We have been so lucky here at SSE to have the lovely Audrey from Skirt Fixation Project Run and Play as a guest blogger this week. Here she give us excellent tips on how to best sew for others. Enjoy!
Hi, it’s Audrey from Skirt Fixation and Project Run & Play and I’m here to share with you my top 5 tips from what I’ve learned about sewing for others. Since I have 9 (N.I.N.E.) children, you can imagine I’ve got a little experience with sewing for others! But it’s not just sewing kid sizes that I have expertise in, I’ve sewn for my husband, mom, sister, and adult children as well not to mention my current sewing for photography agreement with a local photographer! Without further ado, here are my top 5 tips for successful sewing for others.
1. Take good measurements before you begin. A no-brainer, right? But here’s the thing…I measure EVERYTHING, even measurements I think I won’t need for sewing the garment. Because sewing for others usually means you don’t get to try it on them between every step like you do when sewing for yourself. And even if I’m sewing for someone I’ve sewn for before, I still take fresh measurements. Because people change, I know my measurements are never the same!
2. Make a muslin. I know, you didn’t want to hear it, but there it is! Try to use fabric that is similar in weight and with the same stretch percentage as the final fabric will be. Even then you can run into issues! For example, I made a muslin of this pattern, the Charleston Dress from Hey June Patterns. But I just made a peplum version to use less fabric. What I didn’t take into consideration was that the dress version would be heavier, and pull the waistline into a position lower than the waist. Ironically, this dress took no less than 5 additional fit adjustment after it was completely “finished” to get it to fit my daughter properly! Suffice it to say, when you’re sewing for others, MUSLIN!
3. Use good quality fabric for the final garment. This can make or break a garment! For this Charleston Dress, I used a sublime ottoman knit fabric that I received in a bundle from So Sew English. The stunning black on black stripes add such a fun detail to a bodycon dress like this. When you use a fabric with amazing quality, the entire process will go easier for you, and the wearer is more likely to wear and love the garment simply because of the FEEL and look of the fabric.
4. The next tip might be revolutionary if you’ve never done it before, but inside out try-ons are your best friend! I’m embarrassed to admit how many garments I sewed before I figured out this little trick. But when you’re sewing for someone else, if they try on the garment inside out, the seams are right there for you to be able to see and mark where any adjustments need to be made. It’s much less awkward than sticking your hand inside their garment and trying to make adjustments that way. Not like I’d know anything about that…
5. Leave your feelings out of it. When you’re sewing for others, you have to accept the fact that they might not like/wear the finished product. And that’s completely fine! When I’m sewing for others, I find fulfillment in the ACT of sewing for them, not in if they wear or don’t wear the final garment. I can’t control their reaction to the finished garment, just my feelings about making it…so I choose joy!
Actually, I have quite a bit more to say about this dress and a few other tips, so if you’re interested, please head over to my Skirt Fixation blog.
Thank you so much,