I just finished working on a Stitch Workshop video with Jil Cappuccio, who owns a great shop for handmade clothing in Denver, Colo., called SEWN. The delightful Jil sews all of the colorful clothes that she sells in her shop. When we
|Jil Cappuccio, shown on set,
has the fastest stitch in the west!
talked about making a video, she sent me a shot of some proposed skirts the next day. She mentioned that she had made them the night before–all six of them!
I have never been a fast sewist. I always want to add hand-sewing details to my garments. That's been a real hindrance in my patternmaking class because I spend at least 15 hours sewing each garment–and that's after I draft the pattern!
There are several sample makers in my class who can turn out impeccable garments in 3 or 4 hours, so I've developed a real interest in how they do this. While I've gathered technique tips here and there, the best I can figure out is that they just sew faster and better than I do.
But when I was on set with Jil, I got some concrete tips on how she was able to whip up six cute skirts in an evening, with no more effort than running around the corner for a quart of milk. She doesn't use pins!
Instead, Jil uses notches. For instance, with a front and back piece, she will make clips into the seam allowances with the pieces matched up. When sewing, she feeds the fabric gently through the feed dogs, letting them do the work and being careful to keep the notches matched as she goes. She said that she learned much of her sewing skills during a brief stint as a patternmaker, and I suppose that this could be called an industry technique. And it's definitely one that's helpful in a squeeze for time, whether for a fashion or home dec project.
That's the difference between couture and industry techniques. One is done to achieve a lovely handmade garment and the other is done for speed. Choose your weapon, and use it wisely is all I can say!
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