How to Choose Serger | Overlock or Interlock for Smart Finishing

How to Choose Serger | Overlock or Interlock for Smart Finishing

There is a huge confusion when you plan to buy your first Overlock, Interlock or Serger. First dilemma is to find out what exactly these monsters do? Ok, you found that out by checking out their definitions. Now comes the bigger question - which one is best suitable for your work? Should you buy an over-locking machine, interlock machine or simply a serger?

Wait! There is one more daunting and haunting question - Do you really need a serger or interlock / overlock machine or rather you manage interlocking with your sewing machine? Because that is also possible!  Which is the Best Machine for your kind of work?

You know about "cutting the corners" let's know something about finishing the corners and edges.

You would have seen that some of the fabrics' thread keep coming from all open sides. You get so stressed out - cutting and managing those threads, that you ​get small bits of thread all around you. And again! The same saga of small threads keep coming...To finish these threads coming out from the sides of your clothe, you use serging, overlocking or interlocking! Right?

Who invented a Serger?

Ahhh! How much I love ​the inventor of overlock stitching machines "Mr.J.Makens Merrow."

​Mr. Merrow and his son Joseph had a Machine Company in Connecticut in 1881 and they worked hard to ease our overlocking nightmares.

Know more about the man who invented overlocking machines.​

What is Overlock & what Other Names it got?

Overlock is a kind of stitch that is used to sew over the edge of one or two pieces of fabric for edging, hemming, or seaming.

Know More About Serger Overlock Machine

Difference between Overlock,Interlock, Overcast & Serger Machines.

  • · OVERLOCK / INTERLOCK
  • · OVERCAST / OVEREDGE
  • · SERGER
  • · COVERSTITCH

An overlock is a kind of stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of cloth for edging, hemming, or seaming.

The term Overlock and Interlock are used interchangeably.

Best Overlock / interlock machine​ if you own a boutique.

What Does An Overlock Machine Do?

an overlocker is a sewing machine that stitches with either 3, 4 or 5 threads at the same time. They are mainly used to join seams, trim off the excess fabric and stop the cut edges from fraying all in one simple operation.

I loved how detailed information is given on We'r in Stitches, you can also have a look.

Should You Choose a Sewing Machine with Overlocking Feature or a Serger?

Now, you would have known the difference and similarity between this edge sewing stitch known by different names by different sewing machine manufactures.

​Overlock feature may be added in your sewing machine but an overlock machine / serger gives you exclusive specialization of this stitch.

Overlocking for Domestic Sewing Projects

You can use an Overlocking , Overlock Stitch Sewing Machine Foot Snap if you have any of the following sewing machines - Brother, Janome, Toyota, New Singer Domestic Sewing Machines or

For domestic or home sewing projects you can have a sewing machine having overlock feature.

All these sewing machines have overlock feature.


 Serging for Professional Work ​Setup

But for professional set up, it's beneficial to use an exclusive serger to speed up your work.

There are many simple function models as well as advanced models in sergers / overlock machine category.

You can choose the serger as per your needs and requirement. Based on your daily work needs, the feature of the serger should vary.

The Simplest Plug-N-Start Serger / Overlocker for Professional Work Set up

(I loved it in my Fashion Boutique)

When the volume of work is high and we need our serger / overlocker to do work faster then we need to buy a specialized machine for the serging with a cutter.

I used a simple serger with a cutter. Initially, i was skeptical if I would ever be able to operate it as it looked complicated. But in fact, there was nothing simpler that that serger.

Pros

§ It is a high speed monster, ideal for fashion boutique and I love it. 

§ Easy to operate and extension table gives support while sewing.

§ Very economic.

§ Does only one task of overlocking but does it so fast and nice that it's a boon for a fashion boutique where you have to produce volumn.

Cons

§ This machine consumes space.

§ Threading needs a little practice.

§ Can do only one task. You can't do multiple designer kind of stitches.

§ You can buy a multi stitch sewing machine and enjoy a variety, just by adding some more money.


In my view, this machine is good when you have a huge volumn of overlocking work and you want to specialize on overlocking a monotonous kind of thing.

For home sewing projects, where we need variety in our designs, this overlocking machine may not be upto the mark.​

What to Consider while Buying a Serger / Overlock Machine?

§ A good serger / overlocker should have at least three or four threads. Mine had three threads but more the merrier.

§ It makes sense to have adjustable pressure foot as per your sitting position.

§ For thicker fabrics, two step pressure foot lifter is a good consideration, otherwise you may get inconvenience while pulling the fabric out.

§ Adjustable bite width and stitch length would allow you to make designer eye catchy beautiful hem on kids' dresses and similar projects. You can also adjust the width and length as per the fabric thickness.

§ Another feature that you need is Adjustable Differential feed (for lettuce edge – wavy hems, or easy gathering).

§ A cutter or Retractable upper knife is generally given in a serger but you can check with your sewing machine because they generally don't have this feature.

§ Though most of the sergers / overlocking machines come with a Free arm (for sewing tubular items) it's not an essential.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Serger / Overlocking Machine

Pros

§ You'll be surprised how it reduces the amount of work involved in producing your finished project.

§ Your sewing projects get a professional and clean finish.

§ I make my handkerchief in a jiffy and it's also excellent for attaching elastic.

§ We can get a variety of fancy edges or hems in very less time.

§ I love the time a serger / overlocker saves me by finishing the hem so fast.

Cons

§ Overlockers / sergers can be expensive to buy.

