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Quilt Sewing Vs. Garment Sewing

Quilt Sewing vs. Garment Sewing 


What are the similarities and differences in quilt sewing versus garment sewing? In all actuality they are more similar than you might think.


Most people usually like to start with a pattern for a quilt or a garment. Others will make up their own designs/patterns. Just like many quilters make a test set of blocks, a muslin test garment pattern can be made and tailored to the person's body.


Then comes picking the fabric. Most quilters like to use a plain weave cotton. Quilting cottons drape beautifully and have a nice soft hand for clothing as well as for quilting. Similarly when constructing garments natural fibers are wonderful to work with. Fabric in a variety of different weaves including knits and all sorts of other synthetic fabrics can be used for garments. Any of these can be chosen for garment construction depending on the look and feel they are going for. Garment or apparel fabrics can sometimes stretch and be more difficult to work with than plain weave cottons. The left overs from a garment can be used in a scrap quilt. Think about t-shirt quilts, memory quilts using baby clothing, or upcycled jeans quilts.

When it comes to cutting out your project quilters tend to prefer a rotary cutter and ruler. Garment construction does not have specific rulers for every single pattern. Therefore scissors/shears are usually preferred when cutting out garments. You can pin or use pattern weights to hold down the garment pattern to the fabric. There are rulers to help with sleeve and hip curves. Both projects require you to be aware of the straight of grain of the fabric - parallel and perpendicular to the selvage.


As you begin to sew your project quilters usually line up the seams and garment sewers lineup seams and notches. Notches are the little v shape on your pattern. These tell you where the fabric needs to be aligned and maybe curves eased. There may be more fabric on one side of the curve than the other. Ideally in quilting there is no easing the material unless you're working with curved seams like a drunkard's path. The ideal finished product of a quilt is something flat and one size fits all. Where the ideal finished garment is three-dimensional and fits the intended recipient. Sewing something completely flat is can be difficult. Sewing a garment that fits you can be even more difficult because not everyone's waist, bust, and hips line up the same and are not the same size. There tends to be more alteration that goes into the patterns of clothing than there are quilts.


In today's world of fast fashion, it may be quicker and easier to buy something that fits you. Stores have many garments in multiple colors and sizes. What you make will be better quality fabric and workmanship, in most cases, compared to what you can buy in a store. It is incredibly frustrating to put in all the work to make a garment and realize that it doesn't fit. On the flip side it's the best feeling in the world to have someone say, 'I love your garment," and be able to say, "thanks, I made it!"


So there are many differences in sewing quilts and sewing garments but there are just as many similarities. Both take precision, accuracy, time, and love.

We have gotten lots of new holiday fabric.


This weekend is "100 Days to Christmas!"  Can you believe it!?!?  So we're having a sale Thursday - Saturday: 15% off any holiday fabric (Yardage only). This includes red, green, orange, and black solids! 

Happy sewing everyone,

Phyllis and the QA staff

Quilting Adventures                                                                     Hours: 
6943 Lakeside Avenue                                                                  Tues thru Sat  10 - 4 
Richmond VA  23228                                                                     Sun - Mon  Closed
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Quilting Adventures
6943 Lakeside Ave
Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 262-0005
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    Thursday 10 am-7 pm 
    Saturday 10 am-5 pm
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