Posts by Maris Olsen

Maris Olsen is a seriously awesome sewing geek, and prefers to spend the majority of each day in her sewing studio. Since retiring from a hi-tech career, her new life-mission is to imbue students young and old with the love of textiles, stitching, and the pure joy of creation. She blogs about her sewing and teaching adventures at She’s also a crazy Nana, a sporadic yogi, and a wavery bike-rider.

10 Common Sewing Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Sewist Measuring a Dress on a Dress Form with Measuring Tape

Most sewing problems can be resolved by practice, and not getting hung up on being perfect. You will learn from every mistake you make! However, to save yourself some frustration, it's helpful to educate yourself on common sewing mistakes before you make them so they can easily be avoided. Here are 10 of the most common pitfalls to watch out for.

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Picking Pockets for Your Sewn Garments

Yellow Dress with Inseam Pockets

Most of us love pockets for their functionality, and sometimes for their aesthetic appeal as well. There are two basic types of pockets for garments, with many variations within the two basic style: patch pockets and inside pockets. Let's take a look both of these and some of the variations for each.

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Sew Your Own Jeans: It’s Easier Than You Think!

Three Pairs of Handmade Designer Jeans

Are you daunted by the thought of sewing your own jeans? Don't be! While jeans are far from the simplest sewing project you can tackle, with a bit of practice and attention to the details, you can add jeans-making to your sewing resume.

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Add a Cowl Neckline for Instant Drama

Slash lines cut

Cowl necklines are both feminine and flattering to many different body styles, and are relatively easy element to add to an existing pattern for a simple top. If you already have a T-shirt or basic shell pattern that fits well, you are halfway there!

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Add Designer Appeal to Your Garments With the Channel Stitch

Anne Klein Channel Stitched Purse

The channel stitch is a wonderful and simple way to add a decorative element to your clothing or accessories. Although it is often thought of as a couture technique, channel stitching is achievable for any home sewer with a bit of practice and attention to detail.

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6 Ways to Share Your Sewing Skills with Those in Need

Charity Sewing

We all love to sew for ourselves and our families and friends. Making something "with love" is a great way to show people you care. If you have never sewn for charity, you'll quickly find it's a wonderful way to share your love of sewing, and help someone in need at the same time. Here are a few of the best ways to contribute to charities with your sewing!

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Staystitching: Why It’s So Important


To staystitch or not to staystitch? That is a great question! Explore the principles of staystiching, how to do it properly, why it is so important when you're sewing garments, and when you can just blow it off.

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How to Wash Fabric Before Sewing

Selection of fabrics

Learn all about pre-treating the fabric you sew with. In the end, you'll be glad you took the time to prevent shrinkage problems in a completed garment.

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Learn to Sew With Your Feet: Different Types of Sewing Machine Feet


Presser feet are not just frivolous accessories for your sewing machine; they can help make tough sewing jobs tremendously easier if you are willing to take a few minutes to swap out your universal foot. As far as I am concerned, if a few presser feet are good, more are certainly better!

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