Ruching is when fabric is gathered along a seam to provide decoration or fullness. You may have seen it before on sheers (like in the skirt pictured above) or swimsuits, but there are so many opportunities for ruching in patternmaking. The technique looks particularly great on a fitted garment, where it accentuates your body's curves.
Fitting can be a challenge for even the most seasoned garment sewers. But that's where a moulage, or "mold," fitting system comes in. It was developed and used in couture houses to reduce client fitting times, yet home sewers can use the technique to draft personal slopers for a blouse, dress, jacket or an overcoat.
If you're under 5'4", you're considered a size petite by the fashion industry — as well as the pattern companies industry. And when you're searching for a pattern, you want one that helps you look taller and gives great proportions to flatter your shape. Keep these tips in mind while you're browsing to help you find the perfect pattern for your next garment.
When fitting a sewing pattern, you typically check standard measurements such as the bust, waist and hip — all measurements of circumference. But there's another that's critical to getting the perfect fit: vertical dimension. This measurement isn't usually marked on most patterns, but you should measure and adjust your patterns for it (in both dimensions, actually) to get the fit you need — especially if you're plus-size or full-busted.
If you're going to sew your own clothes — or even alter store-bought ones — you have to know how to hem. The good news is it's a super easy skill to pick up, as the bottom edge is simply turned up and stitched into place. (Things get more complicated when dealing with extras like lining, a kick pleat or a cuff.) The method below can be used whether you're hemming a dress, a pair of pants, a skirt, a sleeve — anything you put your mind to!
Getting the fit just right is one of the most challenging parts of sewing clothes, mostly because the process isn't a singular step. Rather, it begins before the first pattern piece is even cut, and continues throughout your sewing.
If you love sewing your own clothes, you've probably come across a princess seam. The seams are common design lines on many tops, dresses and jackets. Their slimming effect is flattering on almost any figure, but for them to look just right they need to fit your body properly — which means they need to follow the natural curves of the bust line.
One of the biggest differences between regular garment sewing and couture sewing is underlining. Underlining is what gives couture garments their superior overall appearance and elevates any homemade article of clothing to a designer-grade product. But, what exactly is underlining? Why do you need it, and how do you use it?