Industrial sewing is responsible for making hundreds of thousands clothing pieces every day. Most of those clothing pieces are made with practically no mistakes and a lot of them are identical to one another since they’re mass produced. This kind of precision and efficiency is something every sewing enthusiast would love to integrate into their home sewing.
That is actually possible, believe it or not. You don’t even need to have an industrial sewing machine in your possession, a high-quality home machine or a regular heavy-duty sewing machine will do the trick just fine. All you have to do is follow these next few pro tips and you’ll get there easily.
- Avoid using pins
Most sewing enthusiasts use pins to keep their pattern in place while they are cutting out the fabric. But this can cause some unwanted bumps or fluffs on the fabric. To avoid this, use weights instead. They will do the job just effectively but without leaving any deformations on the fabric.
You should also try to avoid using pins while you’re sewing on the machine. To hold the fabric in place, use your free hand to keep it pressed while using your other hand to hold the two pieces of fabric. This technique will help you make much more professional looking seams.
2. Always make clean cuts
Before you start cutting the fabric, find yourself the largest possible work area where you’ll be able to spread it out. If you don’t have a large table, find some space on the floor instead. Buy yourself a rotary mat and a rotary cutter. Use them to make clean cuts every time.
3. Adjust your seam allowances
Reduce them to a one quarter of an inch. The 5/8 seam allowance that is most common on home sewing machines produces seam that is too bulky for details like collars, facing, waistbands and cuffs. If you reduce the allowances, you will save time on finishing work afterwards and your seams will have that professional look.
4. Collect everything needed before you sew
Get all your sewing notions and fabric ready before you start sewing. Put these notions in a tray or a bag near your machine.
For the interfaced pieces – don’t make them one at a time. Fuse enough fabric for all those pieces and then cut them up. Add them to the notions bag.
Fit and adjust the pattern as needed, and only then proceed with sewing.
5. Sew in one go
This will speed up your sewing process considerably, and you’ll be able to finish your projects a whole lot faster. Stitch all of the pieces of fabric you have to work on one to the other, butt to butt. Then stitch in one go from one end to the other. Once you finish, just rip apart the stitches that held the pieces together.
6. Sew buttonholes first
Doing this will produce a guideline for you to place the buttons on. If you wish for your buttonholes to have a nicer edge, use a punch instead of a seam ripper to cut them open. The difference in edge precision is pretty big, you’ll see for yourself.
7. Use nips to mark the notches
While making the notches the old-fashioned way by leaving a tag of fabric along the edge is really forgiving and leaves a lot of room for error, it really slows you down. If you want to speed up your sew, don’t waste time cutting diamond shapes out from the seam allowance. Instead, make just a single cut by snipping into the notch up to the point. Then match up the fabric pieces by meeting up those cut lines.
8. Complete similar tasks at the same time
Although it might be tempting to first stitch the pieces together and work on the details afterwards, that method of sewing consumes a lot of time. If you deal with all of the details first and stitch the fabric together only after you’ve done so, you’ll be much more efficient and productive.
Similarly, sew as much as you can before pressing. Don’t stop to press each seam open. Instead, stop to press only if you reach a cross section and the seam should be pressed open before you continue.
9. Make yourself a pressing station
If you have the means to do so, build your own pressing station instead of using a regular ironing board. It will be much bigger so your fabric won’t have to hang over the edges during the ironing process. Use some plywood for the base and cover it with wool and muslin to prevent it from damaging your garment.
10. Press the details first
As you start doing the final pressing, begin with the details like waistbands, cuffs and collars. Then move on to the sleeves. After that you can press the body as well. If you press the buttons from the wrong side, you’ll avoid melting them accidentally. Don’t forget to let each section cool before you move on to the next.
Did you find the article helpful? I hope you enjoyed reading it and that it helped you improve your sewing. Have fun making industrial quality garments!