Aug 18, 2009

The Basic Order to Sew Clothes

No matter what you sew there’s an order to sewing basic clothing. From a blouse, vest, jacket or shorts, pants and skirts the order that we sew our seams are the same. If you know the basic order of sewing and follow that order every time you sew you will understand the concept of sewing that much better and will be able to produce more sewing projects.

1) The very first thing most pattern instructions start with is something called a “staystitch”.
From - (because none of the links to simplicity's website are working)
Definition: Stay stitching is a single line of stitching, through one layer of fabric, to stabilize the fabric, preventing it from becoming stretched or distorted. Stay stitching is usually called for on the edge of a piece of fabric that has a bias cut to it which would allow the fabric to easily become distorted.

Although it may seem like a step you can eliminate, if pattern directions call for stay stitching, do the stay stitching! It eliminates problems later in having collars, facing and other pieces of the pattern fit together.
Examples: The cut edge of the neckline is cut on the bias but the collar is on the straight grain so I will stay stitch the neckline which will allow the collar to fit properly.
Basically the staystitch helps the fabric “stay” in place. The question a lot of seasoned sewers ask is “do you staystitch?” Some people do it all the time. Other people only do it when they are working with stretchy fabric to help the fabric stay in place.

2) When making any clothing, we always start with the front top pieces first which usually means you sew your darts. If you have anything happening at the top you start there and work your way down to the bottom front.

3) After you sew the front you go the back next just the same way you did the front. Starting at the top back and working your way down. If it's all one piece and there's nothing to add to the top or bottom you don't need to do anything.

4) Ok, now you have your front and back made. The next step is to sew them together at the shoulder seam if your making a vest, blouse or jacket.

5) Once you have the shoulders done you move on to the neckline by either adding a facing (
Fabric sewn on the raw edge of a garment piece that is turned under and serves as a finish for the edge as well). to finish it, bias tape (Strips of fabric cut on the bias, often turned under and pressed, and used for bindings, facings, or other application where there is a need for stretch or accomodation to curves.) or maybe just folding two small folds of the fabric around the neckline and sew it down to hide the raw edge of the fabric. You can also install a collar.

6) The next step is to install the sleeves if there’s any or doing the same thing you did to the neckline by using a facing, bias binding or folding the edges. There are a couple of different ways to install a sleeve that I can show you in class. Depending on what step you choose will determine when you sew your side seams together.

7) The last step to sewing any clothing is to hem (
Fabric that it turned up on the lower edge of a garment or sleeve to provide a finished edge. Often extra fabric is left in the hem with children's clothing to allow for growth - especially skirts and slacks).

The same basic steps apply to sewing shorts, pants and skirts. You start off with the front top and work your way down. Then go to the back top and work your way down. Then sew the side seams together. Finish off your waistline and your hem.

When you start doing a lot of patterns you notice the order of sewing. This is why common sense comes in handy when learning the art of sewing.

I hope this helps the new people who are starting their adventures in sewing. There is alot to know about sewing but when you learn it in baby steps things start making more sense to you and like I said in the beginning - the more sewing you can accomplish.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,


  1. You are such a good teacher. You make the directions very easy to follow. Lucky, lucky, lucky new sewists you have coming to your classes!

  2. This is a great tutorial. This could help me with teaching my daughter. I know how to sew, but it would be great if my mind was better at organizing things in a way that could teach her the steps so clearly. This helps, because it simplifys the steps and visually shows you how to do it -- almost rhythmically. :)