Sewing machines can be fairly expensive, hard to store or even hard to use but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own clothes. There are several ways you can still make quality clothing items for yourself by sewing by hand.
Hand sewing has benefits such as being therapeutic, you can sit on the sofa and watch tv and it is a great way for beginners to learn more about sewing in general. You can still create wonderful clothing by then you just need a couple of tips to help you do so.
These are my 7 tips to help you make clothes without a sewing machine.
1. Use Strong Thread
The best way to make sure your hand sewn clothing items last and are durable is to make sure you use strong quality thread. Using strong thread will be the foundation of a good quality piece and will really help to create a garment that will last a long time.
Thread brands such as Guterman, Mettler and Coats are perfect for hand sewing as they are quality made threads and will last a long time, make sewing by hand easier and will be strong. They are a little more expensive than some other threads you can find on the market but they are worth it.
2. Use Wax Thread
Another way you can make your thread stronger and last longer is by using wax. You can buy a special tool to help you run wax along your thread before sewing. This helps make the thread stronger, less stretchy and even water-resistant.
The wax thread is easy to use and adds very little time onto your sewing routine but can really help your project go smoothly and stay healthy and strong for longer.
3. Use A Handheld Machine
You can still own a style of sewing machine if you want speed on your side, this can come in the form of a handheld sewing machine. These are small compact machines that kind of look like a large stapler but it actually sews.
You can find these in several places from supermarkets to online and in specialised sewing shops. They are extremely popular especially for those looking to hem trousers or a skirt.
They are straightforward and simple to use, not to forget that they are much cheaper than a full machine along with being much more compact.
4. Use A Running Stitch
The best stitch to use when making your own clothes by hand is the running stitch. The running stitch is easy to create and better to use on seams as it is straight and will look neat on the right side of the fabric.
The most important part of using a running stitch is to do a backstitch every so often in your work to stop the fabric from being gathered. Doing the backstitch will also help create strength within the seam for the garment to be worn.
5. Mark Out Your Seam Allowance
Sewing seams together by hand can be hard, mostly due to keeping the correct seam allowance and distance from the edge of the fabric. I personally have done this a few times before and actually ended up making the project worse because I didn’t mark out the seam allowance and sew lines.
To make your project work well and to get the best results make sure you draw on the sew lines, you may already do this for when you use a machine so carry on doing it for when you sew by hand.
6. Use Interfacings To Add Strength
All sewing patterns will state whether or not you will need interfacing, bondaweb or any type of fabric stiffener or enhancer. Make sure you have these to hand before you get started but if you are creating your own design and working from a sketch of your own remember some parts of your clothing may need some extra support.
Look at the areas in which will receive the most tugging, movement and traffic, these will be cuffs, collars and facings like zips and buttonholes. Make sure areas such as these have suitable fabric enhancers to make sure the garment is well looked after.
7. Follow The Instructions As Usual
If you are using a pattern you can follow the instructions as you would if you were using a sewing machine, the only difference is the tool in which is creating the stitches. Personally, I would follow every single step as you would if you were using a sewing machine.
You may need to adapt a couple of your stitches to be stronger or to follow the instructions including blanket stitch and zig zig stitch, both of which you can create by hand.