Having made a few garments I love, I thought I would share a few tips for sewing clothes. These are mostly tips for myself. I've found that my "make-it-do" approach to quilting hasn't necessarily lent itself well to garment sewing.
The clothes I've sewn for myself are suffering from my poor workmanship! In the interest of saving time, I took shortcuts. Now I'm seeing popped seams and fraying seams, among other problems. Now, I'm left with clothes that need repair or artful concealment.
Now, as I'm working on a new top for myself, I'm going to invest a little more time and care to make my garments last longer.
I can chalk it up to being a beginner, but now I see the value in:
1) Cutting out the pieces properly. This is obvious, and maybe I'm showing my laziness here, but choose a clean, hard and smooth surface for cutting. Once I cut out a pattern on my carpet, which wasn't ideal, especially when it came time to cut the bias strips.... I think my table was dirty. Don't laugh.
2) Choosing the right thread. Instead of settling for the thread I had on hand, I should have waited a few days for the appropriate thread. I have a popped seam on a shirt, but had I chosen a better thread for the material, I likely would have a stronger thread.
3) Choosing the right and new needle. I've damaged the hem by unknowingly (or lazily) using the wrong needle or by using an old, dull needle. (Gulp!)
4) Finishing the exposed seams on the wrong side of the garment either by a french seam or serged (or zigzagged) seam allowance. By skipping this step, I'm seeing random threads from unfinished seams, which is annoying and weakens the seam.
5) Marking the pattern pieces where applicable (i.e. Don't skip this step!). Although, they are a pain, pattern markings are so useful. (Sometimes I wish there were more markings on patterns!) Construction is always easier with properly marked pattern pieces.
6) Taking one's time. These tips mostly can be chalked up to taking my time. I am investing my time and precious fabric in something I'm going to wear. Not only do I want it to look good, but I want it to last!
These are just a few notes to myself. Do you have any related experience? Or tips to share?
I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday.