I have loved fiber arts and crafts from childhood. I was fortunate to have family who had hand craft skills and were good teachers. So, I've been making items since I was 7 or 8. Some of my first projects were hand sewn outfits for fashion dolls, sewn while I watching the Leave It to Beaver show on TV. (My goodness, how long ago was that!)
As time has gone by, friends and family have asked me to make items for them. I ran a custom sewing business for a short time. Family and work obligations took me out of the craft venue for a while, but a couple of years ago, I signed up for an online studio with Artfire,com - http://www.artfire.com/ext/
I do all kinds of stitching, sewing machine for larger production and longer seams is the most practical, of course, hand stitching for hidden hems or bias tape applications or special embroidery embellishments. My favorite way is to stitch is by hand.
I also do knitting and crocheting, which are ways of stitching which actually create the fabric as well as the shapes for items made of textiles. In Crochet – 1 hook and a piece of string or yarn are used to create. In Knitting – two sticks and a piece of string or yarn are used to manufacture fabric.
The threads available to stitch garments are many and suited to the purpose of the item being made and the kind of fabric used to create the item. An All-Purpose sewing thread often has a polyester or nylon center for strength with a cotton thread wrapped around the nylon core for softness against the body and smoothness and natural feed through the needle.
There are specialty threads for quilting which are all cotton so the thread characteristics will match that of the all-cotton fabric used in the quilt. For embroidery, silk thread is often used for strength, variety of color and the special shine that the silk fiber gives. Rayon threads are also used in embroidery for many of the same reasons. (Rayon is a thread and fabric made from threads extruded from cellulose or wood fiber.)
Almost every item that can be imagined in fabric has special items that help support the fabric to create that item. For example, in a tailored jacket, there are many layers to give the jacket shape and even warmth, if needed. An interfacing of special stiff woven or extruded fabric was, in past days, stitched in a special way called “padding stitch”, by hand in the lapel and collar area along with a thin piece of cotton twill tape. The interfacing-stitching-tape combination ensured that the lapel and collar would fold gently in just the right spot and hold that curve throughout the life of the jacket. In this day, many jackets have a similar system, but fusible materials replace the time consuming hand stitching. A lining fabric in a jacket might be something like silk that is light weight, yet strong, and has a slick finish. The lining would cover the inner construction of the interfacing and seams of the jacket, allow for insertion of inner pockets, and make the garment easier to slip on and off, while the outer fabric would showcase color or texture and be fashionable. For warmth, an inner layer of wool might be added to the jacket between the fashion fabric and lining.
Many of the items I create, I work on for 8 hours or more.