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Fashion Sewing Tips


Avoid time-consuming guesswork when selecting the perfect outfit to sew.  Simplify the process by applying the same fashion rules for purchasing ready-to-wear clothes. Ill-fitting clothes are a fashion no-no, whether it’s pants that are too long, skirts that are too tight or jackets that are too short.

The keys to sewing a flattering garment that you will love and wear forever is great style and fit.  Trying on clothes can help you determine if you are making a wise investment of your time and money.

One way to accomplishment this is to take advantage of ready-to-wear clothes by setting aside time for shopping days.

This gives you an opportunity to take note of current trends in the stores.  Making a garment without trying on a similar style in ready-to-wear is gambling with both time and money.

You want to avoid the frustration and the hours used wrestling with an unworkable pattern, as well as expensive fabric wasted on a garment that just wouldn’t come together.

Also keep up with the latest fashion magazines.

Most home sewers do not like to shop, therefore, may not be aware of what styles and fabrics are flattering to the figure, and unaware of the latest trends.

Set aside two full days a year, one in spring and one in fall, to do nothing but try on clothes from ready-to-wear.

*Record in a notebook flattering and unflattering styles.
*Pay special attention to silhouettes, sleeve styling, seamlines, skirt and jacket lengths, as well as styling details that could be incorporated into your sewing. Addition of these details often makes the difference between an ordinary and extraordinary garment.
*Observe fabric and style combinations and why they work. Designers pretest numerous fabrics before coming up with a salable item. Try to learn from their successes.
*Carry a 6″ ruler, and use it to measure cuffs, collars, belts, plackets, pockets, or anything else you find that makes the style interesting.
*Measure garments that you love and fit well, and then look for a pattern with similar measurements (at bust, waist, hip, and shoulder width, as well as garment length and hem width). Look also for the words “loose fitting” in the pattern description on back of the envelope.
*If a style is flattering and the fabric is not, try to figure out what you don’t like about the fabric and look for alternatives.
*Look for fabrics that have a flattering drape, feel comfortable, and do not wrinkle.
*Pay attention to accessories, including buttons.  They give the final touch to the outfit and pull the whole look together.

Do not attempt to go pattern and fabric shopping on the same day you shop ready-to-wear. You will probably be exhausted from information overload. Take a break to give you an opportunity to absorb the information and take notes for later reference.

When the pattern search begins, pattern purchases will no longer be impulsive. You will know the current trends and what looks best on you. Study the line drawings on the pattern envelope. Look for style lines similar to those in ready-to-wear that you found flattering on you.

Applying this little fashion tip makes a hugh difference between the homemade look and the professional store bought look.

*If you are slightly overweight, any pattern with horizontal seamlines will make you look heavier. Look for vertical and asymmetrical style lines that can divide the silhouette and keep the eye moving up and down rather than across. If the pattern is described as “very loose fitting,” consider buying it one size smaller to eliminate some of the style ease, scaling down the “big” look.
*If you have broad shoulders or a large bust, a wide yoke will only draw attention to the problem. Raglan sleeves and boat necklines do not flatter narrow sloping shoulders.
*If your tummy is not flat, pleats and soft gathers will be kinder to your figure than tailored pants or a front yoke. Study the neckline and sleeve styling carefully. Would this pattern be more flattering on you with a neckline from another pattern? These things can be changed by overlaying one pattern on another. An unflattering or uncomfortable neckline may be the sole reason a garment hangs unworn in the closet.
*Try to visualize yourself in the garment and ask yourself:

o  Is this style really me?
o  Where will I wear this?

If you cannot think of enough occasions where you would feel comfortable in this garment, it is unlikely you will change your mind when the garment is completed.