Adding trim to a garment is a great way to elevate it's design both aesthetically and functionally. These days, there are so many different styles to choose from, ranging from conventional embroidery to specialized beaded, chain and leather trims. What they all have in common however, are the techniques used to sew them and the variety of ways they are incorporated into a garment.
Based on sewing technique, you can group all trims into two large categories: Trims that can be machine stitched and trims that require hand sewing. You will certainly be able to tell the two apart based on their construction and materials used. You'll find that novelty trims featuring beaded accents, metal chains, leather cording, sequins, etc. do not offer an appropriate machine stitching "path". When you can't find an effective stitching area on a trim, it should be hand sewn to the garment instead. To permanently attach a more complex trim by hand, you can use either a blind slip stitch or a simple blanket stitch.
In some cases, even if a trim can be physically machine stitched, it doesn't mean you should necessarily machine stitch it. Take a close look at the garment you are sewing and make sure the stitch applied on top of the trim will not damage or affect it aesthetically or functionally. This is often true when sewing bridal. Most wedding dresses/bridal gowns require the addition of trims along lace edges serving both an aesthetic purpose as well as a way to clean finish raw edges. In many cases, even when a machine sticthable trim is used, you may still have to hand sew it to prevent damaging the rest of the gown's lace fabric (which needs to be handled very gently).
As far as trim design and style, there are a few large groups that each can be classified to. These larger groups break down into smaller ones (of course), but for the purpose of this sewing beginner tutorial, we'll just focus on the broad picture.
Decorative Edge Trims: This type of trim is distinguishable by the fact that one edge is usually straight, serving as the sewing edge, while the other features a non-straight extension for the purpose of decorating a garment's hem or fabric's edge. In this tutorial, I used an embroidered edge trim that has V-shaped angular extensions along it's bottom lengthwise edge. This style is perhaps the most commonly manufactured and used in clothing design. Edge trims normally provide a distinct machine stitching edge along its top lengthwise portion making them easy to work with and convenient to attach using your sewing machine. They also come in a variety of different styles and widths. The trim used in the tutorial below is about 1.5" wide- you can choose yours based on desired look and project. While they are conventionally designed to be added to a clothing item's edge, you can add these decorative trims to the fabric surface or enclose them in a seam as desired.
If you are reading this tutorial, you are probably in the midst of a struggle with sewing a beaded or sequined fabric. A couple of years ago, I was wearing those shoes when I took on the enormous (yet exciting) task of designing and making my sister's wedding dress. When it comes to a project as such, lets just say the pressure is always on. Everything had to be prefect and that includes, of course, the dress fabric. As we browsed store after store, no fabric was off limits. I was ready to take on any textile regardless of how ornate or potentially difficult to work with it was. Eventually, we found the one- a luxurious lace hand beaded with two different styles of beads which beautifully blended onto the fabric surface providing a tasteful sparkle. I'll be honest, I don't recall the exact lace print itself (it was definitely floral), I do however vividly recall having to remove each minuscule bead along the fabric's cut edges in order to physically stitch the seams together. Lesson number 1? Sewing with heavily beaded and sequined fabrics requires a lot of patience. The end result however, is incredibly rewarding.
Precautions For Sewing With Beaded And Sequined Fabrics
As you might have already guessed, sewing with beaded or sequined fabrics will take a bit more energy than working with regular fabrics. There a few aspects of taking on these unique fabrics that require a different construction (and sometimes design) process than that conventionally used with non-ornamental fabrics.
When it comes to clothing, whether it is women's or menswear, we've all experienced fit issues and size discrepancies at one point or another. For women in particular, these fit issues are a bit more common and complex due the uniqueness of the shapes and curves we all share. The most common of these fit problems often occur at the bust area where some clothing items may often feel too tight or vise versa, unnaturally large. In this week's tutorial we'll address the latter with a tutorial on how to tighten a sleeveless garment at the sides thus decreasing its size at the bust area.
The example below addresses how to tighten a blouse under each armhole area while keeping the bottom of the blouse intact. This sort of alteration is common when you want to achieve an individualized proportion not offered by the garment at hand.
How To Measure The Side Seam Excess That Needs To Be Removed
To start with, you'll have to find approximately how much you'd like to take the garment in on the sides.
