10 Tips for Garment Sewing Success
If you are new to sewing, and are not sure where to begin – here are some tips to help you
navigate your first purchase. If you are like me and have an enormous fabric and pattern stash, you can apply these principles to shop in your stash! These 10 tips for garment sewing success is a great place to start sewing.
Before You Shop
1. Decide what you are going to make before you get to the store. Now this sounds
simple, but it is so easy to get distracted by all the pretty fabrics and enticing patterns.
2. For beginners, Selecting a pattern is the first step. Chose a pattern that has clean lines
and techniques you feel comfortable with i.e. zippers, buttons, etc. It’s great to stretch
your talents, but that should be one or two new techniques, not the entire garment.
3. Once you have selected your pattern – read the back of the pattern envelope. There is
so much information here. Look at the type of fabric the pattern designer suggests and
use one of those. It’s okay to go off the rails, but make the garment out of a
recommended fabric first, this will help you see what the fit, drape, style etc. was
intended for this garment and will help ensure success.
4. Find the location of the types of fabric recommended – not all cottons, silks, wools,
jerseys are the same. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, the sales people know their stock
and are typically very knowledgeable.
5. Choose a fabric you love! Nuff said!
6. On the back of the pattern it will indicate how much fabric you need. At this point, you
can guess your size (don’t get me started on the sizing – it’s awful). There will be two
lines for each size – 45” wide and a 60” wide (if you are not sure, measure it at the desk
or ask the salesperson) each width will have a different yardage requirement. Be careful
to take into consideration stripes, nap and one directional patterns – these may require
7. Decide if you need to make a muslin (test fitting garment). It is always a good idea.
For this you will only need an inexpensive fabric that has the same weight and hand as
your fashion fabric.
8. Check the back of the pattern to see what notions you need. Matching thread, of
course, also zips, buttons, binding tape, interfacing, lining, etc. Choose your notions
carefully. The thread should match, for most beginner garments cotton coated poly is
fine. Zips should usually match the background color – pay attention if should be an
invisible, traditional or separating zip and also what length. Buttons are organized by
size, the pattern will indicate what size is recommended.
9. Have your fabric and notions that require measuring out, cut at the cutting table. Again, if you are unsure, ask the sales help. Most stores will not take a fabric back once it
is cut. Make sure you get one continuous piece of fabric
Get Ready to Sew
10. Cash out, head home and dream about your exciting new creation!
It’s easy to plan stunning clothes with these 10 tips to garment sewing success. If you are ready to sew, check out some pattern reviews like this one for Vogue 9330 turtle neck sweater