§ Initially, I spoiled so many fabrics while I made the mistake of not paying attention - where my fabric was going. An attached cutter needs attention while working on a serger / overlocker.

§ Learning to thread an overlocker and set the correct tensions can prove to be interestingly mind boggling.

My View on Buying a Serger / Overlocker

It's not a rule on a rock that you must have all the features. Depending on your budget and requirement, choose a serger / overlock or interlock machine which can serge well with a clean finish.

Best Serger / Top Overlock Machines

Summary In a Nutshell

Through my experience, I can say that a serger or overlock machine is the best sewing companion that you can have. Or at least have an added feature of overlocking in your existing sewing machine ( I already explained the over locking snap on foot earlier in this post)

I have shown you many ways how you can get the best in serging / overlocking. You can compliment your existing sewing machine with a snap on overlock footer or buy a sewing machine with overlocking features.

Or for the sewing lovers, buy an exclusive serger. But before that check your budget and the features you want and based on that, choose the one that suits you. ​

A serger is not something you buy everyday, so make a wise decision and buy it considering a long time investment.​

Join the community to excel in your work

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How to Buy Sewing Machine as Gift

How to Buy Sewing Machine as Gift

It is said that "when we choose a gift, we should consider how we would feel receiving it."

This single thought has created a havoc in my house because I am flooded with strange things, which I would never ever imagine buying or using; not even passing on to my enemies !

I have always believed that gifts should be either consumables or those things, you really know the receiver would cherish.

Checklist to ​buy a perfect gift for anybody on Hufffington Post.

GIFT = CONCERN & THOUGHT

Gifting for the sake of gifting is a BIG BURDEN ON THIS EARTH.

It creates clutter, hopelessness and economic strain.​​​​​

When you really putting your money to buy a gift, why not put some heart into it, too? A little understanding of the receiver's profession,education, social circle, hobbies, family can help us make this decision wisely.

WHEN IN DOUBT, GIFT CONSUMABLES (Chocolate,sweets, dresses, flowers etc)

​Let's see what other's choose as a gift on wikihow.

15 Steps Guide for Gift Selection

Find a perfect gift for anybody needs a lot of thought. I share with you a checklist based on which you can choose the best possible gift simply by going through that list.

When you zero in on the gift selection then we go ahead with choosing the best sewing machine for gifting.

1- Usefulness

Usefulness of a gift is a very individualistic term.​ What could be useful for a 45 year old may not be appropriate for a 5 year old.

I read a joke lately, which was like - The little Sam was wrapping a football as a gift to his grandmother. His dad got curious and asked, why he was gifting a football to the grandmother, when it was of not much use to her!" Little Sam replied,"For the same reason, grandmother gifted me the bible on my birthday!"

​Not all sewing machines are for everybody. How to buy a sewing machine?

While a beginner may find a hands on simple to operate sewing machine useful; for a seasoned designer, a pattern book may prove to be more attractive or may be a high value serger.

2- Uniqueness

​Everyone loves to receive a gift which is unique. Something they have not used before and something which is so awesome!

For such people, who are always ready to explore so much more and already have their sewing machine in place, you may consider gifting them a set of various presser foot feet kit, which could fit in almost all branded modern sewing machines.

There are many types of presser feet that you can check out to choose right.​

Imported 32 Sewing Machine Presser Foot Feet Kit fit for Brother Singer Janome

3- Creates Value

Your gift must add value to the receiver's life. If the person, you wish to present a gift to, at a stage where he/she is struggling to get something done; you can step in with a gift to add value in his/her life.​

4- Makes Life Easier

​Your gift should be such which could make the life of receiver a little bit easier. If the receiver finds the gift messy, cumbersome, difficult to handle or space consuming to store; then it's unlikely that he/she would ever use it. Reason is - our brain does not like to start things which are difficult to start with! Gifts need not be expensive, they need to be simple to make life easy!

5- Gives Pleasure

All these points go hands in hands but as the personality of the receiver differs, so the gift choices for them.

For a creative person what could be a better gift then gifting her the pleasure to c reat e!​ That could be in multiple ways. I suggested a few ideas through the shared links but you can explore somewhat similar things on the same page and make the right choice.

6- Latest in the Market

​What is old, may not be gold! The old saying has a twist in today's times, when things are changing at a rapid pace. Technology is advancing and benefiting us with better, newer and wonderful features - same goes with the features of our sewing machines.

I remember my mom's sewing machine, which used to be a pain in the neck and shoulders if the sewing project was a little lengthy. I loved sewing but not sitting long hours just to make my dress complete with pain.

​In later stage, I bought the machines with advanced features, which made sewing fun and fast.

What we are getting in latest models as built-in stitches, we couldn't think of a decade back. Here, we need to check out that the latest is also time tested and value for money.

7- Makes Life Smarter

What else you need on Earth but something which makes you smarter, saves your time, makes you look cool and trendy all the time. A sewing machine in-tune with a few designer stitches adds smartness and style to your wardrobe. It's no wonder that a sewing machine is an investment for a fashionista!​

8- Helps in Achieving Something

It seems easy to buy a necklace or dresses for your loved one. That's perfectly fine when you are in a hurry and just don't bother to think too much about the usage of the gift.​

But if you really care, you'll surely think if your gift can make the receiver achieve something more than momentarily happiness!​

Why should you buy a sewing machine at all?​

9- Fulfills a Goal

There is an old saying - if you want to make someone handicapped, feed them forever. But if you want to make them independent, ​teach them something.

