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Sewing pocket squares & tailoring DIY?

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    Sewing pocket squares & tailoring DIY?

    Does anyone with sewing experience make their own pocket squares, and tailor their own clothing? I've seen the 'pin & stitch' method, but what kind of stitching is the best choice for attempting DIY and maintaining a durable stitch?

    I have access to a sewing machine & serger, but have no experience.


    Bump...anybody ever try DIY tailoring? I was thinking about buying this sewing machine to mess around with. It would pay for itself if I taper/hem a handful of pairs of pants on my own, and satisfy my desire to learn about random things. I don't think I'd ever go as far as making garments from scratch, but being a shorter, slimmer guy it's almost impossible to find stuff OTR that fits well (without resorting to low quality stuff from H&M or expensive slim fit clothing lines).



      Pocket squares are supposed to have a hand-stitched rolled hem:



        My mom is an art quilter in her spare time so my brother and I grew up knowing how to sew. Even my dad owns his own sewing machine. That said, while I'd be comfortable doing my own pocket squares and basic stuff, I would hesitate to do serious tailoring, beyond perhaps hemming casual trousers. Even my mom wouldn't try tailoring anything for me if I asked, because the skill set required is very different.

        If you're really interested in learning the basics of sewing, there are probably classes offered at your local quilt shops or craft stores. There may even be special classes specifically for people who want to make or tailor their own clothing.




          Yeah, the local art museum here has fashion sewing classes for designing patterns, cutting, and constructing clothes... I've thought about it



            Agree with what's been said here so far. I would certainly do my own handkerchiefs though, the hem on those can be almost any stitch style. Especially if you make some plaid flannel ones.

            Not worth buying a machine just for that but since I bought the wife a sewing machine last Christmas I may commandeer it. I know I know, not a very romantic gift. But she actually wanted one!

            My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs



              Glad someone asked this question--I've thought about cannibalizing some shirts with interesting patterns that I don't where anymore--would love to be able to turn them into pocketsquares or even bowties. Has anyone actually done this and can you speak to the level of expertise required to do such a thing? Commercially produced pocketsquares just seem absurdly priced given the fact that they're just squares of fabric.



                I've done some DIY alteration, and there's definitely a wide-ranging difficulty range.

                If you have a machine, anything where you mostly let 'er rip with a straight seam is probably a good starter project. Maybe your beater jeans need a sew-on patch? Sew around the edge of the patch, and you've completed 1 easy project.

                Working up from there can introduce different challenges:

                1. Shaping, subtlety, avoiding puckering: shirt darts

                2. Different stitch: hemming pant leg with blind hem stitch

                3. Pre-work and after-work: taking in or letting out pants is a straightforward stitch, but you must free up the rolled-over waistband first, and restore it when you're done. (Can't do this on jeans.)

                4. Working with knits

                Preliminary ironing and pinning can seem superfluous ("I haven't even stitched anything yet!") but can make your life easier.

                For hand sewing, backstitching is king.



                  Never tried the DIY rolled hem handkerchief, but I'm intrigued!

                  The directions look easy, but I think they have understated the difficulty of a perfectly straight rolled-hem that is laser-straight and doesn't undulate in width.

                  They are effectively doing a blind hem stitch by hand. It's "blind" because you are limiting the thread showing: "Catch approximately 1/16-inch (or 3 or 4 threads-worth)". This is similar to how one might hem pants, obviously at a different scale.

                  Also, tapering a pant leg is pretty straightforward and could be a good first project: essentially turning it inside out and putting in a new stitch at an angle to the existing one. You don't even need to rip out the old one, if you can tolerate the excess fabric hanging there inside. Leave the stitch width medium or large so you can rip it out. It probably won't look right the first time.

                  The trick is "merging" it into the existing shaping of the leg so that the alteration isn't jarringly obvious. It's somewhat like drawing a line branching off of another line as gently as possible... but with a sewing machine.