July 31, 2014

A simple sewing tip for beginner dressmakers...

You've dusted off the sewing machine and started sewing, you may have even worn a few things you have sewn, it feels great doesn't it?

That magical moment when you are out and someone says they like your dress and you say 'thank you I made it'.....  or do you?

Sometimes when I sew something myself and wear it, I like it but I don't love it, it feels hmmmm lets say 'not quite right' .... it feels inferior to my shop bought items...shock, horror shhhh!

Shop bought = tacky seams and finishes, buttons and hems that come undone the minute you put the garment on. I know.

Then again I can wear something I've made and it feels like a couture garment!


Its all in the details.....those teeny tiny simple things like seams.

So today I thought I would share a very simple tip. Do forgive me if this seem obvious to you it may not be obvious to everyone

Ok so your patterns says: Always press seams open unless instructions state otherwise.

Do you skip this bit? do you sew all your seams together and then press them?

If you do any of the above = ooops

Tip : Put your ironing board up the minute you turn on your sewing machine.

Sew a seam then press a seam is rule number one for getting a finer finish to a garment.

Look at the difference ....

Tip : Press the seam open then turn it over and press the other side too!
oh yes this is soooo important!

My sample is only small, so imagine how that unpressed seam would look on a dress?

Why? it relaxes the stitches, it almost helps blend them with the fabric. Therefore the seam sits where it should and becomes less visible too.

A seam should be as unobtrusive as possible, whilst being fit for its purpose ie. holding the fabric together and enabling good fit with movement where necessary. 

I hope this helps someone?

.....bestest sewing wishes to you ...



  1. Ah yes pressing, I have the burn mark from Hope and Elvis to prove it!

  2. Thank you for your advice and providing examples. I bought myself a copy of Love Sewing magazine following your recommendation and have cut out the summer tunic. My husband bought me a Brother Overlocker 1034D for my recent birthday but I'm a little nervous about using it, is there a book you could recommend or a video that would help. Liz

    1. Hi liz, my overlocker came with its own dvd, but I also bought a book about overlocking its from the pattern company "colette" you could google it I got mine from amazon. otherwise just practise on lots of scraps I did.
      d x

    2. I recently read a good blog post about overlockers by Barmy Beetroot blog, the link is
      Good luck. I am scared of overlockers too, but would love one!!

  3. So so true wise one. I am trying to press satin lining at the moment without scorching it! Jo xx

  4. You have taught me well Daisy. I followed your Skirt-Along instructions to the letter and have pressed my seams - both side - ever since. My iron is on the whole time I'm sewing! Do I get an A+ for paying attention in class?
    Keep these tips coming. Please x

    1. Teachers pet!.......what tip/ area would you like any preferences??
      d x

  5. Good tip, Mrs Jones! I have an intense dislike of ironing (and hence, outsource the daily drudgery) but I do sooo love to press as I sew. There's something strangely satisfying about beautifully pressed seams!

    1. oh i know...I'm with you all the way!

  6. In my grandma's sewing room is an ironing board and iron, always up and at the ready. I have strong childhood memories of this! As much as I hate ironing, the board is up when I get my cuppa ready for the next sewing session! Thank you so, so much for this post, keep 'em coming! Cxxx

  7. It's so good to be reminded about these things!
    Love your sewing tips x

  8. I'm currently wrestling with the tension on my machine grrrrrrrrrr trying hrd not to just chuck it out the window!

  9. Pressing is usually my number one tip when it comes to sewing. I spend a good amount of time with the iron for every garment, makes all the difference. Love your helpful sewing tips!

  10. I'm with you 100% Daisy, that's one of the best tips you could give anyone regarding dressmaking :) Have a great weekend, xoJoy

  11. Great advice! I have purchased the latest issue of Love Sewing mag, and am tempted to make the summer tunic - but I am a totally novice sewer - watch this space!


  12. It's like blocking for knitting or crochet. Very good advice.

  13. Great tip...my ironing board is always up and I'm a devil for leaving the iron on..oops...my latest one ( I seem to get through quite a few!) beeps at me.. just to remind me it is there :) Have a good weekend Sarah xo

  14. A great reminder!! It really is amazing what a difference it makes isn't it. xx

  15. Thanks for the tip, yes its amazing what a little bit of ironing can do to help us with our sewing. xoxo


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