​A well meaning gift, which fulfills the goal of the person, who is seeking it; then nothing is like that. A sewing machine as gift can fulfill many goals. Identify the one and fulfill it.

10- Provides a Sense of Belonging

A personalized gift which makes one feel loved and cherished is something, we value forever. I am sure this is the kind of feeling, you also wish to achieve, by gifting something valuable to your loved one.​

Some people like surprise gifts but there is wisdom if we suggest our gifting intentions and​ choose the gift most suitable to the person, who is going to use it. We can suggest a few options and observe the inclination for the gift.

11- Solves a Problem

​I have yet to meet a lady, who is not particular about her choices and solutions to her problems.

One of the common problem with most women, especially moms is mending, designing, creating, recycling and solution to all these problems is a good handy creative sewing machine. Which could work like magic!​

12- Helps in Saving Money

​The biggest irony of our times is that almost everybody looks no less than a celebrity on facebook, instagram and all other social networking sites. But if you meet them in person, they are walking beggars. Clicking with borrowed dresses, accessories and what not!

In earlier times, we could wear a dress in many many more occasions and nobody really bothered to care. ​

At least, we could repeat the same dress on two different get-together. ​But our visibility has changed now. Even if it's a small gathering and we deliberately choose to not post our pictures online; there would always be somebody in the group, who would post our pictures and make our dress public.

​So, what's better - picking up fights or creating new dresses? Of course, the later. Because it saves your money in shopping, surfing and spending. So, if you wish to make someone realize the value of money, a sewing machine is the best gift to give.

This is the machine, I am using for last 9 years.

13- Helps in Saving Time

​Time is money and we have read and heard it numerous times. But what does it anything to do with gifting?

Why? If you could help ​someone saving tremendous amount of time, then it's going to be awesome! Saving is the greatest saver of all!

14- Helps in Saving Efforts

A good sewing machine saves in efforts by pitching in with multi utility features and benefits. One can turn a simplest scrap into a great designer piece.​

While the older models of sewing machines may give you speed with single stitch feature; the new models add life to creativity.​

15- Acts as Investment or Creates an Income

​To sum up everything, if we could earn by doing what we love, then nothing is like that!

Sewing can never go out of fashion. In fact, the whole fashion industry's backbone is sewing. So, help someone be self reliant and create an income by a decent sewing machine.

Let's find out how one can earn money in sewing industry.

When you choose a sewing machine for a loved one or someone in your family, then it's not just a gift but a long time investment which is Useful, Unique to the needs of that individual, Creates Value, Makes Life Easier and can also give pleasure by solving the problem of last minute mending. In fact, it serves all the purposes mentioned above.​

What do you consider while buying a gift?​

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Best Way To Learn Sewing as a Beginner

Best Way To Learn Sewing as a Beginner

If you want to create your own dresses or you want to earn a decent money, you may wonder,"What's the best way to start sewing as a beginner?"  There are many ways leading your imagination to creativity (sewing) and here I share some of the best ways, how I learnt sewing and you can sew too! 

Free Sewing Books​

How to learn sewing.​

How to buy a sewing machine.​

What Do You Mean By Sewin​g?

The dictionary meaning of sewing - 
verb

sewing

sewsəʊ/

  1. join, fasten, or repair (something) by making stitches with a needle and thread or a sewing machine."she sewed the seams and hemmed the border"
    synonyms:stitch, machine stitch;
    antonyms:unpick, remove, rip, tear
    • attach (something) to something else by sewing."she could sew the veil on properly in the morning"
    • make (a garment) by sewing."the two sisters sewed their own dresses"

W​hat to Expect When Starting to Learn Sewing.

If you are bored out of your life despite having everything then try sewing. It challenges your mind to create. You can not be bored and creative at the same time.

When we call it Stitching or Sewing here, we can refer to all activities that revolves around or inside creating anything. It could be a wide array of things, like :-

  • Visualizing Thoughts and Ideas
  • Drawing and Sketching
  • Cutting (Developing hand to mind coordination ) – fabric as well as paper / other materials
  • Pasting
  • Sewing
  • Decorating / Merchandising
  • Organizing – ideas as well as material
  • There are so many other things, which we’ll take up as we proceed.

When we get ourselves into arranging different aspects to create one particular design. To reach a goal, we get focused, we concentrate our energies and attention towards that and that’s what’s important to keep us creative.

No matter how boring your life is, once you get up to start it, you get into action mode and then nobody can stop you.

For you or for the kids, it’s a good productive engagement to start with making a few decorative stitches on your plain dresses.

I used to bond with my mother over some simple sewing projects. I had a working mom, who used to have very little time for all or us six siblings but I used to enjoy the exclusive attention, she used to bestow on me while explaining things!

Sewing terminology

Sewing Tools You Will Need

Basic Sew Kit

Sewing Machine

Fabric

Drafting Tools

How To Know If You Can Sew?

Though, there is no hard rule that you need certain traits to sew but if you loved cutting and scattering pieces of paper / fabric tit bits around the room as a kid, while being busy doing your crafts, chances are you’d love to sew .

AM I THE RIGHT FIT FOR SEWING?

I believe that sewing is a productive hobby and a profitable business which can never let you down. You never have to be bothered about your friend wearing the same dress bought from the famous mall as you have your unique collection, which no one can copy.

