Having or making handmade clothing is good; however, clothes which seem homemade is not. This is because, in the sewing world, the word homemade is connected with ‘poor quality.’ And so, it is a concept or label we want to avoid.
The term can refer to the way the garment is sewn, a poor choice of fabric, or the way the garment fits. To prevent these things from happening to you, here you will find a list of common mistakes that will help you improve your sewing.
In general, mistakes are related to using the wrong sewing tools, not sewing straight lines and choosing styles beyond your sewing skill set-to, among others. You do not have to feel bad about them because we all made them at least once especially when starting to sew. But if you can avoid these mistakes on the list, you would be sewing handmade garment beautifully.
Use Suitable Fabric For Your Pattern Design
What is nice about making your own clothes is that you can choose what fabric and style you want. But it is best to follow the fabric recommendations at the back of the pattern as a guide for your fabric choice.
It won’t matter how well you sew if the fabric chosen is not the correct one. It will definitely look homemade; it shouldn’t be stiff when it supposed to be soft and drape nicely or soft when it should have body and stand firm.
Laying Pattern Pieces
If you put the pattern in the wrong direction, so the front and the back look different regarding color or print, it will be evident that you made the piece of clothing.
You might like to lay your pattern piece in such a way you use the least amount of fabric because it is your last stash or it is expensive. But when dealing with napped fabrics like satin, velvet, corduroy or one-directional prints; they will have to lay in the same direction. If not, your fabric color will look 2 different shades, and your one directional print will be upside down.
Remember to get more fabric than it is suggested considering its width. How much more depends on the pattern and fabric. Most pattern instructions will have a “fabric with nap” layout.
Cutting the Fabric
Measuring is key when cutting the fabric. Sometimes, you are tempted to cut it trusting your perception (natural eye), because it looks straight. If you measure from the grainline to the hem, you may find that it’s not as straight as you thought. And you will get a garment that does not hang right, or it might look lopsided.
Once you cut the fabric, no alterations can fix it. The only possible solution is to re-cut, making sure the grainline of the pattern piece is parallel to the selvage of the fabric. You will know that a pattern piece is straight when its grainline is parallel to the hem of the fabric.
Interfacing is necessary to give your garment a clean, neat finish and if needed, extra structural support. Besides, it prevents ripples, folds, and just plain old droopiness. It gives necklines, collars, sleeveless armholes and hems a crisp, neat look. It provides jackets and coats body and support.
If you decide to ignore the pattern marking, you will probably have to go back and mark them later or try guessing after the garment is partially sewn.In general, it will not look as if you had marked it from the beginning. While saving time and disappointment, avoiding this homemade look.
Pressing Seam Allowances
By pressing you will get a significant impact on how good your garment will look when finished. What is more, if you skip this step, you might work hard but the time you put in at the sewing machine might be worthless.
To make pressing nice and convenient, you can have a small ironing board or ironing pad close to your sewing station. After seeing the results, you will be glad about making an effort.
Folding Under & Top Stitching
You won’t get a good result from turning under a curved seam allowance and topstitching at the neckline and armhole. On the contrary, you will get ripples, and you might stretch the area, so it becomes wavy instead of laying flat. This will mess up the entire garment.
Although it takes longer, you should add a facing or a bias binding, in the end, the result will make it worthwhile.
Unfinished and Unraveling Seams
Unfinished seams just seen by you do not represent a big deal, but if they are unraveling, it turns out to be a problem. Apart from cutting strings every time you wear your garment, you might end up with a hole. And to fix it you will cut into the wearing ease of your clothing.
Wrong Hem Finish
When you use the wrong hem finish on your garment, it will overshadow all of the hard work you did on the other part of the garment.
Generally, the hem is the last step to finish the garment so you might want to get this done as quickly as possible by stitching on the sewing machine. However, if you are sewing dressier clothes, this ideas is not the best option. It would be better to take some extra time and hand-stitch your hem.
No Alterations to Your Pattern
Most of the times, you will have to alter your pattern in some way or another. Before making some changes, check if it fits your body not to waste time or money. Use muslin to test every new pattern, it may take extra time, but you won’t ruin your good fabric, and you will get a garment fits you perfectly.
Overall, remember that time is essential when sewing. You might be tempted to speed up and get your clothes sewn fast, but that decision can backfire, and you will get homemade items instead of a handmade one. Take all the extra time needed; you will be happy with the results at the end.