Fits sew right

There are individuals who are satisfied with seeing their same American Eagle/ Hollister-clad selves mirrored in fellow students passing in the hall, and then there are those searching for something more.

Attention individuality seekers: the power is in your own two hands, and one of your feet – the one that pushes the pedal on the sewing machine. Yes, it is possible to sew your own fashion statement! Read on for helpful tips and guidelines.

To avoid looking “homemade” in self-sewed clothing be sure to shop first. Be educated in what the current styles are and what fabric they are made of. This can be accomplished by a trip to the mall or by flipping through a magazine while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Every design begins with a pattern. Be it the one brewing in the brain or in the book at the fabric store, patterns are the key to sewing perfection.

A hint on pattern shopping: never pay full price! When done right, sewing can be inexpensive. However, if one foolishly pays full price for everything, the outcome will cost as much as the items in the display window at the mall.

The first step is finding the perfect pattern. The second step is watching the sale flyers at your local fabric store of choice. Whether it’s JoAnn’s or Hancock Fabrics, there are always sale flyers that typically print a month prior to the sale date. During a sale, patterns sell for just a dollar or two.

When searching for a pattern that fulfills your fashion needs and dreams, keep an eye out for those that provide a variety of style options within the same pattern envelope. For example, one pattern seems to fit every requirement for the design in mind except that it has cap sleeves and needs to be 3/4 length. Fear not, option B provides a pattern for the sleeve length of choice.

Before leaving the store with the recently purchased pattern, be sure to read the required materials list and add the essentials to the shopping cart. There is nothing worse than getting started on a project and coming to the realization that needed materials are missing.

Follow the pattern’s recommendation for fabric type. A tip for a satisfactory finished product: sew a mock up. Before cutting into yards of fabric intended for that perfect clothing item, make it out of an old sheet and perfect any needed alterations to ensure a perfect fit. Take notes and apply all lessons learned to the final masterpiece.

Finding the right fabric can be very difficult, but don’t be afraid to branch out. If a fabric store does not have the exact material needed for the design, then search elsewhere. Go to ROSS or T.J. Maxx and shop in the largest sizes possible for anything that has a perfect print. Use this spacious article of clothing for your project. For example, find a large circular skirt and use the fabric for that blouse in the pattern.

Last but not least, do not be afraid to experiment. Anything goes, so don’t hesitate to try something new.

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