Invisible (concealed) zip – how to sew

scissors dressmaking

Invisible or concealed zip is a great invention for dressmakers as it’s visible at all once it’s inserted. This technique can use for all invisible zip insertion whether is a dress, skirt or trousers.

Here is how I sew an invisible zip to a skirt.

Preparing the opening

Prepare the opening sew up about 5 cm before the opening of the zip. this is to give room for the invisible zipper foot to move around.  This is very important otherwise you will end up with a pluckered end which is what I use to end up with Invisible zip challenge no fun at all. Also depending on the type of fabric use and the technique use sometimes you will have a bit of plucker at the end of the bottom opening.

It is another reason to use invisible zipper as much as you can as you will end less plucker at the zip opening.

Zip length

Another tip is to always buy or have a longer zip that what you need if you have a choice. It is much easier to trim down a longer zip than to try make room for a shorter zip.

Pin the zip on one end taking the note of how much room you want to give for waitsbands, collars, fasterners like hook & eye or snap on buttons.

Iron the zip open so that it opens to the edge as much as possible. For invisible zipper to work the stitch need to be sewn as close to the edge as possible. But not so close that the stitch is on the zip. Then it would close at all ?!! Then pin the zip horizontally with the opening.

I am using this zipper foot which has got a divided opening. It is meant to push the zip out to the edge as much as possible. However sometimes that just doesn’t happen as there is an adjustment screw at top of the foot. Where if too much adjustment you will end up sewing right thru the zip too little the zip becomes visible.

It all depends on the thickness of the fabric. the thicker the fabric the more forgiving it is. Sew the fabric in place using the invisible zipper foot. At the end sew along the openings together. Skimming as close as you can to the edge when reach to the zip opening. Press and fold open. Iron out any fold. Sometimes whatever you do it ends up a bit of pluck edge. Pressing with an iron will help to straighten it.

If it is done nicely the end result is hardly visible.

how to sew invisible zip

how to sew invisible zip

Cavalo nero stir fry

It’s now the season for kale harvest. And it’s also a harvest time for kale. For this recipe I use cavalo nero stir fry (in translation it simply means black kale). I am using it in a stir fry as it’s quick and easy to cook.

Ingredients (makes about 2-3 portions)

200 grms cavalo nero (black kale)

1 medium size carrot

2-3 slices of smoked/ unsmoke bacon (fat trim away)

2-3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp of cooking oil

some black pepper for seasoning


Like most stir fry preparation is the most important as the cooking time is not long.

Slice the cavalo nero into thin slices (about 0.5cm thickness). do the same for the carrots and bacon. Then peel and chop the garlic into small pieces.


Heat the cooking oil in a fry pan or pot on a high heat till it’s hot. Add the garlic saute it till it’s fragrant and not burn. add the bacon fry it for a 1-2 minutes till the meat starts to cook.

Then add the carrots stir fry for few minutes and then add the kale. Stir fry for another 1-2 minutes. Then it’s done. Enjoy!!

cavalo nero stri fry

cavalo nero stir fry recipe
stir fry cavalo nero recipe

Creating vertical Pinterest pins

For Pinterest pins to work they are best to be vertical pins as they stand out. This blog is about creating vertical size Pinterest pins.

735px X 1102px says Canva. or 1000px by 1500px says Pinterest. Basically a 2:3 aspect ratio.

I use Canva as it’s easy and pretty straightforward to use. In order to use Canva you to sign up to set up an account. Either by using an email, google mail or Facebook account. There are options to use Canva either on the desktop or mobile app. Below is the screen snapshot of the Pinterest designs I have created on Canva.

But there are limited preset vertical Pinterest pins designs. For example, if you want to change the colour of fonts or background colours. Once you are happy with the colours then you can the texts that is preset. Then just save it to be posted directly to Pinterest or onto your blog. Once it’s posted don’t forget to link up to your blog and write a description about it.

If you post this vertical Pinterest pin onto a blog it does take up a bit of room on the blog. As a result, it can take a while for your blog to load as well. Something to consider.

However one couldn’t embed if one is blogging on However, by having a blog hosted by,  the share Pinterest buttons are all present on your blog and pictures. In this means that any images of sizes can be saved on Pinterest.

