Making your sewing look more tidy and professional

One thing I always get asked by friends is how I make my clothing look so tidy and professional when I make it myself. On one hand, to me it doesn’t look professional because I can see all the minor mistakes, but on the other, I am pretty strict now with how I finish my garments, as I like to have really tidy pieces.
Here are two baby dresses I made recently for a market (more on that later!):

They’re both identical, except for the fact that one is a size 1 year, and the other is a size 2 year.

They’re both in the same fabric (some of you may recognise it from Monday’s post on 6824!), and it took me about the same amount of time to make both of them.
It isn’t until you look at their insides that you see the rather large differences between them.

See the difference?

The one on the left looks untidy and a bit rough. There isn’t anything wrong with it, and it is still just as washable as the one on the right. The one on the right looks clean and has smooth lines. It looks finished.
Here’s a close up of the bottom of the back opening, right on the waist, so you can really see what I mean.

Here you can see that the waist seam is smooth and flat on the dress on the right, as is the central back seam below it; but the one on the left is rough, and you can see where I have zig-zag stitched to prevent fraying. You can also see that isn’t helping a whole lot.

The seams on the dress on the left are regular seams, and the ones on the dress on the right are french seams. I adore french seams now that I’ve gotten the hang of them. They mean you don’t have to zig-zag your edges or worry about fraying, and they also lie a lot flatter than regular seams. You wouldn’t believe that the dress on the right has the same gathered waist as the one on the left!
French seams are great, and they don’t take a whole lot longer than regular seams once you get the hang of them. They also make your hand sewn garments look professional and well finished, and they stand up really well in the wash too, as all the raw edges are hidden.
Have you got a favourite technique for finishing your garments? Share it with us!
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