Today's Sewing Tip: When Making A Garment Smaller At The Seams, Cut The Old Seam AFTER The New Seam Has Been Stitched.
If you are taking in a clothing item at the seams, use the existing stitch line as a guide to sew the new seam. Cut the old seam and excess fabric after the new seam stitch has been applied.
Taking in certain areas of a garment to make it smaller is a one of the most common alterations that can be performed by just about anyone who owns a sewing machine, regardless of sewing skill level. It is easy to do, without the need for complex sewing techniques, or tools, for that matter. To make things even easier, there are some tricks you can use to maintain the balance of the garment while also simplifying the measuring and sewing process. Today's sewing tip covers a simple seam alteration method that should hopefully take the headache out of some of your future projects!
The best way to keep fabric layers together before and during machine stitching is to pin perpendicular to the fabric edge instead of parallel (when possible).
How To Pin Fabric Edges:
Place the fabric pieces together, aligning the corresponding edges to be stitched. Insert pins horizontally, perpendicular to these edges such that the pin ball/bead corresponds to their (edges) right, and the needle is pointing inward, to the left of the fabric edges.
Why Pin In Perpendicular Direction?
Easy Pin Removal. If you think about the fabric edges to be sewn in relation to the sewing machine needle, you'll come to the realization that having the pins placed in perpendicular relation to these edges provides much easier removal during machine stitching. As you stitch down, removing the pins from left to right feels more natural, comfortable and intuitive than in downwards or upwards motion. Sliding pins out from left to right also provides more pin containment on the table surface, avoiding less dropped pins on the floor.
The idea of drafting your own patterns can feel pretty intimidating. After all, it takes some acquired technical skill and understanding. It is true that there is a greater learning curve associated with learning pattern making. However, if you start the right way, learning just a few important principles, you can actually start making your own sewing patterns in no time!
The whole idea of patternmaking is based on altering basic patterns. Every dressmaker/patternmaker should have a basic set of patterns they work from. These basic sewing patterns are called slopers or blocks in the fashion industry. If your goal is to make patterns for yourself, then all you really need is a good basic dress pattern with a simple curved neckline. When it comes to a basic dress pattern, keep in mind that it should include all appropriate darts (bust and waist darts) and form a well fitted garment for your body type.
I personally like to work from a good dress pattern (form fitted to my body type) because it allows me to see the transition from waist to hip, providing a way to make longer tops and outerwear without having to physically piece together a bodice pattern and skirt pattern. A basic dress pattern keeps things simple and can be separated to create both tops and bottoms.
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Designer by trade and dressmaker at heart. I spend most of my days obsessing over new fabrics and daydreaming new ideas.
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