Commandments of Sewing

All religions have their commandments.

And while sewing is not a religion (Mmm, although come to think of it, fabric is our god), it too has commandments that you must heed if you are to learn how to dream it, sew it, flaunt it, and…

get to do the happy seamstress dance without incident!

So if you’re ready to sew right…

  • THOU SHALL not sew over pins! Sewing over pins can throw off the stitch timing of your machine. And worse, possibly end up lodged in your eye! Hmm, do you really want to risk this to save a second?!
  • THOU SHALL respect The. Shears. Promise to use your dressmaker’s shears for ONE thing only: To cut your lovely fabric.
  • THOU SHALL stitch at a smooth, moderate speed. Sewing is not NASCAR and you are not Danica Patrick.
  • THOU SHALL let the feed dogs do their job of moving the fabric through the machine. You only need to guide the fabric. Pulling your fabric through your machine can damage not only your fabric but your machine.
  • THOU SHALL watch the raw edge of your fabric, not the needle, as you sew. This will ensure that you have accurate seam allowances and that you don’t get dizzy and fall out of your chair.
  • THOU SHALL press as you sew. If you want professional results rather than a garment that screeches homemade, do NOT stitch a seam across another seam unless you have pressed it first.

THOU SHALL sew accurate seam allowances. Proper fit depends on it! I like to extend the seam guide on my sewing machine with a thick rubber band.

  • THOU SHALL not overfit IF you like to breathe, eat, or move. Just sayin’.
  • THOU SHALL break up the sewing process. Yes, sewing is fun. But it is also hard on the body, especially your shoulders or back. There is no law that says you have to prep the fabric, lay it out, cut it, mark it, and sew it in ONE session. Break it up and your body will say ahhhh.
  • THOU SHALL learn a new sewing technique BEFORE you begin constructing your dress from your lovely fashion fabric.
  • THOU SHALL not allow the fabric to hang over the edge of your cutting table as you lay out, cut, or sew. Instead, fold the excess fabric like an accordion at the end of the cutting surface to avoid grainline distortion and inaccurate cutting.
  • THOU SHALL TEST. TEST. TEST. Using a marking tool? Test. Using interfacing? Test. Trying out a new skill or technique? Test. Now, you can’t say you haven’t been advised.
  • THOU SHALL only sew with fabrics that you love absolutely. Sewing is a labor of love. Why ever would want to spend so much time with fugly fabric that leaves you cold?!

THOU SHALL have an open mind always. There is no one right way to complete a technique. The only right way is the one you’re most comfortable with and that makes sewing less annoying and frustrating!

The End

Following these commandments will make the sewing process easier and ensure that your successes outnumber your failures.

And remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!