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October 19, 2023
Have you ever heard of the term “Chain Sewing”? I didn’t until I moved to the Mid-West a few years ago. Okay, I have to tell you a quick story, I moved a few years ago here wanting to learn how to sew clothing. But it was a struggle to find fabrics (except at Joanns). So, I spent a couple of months hopping from fabric store to fabric store only to find that the popular sewing hobby on this side of the United States was quilting. Now, I LOVE a good quilt and I can appreciate the artistry of turning fabric into an elaborate blanket that can be used for years to come. BUT it’s really wasn’t and isn’t my ‘jam’ right now.
So fast forward a year or so; I find myself working at a QUILT SHOP hahaha! Funny right?! Although I was working at a quilt shop, I was hired on to help bolster the apparel sewing interest in our local community since it was lacking. And, of course, since I’m working at a quilt shop, I unintentionally start learning the lingo, tools, and techniques (many of which I used in sewing clothes today). THAT is how I found out about the chain sewing method. If you google “quilt chain sewing” or “quilt chain piecing” you will get something along the lines of “sewing together fabric in immediate succession without cutting threads in between”.
This method not only saves thread, but it also saves time! You don’t waste time lifting the presser foot after sewing each piece, pulling it from under the machine, snipping threads, resituating your thread tails and preparing the next piece. Instead, you sew your pieces back-to-back with little space in between and cut them apart all at once. I use this to help speed up the preparations stage when I’m sewing. For example, I chain sew when preparing ruffles, finishing pieces (with the serger) or sewing together like pieces or seams.
Below I have an example of how I chain sew on my serger:
As you can see, I leave about an inch of space between the pieces when using my serger. I do this so that I can pull the tails later to knot the serged ends on both pieces. I usually don’t have to cut them, because for the most part, the serger takes care of this as the knife will separate the pieces you are serging. I probably only have to cut a couple pieces apart at the end of this process versus trimming every end. I continue this pattern until all the pieces are constructed or finished.
This method can also be done if you are using a straight stitch. All I do is ensure I backstitch at the beginning and end of each piece before I feed new fabric in. For me, this helps to increase my sewing efficiency! I was able to finish my dress within one day WITH my 3 kids complaining every 2.5 seconds LOL!
I used with beautiful Burgundy Twill that Raspberry Creek Fabrics has on their site (LINK HERE).
I hope you find this method helpful in your sewing journey!
Until next time 😉
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T-shirt panels are so fun! They can be used for anything from holiday pajamas to family reunion shirts to baby announcements.
In this blog post we will walk through how to take a graphic or logo and use our Canva t-shirt panel templates to create custom t-shirt panels.