Machine applique sewing tutorial video

Welcome to Sew Jewish. Are you wondering if it’s possible to make your own tallit or challah cover or other Judaica? It is. And beginning sewing skills are all you need.

I’m Maria. I design wedding chuppahs for Huppahs.com and wrote Sew Jewish, a book of 18 Jewish sewing projects. I launched the Sew Jewish blog to give you more tools for sewing your own Judaica. You’ll find project tutorials, posts about needlecrafts in Jewish culture and history, and tidbits to inspire you.

I want to help you create Judaica that you love and can use in your life for a long time and maybe even pass on to the next generation, so my design philosophy is to use simple techniques and quality materials to craft items that will last a long time.

When the form of a ritual object is impacted by Jewish law, I strive to develop designs that comply with the law. And in the instructions for the project I explain how those laws affect the design so that you can take them into account as much or as little as you choose when making the project your own.

how to tallit general without tzitzitI hope you find something at Sew Jewish that sparks your creativity. If you haven’t looked around the site yet, here’s the most popular post, which is a good place to start: How to Sew Your Own Tallit.

Happy sewing!

– Maria

P.S. Keep up with the latest at Sew Jewish by subscribing to the newsletter – and feel free to email me at maria{dot}bywater{at}sewjewish{dot}com.

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13 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! I loved learning about the things that made you who you are and that guide your thoughtful work today. The drive to create something meaningful that’s made to be used and to take on it’s own life as it witnesses and takes part in the lives around it is a refreshing counterpoint to the disposable nature of the culture to which we’re often subjected. That’s something we can all do with more of!


  2. Thanks for all the information. I was already working on one for a friend and have ended up using your atarah pattern to help cut it out. I was wondering if you know of a source of pre knotted tziziots that I could use on the tallit


    • Hi Marsha. I’m glad you found the atarah pattern useful.

      For the tzitzit, I’m afraid you won’t find any pre–knotted strings because the strings have to be inserted half way trough the holes in the corner of the tallit before the ends of the strings are knotted together.

      But knotting them isn’t tricky. There’s a video on the site that will walk you through it step by step (it was produced by Jewish Pathways): The Best Video Ever on How to Tie Tzitzit. I’ve put a couple of my own tips in the post that accompanies the video.

      And I guarantee you’ll feel pretty psyched after you’ve tied your first tzitzit strings. Good luck!

      – Maria


  3. Hello, Maria! I’m the new education director at the Beacon Hebrew Alliance, and Rabbi Brent Spodek told me about your website. It’s very beautiful and accessible, and your projects are fascinating! I wanted to tell you about a huge sewing project that’s happening next week at the synagogue; we’re going to turn fifty Indian sarees into a giant Tent of Abraham. This will be next Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 12. If you are nearby and might want to drop by and have a look, we would be so very honored!


  4. Maria,
    Hope you and your family are all well. Mazel Tov!! Im getting married and would like to order Silk 7.5 x7.5 with 12 grommets. Can it be delivered to Monsey NY by Sep 3rd ? Please call me (305)490 1786 Gavriel Herzig Thank you


  5. I am planning the Judaica crafts for our Sunday school class. Thank you for all the great freebies on your website! The students will each be tie-dyeing cotton and making tallit and kippah from this cloth. Your site helped me plan how much fabric to get etc. I will use some of the applique patterns (stars, hamsa, etc) to make stencils for copper repousse for mezuzah. I will send you pictures when we are done.


  6. Hi Maria.
    Are you still running this business?
    My daughter found your website.
    I am looking for a challah cover that says “shabbat shalom” and “chag sameach” (in Hebrew!) and that I can embroider with my OWN threads! I don’t need a kit since I have tons of threads.

    Can you help or guide me?

    Thank you so much,


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