The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Nancy Zieman

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew

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I can think of about two to three different ways to stitch most techniques, yet I generally use just one method. What do I choose? The absolute easiest way, of course!

This week’s featured online Sewing With Nancy program is the first of a 3-part series on The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew.

Use just a few pins for pattern layout

Starting with pattern layout, cutting, and marking, learn ways to streamline and improve your sewing skills.

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Nancy Zieman

Do sewing darts have you in a dither?

Learn how to use an index card or sticky notes as the sewing guide for effortless dart stitching, It’s the next Absolute Easiest technique.

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Nancy ZiemanOne size does not fit all when it comes to sewing gathers!

Type of fabric, the width of the seam allowances, and the project dictate the absolute easiest way to add gathers to fabrics. I show you four options during this TV episode, plus there are more in the book, The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew.

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Nancy ZiemanChanging the rules is part of the sewing game

When adding elastic to knits, you’ll find this, by far, the simplest way to a sew casing. You’ll be stitching less and enjoying it more.

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Nancy Zieman

There’s a secret trick when sewing a casing in sportswear

You’ll think to yourself, Why didn’t I think of that!” (Watch online for the trick.)

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Nancy Zieman

All my favorite sewing tips are in one book.

  • The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew chapters include:

    • Sewing Notions
    • Sewing Machine Confidence
    • Serger Spotlight
    • Patterns
    • Fabric Facts
    • Sewing Basics
    • Beyond the Basics

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Watch The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew (Part One, Part Two, and Part Threeon Sewing With Nancy online.

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

Content in this feed is © copyright 2014 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.
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121 Comments

  • Diane Walker
    November 29, 2014

    I love the sewing technique of using pinstripes. They sew so easily and look great! Very classey!!

  • Susan
    November 29, 2014

    I would love to fine tune how I sew elastic casing.

  • Sheila Wilton
    November 29, 2014

    I would like to learn more about choosing tfhe right elastic. I found the gathering techniques very helpful.

  • velia
    November 29, 2014

    I could use some help with zippers and button-holes!

  • Lakshmi Rajesh
    November 29, 2014

    Curvy hems in delicate fabrics as I do lot of ball gowns ith circle skirts
    thanks

  • Jeanne
    November 29, 2014

    I like your tip for successfully sewing darts and look forward to trying it.

  • Donna
    November 29, 2014

    I need help w/zippers and rolled hems.

  • nancy
    November 29, 2014

    Elastic, Elastic, Elastic!

  • Ann
    November 29, 2014

    Sewing knits

  • Denise Z. G.
    November 29, 2014

    I have always appreciated the tips for easiest gathers from you, Nancy! Saved innumerable hours of work over the years.

  • MaroryW
    November 29, 2014

    I like your tip on using fewer pins when laying out patterns, and I love my edge-stitching foot for neat and even narrow edge stitching and hems.

  • Elizabeth Kuntz
    November 29, 2014

    Many years ago when my girls were young (they’re in their 20’s now) I watched your show and bought your books to learn to sew. I am only just now getting back into sewing after almost 20 years away from it. I think my answer would be all techniques!

  • Debi Nelson
    November 29, 2014

    I look forward to learning new faster techniques to replace some of the detailed sewing I learned as a child when competing in 4-H.

  • Cheryl L. Masters
    November 30, 2014

    I learn so much when watching your shows or videos. I really admire your pluckiness, as well as your teaching techniques. Thanks so much for being there for start-over sewists.

  • Judy G
    November 30, 2014

    Do you have any “easier” tricks for sewing with tricky slippery fabrics such as velvets and chiffons? “The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew” book as just been added to my Christmas Wish List!

  • Judy G
    November 30, 2014

    Do you have any “easier” tricks for sewing with tricky slippery fabrics such as velvets and chiffons? “The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew” book as just been added to my Christmas Wish List!

  • Ilana
    November 30, 2014

    I think the tip about adding elastic will be very useful.

  • Enid
    November 30, 2014

    I like the tip for sewing darts.

  • Helen Hougland
    November 30, 2014

    All of the Easiest Ways to Sew tips are useful and so welcome to learn and/or re-learn, but my favorite is the tip for gathering using the serger! Who knew???

  • Suanne R
    December 1, 2014

    I really like the index card tip for sewing darts. So simple & accurate!

  • Dawn Taylor
    December 1, 2014

    Tips for sewing elastic casings is where I need the most help!

  • emily
    December 1, 2014

    I love the dart idea. I have watched your show for years and now my husband even watches them.

  • Kathy
    December 1, 2014

    My favorite hint is butting the ends of elastic together rather than overlap them….no bulk. Great hint.

