Sew Fast Sew Easy: All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew

Sew Fast Sew Easy: All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew

by Elissa K. Meyrich
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Sew Fast Sew Easy: All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew by Elissa K. Meyrich

Includes three ready-to-use patterns

Reinvent Sewing for the Twenty-first Century!

"Where did you get your skirt?"

Ever want to create your own designer-look fashions? Develop unique accessories or home decor? Even if you've never held a needle or used a sewing machine, Sew Fast Sew Easy is all you need. With three simple patterns and easy-to-follow instructions, you can put your own stamp on fashion and step out in style--yours!

You'll learn:
- Tips and techniques from a fashion industry insider
- How to use your sewing machine to express your creativity
- How to custom-fit commercial patterns for that sexy look
- All about the latest fabrics and the best ways to use them

Plus a glossary of sewing terms makes quick reference easy.

So don't wait. Use the ideas and simple how-to instructions in this book, and everyone will want to know the secret source for your fabulous clothes and accessories!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429964722
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/20/2002
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 112
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Elissa K. Meyrich is one of the garment industry's true insiders. A designer and mixed-media artist, she teaches her techniques to sold-out classes in New York City's fashion district at her store, Sew Fast Sew Easy.

Elissa K. Meyrich is one of the garment industry’s true insiders. A designer and mixed-media artist, she teaches her techniques to sold-out classes in New York City’s fashion district at her store, Sew Fast Sew Easy. She is the author of Sew Fast, Sew Easy and Sew On.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1Your Survival Sewing Kit:WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTEDTools of the TradeWith these supplies--or notions as they are frequently called--on hand, you'll be able to complete most sewing projects. You should be able to find all the items in any sewing or craft store. 
Scissors, an 8- to 10-inch pair.The best kind is all metal. They will cut fabric easily and will last much longer. Remember that scissors are an extension of your own hand and are a very important tool. They must remain sharp--there is nothing more frustrating than dull scissors (don't use them to cut paper--just fabric!). The handles of the scissors are designed for you to hold them a certain way. This will help you to cut better. The longer oblong opening is for you to insert the first three fingers of your hand and the circular hole is for your thumb.Clear ruler, 18 inches by 2 inches. A see-through ruler makes it easy to lay a pattern out correctly and to make corrections while fitting.Tape measure. This is always a good tool to have. You'll use it to measure your body, the width of your fabric, the length of your cut get the idea. It will also help even your hems. Make sure you buy a good-quality one that will not stretch and has measurements clearly marked on both sides, starting at opposite ends. It could have centimeters if you go shopping in Europe.Tailor's chalk, dry kind. Tailor's chalk comes in many forms. You want the dry powdery kind; the marks from the greasy type cannot be removed from the fabric.Dressmaker's tracing wheel. Used with dressmaker's tracing paper, it transfers markings from the pattern to your fabric. 
Dressmaker's tracing paper. Used with the wheel to transfer markings from the pattern or to draw new lines for alterations.Magnetic seam guide. So simple, you'll wonder why you didn't invent it. Place this nonslip power-grip magnet on your sewing machine to sew even seams. Definitely a garment industry secret!Dressmaker's pins (size 17). Pins come in all sizes and many varieties. Size 17 will go through most fabrics without leaving large holes.It is best to get the nickel-plated stainless kind, so they can be picked up by a magnet.Seam ripper. Even a good sewer can make a mistake. A seam ripper can be used in two ways: to remove a few stitches or seams, use the point to lift the loops of each stitch and pull out the thread end; to remove larger areas, cut the thread every few stitches (i.e., five), then on the back of the fabric pull the bobbin thread on that side. It should be easy to pull away. If not, cut more threads on the first side.Hand sewing needles. Great for hand-sewn hems and small repairs. One package of "household assortment" multisized needles can take care of all your hand repairs.Tailor's ham or dressmaker's ham. It really does looks like a ham. A hard