Techniques for Sewing Clothing

Learn the Details for Great Results

Sewing clothes
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Clothing is not just a piece of fabric wrapped around a body. Clothing has details that make the fabric fit and compliment your body. Learn to perfect the details and the garment will come together.

If you are intimidated, start with a simple garment such as pajama pants and work your way ​to more elaborate garments. Take the time to practice the parts of a garment and make a notebook of your practice sample to refer back to when you feel stumped.

  • 01 of 19

    How to Transfer Pattern Markings to Fabric

    Sewing pattern material

    Andy Crawford, Steve Gorton / Getty Images

    Patterns make sewing clothes much easier. However, when using that pattern, certain markings—such as dots, buttonholes/button placement, and darts—need to be transferred to the fabric to get accurate results.

  • 02 of 19

    Everything You Need to Sew a Perfect Seam

    Seam pattern

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    A seam is the basis of almost anything you sew. Keeping a seam line straight and even are key components for desirable results. Practice making seams on a scrap of fabric before moving to your garment, so you can ensure a professional-looking result.

  • 03 of 19

    The Anatomy of a Dart and How to Sew Darts

    Dress with dark seam

    Deepak Aggarwal / Getty Images

    A dart that is sewn properly will blend into the fabric and add fitting details to a garment. Darts typically are sewn in at the bust line, on the back of a garment, and the waistband on pants. Learn how to transfer darts from patterns and sew darts for your projects.

  • 04 of 19

    Seam Finishes

    Sewing seam / Getty Images

    Sewing seam finishes not only keep the inside neat, they add durability and stability when the garment is laundered by preventing fraying. Choose the type of seam finish that you want for the garment before you start sewing, as you need to plan for the appropriate seam allowance.

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  • 05 of 19

    Flat Felled Seams

    Sewing denim pocket

    Mikhail Strogalev / Getty Images

    Flat felled seams are most commonly found on jeans but are a great seam for anywhere you need it to be strong and durable. This type of seam doesn't have a visible allowance, inside or out.

  • 06 of 19

    French Seams

    Stitch on the inner side of grey fabric
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    A French seam encloses the seam allowance so there isn't a visible raw edge. It also eliminates the need for another form of seam finish. French seams are well-suited to sheer fabric, so the seam will blend in.

  • 07 of 19


    Grade and Under-stitch

    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove

    Facing is part of almost every garment. One of the many factors that will scream "homemade" is a facing that keeps trying to peek around to where it doesn't belong. Under-stitching is a technique that helps a facing stay inside a garment.

  • 08 of 19

    Sewing a Shank Button

    The underside of a metal shank button
    Jill Ferry / Getty Images

    Shank buttons have a raised area on the back, which is used to sew it on. Sewing a shank button onto a garment isn't necessarily an easy task—and it depends on what type of fabric you're using and which style of clothing you're creating—but doing it incorrectly can make the item look cheap or homemade.

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  • 09 of 19

    Sewing a Flat Button

    Flat buttons and sewing tools
    Larry Washburn / Getty Images

    Sewing a flat button is easier than sewing a shank button, but there's still room for error. Sew it incorrectly, and you might find yourself with a wardrobe malfunction the first time you wear the piece of clothing out of the house.

  • 10 of 19

    Basic Directional Stitching to Sew Stay Stitching and Seams

    Dressmaker stitching
    Guido Mieth / Getty Images

    Using directional stitching prevents distorting the pieces so they fit together and drape properly.

  • 11 of 19

    Tips and Tricks to Sew Corners

    Swing corners
    AVNphotolab / Getty Images

    If you sew, chances are there has been a time (or two) that you were not satisfied with the way corners on collars or pillows looked when you sewed them. Learn tips and tricks to sewing corners here.

  • 12 of 19

    Easing Versus Gathering

    Waist seams
    Deepak Aggarwal / Getty Images

    As you read pattern directions the term "ease" sneaks into the instructions. Learn what easing is, plus the difference between easing and gathering for the best results.

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  • 13 of 19

    Sew Faux Fur

    Cutting faux fur

    Karen Hatch / Getty Images

    Sewing faux fur may take a bit more time but the results are worth it. Even a collar made of faux fur increases the beauty of a garment.

  • 14 of 19

    Bound Buttonholes

    Bound buttonhole
    Jillwt / Getty Images

    A bound buttonhole is an advanced sewing technique. Practice on scraps and you will be pleased with your results.

  • 15 of 19

    Lost Facing Pattern

    Andy Crawford, Steve Gorton / Getty Images

    It happens to everyone...that small facing pattern piece seems to have vanished. This article will show you how to create a facing pattern piece.

  • 16 of 19


    Hemming denim jeans

    jeangill / Getty Images

    Hemming pants is a common alteration. Learn how to sew a hem with results you will be proud of.

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  • 17 of 19


    Collar interfacing
    Maarigard / Getty Images

    Interfacing plays an important role in constructing garments. Learn what it is and what it does.

  • 18 of 19

    How to Grade a Seam

    Getty Images

    No one is going to give you an A, but grading a seam will eliminate bulk and help things lay smoothly.

  • 19 of 19

    Tips for Sewing a Set-In Sleeve

    Tailor measuring shoulder

    Hudzilla / Getty Images

    A set-in sleeve is not difficult if you take it one step at a time and follow the tips presented here.