I’m happy to say that my sewing improved over the last year after adopting the following techniques:
- Pinning less: I had this idea in my head that pinning would be more precise, but in my experience, it’s the absolute opposite! When you pin you end up distorting the fabric a little bit, so simply keeping your fabric completely flat and held together with your fingers, is way more effective at producing the best seam
- Cutting: I used to cut on my carpeted floor but I have since moved my sewing table so that I have access to 3 sides of it, so now I do all of my cutting on my sewing table. That, coupled with a rotary cutter, has made all the difference in how I sew. It’s more precise and faster. As long as you always cut away from yourself and disengage the blade when not in use, you’re golden. I hated using shears for cutting, so this is a fantastic way to make the boring prep work of sewing to be far more enjoyable.
- Hems: I used to hate hemming because I would have so much difficulty sewing curves. Now, I just breeze through those curves. I have especially done tons of practice with my rolled hem presser foot, so much so, that it has become my preferred way of doing narrow hems. I also learned on a podcast Sewing Out Loud that you should not press before you hem, and I have done just that! It feels lazy for some reason, but it produces the nicest hems.
- Topstitching: I can’t believe I didn’t own an edge joining foot until late last year. I purchased a really crappy bendy one off of AliExpress (since I had heard things about buying sewing supplies from Ali) but that foot was no good. I decided to go with a Brother branded edgestitch foot and it is much more robust.
- Quality: On the topic of quality tools, I really want to start investing in better quality fabric. It’s nice to pay way less for fabric (especially since I’m starting out), but there’s nothing worse than putting so many hours into a garment only for it to pill or not hold up for more than a few months. Quite disappointing!
- Testing: I have always tested with a sample of fabric before all of my garments, but now I think my eye for stitch quality has improved. I’ve started to use microtex needles, walking feet, straight stitch feet, tissue paper, whatever it takes to really make the very best of my beginner sewing machine.
- Serging: This has made a world of difference. Not only is it so much faster to sew clothing, I just feel way better about actually wearing the clothing I sew. The professional look inside as well as outside makes me feel like a real pro!
- Podcasts/Youtube streams: I like to listen to sewing podcasts when I walk my pup, and I like to have Youtube streams in the background while I sew.
I will start 2018 with a few goals in mind, in the hope that I will become an even better garment sewist:
- Use my remaining fabric
- Sewing with nap (e.g., velvet, stripes)
- Spaghetti straps
- Red cape
- Bias cut dress
- Chanel-like jacket
- Sew lace
I’m also thinking that 2018 is the year where I upgrade my sewing machine. 🙂