July 12, 2011

Sewing Helps

Today is all about helpful tips and ideas for sewing!

I began sewing when I was about seven years old. I was raised by a single mom who had a crafty heart and a small budget. She taught my sister and I arts & crafts so we could use our talents to create gifts instead of buying them. I'm very grateful for the time she invested in teaching me to sew. I tell my daughter the story of when I learned to sew and now she can hardly wait until she is seven to begin her own craft adventures!

I want to discuss with you first, a few terms that are familiar to most but because I love history, I couldn't help myself in sharing!

  • A custom clothier makes custom garments one at a time, to order, to meet an individual customer's needs and preferences.

  • A custom dressmaker specializes in women's custom apparel, including day dresses, career-wear, suits, evening or bridal wear, sportswear, or lingerie.

  • A tailor makes custom menswear-style jackets and the trousers or skirts that go with them, for men or women.

  • A cutter cuts out, from lengths of cloth, the panels that make up a suit.

  • An alterations specialist, adjusts the fit of completed garments, usually ready-to-wear, or restyles them.

  • Designers conceive combinations of line, proportion, color, and texture for intended garments.

  • Pattern Makers flat draft the shapes and sizes of the numerous pieces of a garment by hand, using paper and measuring tools or by computer using AutoCAD based software, or by draping muslin onto a dress-form.

  • A seamstress is someone who sews seams or a machine operator in a factory who may not have the skills to make garments 'from scratch' or to fit them onto a real body.

  • Most tailors in history were men, not women as most suits were "tailored" to fit men! Suits and dresses were custom made, not factory sewn until about the mid 1800's!

    Sewing Factory c. 1960

    Ok...on to sewing!

    Here are a few books that I own and love to use as references if I have sewing troubles, frustrations or questions:

    Even though there are hundreds of machines to choose from, Me and My Sewing Machine gives you the basics on how to use your machine and has trouble shooting advice should there be an issue. My biggest problem when I sew is that the tension of the machine is not set correctly!

    I LOVE this book! I first saw this book at our local library and checked it out maybe three or four times before my husband finally suggested I buy it! This book is littered with so much helpful advice and sewing terms I'm thinking of purchasing a few for my daughters so they can have a copy too!

    Amazon carries a book titled, "Sew What Skirts" and I tried to copy a picture but failed to do so. "Sew What Skirts" gives you step by step instructions on drafting you own patterns. If you decide to start drafting your own patterns, I would like to suggest you use Frezzer paper. it comes by the roll and is about $5 per box!

    If you haven't heard of the West ladies, you are missing out. These homesteading ladies have a way about them that makes you feel welcomed right into their home! They are so sweet and resourceful! Without breaking any copy-right laws, I can share with you a couple tips I learned from watching their DVD:

    ~ Use un-common fabrics for sewing. For example, I have a yellow gingham, flat queen sheet I plan on using to sew dresses for my girls! Lot's of fabric for not a lot of money!

    ~When shopping at thrift stores or yard sales, look for pillows, sheets and pillow cases for lacy trim. You can save a ton of money this way!

    ~If you plan on using a pattern more than once, instead of using the tissue the pattern is made from, trace your tissue pattern onto real fabric for extended use. This way the tissue won't get torn and tattered!

    If you are new to sewing, Fav Crafts has a free e-book especially for you!

    Free Needle is also a fabulous place to start your sewing adventures.

    Copy-Cat Crafts is another favorite of mine. They have all sorts of copy-cat idea's for sewing and creating look-a-likes from Anthropologie and other high-end retailers.

    MADE is sooo much fun! This site has tutorials in all categories, even yummy recipes that will make you drool!

    (Hello delicious carrot cake!)

    Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Wardrobe Wednesday where I'll share one of my favorite, handmade skirts with you!

    1 Modest Musings:

    Jessica said...

    Thank you so much for these resources!