But the question which may be popping in your head for some time is "Is it too much work and too difficult?" and moreover "Am I able to learn all those things to make a perfect dress at home myself?"​

It is easy to answer this question, if you close your eyes and imagine yourself as a kid who is ready to try new things. Excited to ​be yourself and explore what all you can do!

If you loved cutting and scattering pieces of paper / fabric tit bits around the room, liked pasting, joining, decorating, creating something out of nothing then your chances of being successful as a designer is very high.

Believe me, this is a hobby, which can keep you engaged, productive and mentally stimulated too. You may wonder Why Should You Stitch in these Ready-to-Wear times? There are ample reasons in favor of sewing.

But Where Should I Start?

We live in very happy and good times when so many people are ready to share their skills and knowledge with us free of cost genuinely. Earlier, we used to search and find the resources (books, teacher, institute etc.) by going through different places, which was very time consuming but now, we can even learn through online videos tutorials at our convenience.

A good mentor can make learning easier.

7 Steps Guide to Help You Learn Sewing

Practice makes a person perfect and there is no denying this fact. But another fact is every expert was once a beginner. Here I share with you the steps which may help you tremendously in your creative pursuit :-

1.Have a Mentor

Don't Keep Your Doubts in Your Mind. Ask Your Queries from Sewing Community & Share Your Challenges with Them.

§ ​Whatever you want to learn, it helps to have a mentor. Be it your mother, friend, teacher or online community which you can trust to answer your queries. Have a mentor or join a like-minded group of people or community.

It will help you understand the basics fast and gain expertise quickly. You will be elated that there is someone you can always go back to, when things are not going your way.

2.Books are the Best Guide

Go through Sewing | Stitching Free Online Books to Get Better Understand of Video Tutorials

§ Trust the pen, paper and books. The tips I am sharing with you may be different from all the advice you ever got about learning to sew your dress but these things helped me so I believe they can help you too. Have some online or offline reference books which you can check, when needing clarifications.

Keep a notepad and write down details about the sewing project you take. For example, if you make a handkerchief - write down fabric material taken, measurements taken, thread and needle chosen etc. with the date of initiating your sewing project.

This practice will help you learn and keep a record of your learning, which you can revise at any time in future for reference. Also note down success rating of your project. Why it turned out good and what improvement needed for the next project?

3.Know Your Tools

Know the Sewing Tools You'll Need to Start Measuring, Drafting, Cutting & Sewing

§ Collect all the tools that you need to make your dress. You'll need measuring tape, tailors chalk, scale, fabric scissors, Iron and ironing board, pins, tracing wheel etc. These tools are easily available at any sewing supplies store near you or you can check out online as well.

4.Practice Sewing

Domestic Use Sewing Machine for Beginners with Multiple Features & Decorative Stitches

§ Get familiar with your sewing machine. Though, you can do basic sewing, decorative stitches etc. by hand sewing but it takes longer completing a dress. A sewing machine is an investment. It serves you for years and generally passed on to generations. If you already have a sewing machine then your must get to know it's parts and repair mechanics.

§ If you don't have a sewing machine then you must consider buying a sewing machine considering next ten years. You may ask what's a good beginner's sewing machine? So, I have two machines, one is industrial use sewing machinewhich has a strong body and works like a monster - super fast but stitches straight only. Another one is Usha Janome Stitch Magic which got so many decorative stitches and additional features than just stitching straight. Now, it's your choice. You want just one single straight stitch with superfast speed or too many features with relatively low speed.

5.Understand Measurements

Standard Measurement Chart & Body Measurement Calculations: Ready-to-Use

§ Understand body frame and how to measure using a measuring tape. You need to understand that making your own clothes is not as difficult as some people have made it.

Joining a big fashion institute for learning dress making is a silliest mistake that you can make (because I have already made that mistake!)

They teach you drafting, illustration, sketching, portfolio building and hundred other things which leave you exhausted and wondering if fashion designing is really about making dresses!

Learn The Difference Between Standard Measurements & Body Measurements

Actually fashion designing is much much more than dress making. So, to understand dress making in a layman's words, you need to understand how a HUMAN BODY is created.

§ It's got WIDTH & LENGTH which we need to cover beautifully and elegantly. For this you need to know a little bit about measurements. That's simple! 2+2 together. That's it!

6.Learn DIY Sewing Online

Sewing tutorial channels which you can learn from.

§ Next comes cutting dresses to your measurement. Though, ready made dress patterns are available in the market, it is advisable to learn pattern making yourself. That way, you save your energy in find out patterns, money to buy them and then the storage to keep patterns intact for the next use.

Pattern making is easy and I generally mark and cut the fabric directly. If it's a designer piece then I adhere to patterns. so, learn the practical way of cutting and making dress with me by joining me on youtube channel.

There are many methods and different techniques you can use to make your dresses. One is to keep your ready fitting dresses on the fabric, leave some seam allowance and cut. Another method is to use formulas and calculations and make a proper fitting dress. I explained all different methods on

7.Start Small

Start making simple handkerchief, cushion cover or do some simple long stitches to get a hold on your machine.

These are the ideas and tips for any beginner to start on a sewing machine. Initially, you can take up these easy to do projects for yourself or for your loved ones and gradually you can make your dresses.

The next step is sewing your dress. In each tutorial I explained in detail. If you have any doubts you can ask me or the other members.


Popular Reading

Best Sewing Books to Buy

Best Sewing Books to Buy

When we start sewing, we start looking for the best sewing books to buy. Because no matter how many video tutorials on sewing are available; a book is a must to learn a craft from the beginning.

