Hand sewing is for the birds. Really, unless you want an excuse to sit in front of the telly then there’s usually a way it can be done on your machine. Take button sewing for example. All you need to do, is line the button up, adjust your zigzag setting until it matches the holes (you can do this at first with a few manual turns) and then letting the foot hold the button and zig. zag. a few times. Button sewn on. Trim thread ends and tie in a knot. If you must have a shank, leave the threads long and use a needle to pull the thread to the top and wrap.
The Creative Little Daisy blog has a fabulous tute for making bias binding without a tape maker.
I hate handsewing. I once found a little device that did tailor’s tacks as quickly as punching a hole. I didn’t buy it and now instead of kicking myself or doing tailors tacks by hand or with tailors chalk, tracing paper, a tracing wheel or a non-permanent marker texta so this is how I make darts.
I don’t mind if you use these patterns to make clothes to sell however you can not resell any of the patterns. If you can acknowledge us on the swing tag or on your site that would be great. If you are planning to make clothes to sell even at market stalls, I highly recommend regularly reading Fashion Incubator and purchasing The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing. If you can’t afford this book, you can’t afford to be in business.
If you don’t have a serger/overlocker then bias binding is a great way to finish a garment neatly. I got tired of wrestling with facings that never seem to sit right and then with the poor quality interfacing that seems to be the only kind available to home seamsters. I use it for summer dress necklines and armholes and I love using a contrasting colour because it looks so cute. Check out this tutorial on making and applying bias binding
Buy fabric first. Then decide what to make. Why? Because fabric is harder to find.
But how do I know how much to buy if I don’t know what I want? As a rule of thumb I buy fabric in lots of 1m, 1.5m, 2m or 2.5m. If I really like it and it’s cheap I’ll get 3 or 4 metres.
Roughly I can get a little top or a mini-skirt out of 1m, a pair of shorts out of 1.5m and shirt from 2m. If I think I want a dress I’ll go for 2m.