  • Rhonda Jones
    December 1, 2014

    I struggle with zippers & darts. They make me so mad!

  • Patty R
    December 1, 2014

    I really like the tip you offered in the last webcast about the pillow corners and not sewing them square!! I had made a pillow and the corners bugged me. I’m anxious to try your tip now and see how my pillows look!!

  • Linda E in AZ
    December 1, 2014

    Putting elastic waistlines into fabrics, both knit and woven.
    thanks!!

  • Joanne Dillon
    December 1, 2014

    I love it when you share the handy dandy make life ever so much easier sewing notions not the least of which would be the jumbo clips. I use them all the time when doing machine embroidery and serging!! Love you guys!

  • JACQUELINE W
    December 1, 2014

    I would really like help with collars …I can never get them aligned properly. It always comes out wrong after I have destroyed my fabric trying to redo it. Nancy, fix my COLLARS…

  • JACQUELINE W
    December 1, 2014

    I would like help with collars. I can never get it aligned properly, it always comes out wrong after I have destroyed my fabric trying to redo it. Nancy, fix my COLLARS.

  • Susie-Q
    December 1, 2014

    I liked the tip for gathering with the serger. Would like to find the easiest way to put in zippers and button holes.

  • Mippy/Sabrina
    December 1, 2014

    I like the tip about darts the most. But then I need all the tips I can get as I am a super uber new sewist.

  • Jackie P.
    December 1, 2014

    I am 74 years old and have been sewing since my teens. Your simple ideas are great. You make it all so much quicker and easier. I am going to buy your book for my grand daughters who I am teaching to sew.

  • Marilyn Logan
    December 1, 2014

    The tip about the dart is one that I will start using immediately.

  • Marilyn Logan
    December 1, 2014

    I like the tip about the darts.

  • Pat Nicholaisen
    December 1, 2014

    I love the serger trick with the different feet, gathers, etc
    Thanks a million, I try not to miss your show every Sat. along with my husband

  • Kim M. Harrington
    December 1, 2014

    I want to know about the sportswear casing trick!

  • Lynn
    December 1, 2014

    I have always appreciated your segments on fitting patterns!

  • Jo D
    December 1, 2014

    Hmmm. It would be easier to list the t hings I wouldn’t want more ideas how-to-do. But, definitely ‘elastic’ ideas impress me. And I’ve sewn since I was a child (and I’m retired now). Sewing Machine Confidence 101 sorta’ strikes me. Thats the things I’d like to have a refresher on. Thanks, Nancy.

  • Clara
    December 1, 2014

    At one time I made all my clothes and did not have to alter the pattern. It has been a few years since I have sewn apparel. Now that my body has changed I find that using the pattern without altering is not possible and is a problem for me. So, an easy pattern altering and fitting would be extremely helpful.
    Thank you for all you do for us.

  • Pat
    December 1, 2014

    I love the sportswear elastic technique. Would also love to hear and see hints for sewing in zippers.

  • Sharon N
    December 1, 2014

    Fitting is always the hardest for me. Now that I’m older I have sags, bags and parts of me pooching out that never used to. Ha. I can use all the help I can get.

  • Tina
    December 1, 2014

    I have heard you can sew in zippers with a serger. I would like to learn that. I like your tips on elastic.

  • Sharon
    December 1, 2014

    It has to be adding elastic to knits. So simple, thank you.

  • Helen
    December 1, 2014

    I would love to learn how to make the hem hang evenly all the way around a gathered, floor-length chiffon dress.

  • Judy Beebe
    December 1, 2014

    Zippers and rolled hems, please. Also hemming t-shirts gives me fits!

  • Rhonda
    December 1, 2014

    I’m a start over sewer who finds I didn’t know much in the first place. Your techniques have opened my eyes to possibilities I would not have imagined. Right now I could use tips on almost all parts of fashion sewing. Thanks for being there!

  • Melanie Shamp
    December 1, 2014

    I love watching your programs; especially the time saving tips! Even though I have been sewing since I was a young mother( yes, Nancy, I watched you back in the 70’s), I always say you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! I look forward to the new way to gather fabric- ” The Absolutely Easiest Way To Sew”.

  • JoanMarie
    December 1, 2014

    I have so many do-dads to make sewing easier. Do I know REALLY how to use them? NO… All these little tips would be great. I do not like putting in elastic. Any tip is a welcomed tip. The web-cast was terrific. Thanks for your time & expertise.

  • Shirley Wilson
    December 1, 2014

    I would be most appreciative of techniques on shortening coat sleeves. Unfortunately, my arms are a little short and sleeves are too long. Any help along that line would be great.