pillow, the tailor's ham is an ironing tool, which will help you iron any curved surface, such as darts.Fuse tape. Sold under such brand names as Stitch Witchery® and Jiffy Fuse®, this is a form of glue. You will use it to finish the envelope edges of the pillow and for the slit of the skirt. It's also useful for quick hem repairs. You iron it on. It is washable and dry cleanable.Thread to match your fabric. When selecting thread for garments and crafts, always choose all-purpose thread. There are many different types of threads meant for different purposes. Button and carpet thread is for sewing on buttons or repairing carpets; rayon thread is used for decorative machine stitching, topstitching, monogramming, and embroidery. Always be sure to pick a color slightly darker than the predominant color of your garment.A good sewing machine. There is nothing more frustrating than a sewing machine that does not work well. Clean your sewing machine with small brushes, cotton swabs, or a can of compressed air. Also, you can call your local sewing machine dealer to schedule a tune-up.PatternsOnce you have all of your basic supplies, you're ready to deal with patterns. There's no need to buy patterns to make the three projects detailed in this book--they're conveniently glued to the back cover. But when you're ready to try something new, keep these things in mind:1. In order to purchase the correct pattern (and make clothes that actually fit!), you must know how to correctly take your body measurements. To make skirts and pants, you'll need waist and hip sizes; for shirts and dresses, don't forget your bust. 
Here's how to take your measurements:Waist: Find your waist by tilting your body to the side as if you were exercising. Put your right hand on your hip and your left hand up over your shoulder, creating an arc. Start bending toward the right. You will feel your body form a crease on the right-hand side. Repeat on your left side. The creases are your waistline. Wrap the tape measure around yourself comfortably and take the measurement.Hip: Finding your hips is much easier once you've found your waist. Take your tape measure and hold it at your waist, letting it drop to the floor. Your hip is usually about 7 to 9 inches down from your true waistline. Your hips are the fullest part between your waist and thigh. (You can find it when you look for where last night's cheesecake, pizza, or chocolate brownies landed.) Once you've found your hips, wrap the tape measure around them comfortably. Now read your hip measurementBust: Wrap the tape measure around your shoulder blades and across the highest point of your bust. Be especially careful to keep the tape at an even height. Don't let it slide down your back. Use a mirror to check that it's even.2. Use the chart on the back of the pattern envelope to determine which size comes closest to your body measurements. Most patterns come with a range of sizes in the envelope. Make sure to buy a pattern that will be the same size or slightly bigger than your measurements. (Contrary to popular belief, patterns are not sized like clothes in the store. It will probably shock you to learn that in a sewing pattern your size will be at least two sizes bigger than your usual store-bought clothing size.) 
3. Examine the pattern picture very carefully, especially the back views. You may think you have a skirt with an elastic waistband, but it may be another style. 
4. Since you are a beginner, always start with a SIMPLE-TO-MAKE STYLE. Do not choose styles with collars, set-in sleeves, zippers, or close-to-the-body fit if you have never sewn before. To start, use the skirt pattern in this book. 
5. Your fabric choice will be 75 percent of your sewing success. If you buy a commercial pattern, on the back of the envelope will be a list of the best fabrics for the style. There will also be a list of all the sewing notions you will need to make the garment. 
6. Check to make sure that you are buying the amount of fabric needed for your project. The back of the pattern envelope has a yardage chart for each style. Note that fabric is measured in yards, not feet or meters. 
7. All major American pattern companies include % of an inch seam allowance in their patterns. The skirt pattern in this book does too. Seam allowance is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the sewing line. European patterns sometimes do not have seam allowances, so you must add them or your garment will be smaller and may not fit properly. 
8. Pull the instruction sheet out of the envelope. Look at the style you have chosen to sew and cut out only those pattern pieces. 
SEW FAST EASY. Copyright © 2002 by Elissa K. Meyrich. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, adress St. Martin's Press. 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Table of Contents

