Although well into winter, warm days are not far away! Now is an ideal time to make that “special” garment especially if you incorporate a few time-saving tips. Those of you who have read any of my articles know that I am not one to take “short-cuts”, and I never would compromise my purest approach to sewing if I were sewing a project that I would hope to have passed down through generations. But, read on to find a few suggestions that will save time yet still produce a professional looking garment.
Special? Yes!! Difficult? Not necessarily!
Tip #1: Use a knit fabric. Knit fabrics stretch often avoiding the need for any back opening. (Place a pattern on the fold to eliminate a back seam) Often facings can also be eliminated by simply folding the seam allowance to the wrong side and top-stitched in place.
Tip#2: Embroider garment with a very simple, yet elegant design. Graceful Embroidery offers an amazing selection of embroidery designs to choose from. Sometimes just stitching a small embroidery element adds the perfect balance of color and charm to a garment.
“Graced in Petals” is one of my favorite Graceful Embroidery collections.
Simply wanting to add a bit of contrasting color to this child’s dress, I skipped over the beautiful heart (although I have used this design in its entirety many times and love it!!) and stitched the flowers in a pre-marked area of a knit fabric top.
Tip#3: Embroider first, cut the pattern piece after! This affords a margin of error. Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the pattern. “Draw” the pattern on the fabric by strategically placing tailor-tacks indicating relevant areas. Once embroidered, place the pattern on the embellished fabric and cut to size.
Tip#4: Eliminate side seams whenever possible. Many side seams are straight. If they are, overlap the pattern prior to cutting omitting the need to stitch pieces together.
Tip#5: Use your machine’s functions! Over-edge stitching for knits-or Serge seams if you own one. Learn how to use the blind-hem function on your sewing machine.
Tip#6: Press hem allowances prior to stitching seams. It is much easier to mark a flat piece of fabric than one stitched together, especially around necklines, armholes etc.
Mark the back of a garment with a small decorative stitch to help differentiate from the front. This is especially helpful for young children who are just learning to dress themselves.
Tip#7: Use quality supplies. Purchase fine fabrics, embroider with quality designs backed with superior stabilizers, stitch with proven thread. Even if the goal is not to produce an “heirloom” garment, using quality supplies will insure ease throughout the entire stitching process.
Tip #8: Use proper supplies! Knit fabric is wonderful for shortening stitching time, but professional results require specific supplies. Stitch and Embroider with a ball-point needle. Secure Sulky® Soft ’n Sheer™ Stabilizer directly in the embroidery frame. Spray the back of the knit fabric with KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive from Sulky® prior to pressing it firmly onto the stabilizer.
Top the knit with Sulky® Heat-Away Clear Film™ to prevent embroidery stitches from sinking into the knit loops.
Once the embroidery is completed, excess stabilizer and threads removed,
apply Sulky® Tender Touch™ to the back of the embroidery to protect tender skin from heavier threads.
Tip #9: Be kind to your sewing machine. Take care of your embroidery machine as it is a very expensive, finely tuned piece of equipment.
Have it professionally serviced at least once a year. Keep the bobbin casing and the machine- including accessories- free of dust and lint buildup in between sewing projects.
I do hope that you will find some of these tips helpful when you want to make a special garment but find that time may be a bit on the tight side. One guaranteed tip, just in case you didn’t already know it, is that Graceful Embroidery designs are sure to beautifully enhance any project!!”.
Enjoy creating something similar!
Thank you Pamela for another wonderful blog.
Happy embroidering to you all from Hazel