Technique Index : H – Z

Index to Techniques A – G is here.

Techniques which give high quality results, but not usually couture. Detailed instructions, usually written, with some videos.

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.

Inset corners, photo tutorial from Paper Theory patterns.

Interfacing fusing instructions for clothes and bags.

The Ginger pattern from Closet Core patterns is very popular, and there is much helpful support for sewing a first jeans project at their site, including both a photo tutorial sew-along and a video class.

Knit Fabrics
Making active wear on home sewing machine or overlocker, applies to any knits, from Sew-It with Di.
Sewing with knits, Threads magazine video, and see other videos in their right side menu.
Fleece, from Threads magazine.
book, not free : Colette Guide to Sewing Knits.
Tips for machine embroidery on knits from Sewing Mastery.
Sewing knit fabrics on a sewing machine
Stretch stitch settings on a sewing machine
Sweater knits from O Jolly.
Neckbands :
Sew knit bands around neckline and cuff, Facebook video from Sew Me Something patterns, from 21 minutes.
Neckline binding for knits, video from Sarah Veblen at Threads.
Sewing knit neck bands, video from Lauren Guthrie.

basic instructions with videos from Annie’s Craft Store.
Once you know how to knit, the Ravelry site is a place of many wonders.

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.
Lining a skirt, pdf from the University of Kentucky.
Easy Guide to Sewing Linings, Threads magazine book.

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’
Basic pattern altering is very simple, no need to draft your own starter block, or work through one of the big pattern making textbooks.
List of simple methods of altering a pattern is in this post from Sewingplums.

Instructions for specific changes : Pattern altering to make new styles – see this page of Sewingplums (click link to go to section on ‘altering patterns’).
Dozens of simplified patterns at Sew Guide.

If you prefer someone to do the pattern work for you :
This post from Sewingplums has links to many patterns with extensive variations.
Some of the sources available since that was written :
Named Clothing patterns Anni building blocks, princess seamed bodice with a variety of sleeves and skirts/pants.
Simplicity patterns ‘Hacking’ patterns.
If you read French, choose patterns for bodice, sleeves, skirt from Atelier Charlotte Auzou.

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

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.

Seams and seam finishes – what could be more basic.

Shirt – see :
– Burrito method for yoke,
– Collars,
– Openings/plackets.
Dozens of sew-alongs and video classes on the web. Ones I follow (not free) are videos from
Sew Over It patterns, Pam Howard at Craftsy, Sandy Miller at Taunton Workshops.
Patterns with extra help are also numerous. Big 4 examples range from Palmer-Pletsch easy (camp shirt, band collar shirt) to Claire Shaeffer couture.
Also several books, a famous one is by David Page Coffin.

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.


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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