Sewing Tips!

Hi again!

Most of you know (if you saw my status on fb yesterday) that I'm not a hundred percent sure about the DP blog. To be honest it wasn't my intention to actually start a blog but instead a way of "advertising" for my quilts. But as time went on I found my self wanting to post weekly. But now that I've done a few more posts I've kinda lost my way a little. I follow a few blogs ranging from interior design to craft and sewing. They are my passion after all. But I found that this reflected in DP. A mish msh of things that I like. So my question to you was: Do you like it? I REALLY would love to hear you feedback! I want to be writing something you would read not just crazy rambling. So as requested by my Big Sis this post is full of sewing tips for you.

I've learnt that a lot of people either sew clothing or patchwork quilts. That's not to say you cant do both. I've tried both and that's the only way to know which you enjoy more. Either way the basic principles are the same. For a beginner sewing a garment, I found a step by step guide to sewing from a pattern. I couldn't have said it any better. To read the full guide visit here. (Please don't be offended by the website name, I am not implying anything. This was the best step by step instructions I found.)


Tips For What To Do With Your Sewing Pattern

by: Carmel Baird

What to do with a sewing pattern once you take it out of the envelope.

  1. Take the instruction sheet and it will show you how to set out the pattern on your fabric. There will be the lay-outs for the different widths of fabric, and for with or without nap. Some fabrics you can cut out your pattern pieces in opposite directions others you will have to lay the pattern pieces all going the same way or else the fabric will show a different shade. Velvets and corduroys are a good example.
  2. Cut around the edge of the pattern with paper scissors, not the scissors you will be cutting the fabric with.
  3. Always check the pattern pieces against you. You can pin the various pieces together and try it on to see if there needs to be any adjustments before you start cutting the fabric.
  4. With your fabric right side down, place and pin the pattern pieces according to the layout for your fabric width and cut your fabric pattern pieces out.
  5. You will see triangles known as notches. circles, arrows, broken lines, unbroken lines. On some patterns you will also see on the seam stitching lines arrows. This is according to the pattern maker the direction to stitch that seam.
  6. Once you have cut out all the pieces, get your tracing carbon. Fold the tracing carbon so that when you place it between the fabric and trace, you will have the pattern marked on the inside of your fabric. 
  7. Transfer all the pattern markings to the inside of your fabric. Use a rule to guide along the long seam lines.
  8. Now you are ready to start sewing your garment and everything you had on your pattern is now on the inside of your fabric.
  9. Once again, check the pieces against you to make sure the fit is right.
  10. Pin, tack, baste where necessary, press as you go, fit as you go and follow the instructions. Take it step by step.
  11. As a general guide when deciding on what length of fabric to purchase you need twice your length plus the length of the sleeve if you are making something with a sleeve. For skirts or pants you will need twice your length.
  12. When looking for fabrics, anything that feels stiff will have a lot of what is called sizing and when it is laundered could go very limp and not hold its shape.
  13. A good test for crushing is to scrunch the fabric in your hand and see if the creases will fall out. If they stay, then this will always crush no matter how carefully your press it.
  14. Purchase your notions when you purchase your fabric - thread, zipper, bias binding, interfacing, lining. Check the pattern envelope for what you will need to complete your garment. 

The only thing I do different is in step 6 I just pin the pattern onto the fabric and trace around the pattern with a fabric pencil. So here are few words you will need to know the meaning of:
Baste: Temporary stitching used to hold a sewing project in place and is removed when the sewing is done. (usually a long or large stitch, I sometimes do it by hand)
Nap:  A one way direction of texture on a fabric such as velvet or corduroy. When using fabric with a nap all pieces must be cut with the nap in the same direction. ( for example, If you can write in it with your finger and see what you've written, it has nap)
Seam: A way of stitching two fabrics together.
Seam Allowance: The distance from the seam to the edge of fabric. In patterns this is already included.

Another place to check out is Craft & Fabric Links. It has a free online sewing book for beginners to read. Very helpful.

So I hope these tips or steps help with your sewing adventures. If your doing this for the first time pick a pattern that is classified "easy". All patterns have a difficulty rating so keep an eye out for it. And most kids clothing is easy. Pick a non-stretchy fabric and stay away from chiffon or satin (they are super slippery for your first time) To be safe stick to cottons. Last tip from me is TAKE YOUR TIME! It's not a school assignment and you won't loose points for taking a week or two. You want your first experience to be a good one and rushing it will take that away so just take your time. If you have any questions please ask I would love to help. After all no question is silly if your a beginner.


Well that's all folks. Have a good weekend and enjoy every minute!

P.S. Thanks Jo for the inspiration! ;)

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