Following on from this post I’ve gone ahead and described five more ways you can improve your sewing. Many of these tips were originally basic sewing rules that have been forgotten over time.
Incorrect button attachment – Unless you’re attaching buttons as a decorative feature, the stitching in four-hole buttons always sits like a number 11, not a x. When using a two or four hole button you also need to allow the button to sit a bit above the fabric. Do this by winding the thread around the stitches to form a shank. Shank buttons already allow for the thickness of the fabric so this winding is not necessary.
Mismatching thread – It might not seem important and it’s certainly tempting to use what you have when you’re in a rush, but taking the time to match the thread to the fabric will make a big difference to the final look of your item. When you’re in the haberdashery section, unravel the thread from the spool to hold it against your fabric.
Overlocking thread is not as important to have matching perfectly, but investing in some larger spools of the basic colours is a good idea.
Incorrect interfacing – There are many types of interfacing available and they all have their purposes. Iron on or sew in, woven, non woven or knitted and light, medium or heavy weight are all varieties of interfacing. Follow the pattern instructions and learn which one is best for your project. Bottom line – if your pattern calls for interfacing – use it!
Incorrect hem allowance – Hems can vary, but are generally between 2cm and 5cm. Sometimes a hem can be larger because it’s a design feature. Always aim to stitch along the center of the overlocking, or close to the edge if it’s a double neatened hem such as on jeans, shorts or children’s clothing. Curved hems will always sit better with a narrow hem. Once again, follow the pattern instructions as the designer has decided the hem for you.
Not enough pressing – Best practice is to press seams as you go. Sometimes you can get away without it, but generally if you’re spending the time making something, pressing as you go can help keep the item neat. It’s also an opportunity to double check a step before continuing with the next. Pinstitching can help keep seams flat by holding seam allowance to one side.
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