Liesl + Co.

Learn to Sew with Us

On our Oliver + S website, we offer a large collection of resources to get you started sewing and to help you improve your sewing skills. Here are some of our most popular blog posts, tutorials, and free videos for new and learning sewists.

Are you wondering about a term? Look it up in our extensive Oliver + S glossary of sewing terms.

If you’re brand new to sewing

Here are a few resources to help you get started if you’re interested in buying your first sewing machine or if you’re brand new to sewing.

Sewing Machine

How to buy a sewing machine

Different sewing machines offer a mind-boggling array of options. Don’t be distracted by the features you don’t need. Instead concentrate on the features that will be important to you.

Sewing Machine Basics

Sewing machine basics

Join Liesl Gibson in this video as she explains the major components of a sewing machine and demonstrates how to thread the machine and wind a bobbin.

How to Read a Sewing Pattern

How to read a sewing pattern

Sewing patterns use their own language, and Liesl is here to translate it for you. In this video, Liesl explains how to understand a sewing pattern.

How to Sew a Seam

How to sew a seam

Joining two pieces of fabric together is the foundation of sewing. In this video tutorial, Liesl demonstrates the basics of sewing both straight seams and curved seams.

Moving beyond the basics

Once you’ve gotten acquainted with the basics of sewing, you’ll want to start making things! Here are some ideas to help you get started without feeling overwhelmed.

Lazy Days Skirt

The lazy days skirt

It’s time for a first project. Here’s a free child’s skirt pattern that is as easy as can be to sew. It’s made from a single width of fabric, and when it’s finished you’ll still have plenty of time to contemplate the day from the porch swing.

Finishing Seams

Finishing seams

Finishing the seams gives your sewing a professional look and keeps the fabric from fraying. In this video, Liesl covers the proper way to press seams and demonstrates three of the most popular ways to finish them.

Hemming Woven Fabrics

Hemming woven fabrics

Hemming your garment is often the last thing you do, but how you’re going to do it is worth considering right from the start. Here’s a rundown of almost every hem you could ever use for woven fabrics, when to choose each one, and how to do them.

How to Preserve a Sewing Pattern

Preserving your patterns

There are many methods you can use to preserve your sewing patterns. Here are some of the most popular ways of doing it.

If you’re wondering how to…

You’ll probably have a few questions once you’ve gotten started sewing, so here are a few additional resources to help out.

How to lengthen or shorten a pattern

…lengthen or shorten a pattern

It’s easy to make pattern adjustments to either lengthen or shorten a pattern. This tutorial will show you how to do it.

How to Sew a Button

…sew a button

Sewing buttons can be tricky at first. But once you get the hang of it, you'll find that it's not intimidating at all. In this video, Liesl demonstrates her surefire method for sewing on a button.

How to Sew a Buttonhole

…sew a buttonhole

Making buttonholes can be intimidating at first. But don't worry, Liesl is here to walk you through how to do it. In this video, she demonstrates her method for making buttonholes.

How to Insert a Zipper

…insert a zipper

Zippers are feared by many sewists, but they don't have to be. In this video, Liesl demonstrates some easy ways to install zippers.

Sewing for yourself

All ready to dive in and start sewing clothing for yourself? Here are some more advanced tips to help you along your way.

Finding Your Sewing Pattern Size

Finding your correct size

In many cases, sewing pattern sizes don’t match up with the size labels in your closet. This causes an enormous amount of confusion, especially for new sewists. Here’s how to determine your correct size before you begin sewing.

Blending Between Sizes

Blending between sizes

What do you do if you’re making a straight or fitted dress and your bust measures size 4 while your hip measures a size 8? You can blend between sizes to get a perfect fit. Here’s how to do it.

How To Make a Muslin

How to make a muslin

The purpose of making a muslin is to check the fit and the look of the garment before you commit to cutting out your good fabric. Here’s the most efficient want to go about making your muslin.

How to Move a Dart

How to raise or lower a dart

When you’re sewing for yourself and the dart isn’t quite right for your body, how do you move it to the right spot? Follow these simple instructions.

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