WHILE BUYING TECHNICAL BOOKS FOR CUTTING & TAILORING, EITHER WE GO BY THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF OUR INSTRUCTOR OR BY THE EXPERTS WHO HAVE ALREADY USED THOSE BOOKS.

SOMETIMES OUR FRIENDS ALSO PITCH IN TO HELP US IN THE PROCESS.

Books to learn good cutting & sewing.

The books by Gayatri Verma, Zarapkar and Marfy are the ones I have used extensively. Rest of the design books you find in abundance in your neighborhood stationery shop also. The various design books are published by different publishing houses and the designs are very region specific.

I believe that cutting & tailoring or for that matter Fashion Designing is very individualistic. It’s just like cooking. If you know the basic ingredients right , you may cook anything. Likewise, if you know your basics right, you can stitch just anything.

You would get a lot of information which you can use for self-tutoring in my post Free Books on Cutting & Tailoring:

TO START WITH STITCHING BUT STILL IF YOU NEED TO BUY A SELF LEARNING BOOK THEN I WOULD RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:-

Cutting tailoring in Hindi

  • Cutting & Tailoring Course by Gayatri Verma (Hindi Edition) This book is very practical. Can be used for home tailoring purpose. Reading theory part is important to grasp the lay out and pattern cutting.
  • This would be a good book in Hindi for learning the tailoring yourself. There is also a book Rapidex Home Tailoring Course by Asha Rani Vohra which is practically useful by which anybody can master the art of Cutting & Tailoring.

Best Cutting system

  • Zarapkar System of Cutting– One of the best books on Cutting and understanding the details of cutting various types of garments. Some of the layouts you may find out here in this link.
  • Though, initially it takes a little bit more time to understand this book and its technical language but once you are absorbed into Cutting & Tailoring mode, this book is very useful in the long run. It can be referred time and again.

Design Books

  • Design Books – When we start with our fabric, sometimes we need a guidance on the kind of design our fabric would be most suitable for.
  • For this purpose, it helps to refer to various design books to widen our color and design combinations and varied choices of layout of the available fabric.
  • There are many design books available in the market and many more are being launched every day.
  • Publishers keep updating them as per the market trends and fashion fads at any given point of time. Therefore, the designs in these books may change from time to time.

Learn Online Free Cutting & Sewing

Regional Books

  • Region specific Cutting,Tailoring & Design books – These are regional fashion books. The language and cutting formulas would be very basic.

Reference Books

  • Western Wear & Designs – This is also one of my favorite book on western designs, which you may find useful too. It gets published every year and with every Marfy magazine you get free patterns also. The designs shown are evergreen and can be adapted in various styles.

I hope these books are useful in your journey to learn Cutting & Tailoring as they have helped me in being a self learnt dress maker.

Do you want to get free tips & tutorials?

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Free Sewing Books to Make Your Own Patterns

Free Sewing Books to Make Your Own Patterns

Do you know that before buying sewing books, you must check out some of the free sewing books to understand the contents. The best way to learn anything including sewing is by referring to relevant good books.  YouTube is full of free video sewing tutorials and some of these are really good. But if you know your basics from a sewing book, your understanding increases manifolds.

Written material & books provide us a clear road map on how to go about our dress making project but initially we hesitate to invest in any new book as their usefulness is not very clear to us.

How to learn sewing?

How to buy sewing machine?​

Even if we are clear that we intend to buy a book on Cutting, Sewing, Tailoring & Dress Designing, we sometimes wish to know the content description and clarity before buying, which is very very important.

Sewing Books to Buy.

How to buy clothes?​

We Make a Better Buying Decision, when We Know the Content & Relevance.

As we gain understanding, it becomes easier for us to make a smart decision about choosing the reference material or books on tailoring to get closer to our goal of self tuition on Cutting & Tailoring or stitching.

Through experience, I realized that there are a number of books available in the market on Cutting & Tailoring and their content is somewhat the same but the way things are explained differs and one book may be easy to understand for your friend but it does not mean that it could be as easy on you as well.

Some people may be more comfortable with certain type of descriptive explanation and some of us can do with simple instructions and detailed narration.

It may vary from individual to individual. Still, I made some efforts to gather the information which I used at different points of stitching & dress making to get my concepts clear.

To start with, you may check out these books and reference material by experts for developing a clear understanding on the concepts of dress making. These are all FREE to read and to learn self tailoring :-

Sewing Books for Beginners

  • Cutting & Tailoring for Beginners – Even if you know nothing about stitching but interested to learn on your own then this book may prove useful. It covers the basic topics and content which will make you understand taking measurement, choosing clothe, setting your sewing machine in order and making basic draft for dresses.
  • Sewing for beginners  – This online sewing book provides contents in an easy to understand layout. You may try it. It has simple English to understand the basics.

Sewing Books for Sewists

  • Advanced Cutting & Tailoring with Designing – This book is an advance version of the above Cutting & Tailoring for Beginners Book. It is useful if you want to thoroughly understand the garment making process with a keen interest in designing. Alternatively, if you know the basics then you may skip to the chapter you are looking for. On the last pages you will find very easy to understand useful patterns also.
  • How to run a boutique profitably?
  • Should you open boutique business in partnership?
  • Reference Material: Last but not the least important is going through the images given and checking out from the visuals because eyes never lie. Sometimes what a hundred words can’t explain, a picture can.
  • Basics of Sewing– This book provides limited information on certain subjects for beginners to start with. Only a few points are explained keeping in mind the simplicity and grasping levels of novices. It is a good idea to start small. That small information includes certain technical words and it might test your vocabulary. When you learn and do step by step, you can retain the knowledge for a longer period.

