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About me

My name is Olga Balasa.

I started this site because I am obsessed with sewing (as other people tell me) and would like to teach others how to sew and make easy sewing projects. I only wish all this marvelous Internet was available when I started sewing!

Image of Olga Balasa for about me page

When you read my articles you may notice that English is not my primary language though I try very hard to hide it. Really, I check every word with online tools, I give some of my articles to editors, etc.

Still, I am sure everybody can understand I am not an English speaking native because sometimes my sentences might not exactly be the ones a native English speaking person would use.

But I am not producing literature or impressing you with my writing skills. I want to teach you to sew and I believe my 30 years of experience in sewing matters. I believe I can make great content and keep it helpful, fresh, engaging, fun and simple.
And if your English readership will stumble upon some obvious mistakes please don’t hold it against me and send me a note to this email [email protected] or leave a comment on one of my pages.

What will make my site different from many other sewing blogs and how will I catch your attention?

1. First of all, I want to convince you that sewing is a kind of art not just a useful hobby ( even if it is very useful ). You will learn together with me techniques that will achieve professional results yet can be done quickly and efficiently. I plan to make many pages with easy sewing projects on my blog and I want you to learn sewing by doing.

2. Second, let’s use natural and organic fabrics as much as possible. As I advance in age I notice more and more how well my body reacts to natural fibers and the adverse effects of artificial fibers especially if in direct contact with the skin and in a warm climate where the skin perspires more. No, I am not a purist, just a realist. I am not against using artificial fibers where appropriate. But really, why make a pure silk skirt and line it with polyester?

3. Third, I want to show you that even if sewing as an occupation is thousands years old, in the modern world it is so much different than it was even 30 years ago. Modern sewing machines are real computers. Do you know that your sewing machine can have WiFi and be connected to your phone? And what about all these modern sewing tools that help you to sew? Markers with disappearing inks, water soluble threads, self-threading needles and other wonders of modern technology will make your sewing effortless and enjoyable.

4. And forth – sewing is closely connected to style and fashion, so I will try to give you some recommendations going beyond sewing so you will never run out of design ideas.

And one last thought that bothers me all the time now.

Yes, I sew but I am not a sewer. English is a little strange for me sometimes. It is like calling a person who draws – a drawer. I positively refuse to be named a sewer. What pops up first when you put the word sewer in Google – “an underground conduit for carrying off drainage water and waste matter”. Yes, their pronunciation is a little different, but nevertheless, I will never accept that I am a sewer.

As a funny note, I read somewhere that American English is the only language in the world where you can say that we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway.

I wonder what word should I use for people who sew. When I write my articles, I need to use the word pretty often although I try to avoid it as much as possible. What word to use?

So, I tried to come up with some ideas, but they all failed.
How about fabricologist?
Or materialist?
I hope I made you laugh.

But seriously, what word should I use instead of a SEWER?

I saw some people use the word SEWIST. And I used it a few times but my spell checker doesn’t agree with this word and underlines it with a red line, it seems to be a newer addition to the English language that did not yet reach notoriety. Maybe SEAMSTRESS? The definition is “a woman who sews, especially one who earns her living by sewing”. It is not really my case, I am mostly spending money when I sew. And in the modern world this is no longer politically correct, what about the men that sew?

What about Tailoress? – a woman “whose occupation is making fitted clothes such as suits, pants, and jackets to fit individual customers.” It doesn’t sound very promising either because we sew many things for the home also. Modern society created so many amazing things in the world of sewing. Can we create some really nice word for people who sew and use it?

So, I need to know your opinion. Here is a poll where you can vote.

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Below you can see a list of my popular tutorials.

36+ simple and effective ways to sew faster

Over the years I discovered many ways to sew faster and to get professional results. I am going to share them with you in this list.

how to sew faster

Sewing is often a slow process. It is so easy to let your imagination wander when you are choosing a design for your new dress, or fabric and a pattern to use in your next project. It takes a lot of time also to prepare the pattern, cut the fabric, sew all seams and press them. And usually we can’t sew all day long.

So I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and sew faster. I don’t want to stay with one project for a few weeks, I noticed actually that the less time it takes from an idea to the result the more I am enjoying the process and I am also more satisfied with my garment.