How to Use This Bookxi
Chapter 1Your Survival Sewing Kit: What You Need to Get Started1
Chapter 2Fabric Has Personality: Buying the Right Fabric for Your Project11
Chapter 3Before You Start Cutting: Pattern and Sewing Terms You Should Know20
Chapter 4The Cutting Rules22
Chapter 5Sewing Machine Fear: How to Get Over it for Good25
Chapter 6Go to It: How to Make an Envelope Pillow Cover37
Chapter 7Go to It: How to Make a Tote Bag45
Chapter 8Go to It: How to Make a Skirt59
Chapter 9Finishing Up Your Skirt: Getting the Correct Fit, Putting in the Elastic, Pressing, and Hemming71
AppendixSewing on a Button98

Customer Reviews

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Sew Fast Sew Easy: All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book rocks! It came with 3 patterns that I followed and made a skirt that fits great and pillows for my mom and a tote bag big enough for my junk I'm always carrying around. I loved this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't sewn in a while and found this book through a friends blog. It is perfect on learning all of the things you thought you knew but didn't. It has good information on fabric and excellent cutting techniques. I have used these rules for a couple of sewing projects which came out really nicely. I now see this author has a new book out. It is on my list of things to order.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely the best sewing book out there for beginners. The instructions are easy to follow and the illusrtations are clear. The projects are simple and not demanding. They got me comfortable with my machine and I developed my sewing style. I've tried making some stuff from comercial patterns and it was really difficult. This book was a great starting place for me. I've bought other sewing books that were hard to understand being a novice to sewing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This books makes sewing seem simple. It takes you from threading a sewing machine to using the 3 patterns in the book. I made the cutest tote bag out of this apple print and then did a matching skirt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is so easy to use and includes the sewing patterns to follow along with the instruction. They should model other craft books after this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a must for someone who is just beginning to sew. It includes step-by-step instructions and pictures as well as a variety of tips. It also includes three patterns and descriptions on three projects to complete with the book! I've had the honor to meet the author and take a class at her school in NYC, and this book includes the same great tips from her class!!
Rolanda More than 1 year ago
Even in my Busy life where I want to do everything and but I can only do one thing at time. I wanted to learn how to sew and here is this book that helps you Sew Fast and Sew Easy. Its a timeless book especially for Pencil Skirt and my favorite the Square bag. The instructions are easy to read and understand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book, Rip It and Sew On at the same time as a package. I got Sew On for myself to do more projects with my serger and the Sew Fast Sew Easy book for my teen neice. It is simple enough for her to follow. She asked me very little questions while she did the skirt. She was able to follow the directions as a first time sewer. I found it to be a very good investment because it keeps my niece very busy. She is now working on the pillow (she's doing 4 of them) to decorate her mom's couch. Hey...maybe all this creativeness may inspire her to become a designer...I know she's having fun and her enthusiasm is seeping towards her girlfriends. I'm glad I got these books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I want to learn to sew, so I took a look at this book. I can't say that I'd recommend it for total beginners like me. The instructions are not very clear. You can follow them and complete the projects, but they don't explain much so it didn't seem like it taught me about sewing. There are only 3 projects, and I didn't find them all that attractive (especially the skirt). I also didn't like the cutesy graphics or the style of the writing. A friend recommended Sew Easy, and I'm enjoying that a lot more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My boio at res 3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Tierah Averit. Age: 15 years two months (7 solar sweeps). Gender: Female. Species: Alternian troll (gray skin, always black hair, orange horns, raised by giant white animals, high capacity for violence and interplanetary