Sunday, July 17, 2011

To Finish or Not To Finish

There's been a bit of talk for a little while about finishing seams. A few years ago when I was a part of an eBay sewing group, someone in the group brought the subject up.

Apparently there are people who sew an entire garment without finishing any edges. When I first heard this, I was taken aback! I thought finishing edges was a given when sewing a garment. Surely these people were far and in-between! But alas, I've encountered the topic several times since that first. I even read an article about buying boutique clothimg that stated you shouldn't buy items that fall into this category.

The final straw was when a relative of mine had a dress made recently by some local seamstresses, and after she paid for the dress and brought it home, she realized not only weren't the edges finished, but the seams weren't even trimmed! So she brought the dress to me to complete.

I remember my days of pinking shears. It was the method my mom originally taught me to keep seams from ravelling. This truly was a tried and true method, but man did those funny looking scissors set you back a penny!

Then I graduated to zigzags and trimming. Of course, this took longer than just cuttin a seam into zigzags with a pair of scissors, but it was a step closer to professionalism.

Next came the overstitch, a benefit I gained from purchasing a good Brother machine. I have to say I really used this up! It was a little time consuming because I had to keep switching out the feet, but the end result was well worth it. I could trim a seam, then stitch right on the edge to secure it.

I overstitched for a long time until one day my mom bought herself a serger. She raved about it and told me I really needed to get one. I actually told her no, because I was afraid I'd cut the wrong thing (not to mention my finger!), and once something is cut, you can't go back! But one day I sucked it up and used her serger. The rest is history! I had to have one, and convinced my husband I couldn't live without it!

So my journey through finishing seams was a bumpy one, but it's something I've always done. I can't imagine not doing it. If not for the professional looking finish, then just to avoid work at a later date by securing the seams so they won't unravel.

But maybe it's me. Do most seamstresses out there feel the way I do, or is leaving unfinished untrimmed seams just something that's done?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Boutique In A Flash

I read a blog the other day that discussed the need to get handmade clothes sewn in a hurry. You can read that blog if you go here.

Let's face it. As a seamstress, who really has the time to just sit and sew all day? Granted, I would love to! But the detail in some of these boutique patterns take dedicated time, and most of us just don't have it.

And let's not talk about how many times we have to visit those patterns! A lot of times the reason I start on a project is because one of my little girls need something at the time, and I know I can sew it cheaper than using gas and money running to the store.

I must admit, though, that sometimes the prospect of me undertaking a project depends on how much time I'm expecting to spend on it. There are times when I know making something will take me several hours, and even though I really want to sit down and sew, it just never happens.

Is there a way to make boutique without spending all day at the sewing machine? Of course there is! In my new posts One Hour Boutique, I'm going to give instructionss on how to make boutique items in an hour or less. Of course, the initial undertaking may take a little longer as you get all the measurements and pattern making right, but afterwards you will be able to sew up a butique article in no time!

I hope these instructions are helpful to you. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments. And may your closets overflow with boutique!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well Ruffle My Feathers!

I love ruffles! I wore ruffles as a girl, I even wore them to prom! Now I have three girls (how wonderful!), andI dress them in ruffles too! And they love them!

It's no question that ruffles make everything cuter! You can put ruffles on anything girly, and totally change the look of the garment. And there are as many different ruffles as there are outfits! I have to admit that before I discovered boutique clothes, I didn't realize that I could create a wardrobe full of simple but effective ruffles. I say effective because they totally change the look of a child. If you've ever seen a child who is constantly in ruffles, it's quite a bit different to see them in just "plain jane" clothes.

The best thing about ruffles is that you can make them yourself, and they're very easy. If you can cut, hem, and gather, you cancreate a ruffle. Then you will be able to add them to jeans, shorts, shirts, and skirts... pretty much the basics of any little girl's wardrobe.

Check back soon, and I will give a tutorial in the businessof ruffles!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Beginning of a Journey

I love handmade and custom made clothes. I love how whimsical and original they are! You'll never find anything in the stores like them!

Let's be honest... I really love the reactions from people when going out into public! Any mom who has taken the handmade pledge has to confess they love that part of the deal! It's so much more rewarding if you say you made the outfit, but don't count just buying handmade out. Knowing that no other little girl in the world is dressed just like yours is so satisfying!

Seems like the sky is the limit when designing an original outfit. And I just can't stop until the entire thing is complete!

I discovered the boutique world almost eight years ago. Not only was it an awesome find, but it was highly addictive. I think the first interest I took in this colorful world was the many designs. I noticed that boutique clothing had seasonal trends just like the regular fashion world. The amazing part is seeing how many different forms one pattern can take. When you see the outfits, you know they were made from the same pattern, but the final results are so original... You could buy the same dress over and over from different designers, and never have the same one!

I have to admit that when I stumbled upon the boutique world, I didn't know anything! I even uttered a cynical remark when I saw the Custom/Handmade section on eBay. The first thing I could think was "Nobody's gonna buy anything handmade." Boy was I wrong! Once I began to look at different designs, I was immediately ready to begin making my own creations! This wouldn't come as easily as I thought, though. Boutique clothing are a delicate art, and what people like and will pay for, they like. And what they don't...they don't, no matter how cute you think something is!

It's sad to say that my early attempts at boutique were pitiful, at best. I saw a world I wanted to be a part of, and jumped in with two feet...And no knowledge.

Eventually, I began to study the designs, the techniques, the designers, and though I could see that there were vastly different styles, I realized that certain things were constant among boutique designs.

One of the constants that I love are ruffles. When I went to my senior prom, my dress was ruffles from top to bottom. I always wanted little girls I could doll up, but the stores were disappointing. They never had the super girly things I was always looking for.

Thanks to boutique clothing, I realized I could do what the store couldn't... Produce living dolls! And once I learned how to make ruffles, I began to put them everywhere! Ruffles, rick rack, ribbon, trims, and lace unleashed a newfound creativity in me!

And now, here I am, showcasing the talent God has blessed me with. Since I mentioned ruffles in the first place, let's talk about adding ruffles to clothing next time!