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Basic Clothing Construction--Summary, Review and Activities


Machine stitching is used for the major seams and construction techniques needed to make a garment. Hand stitching takes care of finishing steps. (Parts 12 and 13)

Pressing should be done after each step of construction. (Part 14)

Darts, gathers, and easing are used to control fullness. (Parts 15 and 16)

Curved and enclosed seams may need to be trimmed, graded, clipped, or notched. (Part 17)

Facings finish necklines, front openings, and armholes. (Part 18)

Casings hold elastic or a drawstring. (Part 19)

Fasteners can be both functional and decorative. (Part 20)

Zipper type determines how it's applied. (Part 21)

• Hems must be marked, turned up, finished along the edge, and attached to the garment. (Part 22)

• The fit of a garment should be checked as it's constructed. (Part 23)

== Wiki Sewing ==

Buttonhole Stitch/ Blanket Stitch

Many higher-end sewing machines have a built-in buttonhole or blanket stitch, but sewing in small areas and being able to adjust the size of the stitch makes hand sewing this stitch a viable option. A buttonhole stitch is sewn so that the stitches are exactly next to the previous stitch. This way, the entire raw edge of the buttonhole is covered with thread.

1. Anchor the knot on the wrong side of the fabric. Insert the needle in the same spot that you hide the knot, bringing the point of the needle to the edge of the sewing area and through a loop of the thread as shown in the photo on the right.

2. Insert the needle ½-inch or the desired distance from the first stitch and repeat, bringing the needle through the loop.

TIP----You can use this stitch with yarn to cover the edge of a single-cut piece of fleece fabric to create a blanket.


End Hand Stitches

If your hand sewing comes undone, the way you end your stitching may be the culprit.

1. Find a spot that will not show at the end of the area where you were sewing, and sew a backstitch. Repeat another back-stitch wrapping the thread under the needle as shown.

2. Move over from your first backstitches and repeat, creating two more backstitches. Cut the thread.

Note: On a fine fabric where multiple backstitching could leave too much thread visible, work a chain stitch to make a small knot.

TIP----Secure Without Adding Bulk

When you're ending your hand stitching, don't backstitch more than twice in the same spot. Move your ending stitch over just a little so that you don't create bulky, knotted stitching in one spot.

<<== Wiki Sewing cont. ==>>


1. Name at least six machine stitches and explain how they're used. (Part 12)

2. What is the width of a standard seam? (Part 12)

3. What is the basic purpose for each of these hand stitches: basting stitch; back stitch; pickstitch; slip stitch; overcast stitch; and blindstitch? (Part 13)

4. What is the difference between pressing and ironing? (Part 14)

5. Why is pressing after each construction step necessary? (Part 14)

6. Why should curved areas be pressed over a tailor's ham? (Part 14)

7. In what directions should horizontal darts and vertical darts be pressed? (Part 15)

8. What is the difference between easing and gathering? (Part 16)

9. When pin-basting a seam, how far apart should the pins be placed? (Part 17)

10. When grading a seam, which seam allowance should be the widest? (Part 17)

11. Why are curved seams often clipped? (Part 17)

12. What is the difference between shaped and extended facings? (Part 18)

13. Why are self-casings easier to make than applied casings? (Part 19)

14. Why do hooks and eyes have both straight and round eyes? (Part 20)

15. If you choose buttons wider than the pattern suggests, what must happen? (Part 20)

16. Why should you stitch both sides of a zipper in the same direction? (Part 21)

17. What are the four basic steps in finishing a hem? (Part 22)

18. If a hem has too much fullness, what can you do? (Part 22)

19. Why should you check the fit of a garment throughout construction? (Part 23)


1. Construction features. Using magazines and catalogs, collect photos of garments that have different construction features. Look for darts, gathers, seams, facings, casings, fasteners, and hems. Prepare a classroom display.

2. Comparing time. Try attaching a facing or finishing a hem on both a serger and conventional machine. Compare the time each machine takes. Which machine is faster for the task you chose?

3. Sewing samples. Make samples of the following techniques: different hand stitches, darts, gathering and easing, seams and seam finishes, facings, casings, fasteners, and hems. Mount samples on heavy paper and write a description of each technique.

4. Sewing project. Construct a simple garment, accessory, or home-decorating item. Evaluate your success with the construction techniques used in the project.


1. Language arts. Create a pamphlet, a display, or a PowerPoint® presentation on the advantages of using unit construction to assemble a project. Explain or illustrate the step-by-step process of unit construction.

2. Internet. Visit an on-line forum for sewers or quilters. What types of questions do they have? What information are they sharing? In a written report, summarize your findings. Explain the value of such forums for people who sew.

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Part 5 - Special Sewing Techniques (1)


Wednesday, 2012-10-10 11:59