Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sewing 101: How to Sew a professional seam w/ out a serger

If your a sewing newbie, please check out week 1(envelope pillow) and week 2 (easy bubble skirt) .  I've structured this series, so each week builds on previous weeks' lessons.
It's great to sew your own clothes, it's just not great when it looks like you did.  Finishing your seams is an easy way to make your finished garment look store bought.
 Step 1:  Cut 2 pieces of well- ironed fabric. 
The desired length of the skirt + 4 inches
The waist measurement+ 1.5 inches

For example I am making a 6month size.  The desired length is 7 and the waist is 16, so I will cut each fabric 17.5X 11 inches. (I can make a baby an entire skirt for 1/3 of a yard of fabric).
Step 2: You always sew with the pretty sides together, but I'm about to break a cardinal rule of sewing (it's ok, I'm a professional).  Sew the 2 pieces of fabric together with the ugly sides together using as narrow of a seam allowance as possible. ONLY follow this when you are doing french seams.

  Step 3: Turn inside out and press seams.

 Step 4: Again stitch down the sides w/ a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  Your original seam will be trapped inside your seam allowance.

***Note: After you've done this a few times you only need to use about a 1/4 inch seam allowance for the first stitch and 3/8 for the second stitch.  However if you take too narrow of seam the second time, your edges will poke out and that's frustrating.

 Step 5: Using your gauge and the technique I showed you last week, fold the waist down 2 inches, press, then fold under 1 inch.  You should have a 1 inch double fold. This will form our waistband.
 Step 6: Sew waistband down. Leave a small place open for the elastic. Using a safety pin, thread elastic through hole.
 Step 7: Sew opening closed.

Step 8: Repeat step 5 to form a 1 inch double hem along the bottom of the skirt. Sew into place. Hint: When you sew, put the pretty side up and use the seam allowance lines on your machine to make sure you are sewing in a straight line. 
 This is the inside of the skirt.Doesn't it look neat, tidy and professional:  Even w/ pics in took me about 30 minutes, so it's a project easily completed during a naptime.  (although why aren't you taking a nap if the kid's are is beyond me).
Happy Sewing, please feel free to ask questions.

This is basically the same idea I used to make my wrinkle maxi skirt:

Just use really thin cotton, wet, twist, and line dry.

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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Days of Chalk and Chocolate


  1. Thanks for this tutorial - I used to babysit for someone who did all of her seams like this and have always wanted to learn!

    1. Glad I could help. I just think it makes clothes look so nice.

  2. That scares me! It is more complicated then a straight stitch! But...I am bound and determined to improve my sewing skills...and this looks like the ticket! Thanks for linking up to the Stinky Linky Party!

  3. Thanks so much! I need to start doing this on my projects. I think it will help a lot. You don't do it on lined clothes, right? Lol, I completely agree, when kids are napping, I am napping!:)

    1. I'm not sure what you mean by "lined clothes". It's funny my kids are gone all day now , but the only day I nap is Sunday when they are all home.

  4. Great blog! I also love to sew, but haven't done a lot of if the past few years. Amazingly, I received my BS degree in fashion merchandizing, which sewing was a HUGE part of getting that degree. Thanks for motivating me!

  5. SO CUTE!!! I am really glad that you left me a sweet comment on my bathroom remodel, because I have never been to your blog before... SO SO cute!!
    I am off to poke around a bit more!!

  6. This is a great tutorial!! TFS!! I'm stopping by from Sassy Sites linky party.

    Here is what I shared this week:

  7. Yippee! You're a feature this week!