Shirt making tips!

Sewing shirts is fun for me and I have several on the go for the men on my Christmas gift list. In this post I wanted to share some sewing tips that might have you sewing with more confidence. Below is a man’s checkered flannel shirt. Notice the bias cut pockets and front placket. This makes sewing easy as you do not have to match plaids or checks and also adds a designer touch.

Making buttonholes is something most sewers dread. If you have an automatic one step buttonhole foot on your machine, just place the button in the back of the foot and let the machine do the work for you. If using a four step system then practice with a sample to get the perfect size opening. In both cases use a tear away stabilizer between the facing and outer fabric or between the back side of fabric and throat plate. Dark or light tear away is available and adds the stability you need to obtain a flat even buttonhole that does not pucker. Notice my 3 buttonhole samples.

Fearless Buttonholes
Fearless Buttonholes

buttonhole tips The first is a preprogrammed design and the second is after changing the stitch length. The third is shortening the stitch length one more time and I felt with thickness of the front placket. it would work best. Never be afraid of manually over riding the length, width and even density if available on your machine, to get the desired quality of stitch for complete coverage.  The above photo has two of my favorite notions to clean finish the buttonhole area. First Fray Check is dabbed on the opening to be cut and then after drying I used the Clover buttonhole cutter to cut the opening. Then dab on another bit of Fray Check to seal the theads and prevent fraying during washing and wearing.

plaidJust for fun I used up some Buffalo Check Flannel and color blocked a shirt for me. Pattern # McCall’s 6702. I have sewn this shirt pattern for summer in the sleeveless and cut out back version in a light poly print. Only takes a little more than a metre and soft gathers on front and back yoke make it a comfortable fit.


Of course my favourite Shirt pattern is by Cecelia Podolak. The Fearless Shirt # 106. Nice detailed instructions as Ce always does and every size is included with alteration adjustments. I feel the stand collar and placket cuffs are ‘shirt’ essentials and the dart fitting front and back offer a great fit and tailored look.

Enjoy sewing shirts and never be afraid to use your “Creative License’ by changing machine stitches to better suit your needs or pattern grainlines to add bias interest.

Jo-Anne /Creative Styling



Feel the Chill in the Air ?

Most of leaves are off the trees and you can feel the chill in the air. It was time to sew warm jackets.

Take a look at my new Fall coat

I quickly sewed it up in a black wool couched with variegated yarns. Loved the high collar and large pockets. The edges were serged using black wooly nylon in both the upper and lower loopers . Warm cosy and fun to make

McCall's #6445
McCall’s #6445

Still pleasant for driving I spent the weekend with sewing friends and playing with the latest machines at Baby Lock. If you are attending the Creativ Fesatival this weekend in Toronto then check out the newest Serger  ” The Ovation” AMAZING design and features that take your serging to another level……… As I love to serge, I L O V E this new model !

Creative Styling still is your go to dealer for Baby Lock machines and full servicing!

Clover Sewing notions are the greatest and I still have a few in stock at half price

Clover Products on Sale

Buttonhole Cutter / Mechanical Pencil /Ball Point Awl  SALE $6      Tapered Awl / Hera Marker/ Pocket Template    SALE $5

Please leave a comment and let me know what you are sewing


Creative Styling



October Update

Thanksgiving Weekend was SPECTACULAR ! The weather was perfect for long walks in the country and the turkey dinner with all the trimming was delicious. ( you have to know I am not the one in the kitchen most of the time 🙂

Enjoying all our family on the deck in the sunshine made me realize how thankful we are to live in such an amazing country and be blessed with so much to be thankful for.

Sewing at Algonquin College begins this Wednesday evening in Perth. Follow my schedule by clicking on the Algonquin College Perth Campus above . Still some spaces available…

Creative Styling Studio is a buzz with The Tailored shirt sessions starting Thursday October 17 and several lessons on your machine or serger for many of my return customers. Remember you can always book a time to get a refresher lesson on your Baby Lock. Just send me an email at jc@creativestyling.com

Also the latest new arrivals from Baby Lock will be on display at the Creativ Festival in Toronto later this month.

Prebook your machine purchase and save!!  Imagine Sergers with extra foot package are the Creative Styling feature of the month!

Cathy's JacketThis is another version of the Chanel -style jacket created by Cathy

Leather braid trim and organza pleated edging adds a definite “Designer” look

We will be playing again with Designer Jackets this November so why not join us ?

Sewing season is upon us ……………………Jo-Anne                 Creative Styling


Autumn Leaves

Fall is settling in and my sewing ideas turn to thoughts of Home Décor.

The Thanksgiving table setting is complete. the sweetest ‘Pumpkins and Spice’ print was used.  I then backed the fabric with a similar color cotton and serged the edges with wooly nylon threads.

Designer Trick****** – hold both fabrics together with temporary spray and make sure both are cut on grain. Lay one fabric with lengthwise grain backed by the other piece on the crosswise to prevent stretching. Use the rolled edge and wooly nylon in the upper and lower loopers. Serge one long edge, turn and serge into the first rolled edge working from raw edge into rolled edge as you turn your fabric to cover all edges.

I love using decorative threads in both loopers as it covesr both sides of the fabric to give a nice finish. Trim threads and fray check the ends

Happy Thanksgiving everyone !

fall sewing


Still openings in my Tailored shirt classes this month

Classes are held in my Chaffey’s Locks Studio

Contact me at jc@creativestyling.com for more information