For those on self-hosted blogs on WordPress, one can embed the vertical pins onto the blog. This is good for popular pins. I will do a detailed write up on how to embed a pin onto a blog.


Recipes using pak choi

pak choi greens

Here is a quick and simple recipes using Pak Choi. Pak Choi is a mild tasting Chinese green. I have posted a blog on how to grow and harvest it here Growing and harvesting Pak choi There are easily found in supermarkets and Asian grocers here in London. If you go to asian/ chinese grocers the pakc hoi are available in different varieties. Some come in white and some in green stems.

This post does contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no cost to you should you click thru and make a sale. I would not recommend any products on my blog post that I have use it personally myself. For more information click here.

pak choi leaves

I find that the the pak choi variety in white stem are a more juicier as the stem are much more thicker than the green variety ones. There is also tatsoi which is another variety of pak choi. Alternatively you can use ordinary leafy greens, it will be a bit more tough in stems and leaves. So do use young stem if possible. There are other types of chinese greens that you can use instead for the below recipe chinese ‘choy sum’.

Nowadays pak choi are easily available to buy from any supermarkets here in the UK. So it is not necessary to go all the way to the chinese grocers just to buy pak choi.  I get my weekly shopping done on Waitrose as they provide great customer service and the food is always fresh. It just saves me lugging a load of shopping from the supermarket going up the slope.

white stem pak choi

Recipes using pak choi

I am using my homegrown Pak Choi the leaves are quite young and tender compare to the ones you get from the shop. Therefore it will need less cooking time. They are good clear chicken broth or soup noodles. Recipe here Chicken noodle soup
Also in salads as leaves are young and tender. Recipe here pak choi and gem lettuce salad

Another quick recipe (‘yau choy’)

Pak Choi with oyster sauce

100 grms Pak Choi (2-3 persons) wash and slice into 3cm thickness

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

One teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon fried onions (home made or ready made)


Just blanch the Pak Choi in a pot of hot water just for a 3 minutes. Depends on how tender you want them. Take them out plunge them in cold water to stop further cook and keep its crunch. Once it’s been plunge it does make it cold to eat. Another idea is not to put them in cold water. However it would not be  crunchy though.

It is possible to cook them on a steamer which is put in a rice cooker. Then drizzle with a bit of sesame oil, oyster sauce.

If there is any fried onions around sprinkle with a bit of them on top. This is a very common home cook and restaurant vegetable side dish recipe. A chinese cantonese dish my mum used to cook them a lot.

I will posting more ways to cook pak choi so keep an look out for more recipes to come. All the best to your cooking and thank you for stopping by.

Download here for free pdf  chicken noodle recipe

cooking pak choi 3 ways
how to cook pak choi
how to cook pak choi
cook pak choicooking with pak choirecipes using pak choi

Invisible hem with sewing machine

how it look after sewing invisible stitch

The is post is about how to do invisible hemming using a sewing machine without an invisible hemming foot and with an invisible hemming foot on the sewing machine.

This blog post contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no cost to you should you click thru and decide to sign up (paid of course). Here is the link to privacy & disclosure policy. There is also free patterns that you need to sign up but don’t have to pay for it.

Invisible hem using a sewing machine are great invention as it’s much stronger than conventional invisible hand hemming. It will good to have invisible hemming foot as it gives more control using exact measurements. I have done it without using one. Here is how….

First of all prepare the hem by pressing the fabric using an iron so as to mark how much hemming you need. Invisible hemming does require at least 0.5 cm (about 1/8 inch).

how to measure out invisible stitch
A finished ironed hem should be about 2-3 cm in this instance but can be more if there is enough fabric.

turning over to check invisible stitch

measuring out invisible hem

Then pin the hem down allowing at least 0.5cm from the edge between the top hem (with the pin head towards the edge of the hem) and the fold. Put the pins the same length as this will the gauge when you sew the hem down on the sewing machine.

