often people ask me what it takes to learn how to sew.

my current answers:

  • a respect for precision.  an understanding of why 1/8th inch matters.
  • the dexterity and coordination to apply the above.
  • good three-dimensional spatial visualization skills.
  • visual analytical skills (being able to look at a garment and mentally deconstruct the steps required to copy it)

I also add that it’s quite difficult to make professional looking garments without industrial machines.  I personally am not able to, though somebody out there with a really nice home machine might have the technique down.

  • Industrial machines almost never have tension problems.  home machines constantly do.
  • Industrials don’t pull the bottom fabric piece faster than the top one (or at least to the same degree home machines do.)
  • Industrials apply really excellent & even pressure through the foot, holding the fabric in place properly when through tight corners or over multiple layers.
  • Industrials go fast.

Most people don’t realize it, but an industrial lockstitch (straight stitch, backwards & forward, nothing else)  costs about $800.  It’s the same price as a decent home machine, and will last forever.  The only reason I own home machines is for the occasional zigzag, double-needle, or buttonhole work.

Posted by:Brook DeLorme