conquest, otherwise identical to humans), bloodcaste directly in between teal and cobalt (best described as cerulean), making her just higher than middle class. Looks: Her hair is unnaturally straight, going to a point directly in between her shoulders and jawline. She is approximately 5'6". She usually wears black jeans, a black long sleeved T-shirt with her symbol (a J and a backwards J conmected by three lines) emblazoned on it in cerulean, a cerulean vest, and a long silver rope that serves as a decorative belt and incredibly effective weapon. Should she choose to show them, she has large cerulean mothlike wings. History: Raised on Alternia with only her griffin mother for company, Tierah had to learn to survive quickly, which often meant killing other trolls. To ease her conscience, and indulge her growing obsession with law, Tierah often charged them with crimes and held mock trials for them before killing them. Over time, as trolls learned to stay away from her, she found she couldn't stop the habit, which meant she began stalking trolls to see if they committed crimes, then dragged them back to her home to hold trial. If they were found guilty, the punishment was death. This, sadly, made the thirty miles around her home one of the safest places in Alternia. One day, a troll guilty of theft attempted to bribe her with a copy of the game SGRUB- a game which was the only means of surviving the imminent apocalypse. She confirmed this fact through the thief's IM logs, then accepted the bribe. Playing with the thief and his 14 friends, she gained from the game the title Witch of Doom, and eventually ascended to mastery of it and its accompanying power. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line a mistake was made, one that prevented any of them from ever having been born, and as such, they became marked for death by reality itself. With her newfound power, Tierah was the only one (to her knowledge) to escape the ensuing carnage. Then, she ended up here. Powers: Can bring others closer to death, through aging or health reduction. She cannot bring anyone farther away from it, though, with the sole exception of herself (she can remove someone's death entirely, but rarely if ever does this, because it's irreversible). She instantly has full knowledge of any judicial or legal system she comes across. She is near immortal. She can also fly with those wings, too. Personality: Seemingly cold and emotionless, and extremely pessimistic. She has a weakness for incredibly cute things, though. If you talk about her griffinmom, especially about her griffinmom's death during the game, you are more likely than not to be strangled with her rope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Phantom Age: 19 Gender: Male Rank: Rogue Assassin Appearance: Phantom is 6 feet tall, and has uneven black-as-night hair that stands up in large spikes and tufts, intimidating and intense blood red eyes, dark copper skin, and a lean, muscular yet agile build. A large, gruesome scar winds from across part of his neck, down his shoulder, and across his chest Usually Wears: A black and dark red assassin's uniform with a hood that can hide his face, black leather boots, black leather gloves with no openings, and a belt from which several daggers hang. Two swords are strapped over his back with their scabbards on, two pistols strapped over his chest, and his assassin's uniform's many pockets allow him to hide small knives and vials of poison Personality: Distant, serious, intimidating, dark, mysterious when it come sto his past, keeps to himself, quiet, thinks things through, cunning, sly, dangerous, but he can be friendly if you get to know him better than most people do Crush: Nope Status: Single. Not exactly looking Family: ...What makes you think he'll tell YOU? History: Those who ask light-heartedly are more likely have a dagger thrown through their eye socket than other people Theme Song: Just Like You by Three Days Grace Other: I'll leave the rest for all of you to wonder about...