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February 2009
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Are You Afraid To Tailor?

If your sewing business has been mostly “simple” things because you’re afraid to do tailoring, read the following tips and practice them, and before you know it, you’ll be able to add additional sewing to your business.

** Make all marks for notches, darts, grain lines with darning cotton — it has a tendency to stick to the fabric and does not easily work loose.

** Always trim the seam edge of an interfacing VERY CLOSE to the stitching to avoid bulkiness.

** Mark the fold line of a lapel with linen tape, and see what a difference it makes when you sew it in permanently to the inside with very fine stitches.

** Cut the under collar with the center back seam on the true bias.  This helps give the collar a proper drape.

** To avoid the lump at the points of a collar, be sure to cut across at the stitching point before turning.  When this is very sharp, you may even need to trim a bit from the seam allowance along the point.

** For the neatest collar and lapel seams, try this:  when collar and facing, with their interfacings have been stitched in place, add the outer collar, stitching all but the neck edge.  Turn and baste, snip the adjoining edges, turn under and pin, then baste with fine thread.  Steam press carefully.  with stitching thread and tiny stitches, catch stitches together and steam press again.  When completely dry, basting threads may be removed.

** When easing fullness at the top of a sleeve and sometimes at the elbow, use two rows of tiny gathering stitches, 1/8″ apart at either side of the stitching line between notches.  Make as full as needed and steam press smooth.  An additional pressing is needed when the sleeve is stitched in.

** If you don’t own a tailor’s ham, you’ll never know what you have missed until you get one.  These are invaluable when it comes to pressing curved seams, steaming sleeve fullness and collar pressing.  You’ll find dozens of uses, and once you get used to using the tailor’s ham, you will never part with it.

While these tips are intended for tailoring, you will find them very useful for all of your sewing and alterations.

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About The Author

Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

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