Jan 12, 2016

Demystifying Sewing Construction Steps

What fun...drawing your own patterns, particularly when you know they're going to fit...but how are you going to sew it all together? I am often asked if the Sure-Fit Designs fitting system provides sewing construction steps.  The answer is that some designs and leaflets have sewing steps, but not all of them do particularly when the construction is really simple.
When you're a beginner, often times, nothing is simple until you've sewn the process a number of times and become familiar with it.  And then as with anything you've learned, it becomes second nature.
In this blog, I'd like to share with you the generally accepted and established order of constructing a garment.  The steps make perfect sense.  You work with a flat pattern piece as long as you can until you have to sew an adjoining piece to it.  The fewer steps the better when it becomes a 3-dimensional shape.
And. after 50-plus years of sewing (like I've had), I rarely think of the process anymore unless it's a complicated design.  Then I begin at the beginning and think my way through the steps before I ever take the pieces to the sewing machine.
But when you're just starting out, it's important to understand that there is an established order to sewing any garment. The steps listed here are the industry standards. Use the list to refer to as often as needed, and soon, you'll find that it will be second nature to you.

1.  Darts, tucks and pleats.  Do these first and don't forget to press!

2.  Style lines like yokes and Princess lines. This does not include seam lines like shoulders, side seams or armholes.

3. Interfacing. Attach (either sew-on or iron-on) to any pieces that require it.

4.  Pockets. Apply them where indicated on the pattern.

5.  Zippers. Install any zippers required unless it is for a dress.

6.  Shoulder seams. 
 7.   Side seams, inseams, crotch seams.

8.  Prep collar. Do not attach it to garment yet.

9.  Prep sleeves.  This entails sewing the sleeve seam as well as any plackets, cuffs or elastic to sleeves. Also any gathering lines done in a baste stitch would be done now.  Do not sew the sleeve into the garment yet.

10.  Collars. Now is when you attach a collar to the garment.

11.  Bodice facings. Sew facing pieces together.

12.  Sleeves. Sew the sleeves into the armholes matching notches and remembering to gather the sleeve cap if needed.

13.  Bodice to skirt (if sewing a dress).

14.  Waistband. Or a waist facing or elastic if this is what your pattern requires.

15.  Dress zipper. 

16.  Hem.

17.  Buttons and buttonholes. Any closure such as hooks and eyes, frogs,snaps and belts should be done now.

Stay tuned next week for the list of SFD sewing patterns that do provide sewing guidelines and steps.

"The more you sew, the more your confidence grows." - Glenda the Good Stitch

(With thanks to Connie Crawford, The Industry Gide to Sewing Order.)

1 comment:

  1. Very informative! Thanks so much for going through the step by step process.