Sewing Techniques

I was inspired to make myself a checklist of sewing techniques I'd like to try to master. The aim is for this to help me choose patterns which will challenge my skills and help me improve and the fact that all of you can see how I'm getting on will hopefully spur me on with this too!

  • Standard Buttonholes - success first time on my Robson Coat
  • Bound Buttonholes - for my Butterick 6385 Coat!
  • Making my own Covered Buttons - for my Mum's cocoon coat and my Oslo coat
  • Double Welt Pockets
  • Pockets with Flaps - pockets on my Robson Coat
  • Applying Patch Pockets - on my swiss dot Archer Shirt
  • Inserting a Zip - easier than expected on my Floral Lonsdale Dress
  • Inserting an Invisible Zip - the wonder of a new foot! First done on my Charlotte Skirt
  • Inserting a Fly Zip - my very first one was on my Geometric Moss Mini Skirt
  • Inserting a Lapped Zip - in both the top and dress of my Big Vintage Sew-Along outfit
  • Under-Stitching - my favourite and most used technique, I do this wherever possible!
  • Topstitching - running a close second I love the process of topstitching and getting it just right
  • Using a Vintage Pattern - I've made a bowling shirt and a maxi skirt from 1950s/60s patterns
  • Creating/Using a Facing - first done on all 3 of my Anna Dresses!
  • Setting in a Sleeve - still not perfected this one but done on multiple occasions!
  • French Seams - one of the favourite things I've learnt, best achieved on my Dip Hemmed Scout
  • Hong Kong/Bound Seams - another favourite technique, used first on my Black Lonsdale
  • Flat-Felled Seams - I've perfected these on the now multiple shirts I've made!
  • Lining a Garment - my Circle Skirted Elisalex was fully lined in hot pink!
  • Underlining a Garment - successfully achieved on my Black Lace Scout Tee
  • Attaching Belt Loops - another first on my Robson Coat!
  • Sewing a Collar Stand - I tackled two at once with the Negroni and Archer Shirts!
  • Sewing a Button Placket - I've tried a couple of methods now, my favourite being the Negroni
  • Sewing a Button Placket - I completed a fiddly one on my Carme Blouse
  • Sewing Outerwear - my Robson Coat!
  • Sewing Underwear - my first attempt was a black lace Watson Bra
  • Sewing Swimwear - I've got two Bombshells under my belt and am working on bikinis!
  • Making my own Bias Tape - first done for my Liberty Print Scout Tee
  • Boning - learnt during my tutu course, first sewn at home in my Martini Dress
  • Sewing with Knits - I had a major breakthrough with my Grey Marl Coppelia Cardigan
  • Matching Stripes - with knits for my Breton Renfrew Tee and wovens on a green Negroni Shirt
  • Matching Plaids/Checks - successfully achieved on my Flannel Alder Shirtdress
  • Piping - on my Manolo Blahnik Cushion Covers
  • A Rolled Hem - my first one was on my Dip Hemmed Scout Tee
  • Pleats - box pleats on my Elisalex Muslin and knife pleats on Simplicity 2444
  • Adding Horse Hair Braid to a Hem - love this on my Circle Skirted Elisalex!
  • Using a Twin Needle - I had some issues but got it right on my Lady Skater and Grey Marl Renfrew
  • Using Fold-Over Elastic
  • Inserting a Double-Ended Zip - on the bodice part of my two-piece Martini Dress
  • Inserting an Exposed Zip - on the cuffs and front of my Quart Jacket
  • Pad Stitching
  • Arrowhead Tacks
  • Fagoted Seams
  • Lining a Skirt Vent - a little tricky this one but I followed the instructions on my Martini Skirt
  • Making a Waist Stay - I'm really pleased with the difference this made to my Chiffon Dress
  • Facing a Hem - I am in love with this technique after using it on my Dove Blouse
  • Sewing with Denim - both for my 6696 Shirtdress and Ginger Jeans
  • Sewing with Leather
  • Sewing a Bias Cut Garment - I've conquered my fear beginning with the Tessuti Evie Bias Skirt
  • Bar Tacks - on my Ginger Jeans!
  • Fitting Trousers - I still don't feel like a pro but have had much more success with Ginger and Dawn jeans and Persephone and Pietra pants
  • Doing a Full Bust Adjustment - for my second military inspired Archer Shirt
  • Drafting my Own Bodice, Skirt and Trouser Blocks
  • Applying Rivets and Snaps - I've made friends with my hammer and used snaps on my Rosari Skirts and rivets on my Ginger Jeans
  • Inserting Sleeve Heads and Shoulder Pads - in my blue Quart Jacket
  • Inserting Lace into a Seam - for my self-designed Parker Dress!
  • Gusseted Pockets - for the Kelly Anorak
  • Lettuce Hem - worked out how to do this on my overlocker for some frills on baby clothes


  1. Hi there, I love all of your projects, you must have a wonderful wardrobe by now! I hadn't noticed your fingers until I read it, the first thing I noticed about you was your lovely smile :) I have recently rediscovered my sewing machine and just enrolled in a 10 week dressmaking course. The trouble now seems to be stopping myself splashing out on fabric and patterns! I especially love liberty tana lawn.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Rose! Your course sounds excellent, I'd love to have a reason to submerge myself in sewing for a little bit every week for ten weeks! Tana Lawn is so lovely to wear isn't it?

  2. I just did flat felled seams on a colette negroni for my husband and it's one of those techniques that gives a very professional look without being that challenging. Like french seams and twin needle top stitching. So fun. Your projects look so beautiful it's hard to imagine any of these techniques giving you trouble.

    1. O they do give me some trouble believe me! I've just finished a negroni for my boyfriend too! So I have finally tackled the flat felled seam and you are right, not nearly as scary as I thought

  3. This checklist is a great idea. I might do one myself. Although, it'd, most likely, be much longer than yours. :)

    1. Mine keeps growing and growing Patrick! There's always more to try! Having it on a list like this really helps to push myself


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