – I don’t find that helpful.

Seams and seam finishes – what could be more basic.
Joining two edges that are different lengths : see halving and quartering.
Joining two edges that are different shape curves : see princess seams.

Shirt – see links in Intermediate Classics post.

Sleeves into armholes
If inserting sleeves is a skill that worries you, develop your skills in sequence :
dolman/ batwing, raglan, square underarm, cut-on, set-on flat, set-in in the round.


photo tutorial with video from Tilly and the Buttons.

I’ve done much knitting, crochet, bobbin lace but could never get my hands around tatting. This intro from Ring of Tatters makes the basics look very easy. Search ‘tatting’ for many videos.

Thread bar
Couture method video from Susan Khalje.

Burrito method for sewing a lined yoke.

Zippers – so you can make more fitted garments from woven fabrics.

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See also top of right side menu for links to sites with guidance for complete beginner sewers.

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Links on this page checked February 2021

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