When you flip over the inner fold of the fabric it will look like this.

how it look after sewing invisible stitch

Sew on the sewing machine. All you really need is the number 8 stitch setting shown below.

invisible stitch on machine

With the absence of an invisible foot I use the middle edge of sewing foot as a gauge of that one stitch which will catch the other side of the hem.

using ordinary foot for invisible stitch

I have recently got the invisible foot for the sewing machine and it looks like this. By having an extra white adjustable bit in front which helps to stablize the hem when sewing.
invisible hem foot

it looks like this when it is sewn.

invisible hem stitch

It may look at times a bit bunch up pressing with an iron with help. Failing that adjust the tension on the sewing machine.

The hem is invisible except when close up one can only see small little stitches the rest is hidden/ invisible.

invisible stitch seen at right side

invisible hem

invisible hem
invisible heminvisible hem

Changing domain name

changing domain name

When I started blogging I had two different websites. Along the way I found out it is not easy to run two separate websites. Therefore here am I writing on how I changing domain name. I wanted to change as my blog grew I had dressmaking blogs on  it just doesn’t sound corect. My blog name is makergardener on the title of the website and on all of my social platforms. It just makes sense to change domain name.

When I began blogging about 4 months back I started using the free wordpress subdomain then I upgrade so that I have my own domain name. I bought my own domain name separately from for £6/ year and I got free custom email (it’s as well. I could stay on my current tariff but it means paying more for another name and lots of add on’s like email address, etc. I am now on self hosted using software and it’s fabulous. I am not on any of big web hosting names as my other half bought a virtual server and install wordpress software on it. Here is more information about it Hosted and self-hosted domains

changing domain name
changing domain name

Here are some of things that one needs to do when changing domain name. I only can speak on wordpress as it is the only blogging software I have use.

Redirection plugin

Now I am trying to use redirection plugin to redirect posts from cityediblegarden to makergardener. As one could have change the domain name on most stuff but some it is beyond my control. Like pinterest pins that have been repin elsewhere I can’t change it to my new domain name.

There is also error 404 message on some themes where one can configure messages. So that one can to let everyone that the domain has change.

Social media

On facebook, twitter, instagram social media platforms it is very easy to change domain name. However on pinterest it only allows one domain on your account it’s not that difficult to verify your domain again. As I said it’s the pins that have been repin is the trouble.


I am only about 2-3 months into blogging I haven’t generated much genuine followers. I have out that on one can easily migrate your followers to your new domain. Just go on the ‘Settings’ then ‘Discussion’ at the bottom of the page you should see ‘Migrate followers from another site’. This is using Jetpack plugin on However, one can’t do it not on wp-admin panel. There are plenty of plugins around to try if not speak some who has a bit of technical knowledge to redirect your website.

Do a backup before the change

Back up all of your work on the old domain before the change. There is export and import buttons on I have export all of old domain content to the new one. The contents will have a new domain on them. So be mindful of links to the old domain in the blog posts. As they will need changing to the new domain address.

In a nutshell changing domain name is like moving home. You need to inform everyone that the domain name is changing.

changing domain namechanging domain name

Natural fabric dyeing

Using natural dye for fabric has a special place in my heart. As I have used it while I was in art and design college. At that time I didn’t have a garden as I was living in a flat.

For my finally project I made a gown out of indigo and made holes in the habotai silk using household bleach. It was to show how one’s body is being destroyed by diseases that affects the body. The use of natural dye to represent the human body. A bit of modern conceptual art there!! I still remember so much about it till more than 10 years latter ?!!

So most of my natural dyeing start off from buying mordants and natural dye powders. I did use a bit of onion skins and tumeric.

Then recently I got back into fabric printing. I decided to use synthetic dyes as I have never tried them before. Moreover the colours produce from synthetic dyes are definitely more vibrant than the natural dye. I wrote a blog about it Mono print on fabric

I had long thoughts about using synthetic dyes recently as in a long run I didn’t want to environment to be ruin. Now I am a gardener as well so it just makes sense for me to go back to using natural dyes again. I am now trying to make it as natural possible sometimes it is not always possible especially if one is trying to produce great effects out of it. As some natural dyes would not adhere to the fabric with the use of mordants.

Mordants can be in many forms some are toxic and some are non toxic to the environment. It is something to consider when using them.

why do natural dyeing