  • Lorij
    December 1, 2014

    An easy way to make slacks that fit and,
    an easy way to alter lined slacks.
    Thanks☺

  • Linda
    December 1, 2014

    I would love to know more about using all the feet that came with my machine. And I cringe at making buttonholes.

  • Sue
    December 1, 2014

    I like the tip on how to put in elastic without sewing a casing. That looks better when worn because you don’t see a stitching line and the gathers smooth out to look almost flat when you are wearing the garment. I have watched your show for many, many years, Nancy. I have learned SO MUCH from you even though I have sewn since 1974. Keep teaching us!

  • Cindy Schultz
    December 1, 2014

    Gosh I just watched your video and learned so much. You make sewing garments look so easy. I loved your tip about sewing darts, I would have never thought of that. I also loved your gathering tips using sewing machine or serger. The elastic casing tips were just as amazing. It makes me think I should start sewing garments. Your book looks full of amazing tips. Thanks for sharing your tips with us.

  • Alice Phillips
    December 1, 2014

    Zippers have always been a problem for me. I used many of your tips in my classroom to teach my students to sew. Thanks.

  • Cheryl G.
    December 1, 2014

    I would like to know how to work with the elastic with buttonholes in it? I want to try this in making shorts for mygrandchildren, because the fabric is still good but the elastic gets too tight for them or is there other options for me to use to help with this kind of problem? Thanks for all your help! I have been watching your shows on TV since around 1982. I’m waiting for your shows to come back on Create TV in St. Louis, Mo.

  • Ellen
    December 1, 2014

    I would like an explanation on when thread spools should be used from a vertical position and when they should be used from a horizontal position. See sewing machines and their different spool positions. Also, it would be nice to have a chart with the different brands and types of thread listed giving the information. Thanks, Ellen

  • Mary Anne Ahtye
    December 1, 2014

    Easy instructions about how to make the perfect welt pocket in a sweater knit.

  • Chris
    December 1, 2014

    When I make pillows and have a decorative trim all the way around how do I treat the ends? I know how to handle piping but nothing else.

  • Linda K
    December 1, 2014

    I like the way youR technique for sewing in elastic, but I have tried that technique and just can’t get it right. My waist band always stretched out of shape and sometime twisted.

  • Barbara Carr
    December 1, 2014

    I need help with doing more with a serger machine. I’m stuck in a rut and need to do more with it to justify the cost.

  • Florence
    December 1, 2014

    I do not make garments to wear, but would appreciate learning some easy tips/techniques for mending and altering clothing, such as taking up pant hems without having to cut off their decorative edges or trims, taking in shoulders for a better fit, increasing/decreasing waistbands, etc. I think your book would greatly help in solving these common sewing dilemmas.

  • Barbara R.
    December 1, 2014

    I haven’t sewn garments for years, so this entire book will be a good refresher. I want to try the index card dart tip!

  • LadyD
    December 1, 2014

    Several years ago, I bought a pair of elastic-waist jeans off the rack – yeah, I know, I was lazy. But my point is, the waistband of those pants was put together in a different way from the technique I use. I sew the casing first and then put the elastic inside and know how to do that, but it can be laborious.

    What I can’t figure out is how the elastic was sewn to the pants first and then folded down so there’s really no casing at all. This technique looks as if it might be easier; the elastic is attached to itself at the ends, and to the pants on both long sides of the elastic. How do I measure the elastic to make sure that sort of waist band would fit me? Since I’ve lost a few sizes, I want to re-create a similar pair of pants in a smaller size, than I purchased, including the waist band technique used in the commercial garment.

  • JulieCC
    December 1, 2014

    I love the dart trick! I typically mark them with a Pilot Frixion pen – my favorite sewing “tool”.

    I would love tips for sewing with vinyl!

  • Sharon Powless
    December 1, 2014

    Gosh, I really liked all the tips. I remember my mom using marking Wheel and marking paper. Your tips made everything easier. What I found most interesting for myself was using a serger Thor sewing basting lines to help gather. I would like to see some more shows using a serger for both sewing and quilting.

  • Margaret
    December 1, 2014

    I never would have thought to use a straight edge to make a dart. Thanks!

  • Cleo Puyear
    December 1, 2014

    I would like to get back into making garments as well as all the fun things (quilting, embroidery & crafts). Elastic is a little tricky for me. I need to replace some on my husband’s undies and want to know the type to use and sewing method to use. Thanks for all your sewing tips and shows. Keep them coming!

