With the aid of modern day sewing machines, making a garment is that much easier and they allow for a beginner to produce some very detailed and intricate garments in minutes. The design features that most modern sewing machines, such as the Brother CS5055PRW, have allow the user to perform detailed stitch patterns accurately and efficiently, so it is a great way for a beginner to learn how to start sewing and making garments.
In this article we are going to detail the basics behind making a garment with the help of a sewing machine. It will help you get your foot over the line and start to build your confidence so you can go on to making more elaborate clothing in the future. But first you need to know the basics and learn just how much your sewing machine can help you in the process.
Measuring out the material
Once you have chosen the material that you want to use for your garment, you need to make sure you get the size perfect for yourself, or for whoever you are making the garment for. The easiest way to do this is to get a garment of yours, or the person you are making the garment for.
First you need to fold the material in half so that you have the back and front of the garment, and then trace around it with chalk. Pin the material so it doesn’t move when you cut it, and then cut around the chalk line you made when tracing the other garment. You should cut just outside the chalk line so that you still have some material to make the hems.
You then fold the material over to the actual chalk lines around the neck, arms and bottom of the garment; pin it so you have a definitive line for which you can sew along. Now you are ready to start using your sewing machine. If you have a model such as the Brother CE7070PRW or the Singer 7256 (and plenty of other entry-level machines) you can select the appropriate stitch on the machine. You can look at overcast stitches if you want to make a nicer looking finish on the hem.
Take your time at first when running the material through the machine. You will soon get your confidence with the machine the more you use it, but at first accuracy will be best if you move the material through at a slower speed. You will make some mistakes from time to time, this is to be expected, but they are usually very quick to rectify and start again.
Stitching the seams
Now you are ready to stitch the two sides of the material together so that you have the back and front of the garment. You will always need to leave a seam allowance, which is a width of material. This amount is usually 5/8” (1.5 cm). To ensure that you seam lines stay at the perfect place at all times you should cut little notches at intermittent levels so that the top and bottom match up. If the material moves you can quickly find where it needs to go again by lining up the notches.
Before you start to sew your seam you need to secure the stitches, and the same will be necessary at the end also. The most common way of doing this is to use a back-tack a few stitches at the beginning and end of the seam. You simply need to sew a few stitches, then go back in reverse. Once you have done this you can continue sewing down the seam line. Sewing machines such as the Singer 2259 and the Brother CS6000i make this a very easy process.
Once you have finished your seams your simple garment is complete. Of course, you can always add on accessories such as buttons, pockets and zippers, but this is all to be done in future tutorials.