Thursday, September 8, 2016

Handmade v/s Homemade

When it comes to your stitching, there is a big difference between handmade and homemade. When I think of handmade, I think of originality, style, and a beautiful item that one put a lot of time, effort, and love into. However, when I think of homemade, I think of something thrown together for the sake of saving a few pennies.

I first started sewing when I was a little girl and back in those days, you could save a fortune sewing your own bags, clothes, and other things. Nowadays, I find that most people don’t sew to save money, they sew because they enjoy it, to show their creativity, or just to get the exact look they want. And I’ve got to say, in many cases, it’s not cheaper to sew. I personally like to choose quality items, and choosing fabrics and other supplies are a big part of the creative process. When I’m making a gift for someone, I don’t just don’t grab something from my fabric stash, I hit the shops or the Internet looking for a fabric that will perfectly suit my gift recipient.

So whether you sew for your business, gift giving, or yourself, you’ll want an item that shows you care. The following tips will also give your work that professional look to impress your potential buyers and gift recipients!

Clip all loose threads: This is probably my biggest pet peeve. Nothing says cheaply thrown together more than hanging threads. This is the simplest thing to correct. I see this on cheap store bought items too. Maybe that’s why I think this way.

Neatly ironed: Here is another simple fix. Once you are finished with your project, make sure you iron it neatly. Some things are difficult because of size or shape, but there are a few things that could help you get great results. I like to keep clean and never used oven mitts and pot holders in my sewing room. They are especially handy when making small zipper bags or purses. They can help where a big flat ironing surface can’t.

Neat and even top stitching: Top stitching is so important because it’s the stitching you will see. It’s also what keeps your fabric from getting stuck in zipper teeth if using a zipper. Top stitching is what gives your item the finished look. Take your time and make it look pretty!

Lining closings: When making bags, you usually have an opening in one of the lining seams where you turned your bag right side out. This should be neatly closed, and with matching thread. This is so close to the last step. You put a lot of time and effort into your project, do the same with this. It can be hand stitched or machine stitched, but it must be neat.

Matching thread: When I am working on a project, I grab all my thread spools and bobbins I’ll need and I keep them by my machine. Some projects will go back and forth between colors. Don’t be lazy, use the right color of thread for the right fabric. I promise this will make a difference.

Take advantage of your sewing machine feet: Today’s sewing machine feet are easier than ever to attach. Back in the day, you had to use a screw driver to attach and remove them. Today, they just snap on and off so easily. I have about half dozen feet that I just love! They are always near my machine so I can always have the right foot that will do the right job.

Matching hardware: When making purses or totes, be sure to use matching hardware. Sometimes it’s those details that really pull the look together. I just love to use purse hardware!

Sewing label (tutorial coming soon): A personal or business label attached to your item will give it that real professional edge. Keep a watch, or follow my blog because I’ll be posting a tutorial real soon on how you can make your own, and yes, they look professional!

Take your time: This is probably my most important tip of all. Don’t ever rush through a project to get it done. If you really enjoy sewing, you won’t mind. You will have such beautiful results. If you feel like you must rush to get something finished, you either waited until the last minute (learn by this), or you really aren't enjoying the process. Then you should find another hobby.

I hope these little tips will give your projects the look you want to achieve with professional looking results.

My newest pattern is available at Sher's Creative Space! It was inspired by a trip I took with my kids this past summer. I sure did have a good time! I actually have three camping styles of patterns to choose from, a camper, a tent, and this pop-up camper.


  1. Great advice, Sher! I agree that the devil is in the details! I, too, pay a lot of attention to things like loose threads, they do spoil the overall impression terribly.

  2. Great tips! Quality is so important. It is rewarding to think of your creations as being long lasting and possibly passed on to a younger generation. :)


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