Nicki LaFoille

Practical Sewing Tips & Techniques

Nicki LaFoille
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 179 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A
  • Available for purchase: $39.99
Get an overview of the information covered in this course, from tension, elastics, hems and zippers to binding, mitering and pattern alterations.
Incorrect tension is one of the most common sewing issues. Nicki explains the basics of tension mechanics and how to troubleshoot tension problems.
Adding elastic is one of the easiest ways to finish a waistband. Learn about the different kinds of elastics, when and how to use them, and learn how to attach an elastic waistband in three different ways.
Different garment styles require different hem styles, just as different fabrics require different hem considerations. Learn how to hem an A-line skirt, variations for hemming a circle skirt, tips for professionally hemming slinky knits without a serger and how to shorten a garment while keeping the original factory hem intact.
Binding is a great way to give garment edges a clean, finished look. Binding can be used on quilts, garments and most edges. Nicki explains the different types of binding and shows you how to make your own. Plus, learn how to make perfect mitered corners and flawlessly join binding ends.
Zippers are one of the most common closures, in dresses, shirts and pants. Nicki explains the different types of zippers, where to use them and tips for sewing them. Get step-by-step instructions for inserting a coil zipper and invisible zipper.
Knowing the basics of pattern alterations is one of the most useful skills a sewist can acquire. Learn the tools needed, and a few techniques for basic design and fit alterations.
Nicki answers some of the most common sewing questions, including how to prevent wavy edges when sewing knits, and how to decipher commercial sewing pattern symbols. Plus learn how to correctly choose the right pattern size, and how to grade between sizes for the perfect pattern fit.
Learn more about your instructor, Nicki LaFoille.
9 Lessons
2  hrs 59  mins

Advance your basic sewing skills with a collection of the most useful intermediate skills and techniques. Even if you’re a seasoned sewist, you’ll benefit from the tips and tricks designed to make your sewing easier. To begin, instructor Nicki LaFoille explains troubleshooting techniques for most common sewing problem: tension. What is correct and incorrect tension? Learn how to make the correct adjustments to get perfect tension and how to alleviate those nasty thread nests and other common tension problems.

Then learn about the vast array of elastics available, the differences between them and how to know what type to choose for what purpose. Get step-by-step instructions on how to create three different waistband types using elastic.

Hems are a vital part of every project, whether it’s a garment or not. Learn to finish your edges to make your project look crisp and professional. Learn different hemming techniques for different projects, such as those with slinky fabrics or curved edges. Nicki will also demonstrate how to shorten a garment while preserving the original factory hem.

Zippers are another problem area for many sewists. Zippers can seem intimidating, as there are many different types of zippers: coil, invisible, separating. Nicki explains the differences and demonstrates how to insert a coil zipper and an invisible zipper.

Knowing how to attach binding is not just great for quilts. Binding is a great way to finish garment and home-dec project edges with a professional look or a pop of color. Nicki explains the formula to calculate the needed length, how to make your own and how to apply it in two different ways. Nicki also demonstrates how to join the binding ends and how to create crisp, mitered corners.

Altering patterns is one of the most useful techniques to learn if you intend to sew garments. Nicki demonstrates how to slash and spread, how to remove darts from patterns, and make alterations to necklines, sleeves and skirts.

Then, Nicki will explain some common sewing tips, and answer some frequently asked questions, such as how to prevent wavy edges on knits, how to read commercial patterns and how to blend pattern sizes.

Nicki LaFoille

Nicki LaFoille has been sewing for over 20 years. After her grandmother taught her to hand sew at the tender age of 11, Nicki fell in love with the craft and went on to receive a degree in Apparel Design from Central Michigan University. She worked as Associate Editor, then freelance contributor for Sew News, Sew It All and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines and appeared as a guest on Sew It All TV. She lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband, daughter and red worm colony. In addition to seamstress, she is an author of several novels and enjoys gardening and canning the bounty.

Nicki LaFoille

Bonus materials available after purchase

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