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July 28, 2017 4 min read

It is perfectly fine to wear handmade garments. However, you wouldn’t like them to look handmade, or would you? We suppose that you want to avoid your handmade garments to look cheap and poor quality. Generally, this depends on the fabric you use, the way the garment is sewn, and the way that the garment fits. To help you prevent your homemade clothing from looking homemade, we prepared a list of ten sewing mistakes that you should avoid when creating your garment.

  1. Avoid using fabric that doesn’t suit your pattern design

We know that the beauty of making your own garments stays in the fact that you have the freedom to choose everything for your clothes. However, it is recommended to pay attention to the fabric choices that you make. To avoid your garments to look cheap and of poor quality, it is essential to avoid choosing a wrong fabric. It doesn’t matter how good you sew, a wrong-chosen fabric will definitely destroy the final result.

  1. Avoid laying pattern pieces in both directions for certain fabrics

Pay attention when you work with certain fabric types, such as napped fabrics like velvet, satin, corduroy, or with fabrics with one directional prints. It is essential to make sure that all of your pattern pieces lay in the same direction. In case you don’t do this, the fabric color will look like two different shades and in case of one directional print, it will be upside down.

Here is an image that shows you how to lay the pattern pieces for the fabrics with a nap:

  1. Not making sure that the pattern pieces are straight prior to cutting fabric

It is very important to make sure that the pattern pieces are straight, before you begin cutting the fabric. But how to do this? Well, first of all, you need to know that a pattern piece is straight only when its grainline is parallel to the fabric’s selvage. Don’t let yourself fooled by the “eyeball” check of the straightness. Instead of this, you should measure from the grainline to the selvage and make sure that they are parallel.

  1. Using the wrong interfacing or no interfacing at all

Although there are various interfacing that can be used, it is important to choose the one that is best for your project. You might be tempted to skip this step, but don’t do it, as it is necessary to use interfacing to give your clothes a clean and neat finish. Now, in case you wonder why is interfacing so important, here is the answer: it prevents folds, ripples and plain old droopiness. Interfacing give a crisp, neat appearance to necklines, sleeveless armholes and collars. As in what regards coats and jackets, interfacing gives them support.

  1. Overlooking pattern markings

We know that you may hate those notches and consider that they don’t do anything else, but slow down your cutting. However, it is important for you to understand that pattern markings play an important role in your creative project, as they help you a lot when working on the sewing machine. If you overlook your pattern markings, you would need to guess, or even go back and mark them later, in a moment when your clothing is already partially sewn. In this case, chances are your sewing won’t be as accurate as if it would have been had if you marked in the beginning.

  1. Pressing seam allowances at the wrong moment

One of the main rules of sewing is to press as you go. We know that not everyone likes to do this, but overlooking this rule may result in a homemade-look of your garment. Pressing has a great impact on the way that your clothing looks when it is finished. You can make sure that you create a convenient space for your job, by placing a small ironing board or ironing pad close to your sewing station. This would make pressing seam allowances a nice process and it would also prevent you from having to walk across the room for this process.

  1. Folding under and top stitching an armhole or a neckline, rather than using a bias or facing binding.

If you do this, it would definitely result in a garment that looks completely handmade and cheap. Doing this will make ripples and possibly stretch the area, which will determine it to become wavy, instead of laying flat. Although it takes a bit longer to add a bias or facing binding, the result is worthwhile.

  1. Leaving the seams unraveling and unfinished.

This is yet another huge mistake that affects your finished garment. As you probably know, the clothing should look as good on the inside, as it looks on the outside. You may think that unfinished seams are only seen to you, but think about it again: in case they are unraveling, this would turn into a real problem. You may need to cut strings every time you wear the clothing.

  1. Using the wrong hem finish

You should pay attention to the hem finish that you use on your garment. No matter how beautiful your finished garment is, as long as the hem is just not the right one. It will destroy the entire result.

As you probably know, the hem is the last step for finishing a clothing. We know that you are already excited about finishing your garment as soon as possible, but you may want to take some extra time and decide to hand stitch your hem, rather than top stitching it on the sewing machine.

  1. Not making any alterations to your pattern prior to wearing your garment.

Yes, it happens that you create your garment and surprise: when you try it on, it fits just perfectly! It is even unbelievable, right? Well, don’t stop here, though. Most of the time, the pattern needs some alteration, whether it is a minor or a major one. So before you start working on the sewing machine, make sure that your pattern fits your body.

Final thoughts

Now that you know some of the most common mistakes that many home-sewers make, you can easily avoid them, so you create amazing garments that fit you perfectly. A well designed and sewn garment will look perfect, so that no one could say that it is homemade – although you know it is!