  • Kathy Semone
    December 1, 2014

    I love the index card for sewing darts idea. Does it work on drapey fabrics also? I would love tips on sewing with the artificial leather with the fiber backing like one uses for purses and bags.

  • eileen costello
    December 1, 2014

    I love the wrapped corner technique. After I saw it I use it all the time and my corners come out great.

  • Theresa Brooks
    December 1, 2014

    Using an index card to make it easier to sew darts is a great idea! I have been sewing for over 40 years and that never occurred to me! Will make it easier next time I sew a dart!

  • Beth
    December 1, 2014

    I love this easiest way series. The thing I most need help with is how to use a rolled hem / picot edge foot on my regular sewing machine. I have watched videos and read countless tips but I can just never get it to work. I would also like tips on other feet as well, when to use them etc. If you have had success in something Nancy, I know I can too!

  • Beth
    December 1, 2014

    I love this easiest ways series. The thing I most need help with is how to use a rolled hem / picot edge foot on my regular sewing machine. I have watched videos and read countless tips but I can just never get it to work. I would also like tips on other feet as well, when to use them etc. If you have had success in something Nancy, I know I can too!

  • Frances
    December 1, 2014

    Thanks to your instruction, I’ve been using pattern weights for years. But my favorite technique is the wrapped corner! Thanks ever so much!

  • Joyce
    December 1, 2014

    I would like to know more about putting elastic in knit pants, and more about serger tips.

  • AS
    December 1, 2014

    I could use some help with my serging since I’m rather new to it.

  • Lucy
    December 1, 2014

    I’v been sewing since I was a kid,I’m now 72 and things have changed so dramatically in sewing and I would love to learn how to do things in an easier quicker manner. Just to be able to find an easier way to use some of the new fabrics and just make it easier on myself,would just be wonderful!

  • Yolanda H English
    December 1, 2014

    I have tried your tips on the elastic and dart. Very useful tips, it made my sewing so much better and look good, too.

  • Karyn Cowdrey
    December 1, 2014

    I find the tips on elastic casing sewing to be a fantastic time saver!

  • Donna Rae
    December 1, 2014

    Will be teaching my 11 year old goddaughter how to sew. Sure could use tips on teaching youngsters. And tips on sewing knits.

  • Charlotte
    December 1, 2014

    I almost got to attend a class with you near Baltimore but I came down with the Shingles and couldn’t attend. I wanted to learn how to Serge from you in person. It is something I hope to learn.

  • Starla
    December 1, 2014

    I want to learn more about sewing stretchy fabrics — how to cut things out, how to sew them so the stretch doesn’t turn into the tear or thread-break, etc.

  • Anna
    December 1, 2014

    Loved the tip using a index to make a dart…so simple, yet so simple. I have trouble sewing bais tape–especially on curves. I know beginning sewers, like my 12year-old twins would love this hookah.

  • Sandy
    December 1, 2014

    I would like to know how to make casual slacks/skirts that have a tie string. I like to be able to adjust the waist size as I lose weight (or gain weight). Thanks.

  • Tonya Lawson
    December 1, 2014

    Oh gosh! What do I pick?!!! I love the tips for saving time with pattern pinning (or not) and cutting. I also like the tip to use a serger to gather. I had no idea! Thanks Nancy!

  • PamB
    December 1, 2014

    This is so basic, but I need a new iron. Do you have tips on which iron to buy?

  • michelle
    December 1, 2014

    I have trouble with slippery fabrics so much that I just don’t bother anymore. Can you get me jump started again?? My courage is gone….

  • Carolyn S
    December 1, 2014

    Corners! After trying several techniques, I still can’t get the perfect corner.

  • Donna McAfee
    December 1, 2014

    I love to sew and have been at it for 50+ years. However, I still to this day have trouble putting in a zipper! It never looks perfect when I am finished. Would love to get some help with this problem!

  • Kathy
    December 1, 2014

    I could use really use help with the serger and the added feet that can go with one.

  • kathy
    December 1, 2014

    Wow what great tips. Especially sewing on elastic. You always make it so much easier to enjoy our hobby!!

  • liz masters
    December 1, 2014

    When it comes to buttonholes, I do everything from avoiding patterns without them ,to getting a seamstress to do them for me. Any help with this to make it easier, would be a lifesaver.!!

  • Debora Johnson
    December 1, 2014

    I have 2 tips that I learned from you & love. The first is Easiest Way to Put in a Zipper. It helped me to put in my first zipper. It wasn’t perfect but I was thrilled.

    The second was Easiest Way to Put Elastic on a Waistband. Sometimes I don’t even bother to use a casing but use your way. It’s easy and sits smoothly on the waist.

