Posts Tagged ‘clothing alteration’


How To Use Hem Tape

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

How To Use Hem Tape - Tailors

Plenty of designers, tailors, and seamstresses sing the praises of hem tape. And why not? It’s easy to use, lasts for many washings, is flexible, and you can’t prick your finger with it. If you’re not familiar, you might be wondering exactly how to use hem tape. You’ll be relieved to know that it’s simpler than you think.

How To Use Gem Tape

1. Begin by washing your fabric. Even if it’s a large set of curtains, you must wash it — preferably with a scent-free soap. Do not use bleach, fabric softeners, or dryer sheets. Making the fabric as clean and chemical-free as possible will allow the tape to stick better. This is the first and most basic rule of how to use hem tape.

2. Measure the hem you’ll be working on. Cut an appropriate amount of hem tape. This may be easier to do if the garment is turned inside out. For large items like draperies, you may want to work several small segments rather than a whole curtain at once.

3. Before attaching the hem tape to the fabric, iron the desired crease right into the fabric. Follow the usual directions for your iron and for the material. If the material should not be ironed, hem tape is not the way to go. Try needle and thread, or see your tailor.

4. Place the hem tape in the desired location to hold the hem in place. If everything lines up and looks good, peel the backing from the tape. Now, press it into place.  This can be tricky for beginners, so go as slowly as you need to. Cutting the hem tape into smaller pieces can help. Be sure not to overlap, as this will not create a smooth hemline.

5. Iron the crease again, following usual directions. Essentially, the hem tape will melt slightly, causing the fabric to stick together and the hem to hold.

6. Allow the fabric to cool before wearing or hanging. Really. Do not learn this the hard way. Your legs will thank you.

The best way to learn how to use hem tape is to practice. If you want an article of clothing to keep the same hem permanently, you’ll get plenty of practice, since most hem tapes last for about seven washings. Keeping hem-taped items out of hot dryers can lengthen this a little, as can avoiding bleach.

Some hem tapes may also be cleanly removed with an iron. This is great for hand-me-down slacks, or skirts that look great at multiple lengths. Practice a bit with hem tape, and then be amazed at what it can do for your wardrobe.

Need Help Using Hem Tape?

If there is little room for error with a certain outfit, it might be best to visit a qualified tailor. Find a local one quickly and easily through TalkLocal. You won’t have to spend a ton of time looking them up online or paging through the phone book. We’ll connect you to the right professionals within minutes.

Best Stitches For Leather

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Best Stitches For Leather - Tailors

So you want to make a wallet, holster, small purse, or something else out of leather. Good for you! Leather is a durable, natural material that craftspeople love. The smell, the texture; everything about leather is awesome.

But, it can be tricky to work with if you don’t have the proper tools or contemporary know-how. So what are the best stitches for leather? Let’s take a look.

Tools You’ll Need To Make the best Stitches For Leather:

– At least two large darning needles — you’ll be stitching from both ends

– A good awl designed for leather hole-punching

– Beeswax — natural and undyed

– Waxed thread or simulated sinew

– Pliers, hemostats, or a strong alligator clip

– Some older, damaged leather items to practice on

– The leather for your project

The Saddle Stitch

One of the most popular and best stitches for leather is the saddle stitch. This involves several steps and will produce the strongest, longest lasting bond for leather items.

1. Begin by cutting your leather pieces to size, leaving room for the seams. This part of the project is the most similar to sewing fabric.

2. Once everything is properly cut, you’ll want a way to hold the leather pieces together without crimping, poking random holes, or otherwise damaging the leather. Try something like a spring-loaded clothespin or a binder clip to hold pieces together firmly. Now, it’s time to poke some holes.

3. When using an awl, it’s vital that the leather pieces be lined up perfectly and completely still for this. The holes should be evenly spaced and punched in at a slight angle. The awl step might not be necessary for thinner pieces of leather. Alternatively, some leather workers skip the awl, even for thicker pieces, and use pliers to pull the needles through.

4. To create the best stitches for leather, you’ll want to cut your string about two-and-a-half times the length of the seam you’re stitching. It’s always better to use too much than not enough. Tie one needle to each side. As you stitch, you’ll use the needles to sew from both sides at the same time.

5. This is a simple up and down stitch to close the seam, pulling each needle firmly (without stretching the thread) after each stitch.

6. When you reach the end of the seam, double back a few stitches to prevent unraveling.

7. Some craftspeople will reinforce their saddle stitches with a whip stitch. You can use the same holes with this stitch and only one needle. The whip stitch goes around the seam end so you get a stitch that looks a bit like the spiral in a notebook.

8. Some craftspeople also suggest using an iron to seal the stitches. Instead, you might consider placing your new leather item between two boards weighted with books, canned food, or something else heavy.