How To Alter The Side Seams To Make A Blouse (Or Dress) Smaller
So let's say you have a blouse or dress that is a bit loose around the bust area (under the armhole) yet the waist and hip area fit just fine. There is actually an easy way to tighten the underarm area on both sides using a stitch blending techniques that wont affect the bottom fit of the garment. Keep in mind that when altering the size of a garment, whether adding or taking in excess, you should always work with the existing seams. Side seams and center back seams in particular are the most convenient and commonly used in the size alteration process. Unless you are a a seasoned dressmaker or there's no appropriate seam to work with, never cut directly through the fabric to make a blouse smaller. In doing so, you risk causing more complex fit issues and difficulty re-finishing the new cut edges.
WAAM Industries: An Industrial Brand Making An Impact On The Simple (Yet Important) Aspects Of Our Daily Life.
I am so passionate about brands that aim to make a positive impact on the world, whether through conscious use of materials or multi-functional products that are designed to solve a problem. WAAM Industries (We Are Always On The Move Industries) is a brand that fits this category to a T. This husband and wife team is passionate about each product they design and lovingly bring to life from the ground up. Years ago, Andrew and Hanna Vomhof merged their creativity into the conception of an industrial product brand representative of their lifestyle and belief system.
Hanna and Andrew Vomhof of WAAM Industries
Inspired by everything from vintage finds at flea markets and garage sales, each WAAM Industries product is carefully crafted to stand the test of time. The brand sources each material individually to create high quality, natural products featuring a clean, linear design aesthetic. Everything is designed and manufactured in their Twin Cities, Minnesota work space or at home, where each design receives the attention it deserves. As you browse the brand's featured work below, you'll find that, as stated by the designers themselves, "many of the products at WAAM are based on simple utilitarian objects that play an important role in everyday life but are often over looked." From reusable wooden milk crates and pet bowls to the famous waxed canvas shopping tote and lunch bag, the brand has never deterred from its mission and design aesthetic.
Adding a slit to a dress (or skirt) can instantly modernize it and give it a younger look. It is a great way to rescue some of your more outdated styles while simultaneously adding comfort. If you’re in the process of learning how to sew and not yet comfortable with alterations, you can still manage to add a slit to a dress if you follow each sewing step carefully. All you need is an iron, a seam ripper and a sewing machine. Well, thread and scissors will come in handy as well.
Before we get started, it is important to understand when and where to apply a slit. Keep in mind that slits should only be added into a seam. While cutting a slit directly through the fabric layer is not impossible to achieve, it is very rarely used as it provides a great challenge when it comes to reinforcing the slit opening and blending it in naturally into the garment. In a case as such, if the slit opening is not secured at the top, the slit will continue to rip through the fabric during continuous wear and care.
That being said, if you want to add a slit to a dress, always work it into an existing seam. If you are lucky to have a seam right where you want the slit, take advantage of it! Otherwise, add the slit into a side seam or the next best option for your particular clothing item.
Is there a way to change the color of your overlock thread without re-threading your entire machine?
Yes! There absolutely is! And it's super simple to do even for sewing beginners.
It is so common to feel intimidated by threading an overlock machine. After all, you have to handle 4 spools of thread each having their own separate directions and designated guides. However, if you take each thread step by step, threading a serging machine from scratch is not really all that difficult. As is true for anyone in the process of learning how to sew, practice always makes perfect.
It's also important to keep in mind that working smart is always better than working unnecessarily hard. Being efficient during the sewing process is something you learn with time and continued practice. On that topic, one of the best ways to minimize redundancy and simplify the garment construction process is by using a smart overlock thread-changing technique that does not require you to re-thread the entire machine. Keep in mind that the same technique is applicable to switching threads on both a regular sewing machine and an overlock. This simple thread knotting and pull-through method (described below) will save you lots of time and headache as you focus on more important tasks like learning how to sew that intimidating zipper or set in sleeve.
Below, you'll find a step by step tutorial on how to switch the thread on a serger without actually threading the whole machine form the beginning.
If you are not familiar with how to actually thread a serger altogether, check out this sewing tutorial: How To Thread A Serger/Overlock Machine. Step-By-Step Tutorial With Pictures.
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