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Cutting & Sewing Tools You Must Have

Cutting & Sewing Tools You Must Have

We get ready with our sewing tools to start with our Cutting & Tailoring. To start with, there is not a very big list but yes, small small things make a big difference here. While you sew, there are some basic tools. But when it comes to decorating your dress or sewing project, there is a huge variety to choose from.

First of all, I introduce you to the Stitching Material needed to go ahead. These are the very basic ones to begin with and as we carry on with our journey, we will find out some more interesting things.

In fact, the decorative material and other stitching material which we use to beautify our dresses are in abundance and surely it will be a fun to go along this road with good ideas and interesting materials to design our imagination.

Basic Tools for Cutting, Pattern Making & Sewing for Beginners

Basic Tools & Material for Cutting

  • Measuring Tape
  • A Notebook and a pen/pencil (to note down the measurements)
  • A good sharp fabric cutting scissors
  • 24 inches long scale
  • A fabric chalk
  • Clothe of desired length and width
  • Iron + Ironing board
  • Leg curve (optional)
  • Tracing Wheel

Basic Tools for Simple Sewing Projects

  • Your Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Thread Cutter
  • Bobbin
  • Sewing Machine Oil
  • Hand Sewing Needles
  • All purpose pins
  • Measuring Tape
  • Marking Chalk
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Trimmings-lace, button etc

I know that you’ll say these are just a fraction of the whole but you should start with very basic ones and as you gain experience, you can add more material and more tools to your sewing kit.

Your Complete Cutting & Sewing Tool Kit

1. French Curves : For shaping armholes and necklines and for a variety of other shaping needs. 


2. Pencil & Sharpener : Necessary for pattern making.

 

3. Other Pencils & Pens : Use red and black colored pencils to identify pattern changes. Use felt-tip pens in green and blue for pattern information.

 

4. Notcher : Cuts notches on pattern. Indicates guide marks such as seam.allowance, ease and dart intake.

 

5. Tracing Wheel : Transfers muslin pattern to paper and paper pattern to fabric

 

6. Straight Metre Scale : For measure / Measuring on fabric

 

7. Eraser : Non-dust eraser.

 

8. Weights : To hold pattern in place while making or tracing. Anything that.is heavy will do.

 

9. Marking Chalk : Used for marking fabric. 


10. Tracing Paper : To transfer muslin pattern shapes or to make copies of original.patterns.

 

11. Paper Scissors : To cut paper patterns

 

12. Fabric Scissors : To cut fabrics

 

13. Triangle (Set Square) : Can be with or without measurements.

 

14. Hip Curve : Shapes hip, hem, elbows and lapels.

 

15. L Scale : For making the patterns

 

16. Inseam Curve : Shapes inseams

 

17. Measuring Tape : For measuring form or figure.

 

18. Oil Pins : To keep fabrics in place 19. Scotch Tape : To hold the fabric in place


20. Notebook : To make notes

 

21. Muslin Cloth : To check the pattern before making actual garment

 

22. Stapler with Pins

 

23. Board Pins 24. Cutting Table

 

25. Hand Punch : Punches holes for storing patterns


26. Compass : For drawing circles and arcs

 

27. Pattern Paper


Kit for Sewing

1. Bobbin

2. Machine Sewing Needles

3. Hand Sewing Needles

4. Thimble

5. Seam Opener

6. Thread

7. Oil Pins

8. Measuring Tape

9. Marking Chalk

10. Fabric Scissors

11. Pinking Shears

Do It Yourself : Sewing Video Tutorials

you may also check out the details on Tools required for garment construction.

Sewing Tools You Need

Basic Sew Kit

Sewing Machine

Fabric

Drafting Tools

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How To Sew Your Own Clothes

How To Sew Your Own Clothes

​If you have never stitched anything till date, how would you start sewing your own clothes? You may get apprehensive, afraid and even skeptical. But, sewing is easy and just anybody can sew comfortably good. You can easily sew your clothes by checking out these simple video tutorials.You can cut pattern and sew easily.

How to Take Measurements

How to use ready measurement calculations

Sewing your own Pajama / Pants / Bottoms

How to Sew your own Top or Tunic

How to Sew your Jackets

How to Sew Sleeves

How to Make Beautiful Necklines

How to Make Pockets

How to Make Saree Blouse Designs

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Watch latest trends on Stitching Mall YouTube

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Best Sewing Machine for Beginners That Will Last Decades

Best Sewing Machine for Beginners That Will Last Decades

If you are looking for best sewing machine for beginners  and seeking honest reviews, then there is a sincere piece of advice. Trust the opinion of those who have themselves tried their hands on actual sewing! A real experience can never equal mere words. People who are sewing for decades and who know exactly what it takes, do know the relation you build with your sewing machine over time.

You would be amazed by looking at the wide range of sewing machines available in the market - offline as well as online. They start from the range of stapler like hand held sewing machines to heavy duty speed monsters. People have obsession with the BEST but even you would agree that 'best' is a relative term. It all depends upon your need, usage, skill level, budget and interest. All these things, determine a sewing machine that is best suitable for you. 

How to learn sewing?

Should you buy a hand operated Sewing Machine?