Contact A Tailor

Tailors are experts at this type of stuff. Looking for a local one? Use TalkLocal for the job! Our service will find the right professional for you, for free.

Best Stitches For Denim

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Best Stitches For Denim - Tailors

If you have ever bought a pair of jeans that were too long and had to be hemmed, or you tried to sew a patch or embellishment on, you know how hard it can be to stitch denim.

Even after you have sewn it, the denim can unravel, and the hem or stitch can come undone. The best way to make sure that you do not have this problem or a similar one is to choose the best stitches for denim.

Hand-Sewn Stitches

If you do not have a sewing machine, or just prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, you may want to hand-sew your jeans. The best stitches for denim that are done by hand are made tight and even. This will help hold the thick fabric in place and prevent it from coming undone. Using a thick thread will help make your stitches tighter and hold the denim better, as well.

If you’re double rolling a hem, generally a traditional straight stitch will get the job done.

Sewing Machine

A sewing machine is capable of making your stitches tight and helping to keep the denim from unraveling. Some sewing machines have special settings on them which can be used for denim. If your machine does not have a denim setting, look for a heavy fabric setting instead.

This setting allows the needle to drop down far enough to penetrate through the denim and pull the thread back through it. Other settings may not be able to sew a stitch in the denim. You may also want to use a larger needle in the machine. A smaller needle could break from the pressure.

Regardless of what way you decide to sew your denim, it is important that you keep your stitches straight and even. The best stitches for denim not only look good, but they are durable as well.

Need A Tailor?

We’re not all crafty enough to alter our own clothing. If you are on the lookout for a tailor, TalkLocal can put you in contact with some immediately. Once we receive your request, we relay that to experts in your area, then connect you with the right professionals directly.

What Are Basting Stitches?

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

What Are Basting Stitches? - Tailors

When sewing, you will encounter several types of stitches. Some of these stitches serve a structural purpose in holding clothing items together, while others are simply used to add a decorative touch. One of the most important and most used stitches is the basting stitch.

What are basting stitches? Read on to find out.

What Are Basting Stitches?

A basting stitch is a wide and loose stitch that is mainly used to hold fabric together for a short period of time. Seamstresses may use a basting stitch to hold a hem or zipper in place before it is sewn by hand or with a machine.

They are also used to hold gathered pieces of fabric such as those used in sleeves or ruffles. The basting stitch is one of the easiest stitches to master and is one of the first stitches that a beginner seamstress is taught. Since the stitch is only temporary and is removed right before or after the fabric is sewn permanently, it’s a very forgiving stitch.

How Do You Create Basting Stitches?

Most people prefer to make basting stitches by hand because they are so easy and quick to create. If you are still wondering “What are basting stitches?” you may want to use your machine to see for yourself.

Many sewing machines have basting stitch settings on them. Just turn the knob or press the button that indicates the stitch you want and your machine will create it for you. After you have finished sewing it with the machine, take a closer look at the stitch and you will see how simple it really is.

If you are new to sewing and wondering what are basting stitches, you are not alone. They can seem confusing to many beginners at first. Once you see how a stitch is made and what it looks like when it is finished, you will be able to complete it yourself and be on your way to creating amazing sewn crafts.

Finding A Local Tailor

If you need alterations to your clothing but can’t pull them off on your own, use TalkLocal to find a local tailor. We make the search process easy, and connect you with service professionals in a matter of minutes.

Hem Up Pants

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Hem Up Pants - Tailors

Sometimes those new pants you just bought are a little too long for you.  That’s when hemming comes in handy. Knowing how to hem pants allows you to alter the length of your pants at the leg cuff, so that they fit perfectly! This guide will help you learn how to hem up pants.

How to Hem Up Pants

1. Remove any existing hem if there is one by removing the stitching and unfolding the hemmed material.

2.Try on the pants with shoes. Mark the desired hem with some chalk or pins using a ruler or yardstick.

3. Take off the pants so you don’t stitch them to your legs. Press the new hemline into place lightly. Pin the fabric to the inside and try on the pants again. Keep making adjustments as necessary.

3. Again, remove the pants before re-hemming. Trim the excess fabric but leave a hem allowance of 1-1/2 to 2 inches for dress slacks.

4. Press the new hemline. Use a press cloth if you want to avoid harming the fabric of your pants.

5. Use basting stitches to ease any fullness in the fabric. These longer stitches are easily removable for temporary stitching.

6. Finish the edge of the fabric. Try to mimic the original hem and apply hem tape for bulky fabric.

7. Stitch the hem into place (either by using a machine or by hand).

8. Press the hem.

Then you’re done! Your pants now have a hem that fits you perfectly.

Find A Tailor

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself you can try going to a tailor. TalkLocal will give you immediate access to many local tailors. Tell us what you need, where you are, and your availability, and we will connect you directly with up to three tailors in your area in just minutes, for free!