Updated April 2019
You’ve come to learn more about how to make your sewing look more professional and amazing, and I have so much to share with you. Before we get to those tips though, let me share a few more things with you. When I started sewing I would often look at the things I made and compare them to store-bought clothing and I noticed a few things that always made mine seem a little less polished.
If you want:
- fashion that looks expensive but no one suspects you made it yourself
- classic pieces that stand the test of time
- pieces that are durable and can be worn for years because they’re well made
- to be proud of your creations both inside and out
then read on, because I’ve been there. I didn’t know a thing about sewing when I started teaching myself, and I’m so excited to share what I’ve learned with you.
7 Ways to Make Your Sewing Look Professional
1. Use Wide Elastic and Casings
It’s so tempting to put in skinny elastic and a small casing, especially when you’re short on fabric. But small elastic and casings look cheap, so avoid it if possible. Also make your casings snug so the elastic doesn’t twist–a tell-tale sign of homemade. You can also stitch through your elastic and casing along the side seams to prevent twisting…
2. Create Wide Hems and Cuffs
If a pattern calls for a 1/2″ hem, add extra length so you can have a 1-1/2 to 2″ hem. It makes the garment look more expensive because you didn’t skimp on the fabric. It also helps give the hem more weight so it hangs nicer and you also have the added benefit of being able to lengthen a garment if needed when you have a large hem. Win win.
What about on circle skirts? This hemming trick will save your sanity and you can have as big of a hem as you’d like.
3. Press Everything
Don’t ever skip pressing your seams as you go–even if you hate ironing. Just don’t do it. Steam pressing seams sets the stitches and creates structure that makes the whole garment to look polished. I promise its worth the effort. And go for a good one. I LOVE this CHI clothing iron. I reviewed it last year and my Rowenta iron got the boot. See my review here (my feelings have only gotten stronger in the past year of use and abuse.)
4. Finish the Seam Allowances
Finished seam allowances keeps your cut edges from fraying, and it’s also key in making your sewing look professional. While pinking shears technically keep your fabric from fraying, a pinked edge just doesn’t look great. Instead, either use a zigzag over your edges or serge all raw edges as you go to get a better finish. Although no one else will see the inside of your clothes, it will change how you feel about your creations–you’ll be proud of the garment both inside and out.
5. Understitch the Collars and Facings
Nothing screams homemade like a collar that won’t stay down. And nothing is as annoying as constantly trying to smooth it down when you’re wearing it. Facings that won’t stay down are just as bad. Always under stitch.
Don’t know what under stitching is? No problem, click here and I’ll email you what it is and when to use it!
6. Stay stitching
It’s so tempting to skip the stay stitching, but don’t. Stay stitching is a line of stitches that stays in the garment to help curved edges like necklines retain their shape so they don’t get saggy or stretched while you’re sewing. Because frumpy necklines just don’t look good.
7. Use a Double Needle or Coverstitch to Finish Knits
You know that double row of stitching on the hem of your favorite t-shirt? It’s a special stitch that stretches AND looks good. On a sewing machine, you can use a double needle to get this stitch, or if you’re lucky you can use a coverstitch machine to sew your hem and finish your edges all at once. Either way, that double stitched look really makes a difference on the finished look of knits.
It’s amazing how just these simple steps will give your projects a serious boost in subtle yet noticeable ways and make your sewing look professional. And while some of them require an extra step or tool, they make a real difference in the quality of the finished product.
Looking for more sewing tips and tricks? I’ve got you covered with 9 more crucial tips and tricks to make your sewing look amazing! Click here and I’ll send you my favorite sewing tips and tricks because I want you to be successful and love sewing.
I always say I want my clothes to look handmade rather than homemade… I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tips: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=82492 –Anne
Yes! There’s a huge difference. And thank you so much, Anne!
Great tips, thank you so much for sharing. I’m just getting back into sewing after a 10 year hiatus and it had never occurred to me how much I might have forgotten until I started. As I was working through my latest project I was having several oh ya moments. As I also remembered how much I really enjoyed sewing I’ll be doing more of it in the future so your tips will be coming in very handy. Thanks
It’s amazing how many details there are in sewing! And while it’s not too hard, there’s a lot to remember. I’m glad you’re getting back into it!
I really did like your post. I am in the midst of remodeling some tee shirts that are plain and tired looking. I loved some of the tips in your post. I like to be reminded that the fastest way is not always the best way. I will enjoy the reminders that you posted.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Iris. I think we all need these reminders once in a while.
I think for #7 that you mean coverstitch machine that hems and finishes the edge at once.
Ha! Yes, I did. Updated, and thanks for straightening me out. 🙂
Just getting back to sewing clothing after 25 years, these are great tips some old some new thoughts for me. thanks for sharing.
Ohh, welcome back! And I’m glad you came to check out my tips. Happy sewing!
Excellent points. Thanks for sharing .
please send 7 tip details to me by email , I am a fashion designer in Shanghai,China.It is very nice to know you at your website.
Lisa, found this article through Google. Glad I came across these 7 tips and loved it. I just Subscribed to your newsletter.
I’m so glad you found me. Welcome, and I hope you learn a lot here!
Love your tips. Love to read more. Thank you for inviting me in.
Welcome, Carol! Glad you found them helpful. 🙂
WHY do we have to CLICK through for EVERY ‘tip’ ? is it so the ads get more views ? horrible web site..
& the elastic in a casing is set to fit the project NOT the ‘looks cheap’ idea. Not completely sure what you meant by that tiny tip.
Also , when adding elastic, always sew the back area to hold the elastic & keep it from twisting.
Nice post ! Thanks for sharing the useful information about the sewing tricks. your mention is really helpful for the users.
These tricks might come in handy when I am making clothes for me and my kids. I like them to have professional looks instead of homemade. These days it’s hard to find pants for my young son to wear since he is pretty picky with his clothes. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips. It is definitely going to be a good use.
Your email links don’t work to send tips. I’d love to get the info. thank you! I just bought the Brother serger!
Hi there. I love all your tips and tricks you shared with us. I also love using my iron too. It makes your clothes look so finished and a special pride. Thanks again.
What is stay stitching exactly ?
Best results when pressing stretch knits.
Thank you for your reply…
Those sewing tips are sew good ( pardon the pun) Thankyou for those little extras that make a big difference to the look of the finished garment / project and also to how you feel about the work you have done . 😊
Hey Lisha, these seven pro tips had help me or anyone achieve a polished and professional look on all the sewing projects. Saying goodbye to amateur mistakes and hello to perfectly tailored garments! Subscribing to the newsletter!