Here you will find a variety of sewing guides and tutorials. Most have been written exclusively for Yesterday’s Thimble, but some may have been published elsewhere.
Thanks to online shops like Spoonflower, it’s easy to order your own custom fabric. But before you can order it, you have to design it! The first part of this tutorial will walk you through the process of digitizing and coloring a simple design motif. (Originally published at Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.)
The second half of this tutorial will introduce you to custom brushes, along with tips on preparing your design motif for tiling. Then you can witness the design process from beginning to end, as I create my very own custom fabric. (Originally published at Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.)
Tame your stash! With this new trick, you’ll be able to organize all your fabrics, neat and tidy. (And you’ll have more room, so you can buy more fabric!)
Every garment deserves to have finished seams. Not only does it help prevent fraying, but it gives a professional polish to your sewing. Here are seven different techniques! They range from quick-and-easy to couture, so there’s something for everyone, regardless of skill level. (Originally published at Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.)
A pattern envelope contains a lot of helpful information. But how do you make heads or tails of the charts and diagrams? Here’s a breakdown of a pattern envelope.
We’ve all heard about the importance of pressing as you sew. But do you know how? After all, pressing is not the same as ironing! Here’s several tips and tricks to help you improve your pressing skills.
Ten tips to help you improve your fashion sketches!
Make your own padded stool cover! The fit is adjustable with a drawstring closure, and it’s easy to make.
This step-by-step tutorial combines the art of crazy-quilting with a simple book cover, resulting in a gorgeous one-of-a-kind project! In part one, you’ll learn how to draft a custom pattern to fit any book, make a mockup to ensure a perfect fit, and plan your crazy-quilt design.
In part two of this tutorial, you’ll create a crazy-quilted panel and decorate it with all manner of embroidery and beadwork. Then, you’ll assemble the layers of the book cover. In the end, you’ll have a custom piece that’s sure to be a conversation-starter!
Learn the basics of silk ribbon embroidery, including how to prepare the ribbon, transfer a pattern, and a few simple stitches to get you started. (Originally published at Foundations Revealed.)
Continue learning about silk ribbon embroidery with additional stitches, suggestions for adding details, and a list of basic tips. (Originally published at Foundations Revealed.)
Learn how to thread a sewing machine, use an auto-threader for your needle, and how to wind and load a bobbin.
The author of the blog Ivory Blush Roses teaches how to make gorgeous pincushions using miniature crazy quilts. But first, you need to know how to make a crazy quilt. In the first half of this two-part article, you’ll learn the secrets to choosing coordinating fabrics, as well as how to design your crazy quilt.
In the second half of this two-part article, you’ll learn how to assemble your crazy quilt, and then how to embellish it with ribbon, embroidery, beading, and so forth. Then, follow along as I use Ivory Blush Roses‘ tutorial to turn my crazy quilts into pincushions.
Why is it necessary to wash your fabrics before starting a new project? In this tutorial, you’ll learn three reasons why you should always pre-wash your fabric and trims. You’ll also learn tips and tricks for hand-washing fabrics, pressing them once they’re dry, and preparing them for storage.
Forget bland white lace! In this two-part tutorial, you’ll learn the secrets to successfully dyeing Venetian lace trim and appliques. First, gather your supplies and set up your workspace. Then, plan out what colors you’ll use to dye your lace. (This article was first published at Foundations Revealed.)
In the second half of this tutorial, you’ll learn the tricks to ombré watercolor dyeing, antiquing, and painting colorful appliques. There’s also an FAQ that should answer any questions you have about hand-dyeing lace. (This article was first published at Foundations Revealed.)
Almost every sewing project requires some hand sewing, whether it’s hemming, attaching snaps or hooks & eyes, or finishing the seam allowances. In this tutorial, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started. Includes an illustrated glossary of basic hand stitches.
A ruffler foot attachment looks frighteningly complex, but once you’ve mastered its quirks, you can easily create yards and yards of perfectly gathered or pleated ruffles.
This tutorial will guide you through the process of making a trained petticoat from the late 1870s, based on antique examples. Your petticoat will have a double-layered ruffle, a balayeuse, and a drawstring to cinch up the fullness behind the knees—perfect for those early Natural Form gowns.
This is a tutorial for a quick and easy patchwork pillow. In an hour or two, you’ll have a cute pillow that looks like it took a lot more effort than it did!
Here you can find a tutorial for a simple wrist pincushion. It takes no more than 30 minutes to sew!
A detailed tutorial for working with hooks and eyes, including how to sew them onto your garment, how to create thread bars and eyelets, and how to properly add hooks and eyes to a historic bodice to prevent gaping. (This article first appeared at Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.)
Mothers who breastfeed have special needs when it comes to corsetry. With this tutorial you can create your own nursing corset from the Victorian era, complete with buttoning bust flaps and quilted milk guards. (This article first appeared at Foundations Revealed.)
Unheard of in modern times, the balayeuse was a common element of the Victorian woman’s wardrobe. But what exactly is a balayeuse? How does it work? And more importantly—how can you create one? (This article first appeared in Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.)
If you’ve ever sewn a unique design, you probably needed to sketch a rough drawing of how you wanted the garment to look. Have you thought about improving this skill, so you can draw better fashion sketches? This two-part article demonstrates how to make a fashion croquis: first, drawing a basic figure, then adding facial features, and hands and feet. (This article first appeared at Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.)
The second half of this article continues the demonstration of how to draw fashion sketches. Learn how to draw hair (including curls and braids), put clothing on your figure, create realism by means of shading and highlights, and add color to your drawing. The end result will be a detailed fashion sketch that you can be proud of! (This article first appeared at Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.)
In a previous article, you learned how to draw fashion sketches (or croquis). But suppose you want to color your croquis? In this two-part article, you’ll learn how to digitally add color to your fashion sketches, starting with a scanned image and finishing with a polished sketch.
In the second half of this two-part article, you’ll learn more secrets to digitally coloring your fashion sketches. Part I demonstrated how to clean up your scanned drawing and outline it, so now we’ll look at adding color, along with shadows, highlights, details, and texture.
Sometimes, you want a background for your fashion sketch or illustration. In the first half of this article, you’ll learn how to add solid backdrops and grounding lines to provide depth to your sketches.
In the second half of this two-part article, you’ll learn more advanced techniques for adding gradient backdrops and scenery, so you can make more detailed fashion sketches.