The Sewing Place

Ways to improve the quality of what you sew


Re: Ways to improve the quality of what you sew
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2021, 15:09:54 PM »
Stumbled across this thread.  Wonderful.

I have been concentrating on grain - not in wovens as I have used the pull a thread technique for ages - but on knits, especially since receiving a couple of pieces that were scatterwampus.   My tip to share in case it's new to someone is to "baste" a line down a rib.  In a recent project, I did a trial layout of the pattern pieces - basted the rib line in approximately the same location as the grainline marking on the pattern.  Used those to align my pattern pieces appropriately before cutting.

I had never basted a rib line for each pattern piece before, but am pretty happy with the results.   So I thought I would share.

Edited to Add:  Here's a photo with the knit dress partially constructed with the basting for the rib lines still in.  (In case the previous link didn't really explain the tip.)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 15:33:31 PM by CCL »
A hodge podge Flickr record of my sewing project albums here:


Re: Ways to improve the quality of what you sew
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2021, 23:42:26 PM »
A couple of really useful ideas to take away from this article by Kathleen Fasanella.
Read it through to the end, it's worth it.

(It doesn't just apply to dressmaking - it can be applied to anything that involves a pattern or template)

- to control how you want your seams and edges to behave, alter and adapt your pattern pieces before cutting out, rather than relying on pressing, easing and stretching to make things work
(the article uses the illustration of working with a collar, but the principle applies to anything where you want to control seams at edges, eg. cuffs, collars, jacket & coat front edges, etc.)

- take a step back, look at the process from beginning to end think about and do the pattern work and organise a sewing plan that will make the sewing and achieving the result more accurate.

Another really useful article is about Accuracy and in this case, cutting out.

this is where patterns without seam allowance from the likes of burda and fibre mood work well. They force you to appreciate how pieces fit together.

Though the same can be said for well drafted and instructed patterns. Being prompted and reminded to pin at the seam line is a game changer for an improving sewist like me. Currently eorking on a project where the Sean's don't match at the seam line and it's really throwing me into a funk. I'm persevering because lovely fabric.
Janome M50QDC - "Jane" - Small, cute and hard working. Pfaff Quilt Ambition 630 - "Pfanny" - Pfickle. Bernina L450 - "Bernie" - Very hungry. Bernina 830 Record - "Becky"


Re: Ways to improve the quality of what you sew
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2021, 11:08:48 AM »
Well goodness, I never saw this thread before lol
And yet, I doubt if the quality of my sewing will ever improve.  I make plans to go carefully and precisely, then it all goes out the window  :laughing:
As it neared the top of the grade, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I—think—I—can, I—think—I—can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could,  I thought I could."


Re: Ways to improve the quality of what you sew
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2022, 07:03:05 AM »
RTW allows for so many mistakes and issues before it becomes a factory second.  Once you realize how bad some of the stuff they allow for then figure out your doing better then that and most of the time, you can go on.

If your standard is more on the higher end MTM or couture...standards rise.

I'd dare say those that sew already have a higher quality standard than what you can buy.


Re: Ways to improve the quality of what you sew
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2022, 18:38:28 PM »
Yeah RTW kind of sucks.  I don't even buy the cheap clothes preferring the moderate range. I bought some knit pants recently and one leg is so far off grain it's ridiculous.  It looked fine in the store but washing brought out it's true nature.

With knits I always cut single layer but I've done OK using the selvedge. I often cut single layer with wovens as well.  I'm far too lazy to pull threads.

Pressing each seam as you sew definitely improves the way it looks. I prefer to finish my edges with the seam/overcast stitch.  Serger/overlocker is fine to use too but the one on my Viking is pretty nice so I usually use it.  I use it on knits and wovens. I dislike seeing curled seams in knits. 

I also have this weird thing where I have to wash something before photographing it for my diary here or a review on PR.  I think the garment always looks better after a little agitation and good press.  Some people do reviews on PR and look like they skip the whole pressing step.  Everyone on this site seems to do it right.   

But you improve by practicing.  If you're making buttonholes make a lot of practice ones before doing it on the garment.  Or if your seams are crooked work on slowing down to keep control.  Use a lot of pins when putting smaller/trickier pieces together.  Consider hand basting in that case too so you can more easily reposition if necessary.  Hand basting can work too but that type of work hurts my hands so I don't do it.