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Making Clothes Look LESS HOMEMADE
Any special tips....
Fabrics R Fun
Fabrics R Fun
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Member since 6/6/05
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Date: 6/24/05 6:15 PM

Does anyone have any special things they have done to make their garments look less homemade?

I made myself a label... which has helped but I would love some ideas.

AliceM
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Date: 6/24/05 6:20 PM

Making sure that you thoroughly press everything will help alot.

Sherril Miller
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Date: 6/24/05 6:30 PM

I just completed a beginning sewing class as part of a dressmaking certificate at the local community college. I couldn't get out of this required class. Watching that many beginners made me realize some things that beginners don't know. A straight, accurate seam allowance go a long way to making a loving hands garment look RTW. Using matching thread helps and getting the topstitching straight helps. The beginners weren't very acurate with their cutting, which helped to make the SAs wonky too. Failure to put the marking accurately also caused many problems that make the garments look bad. I plan on teaching this class in a year or two so I was paying close attention to the mistakes they made. I recommend that beginners use a rotary cutter to help cut out the garment accurately. Learn how to mark your garment accurately and stitch with straight accurate seam allowances. Pressing is also important.

As for my sewing, I like to use the serger to finish my seam edges. I like how clean and RTW the seams look.

------
Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

AliceM
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Date: 6/24/05 6:50 PM

I also serge everything I possibly can. It really makes a difference in the final appearance. Also, using the best fabric that you can get your hands on will make a big difference over cheap stuff.

Stitchology

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Date: 6/24/05 6:52 PM

I think the goal ought to be to make things look well constructed and well finished, rather than mass manufactured. All the above suggestions contribute to that. There are cheaply made RTW garments that look awful because of bad cut, mismatched pieces, ripples, etc.

I feel proud if someone who also sews recognizes that I've made something because of special details. I wouldn't feel proud if they recognized a bad job with threads hanging, wavy stitching, etc.

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Buy the best and you only cry once.

kellyhogaboom
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Date: 6/24/05 7:23 PM

For what it's worth - my tips:

1. Consider learning techniques for professional-looking seam finishes. Details like top-stitching, flat-felled or french seams go a long way. If you don't have or can't afford a serger, these seam finishes look just as good (or better) and are fun to learn.

2. Cheap fabric works sometimes. But good fabric goes a long way for even grain, ease to sew, ruggedness, and uniqueness.

3. Get started on learning how to use rotary cutters and mats for cutting patterns. It is more fun, faster. Be safe, though! They are sharp.

4. SLOW DOWN. On certain details like top-stitching, sewing curves, binding (stitching in the ditch) there is a lot to be said for going slowly and steadily. It still takes practice to get good at these techniques so at the beginning, even when you're going slowly it might be tricky.

5. Never underestimate the power of things like proper trimming, clipping, understitching, etc. for making curves lie flat, facings behave, etc. Don't skip these directions.

6. Press, pin, baste and hand-baste! Yes, there are times one can take shortcuts. But sometimes the shortcut isn't worth the pain of five layers of fabric on a collar sewing up badly.

7. Don't be afraid to embellish or do things a little differently, like match a retro print with a large Asian-motif. People comment all the time on my more unusual matches. The more typical matchy-matchy stuff - people just assume I got it at Gap or something. The details and the worksmanship should be rugged and look RTW, but the style should be something unique!

HTH

NancyDaQ
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Date: 6/24/05 7:53 PM

Combine your creations with RTW. The entire ensemble doesn't need to be made by you.

This is a trick that one of the national sewing teachers mentioned at a class I took. I'm not remembering exactly who, but Linda Lee (Sewing Workshop) or Sandra Betzina come to mind.

It's kind of a fool the eye trick--the viewer sees something they recognize as RTW, so they assume it's all RTW.

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Now blogging at http://sewwest.blogspot.com

Patti B
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In reply to kellyhogaboom
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Date: 6/24/05 8:47 PM

Quote: blackie
4. SLOW DOWN.

Ahhhh, that is one of the hardest things to learn and one of the most useful. I'm still planning to embroider Cynthia Guffey's "It's your hobby, what's your hurry?" and hang it in my sewing room. All of the sewists in my family were of the "make it today, wear it tonight" clan and I am learning to slow down and enjoy the process.

I would add to not be afraid to make mistakes ... and keep the seam ripper close at hand. It's a sign that you are developing your skills when you can fix problems (or at least that's what I tell myself!).

------
Patti

R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success

Liana
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Date: 6/24/05 11:41 PM

One dead give away that something is "home made" rather than RTW or custom made, is the little details. You need to be watching RTW to see how wide their bindings are, whether the bindings match or contrast, whether binding or ribbing is in use, how wide the hems are, whether they're using patch pockets, inseam pockets or welt pockets, etc. Make sure your fabrics are the type used for the garments you're trying to emulate. You can do the greatest sewing job in the world, but if your garment is out of sync with today's trends, it will be very noticeable. Yes, you can tweak things a little, but you should be in the ballpark of fashion even then. This is often why kids refuse to wear things their moms make. At a certain age, they begin noticing details on clothing, and they can see at a glance whether the flare of the pantleg is right or wrong, the waistband is too wide or whatever. It takes courage for them to follow their own style rather than that of their peer group, and most of them don't have it yet. Besides, their style usually isn't their mother's style anyway.

We've all seen the clothing worn by someone who's a fabulous seamstress, but she's wearing the fashions of 25 years ago, and still using the same patterns too. It's not a good thing.

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Liana
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esmer

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Date: 6/25/05 1:59 AM

Everyone is right you must press out all the seams you sew for example, if I am sewing the shoulder seams as soon as I'm finished sewing I jump up to the iron board and Iron the sewn seams both front and back as is then I would press the seams open when finished with that turn it over and press the outside of the shoulder that will show . Then I would sew my facing onto my neckline when finished press as is first then turn my facing outside in and press it down shaping the neckline slowly when finished turn the garment over and press the outside as if ready to wear and then on to the next part . Make sure that you have a good straight and balance stitch. By this I mean that the tension is not to tight and puckering your fabric. I also have a metal guide set on 5/8 to help me get a even 5/8 of a seams all over the garment. I sew real fast so the guide is a must for me. What ever you do please don't give up through trail and error you will get there and it will be so worth it. Please keep asking us question as you go we would like to help you as much aspossible.
-- Edited on 6/25/05 3:16 AM --

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