    Re: your notions. Some of them I don’t understand what they are used for. Is there an explanation or video showing how to use the products?

    Thanks and keep up the good work, Nancy.

  • Lynn
    December 1, 2014

    Placing buttons and buttonholes.

  • Berenice
    December 1, 2014

    I need to check out the gathering tips. I make lots of formals and always cringe when the girl wants lots of gathers.

  • Bertie S
    December 2, 2014

    I would love to see your technique for sewing a pointed collar, I have seen it before but need to see it again. You make everything look so easy.

  • Dorothy Van Pelt
    December 2, 2014

    I really want to purchase some weights. I think it would save time and be so much easier. I think you are great and don’t stop teaching us.
    Thank you

  • Susan
    December 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing with us! My nightmare was to sew elastic to stretch material and now you make it look so easy!Is your book available in South Africa?

  • Carol
    December 2, 2014

    The tip about using a sticky note to help sew darts is a winner!

  • Judy Hodges
    December 2, 2014

    Wrapped corners.

  • Frances Powell
    December 2, 2014

    I would like to know an easier way to make corners, like when sewing pockets on, without the fabric underneath sticking out the edges.

  • Janine from Maine
    December 2, 2014

    Though I’ve been sewing for years, I still have trouble applying elastics to fabrics. Would love some help with that.

  • Janine
    December 2, 2014

    Would love some help applying elastics to fabric.

  • JuanitaL
    December 2, 2014

    I always have a problem with thread nesting, skipped stitches, etc. when sewing elastic. Any suggestions? Also, any tips on fitting are always appreciated. it is so hard to get RTW that fits and also new patterns need a lot of altering to fit. I can’t seem to get the pivot and slide method to work. Sometimes, I feel like I just need a tent!

  • Janice
    December 2, 2014

    I can use all the help I can get–for any of the techniques shown. Inserting elastic comes in the nick of time. Thank you, Nancy.

  • PamB
    December 2, 2014

    This is really basic. I need a new iron and was wondering what tips you have as there are so many to choose from.

  • Dorothy Smietana
    December 2, 2014

    I’m try to avoid button holes. Any help with buttons holes would be great!

  • Karen W.
    December 2, 2014

    I liked the sticky note idea for darts. It beats trying to guess where the stitching line should be! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  • Karen W.
    December 2, 2014

    I will be trying the sticky-note idea the next time I need to sew a dart. I’m looking forward the the rest of this series!

  • Savannagal
    December 2, 2014

    I’d really like to learn how to replace elastic, like on a fitted bed sheet. My biggest problem though, is reading patterns. I have so much trouble trying to figure out what to do.

  • Sandra Chavez
    December 2, 2014

    I would love to master the darts technique

  • Shirley Clark
    December 2, 2014

    I need to read all I can about sewing with knits. I need to start making my granddaughter more knit outfits. She’s outgrown the ruffle pants and embroidered shirts.

  • Mary O.
    December 2, 2014

    I Have been quilting for years but am new to sewing clothing. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I cannot figure out the blind hem stich, and my armholes are always a disaster!! I need help!

  • Andrea
    December 3, 2014

    All these are really good ideas. I would like to see something on finishing seams without a serger.

  • Jean D
    December 4, 2014

    I love the wrapped corners technique! Have been sewing for years, and always learn something new from you, Nancy. Thanks so much! Would love to learn easy ways to hem children’s pants, alter waistbands, etc. (in RTW or sewn from home) to allow for growth without the garment looking like it was “let out” when the time comes to do that 😉 Thanks again, for all your wonderful tips!

  • Lynn
    December 4, 2014

    The tip I most want to use is sewing elastic in waistbands so that it looks like ready to wear. Please help!

  • Kerry
    December 5, 2014

    I still struggle with zippers and buttonholes

  • Charlotte Young
    December 6, 2014

    I love the technique for sewing darts without tying threads!

  • Juanita Vega DeJoseph
    December 9, 2014

    This is the kind of book that can keep me going on a project. You get right down to the point and show us clearly step by step how to get the job done right the first time. I can’t wait to try the elastic waistband approach!

  • Linda Burrell
    December 11, 2014

    I would love to know how to replace worn out elastic or elastic that needs to be made smaller or larger in pants or a skirt.

  • Elizabeth
    December 17, 2014

    I would love any and all tips on my serger since I am still figuring out what it is capable of! Thanks!

  • Pat Hurdle
    October 25, 2015

    Hi
    I would really like to learn about how to use elastic in the top of slacks. This would make it so easy for me to make my own as I am handicapped and need help doing this.

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