I tried my hands on my mother's Singer hand wheel operated sewing machine. It was fixed in a rectangular wooden case. We used to place the machine on some table. It used to take so much time to sew even simple things. As kids, it was kind of a toy for us, so we did not bother. But keeping one hand occupied while sewing affects quality of output. 

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to use & easy on the pocket too! Straight & reverse stitch only. Very Basic.
  • Either get a stand with this for the sake of your health or better increase your budget a little.

​Then, neck and shoulder pain is also a common problem among people who use hand operated sewing machines. 

How to buy a sewing machine

How to buy Sewing Machine as Gift

Why it's best time to buy a sewing machine.

Use Stand & Table for Domestic Sewing Machine for Speed & Health

With my experience of over thirty five years, I suggest that it's better to use a sewing machine which is foot operated. May be a treadle ​machine is better than a hand wheel machine. 

Even if you have a hand wheel sewing machine, it is a good idea to get a treadle or foot pedal fixed to your machine.​ Believe me, you would be much happier.

A Brief History of Sewing Machine

A long time ago, people knew stitching by their humble needle by hands only. It used to be a time consuming and strenuous work.

Though, embroidery and certain types of designer stitches are still done by hands even now but the invention of Stitching Machines brought revolution in the lives of millions of people worldwide. Sewing Machines changed the way garment manufacturing was done in mass production.

Basic Sewing Machine for Newbies

Though, Stitching Machines’ invention work was in progress in late seventeenth century but a successful wooden sewing machine came into existence around 1830 by a humble tailor of France.

A lot changed for betterment in the manufacturing of Sewing Machines and even the metallic spare parts were being made in good quantities.

First Sewing Machine by Singer

A gentleman called Mr.Singer invented a good quality sewing machine for us in 1851 and it was a revolution in Stitching World when Singer became a household name.

Singer sewing machines have undergone a huge change since then. Now, Singer has introduced state of the art features to their machines.​

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to operate, Automatic Machine with zig zag stitch, Low maintenance, Hassle free
  • Basic features. Not for advanced users.

Good Sewing Machine for Sewing Lovers

Some more companies introduced their Sewing Machine models in India but people preferred Singer or USHA. In 1935, USHA Sewing Machine factory was the first one to start production of Sewing Machines in India.

Pros & Cons

  • Really handy & light weight compared to other machines. Smooth & easy to handle. No special training required. Got good features for everyday use.
  • Usha Company people take so much time to come for demo. Even I had to unbox & explore my Janome machine myself. By the time, Demo guy came; I had to explain & rectify him for so many things.

With time, many other companies also introduced their Sewing Machine models. Some are really good and some of them failed with time. Though, the brand name helps you to get the required service and spare parts from their authorized dealers;

I think even using a locally made machine serves the purpose as well if the reputation is trust worthy and you get service on time. I am myself using a Rohilla Sewing Machine for more than thirteen years with utmost ease and problem free sewing but for designing purposes I use USHA Jenome StitchMagic.

I love my Sewing Machines and I think they also love me back. If you take care of your machine by oiling and regular cleaning, they never trouble you. Sewing machine is an investment. Sooner than you realize, you get your money's worth by sewing a lot many dresses and fun projects. 

Let me know your views on your first Sewing Machine and your experience with it. I’ll be waiting to know your machine.

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Is Fashion Designing Right Career for Boys?

Is Fashion Designing Right Career for Boys?

When we talk about fashion designing as a career, we assume girls pursuing this career choice. But in practical terms when we look at the data available, boys make a better designer.

Though, at the time of choos ing a vocation, most of us find it difficult, but for boys it's a society verses identity issue. No matter how much equality is shouted about and how much liberation we give to girls for making their life decisions but it's definitely not very easy for boys to take up fas hi on d esigning as career -

"What'd you do with all that cutting stitching kinda stuff?"
"Get a real career, a manly profession to gain respect!"
"Do you know how difficult it's for boys? What do you know about fashion?"
"That's not your cup of tea, forget it and focus on something worthwhile."

What you need to know before choosing fashion designing as career option?

Are you confused? Or fighting a battle in your head? Or can't decide what to do after 12th or may be the dead end of your current profile.

Take a deep breath and release all your stress. Because we are here to help you. We'll guide you to the sunshine you are aspiring for.

First question that came in my mind while writing on this topic is "why people consider that some career options are only good for girls or some are only for boys? " That’s really a big question.

According to me every single "career option" is good for boys and girls both. Condition applied, they have to see themselves worthy enough. so that’s the practical way of seeing everything, but the question is still not being answered. Because the mind wants reason WHY?

So I try to cover up all the question and give a reasonable justification to all your whys Or why nots?

1. What is fashion designing?

Most of the people think fashion designing is only related to stitching and for them that’s end of the definition. But it's not true. It is art of visualizing a design and much later comes creating a new garment or accessory. It involves skills that range from market research and creativity to sketching and fabric selection, and much more.

Why choose a fashion designing career?

Why you should not choose fashion designing as career.

2. What kind of education you need to be a fashion designer?

There can be formal or informal education, training and experience that you gather to be a fashion designer. You may be born around some creative people who are surrounded by beautiful creations and so you fascinate yourself with creating and designing. This is your inbuilt interest and ability to create.

How to be a fashion designer without a degree.

But even if you belong to the category of people, who visualize themselves and creating but don't really know where and how to start, even then doors haven't closed on you.

You need a degree of fashion designing, it can be bachelors or masters depending on your preference and how far you wish to go. But having a degree doesn’t mean that you are good to be a designer until you have skills. So work on your skills to be successful.