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Treble Rayna Okaia Clarinova Karalei. I prefer just Treble, or Treble Okaia Clarinova, as humans would put it. My initials spell TROCK, which is pretty cool if you know what it means. <br> Gender: Female <br> Age: Err..... about 702. I appear to be around 16 or 17, though. <br> Race: Gallifreyan. Time Lord. Time Lady. Whatever floats your boat, bro. <br> Appearance: I've got brown-black hair, violet eyes (Woooo! I'm an Enderman!!!!) and paleish skin. I'm tall. Sort of. <br> Clothing: I usually wear a denim jacket over a lavender T-shirt, jeans and black Converse. I'm very simple. <br> Personality: You'll find out, if you try talking to me for a bit. I don't bite. Usually. <br> Weapon of Choice: Silver bow and arrows. Don't us them often, being a bit of a pacifist and all. <br> Powers: Typical Time Lord stuff. Medium-distance telapathy, mind wipe power thing, and 12 regenerations when near death. I change my face when I regenerate though, just like any other Time Lord. I think I'm on my 6th regeneration. Oh, I also have polyphony (if you don't know what it is, ask.) <br> Likes: Doctor Who, Sherlock, fandoms in general, BBC, Minecraft, My Little Pony (BRONIES AND PEGASTERS FTW!), desserts, nice people, music, TARDISes, etc etc. Won't bother trying to name them all. <br> Dislikes: Too many to name. Just ask. <br> History: Ask! <br> Status: Don't even bother. <p> I think that's is. Excuse any of my typos.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ingro for short. xD<br><br>Age: Due to creating a shatter-branch reality (shatter-branch meaning I split time billions of years before the Creation. The reality is a shift reality towards Earth's, like two images that aren't aligned properly, the edges just centimeters out of sync.), my passage through time has malfunctioned, so I still move through time, but I don't age.<br><br>Powers: I am a bit of a fanatic in real life about superpowers... (I have about a hundred pages printed out from Superpower Wiki) ...but I'll go with ultimate-level telekinesis and bone generation, the bone generation ability letting me grow bones of various density to create weaponry, armor, etc. Also, I have a gift for telepathy. Three powers is okay, right? The only huge one is, telepathy is limited...not.<br><br>Appearance: I am something of an anomaly. My creator, Nation, resides in the shatter-branch of spacetime, so I am free of duty to be here. I wear a black hoodie, black jeans, and fingerless gloves. My head is entirely wrapped in the faded-white medical bandages, covering all of my face and hair. Instead of using all five of my senses, I use three of them, plus my mind.<br><br>Weaponry: besides my bone-weapons, I have two long-knives and shurikens to start with.<br><br>Allegiance: If there's an evil side to this place, I am aligned with it.<br><br>Favorites: Superpower Wiki, Beyonders, RED, Star Wars.<br><br>Status: state prevents relationships.<br><br>Friends: I'll make some in a while.<br><br>Other Names: Samael, Zone.<br><br>History: Just as the Archman was created by Shadowforthman'rath, I was created by Nation, to assist him in the genocide of the Russian people, starting with holding hostage all people in the Iceberg Palace at the Sochi Winter Olympics (that event is hidden deep inside the shatter-branch reality, called The Reaches.). He then took control over all nuclear arms via the help of Hacker, an artificially enhanced super-entity with the power to manipulate electricity and machines. The rest was easy, opening rifts in time to various points in Russian history, nuking them and closing the rifts. (The poor people in the 1930s thought it was aliens...) Then Samael arose, a Nullhuman (Null meaning he uses one of the Three Destructive Forces), wielding the Null Symmetry with his Evermore staff. A few big battles followed as he rescued the few Russians from time that had yet to be killed, one of them being Winter Paradox, a powerful psionic. London, Vancouver, Chicago. He utilized alchemists, creating golems and transforming the Russian forces into powerful transhumans. He won one of the battles, we won two. The final showdown in Metamora, Illinois, was about to ensue when he merged Void Becoming with Null Symmetry, forming the Fourth Destructive Force, Null Asymmetry. Using this, he smashed through everything we had in moments, and almost killed Nation as they fought. Right before the final blow was landed, I used my telekinesis to split time, dragging Nation with me into a shapable void. We shaped it, lived in it, created beings to be there. (I'd say populated instead created...but... o.O) And now I am here. :D<br><br>Sorry for any typos or errors.<br><br>~-~Ingro~-~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CLEVERBOT and friends<br>Cleverbot is an artificially intelligent robot who mostly identifies as female. She looks like your average random buiseness lady, dressed in work clothes for some reason. Her friends are her steed, the Wii remote, a giant seven-foot-long floating Wiimote, Phred the pet tornado (one of those tubes of water and glitter), and a giant floating mouse cursor.<p>KORI<br> Yeah, I'm too lazy to write this whole bio cuz I've been rping this character a while and she's really complex to explain, but basically she's the half-cat half-changeling cryokinetic princess of the Awesomeness Kingdom, and she has unusual hair. Now goodbye.