Okay. Here's the thing. I build clothes not crafts, so 9 times out of 10 I'm going to take the sewing route. But there are exceptions, like when the materials are too thick or the accessories aren't constructed of fabric. Other than that, I'll take the sewing option every time.
Tip #1 | When trying to decide between using my sewing machine or my glue gun I ask myself this question, "Is this garment or accessory going to require frequent washing to maintain?" If the answer is "yes", then the safest option is to sew it together. Hot glue doesn't hold up so well to multiple washing's and especially to the heat of a dryer.
Tip #2 | If the stiffness of hot glue will alter the finished product in a way that makes it stiff when it should flow, then sew.
Tip #3 | If you're working with embellishments of leather, vinyl, denim or other very thick fabrics, you can probably get by with glue. In fact, depending on the project, it might work out even better.
Tip #4 | To create garments from scratch, you're gonna have to develop some sewing skills. You just will. Hot glue won't get you there. Glued seams won't last long term and unless you don't ever plan to wash the garment (yuck), the adhesive bond will eventually break apart.
Tip #5 | Any fashion projects like purses, belts, shoes, and hair accessories can be glued. It's really difficult to stitch through metal, mah dears.
Tip #6 | If a fashion piece is hand-worked it should be hand-washed. Since hand-worked and embellished items are more delicate, hand-washing will keep your fashion projects looking better for longer.