Hello my loyal followers. In my last post I introduced you to the #Blazerof2016 challenge. Well I am pleased to see so many people taking up the challenge and having a go at sewing some menswear. If you haven’t yet plucked up courage to take part you still have plenty of time. Details are here. I have made a start with my #Blazerof2016 and after a lot of procrastination picked the fabric. A medium-weight cotton/wool blend.
Now before I show you my progress I wanted to have a little chat about ‘Hand Sewing’.
“Why sew by hand?” I hear you cry. Well lets be honest….You won’t really be able to sew clothing properly without a little bit of hand sewing. I think it is often over-looked and, I myself, was guilty of skipping the ‘sew-by-hand’ part in many pattern instructions when I started sewing. I used to try and do everything by machine, alas not very successfully!
For those of you taking the #Blazerof2016 challenge, this may get you thinking about how much you sew by hand; as sewing a more ‘tailored’ item certainly calls for more hand sewing.
I’ll start with a few of the most basic but important hand stitches you should know that I have used for the first stage of my #Blazerof2016 challenge.
1. The Basting stitch. You will not find many patterns that don’t ask you to ‘Baste’ at some point during construction and this has to be the one stitch that most people omit: Yes basting takes time but it will certainly save you time in the long run. The basting stitch is a temporary ‘building’ stitch to join 2 or more pieces of fabric together before sewing permanently. After permanent sewing the basting stitch can be simply pulled out of the fabric. In fact the word ‘Baste’ comes from the word ‘Bastir’ meaning ‘to build’. Basting is particularly important to hold fabric together when sewing complex shapes such as curved seams.
The basting stitch is a simple ‘running’ stitch and can be equal or unequal. In the equal stitch the length of stitch and gap between each stitch are the same size (roughly a quarter of an inch) and allows for good control when holding the fabrics together; especially curved seams, when setting in sleeves and attaching collars.