We welcome Kalleen from At Second Street. I first found Kalleen's blog through SYTYC and have been a fan ever since.
I wanted to share one of my favorite tips I've learned from my little sister, who just graduated from design school. She taught me to topstitch. While in school, her teachers emphasized that a main difference between store bought clothes and homemade clothes is in the details, like topstitching.
What is topstitching?
It's sewing a row of stitches close to the seam or edge of a garment, on the outer side of the fabric.
Basically it's a decorative stitch, that makes your clothes look more professional and can hold a seam in place. I use it most when I have layers with ruffles.
Here is a picture of a store bought sundress. The little arrows are pointing to the topstitching. It's not a stitch holding the pieces together but is over the top next to the seam.
Here is a closer look.
Here is a before and after and the process of adding the topstitch to a skirt I made.
A close up of where the band connects to the skirt bottom.
To create the topstitch all I did was line the seam up with the inside of my foot and sew a stitch 1/8" away. Top stitches are usually only 1/8" or 1/16" wide.
This is what it will look like. *Remember to go slow so you can do a straight stitch. You might want to practice a few times to get the hang of it.
It was fine before, but now looks a little more professional.
Here is another example of a topstitch I did on the neckline of another dress. Again the stitch wasn't needed but it helped the interfacing stay in place giving a crisp edge.
I have loved learning to sew this past year and consider myself a beginner. I'm so grateful for any tips I get. I hope this is a tip some of you might use. As with most things in life, it gets easier with practice.