Fashion designer : Education and career info

3. What jobs are available after fashion designing?

There are plenty of jobs available in this line. You can be a fashion illustrator, pattern master, a stylist, fashion merchandiser, marketing manager etc.

What career prospects can you expect with a fashion degree?

§ Fashion & Luxury Merchandising.

§ Brand Management.

§ Public Relations.

§ Fashion & Luxury Buying.

§ Retail / Sales.

§ Marketing / Advertising.

§ E commerce / Social Media.

§ Visual Presentation/Styling.

Career in fashion designing

4. What salary to be expected?

So I can't say that this much is given to you because it's wholly depending on your skills and abilities. You can get 5000 as a starting salary or may be 20,000. As I already said it's not fixed plus it varies from company to company.

Starting salary range for a fashion designer

5. Start-up business as a designer?

It gives you the opportunity to establish your own name in the list of great designers. You can launch your own label, or set up your boutique. You are free to choose what works best for you.

How to set a fashion boutique​

Boutique disasters to avoid.

Fashion boutique practical challenges.​

Is it good to run fashion business in partnership?

So I think you got a vague idea of fashion career.

And I know this is not enough to ascertain success in fashion designing career. So, let me justify all the above with some great examples-

SUCCESS STORIES

MANISH MALHOTRA, SABYASACHI, TARUN TAHILIANI

These are the well-known face of Indian fashion industry and see most amazing thing about all of them which is common is THEY ALL ARE MEN. SO IF THEY MAKE IT WHY WON'T YOU.

No, opportunity comes with a tag of gender preference only thing it asks for is your determination and dedication towards it.

Don’t limit your boy under society norms let them follow their heart and you will be amazed by the result.

Back to the Indian fashion designer lets go deep into their lives from their struggles to standout in a crowed to their success to achieve the name and fame.

Manish Malhotra

Manish Malhotra a well-known Indian fashion designer launched his label in 2005. In 2014, his label marked a turnover of over INR 1 billion. Now, that’s what we call a perfect combination of HARDWORK AND DEDICATION. We all see his success but very few of us are aware of his struggle.

Manish Malhotra

He started his career as a model, while studying at the Elphinstone College. Failure as a model led him to clothes, costumes and art. At the age of 25, Manish Malhotra tried his luck in Bollywood by designing costumes for Juhi Chawla for the movie Swarg(1990).

After 5 years of hard work, his gamble paid off and he won a filmfare costume Awards for styling Urmila Matondkar in Rangeela (1995).

May be you are thinking that it’s pretty easy but don’t forget to include his post college years that means it took him 10 years to get successful.

Steady perseverance wins the race!

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Moving onto the Sabyasachi Mukherjee, he is an inspiration to many young fashion designers all over the world. He shows us it doesn’t matter whether you are poor, middle class or rich you can have what you want if you are willing to give all you have in you to your goals. In short hard work always pays off.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee is an Indian fashion designer from Kolkata. Since 1999, he has sold designer merchandise using the label sabyasachi. He is one of the associate Designer Members of Fashion Design Council of India and the youngest board member of the National Museum of Indian Cinema.

He comes from a middle class Bengali family of Kolkata. His father lost his job when he was just 15 years. But he didn’t gave up on his goal.

Mukherjee wanted to study at NIFT but his parents disagreed, so sabyasachi sold his books to pay for the admission form and passed the exam. During the summer of 1999, he graduated from the NIFT India. In 2001,

He won the Femina British Council's most outstanding young Designer of India award, which took him to London for an internship with Georgina Von Etzdorf, an eclectic designer based in Salisbury. After that he never looks back and keeps on moving forward. His achievements are countless and if I mention all of them, you will be amazed.

There are many more Indian male fashion designers who achieved massive success only at the cost of hard work and dedication. They believed in their dreams and worked to achieve them.

They are so passionate about their work that no one could stop them.

Reading about successful people make us overwhelmed and in one way or another it is kind of good we need that spark in us. Right? But wait I think you are still thinking about the challenges one( your little boy) can face in establishing his feet in this industry.

Roadblocks that may scare you...

So, you might think fashion term is only related to women but pause, let me correct you. All the big brands like Gucci , Dior, Versace has men as the head or director.

Another thing you might think is in fashion industry one out of ten men you come across is Gay. But I don’t think that is a matter of concern it's their personal choice and they have the right to choose. They are in this line simply because of their creativity.

Many people think that fashion career is not promising and you get kicked off any time. May be that’s the big reason why many of us think it is not suitable for men because they have the responsibility of their family and we are worried about what they do if they didn’t find any job. So, my answer to this question is no job is promising until you give your best.The possibility of getting kicked off from Google is same as getting kicked off from fashion jobs. According to me it's totally vain worrying about it.

Most amazing thing, it offers you the opportunity to work from home. You work as a freelancer and get paid according to your skills. What's better than this if you work in your comfort zone, laying on your sofa and still paid?

In my eyes there is nothing wrong to opt. fashion as career for boys. Everything comes with pros and cons, no job is ideal until you become prepared for it.

And with that we reach the end of this article and you feel this thing is just for you then I recommend you to go for it. Success comes hand in hand as you start putting your efforts in you work.

And one more thing, don’t let society decide what works for you. You know yourself better than anyone else and know what best for you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

Ms. Shrishty Sharma pursuing fashion degree (2nd Semester) with Apparel Training & Design Centre (ATDC), Gurgaon.


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