Taking sewing to the next level

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NPMum
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Taking sewing to the next level

Post by NPMum » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:05 pm

I can sew Ok but I would like to improve my sewing so that things I make look more professional and unique.
I sew mainly clothes for myself and my son.
Does anybody have any websites or techniques to recommend.

I love this little boys outfit and the top stitching and extra care on the pants just gives it that extra something.
http://mysparkle.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01 ... eek-2.html

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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by Tentacles » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:12 am

For me a lot of it comes down to the patterns I use. I found once I started using the patterns that have a really nice finish on them things looked heaps better. As for the topstitching etc just give it a go and take your time, honestly if the pattern instructions tell you what to do it's not too bad. My sewing is far from perfect and I'd love to do a sewing course one day but using patterns like ottobre etc that tell you about all the little finishing details has helped a lot.
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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by Resse » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:34 am

Oh, I love that outfit as well!
For me, my sewing and finishing techniques really improved when I started sewing from Ottobre. They now 'grade' the patterns, so you can see at a glance if something is easy or more involved. But all the patterns mostly have detailing like topstitching etc... It does make your clothes look a whole lot more professional
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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by sjl » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:00 am

When sewing for yourself I think the biggest thing that makes things look more professional is making sure you have the correct fit. So learning how to adjust the pattern for your individual proportions is (I think) essential.

For tips and techniques some of that will come down to whether you want to make clothes like Alabama Chanin or like Chanel.

I really like old school type books for learning techniques like the Singer Dressmaking course. My favorite site for finding them was vintagesewing.info but now it's gone :boohoo: but you can still access most of it using an Internet archive like waybackmachine.
Googling couture techniques can help too

ETA - there are a number of pdf docs linked here http://www.ca.uky.edu/hes/index.php?p=170 that have lots of different aspects of sewing covered.
Last edited by sjl on Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by Mrs Shavas » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:17 am

http://www.danamadeit.com/ - made has some excellent tutorials, with excellent finishing.
http://www.coletterie.com/ - Colette has heaps of tips and tricks for fitting, and for getting really great finishing results.
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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by annmaree » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:48 am

I have found these tutorials really helpful...

http://oliverands.com/blog/list/tutorials

She has also done a couple of dvds (they come in downloadable video files too) on sewing techniques which have good reviews.

I have found that making sure the settings on your sewing machine are adjusted for the fabric you are using is quite important. Seams and hems sewn with the right tension, pressure and stitch length will generally sit a lot better. I like to sit down before I start a project with scraps of the fabric I am sewing with and play with the settings until I get the perfect stitches.

Ironing each seam and hem as you go also helps a lot.

Turning the sewing machine off at bed time also helps... Silk dresses finished at 2am never look as good as ones finished at a civilised hour of the day... :)

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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by mama anne » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:59 pm

annmaree wrote:
I have found that making sure the settings on your sewing machine are adjusted for the fabric you are using is quite important. Seams and hems sewn with the right tension, pressure and stitch length will generally sit a lot better. I like to sit down before I start a project with scraps of the fabric I am sewing with and play with the settings until I get the perfect stitches.

Ironing each seam and hem as you go also helps a lot.

Turning the sewing machine off at bed time also helps... Silk dresses finished at 2am never look as good as ones finished at a civilised hour of the day... :)
This is great advice, especially the sewing late at night part 8-[
Working Mama of miss7yo and mr5yo.

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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by NPMum » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:40 pm

Resse wrote:Oh, I love that outfit as well!
For me, my sewing and finishing techniques really improved when I started sewing from Ottobre. They now 'grade' the patterns, so you can see at a glance if something is easy or more involved. But all the patterns mostly have detailing like topstitching etc... It does make your clothes look a whole lot more professional
I made an attempt at the sweat shirt. Put it on my gallery. Very happy with the way it turned out though I would have likes the neck to have been a bit squarer.

I had never heard of Ottobre before coming on TNN. I don't really know much about them will have to do some research. I had been put off a bit as well because I thought if there was only 1 or 2 things I made out of each magazine it wouldn't be very economical.

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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by Resse » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:52 pm

NPMum wrote:
Resse wrote:Oh, I love that outfit as well!
For me, my sewing and finishing techniques really improved when I started sewing from Ottobre. They now 'grade' the patterns, so you can see at a glance if something is easy or more involved. But all the patterns mostly have detailing like topstitching etc... It does make your clothes look a whole lot more professional
I made an attempt at the sweat shirt. Put it on my gallery. Very happy with the way it turned out though I would have likes the neck to have been a bit squarer.

I had never heard of Ottobre before coming on TNN. I don't really know much about them will have to do some research. I had been put off a bit as well because I thought if there was only 1 or 2 things I made out of each magazine it wouldn't be very economical.
Check out www.ottobredesign.com

You can look through the mags on there (make sure you push the 'english' button on top left first).
I have found that for the price, (at mo about $15) you get a lot of patterns - so in my mind more economical than buying one pattern of the more traditional ones (such as simplicity etc....).
You could always get hold of one and see how you like it. If it helps, I would look at getting either a spring issue, or an autumn issue, as I think these cover our climate the best.
Renate
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Re: Taking sewing to the next level

Post by NPMum » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:59 am

sjl wrote:
ETA - there are a number of pdf docs linked here http://www.ca.uky.edu/hes/index.php?p=170 that have lots of different aspects of sewing covered.
Loving these, have used the zipper one already, good to see a few different techniques even if it is the same end result
Mrs Shavas wrote:http://www.danamadeit.com/ - made has some excellent tutorials, with excellent finishing.
http://www.coletterie.com/ - Colette has heaps of tips and tricks for fitting, and for getting really great finishing results.
Haven't looked at the second one yet but I had come across the first one already I had already started the patch pocket pants, hard to find nice boy stuff sometimes but that site is good.
annmaree wrote:I have found these tutorials really helpful...

http://oliverands.com/blog/list/tutorials
I have found that making sure the settings on your sewing machine are adjusted for the fabric you are using is quite important. Seams and hems sewn with the right tension, pressure and stitch length will generally sit a lot better. I like to sit down before I start a project with scraps of the fabric I am sewing with and play with the settings until I get the perfect stitches.
Turning the sewing machine off at bed time also helps... Silk dresses finished at 2am never look as good as ones finished at a civilised hour of the day... :)
I never change my tension unless absolutely necessary but I took your advice when I was doing some top stitching. The first line I had done looked wonky so I used a scrap to get the tension right and it looked sooo much better. :D
Yes sewing when tired is not a good idea, I tend to rush the final bit of a garment as I can see the end in sight but I have realised that the finishing is often the most important to get right so now I'm going to force myself to leave it till I am fresh.

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