Most common types of silk fabric

There are many different types of silk fabric and it is very easy to get confused with all of them. It depends on the type of weaving, quality of silk threads, the country where silk was manufactured, and many other factors. You can’t easily find many kinds of pure silk in fabric stores ( like Joann fabrics in USA and Fabricland in Canada for example) to compare them, touch them and feel the difference.

Charmeuse, Dupioni, Chiffon, Organza, Velvet, Raw Silk, Jersey Silk, Silk Mesh Shantung, Georgette, Crepe, Satin, Habotai, Crepe de China, China Silk, Noil, Taffeta, Brocade, Broadcloth, Faille, Duchess Satin

To me, the most distinguished types of silk are Charmeuse, Dupioni, Chiffon, Organza, Velvet, Raw Silk, Jersey Silk, Silk Mesh. I have all of them and can see the dissimilarity.

But I am really puzzled about other types of natural silk fabric like Shantung, Georgette, Crepe, Satin, Habotai, Crepe de China, China Silk, Noil, Taffeta, Brocade, Broadcloth, Faille, Duchess Satin, etc. So let’s try to research more and define them.

How to make a leather purse

Did you ever want to make a leather purse yourself? I always wanted but I thought it will be too complicated. But it turned out nothing could be further from the truth.

I made this lovely little leather purse and got lots of compliments. One of my friends even said that it’s absolutely the most beautiful purse she has ever seen. Well, it’s unique and I have never come across anything like it in stores. So I am excited to show it off!

I decided to publish this tutorial how you can make the purse too because many of my friends showed interest.

How to sew a dress

In this article, I want to take you into my workshop and describe in detail how I made this blue dress. I will discuss how to get inspired, how to choose a fabric and a pattern for sewing projects, how to cut and sew the dress. I can’t bring it down to “5 simple steps” or “a 3-hour sewing project”; there are plenty of such posts out there, but this is not one of them. I didn’t strive for simplicity with this project.

Blue dress

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Sue Hicks

Saturday 30th of September 2023

Hi Olga: I make most of my clothes from stretch fabrics. There are times when I see a cotton and would love to use it. I'm not sure how to change my stretch knit patterns to non stretch. I could use your help. I'm sort of a heavy person!!


Thursday 21st of September 2023

I'm happy to find you. I'm excited to make the bone poop bag holder but am unable to find where to input the password. I did subscribe. I've searched and searched. A password was asked for to have access to your resource library to get the free pattern and I have never put in a password and cannot find where this step is.


Wednesday 30th of August 2023


According to "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary," a seamstress is a "woman whose occupation is sewing," (a male is referred to as a seamster). A tailor is "a person whose occupation is making or altering outer garments." Seamstresses/seamsters usually work with the fabrics, seams and hemlines.

Leware Toole

Monday 7th of August 2023

I can't find the downloadable templates for the reversible Thanksgiving/Christmas placemat. I could not download them from the tutorial. I was hoping there was a search engine for your site---which is so interesting---but couldn't find a search box. I would appreciate being able to find it so I can download it. Thanks!

Olga Balasa

Wednesday 9th of August 2023

I have fixed the issue, thank you for letting me know. The templates can be downloaded from the Resource Library.

Olga Balasa

Monday 7th of August 2023

Please contact me via email using the contact form at the bottom of the page. Thank you!

Liz Larn

Wednesday 19th of July 2023

Hi Olga, I do a lot of hand sewing, I repair and restore Vintage Clothing. Most of my repairs are small, and hand sewn. I want to improve my machining skills for things like - gathering, replacing a zip, creating new waistbands, for instance. I look forward to reading your instructions and advice. Cheers! Liz

Olga Balasa

Wednesday 9th of August 2023

Liz, the best lesson is try to do it, and if it does not turn out as you expect, try again. I have articles on how to sew a zipper here https://www.ageberry.com/sew-invisible-zipper-wonder-tape/ or here https://www.ageberry.com/invisible-zipper-foot-how-to-use/ (and probably other places). I have also articles on how to make a gathered skirt here https://www.ageberry.com/how-to-make-gathered-skirt-elastic-waist-without-a-pattern

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