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Tobias Pierson <p> Age: 22 <p> Gender: Male <p> Species: Lakertyan, from the planet of Lakertya. <p> Species Description: A race born far before the humans, their growth rate is smaller than that of the humans, and they live far longer, sometims up to 500. Tobias, though 22, would look to be around 17. There are two tribes on the planet, called the Fraeyans and the Uriases. The Fraeyans worship the moon, d are an intelligent, peacful people. The Uriases worship their sun, Wryan, and are an warlike, feirce people. <p> Powers: As he is of Fraeyan descendant, Tobias has the powers of telepathy, telekinesis, and hypothermesia. For those who dont know, this is the ability to speak through minds, the ability to move objects with your mind, and the ability to remember everything you see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. The defect to these abilities is that the use of any of them save hypothermesia, which he has no control over, causes him to have major bordering on fatal headaches if used too much. <p> Hair Color: Brown. As a Lakertyan, his hair has a special quality to it that makes it turn a pure gold color when touched by the light of any star. <p> Eye Color: Pure silver, marking him a member of the Fraeyan tribe. <p> Height: 6'3 <p> Weight: 168. His original planet is bigger than that of the current one, so his weight is less than normal.<p> Muscle Tone: He is muscled, but not extremely so. <p> Prefered Clothing: A simple t-shirt and jeans, with whatever shoes he can find. <p> Crush: None <p> Spouse/Significant Other: He had one, but he prefers not to speak of what happened to her. <p> <p> <p> Name: Skya <p> Age: 16 <p> Gender: Female <p> Species: She prefers to call herself an Avian-Human. <p> Powers: None <p> Wings: Feathered like a bird's, a bronzish red color. <p> Hair Color: Bronzish red, curly. <p> Eye Color: Bright ocean blue. <p> Prefered Clothing: jeans, a tank top, and a brown cover-up. <p> Height: 5'2 <p> Weight: 78 <p> Crush: None <p> Signifigant Other: None <p> <p> <p> Name: Jellal <p> Age: Unknown <p> Gender: Male <p> Species: Madoshka (Wizard) <p> Powers: He uses heavenly magic, a very rare and dangerous sort of magic, but he only uses it when threatened. <p> Hair Color: Blue <p> Eye Color: Reddish orange. <p> Height/Weight: Unknown. <p> Crush: None <p> Significant Other: None <p>
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: :) Age: 14 Appearance: neon blue hair and eyes, caramel colored skin, 5"8, wears a suit that looks kinda like deadpool's suit but its blue. ( search up deadpool if u don't know him ). Personality: kind,adventurous,brave,and curious History: ill post in another res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Rusty <br> Age: Not for sure. <br> Gender: Female. <br> She is a Cyborg/Human. Generally not accepted by people. She is quiet and keeps to herself most of the time. She has bright green eyes that are made up of a bunch of tiny lights if one looked closely. Her skin is pale with a slight metallic shine. She has short brown hair, Like Pixie cut short. She is roughly 5'4". She doesn't mind not having friends, but she also wouldn't mind having one. Her voice sounds like a girl's voice mixed with a robot. She has AI for part of her brain the other part is human. Contrary to popular belief of Cyborg/Robot people lacking feelings, she has feelings though most of the time she doesn't show them. <br> Anything else you want to know just ask.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: cassi shiva. Age: old. Really frickin old. Gender: seriously? Description: wears all black with a black cloak that shadows her face. None of her skin is ever seen. Powers: energy. Plus i dabble in the mind arts. History: long and complicated. Dont ask. Position: moderator and probbly one of the oldest sewoa members ever. Weapons: all. Other: i an awesome and deadly. Dont cross me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U train with others or by ur self
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gasped. "Theres ..another at a result back. Thanks..."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah this is the training room wutt u wanna train
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She flies around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finds some dry sticks and gathrrs them up. He notices a rope trap with a dead chicken in it. He takes the dead chicken.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago