Sewing Tips And Tricks

Whether you are a novice seamstress or a professional, there’s never a better time than now to learn a few sewing tips and tricks that you might not have been privy to before.

Sewing is an amazingly fun and diverse hobby, and it’s popularity is increasing even in this age of manufactured products and clothing.  Let your creativity fly!

Get Your Pins Organized

Don’t let your sewing pin trays or cushions become trashed and messy.  These are your tools!  Take some time to clean out the junk from your pin trays, and perhaps also take some time to organize them in terms of length or density.  If you have bent pins just toss them out – there’s no use in trying to save them.  They’re done – they can’t be adequately straightened and they will cause you to make errors in your sewing projects.

Invest in good quality pins that slide easily into fabric – this is what you want.  You definitely don’t want to make a mistake or bend pins.  Beware of plastic headed pins that can melt if ironed.  Glass headed pins are best for quality and durability.

Always pin withing the seam allowances.  A lot of fabrics won’t be ruined by smaller pins, but larger pins can sometimes leave a mark in certain fabrics.

Placing pins perpendicular to the seamline can have many advantages – you are less likely to stick yourself as the action will be away from the ends of the pins. Also, removing pins can be much faster as you can quickly sweep them away.

For more pinning secrets you can visit this post on Threads magazine.

Choosing Fabrics

Going into a large fabric store can be rather intimidating to those who are novices or just inexperienced.  The most prevalent style of fabric will be cotton or calico.  These are often arranged via color and pattern so as to be easy to find for those looking for specific shades or prints.  Usually fabric stores will be sorted out by fabric types, so just take some time to see how the store is organized and laid out.  More expensive and plush fabrics like felt, fleece, and similar will all usually be grouped together as will the more fancy and festive fabrics such as silk and ribbons/lace.

The ends of the bolts usually supply a lot of information such as the width of the fabric, the price per foot or yard, and some other important info such as where it was made and machine washing instructions.  Some of this information could be very important to you so pay attention!

Seam Allowances

One quick trick to create a seam allowance for sewing projects is to hold two different colored pencils in one hand side by side.  This will give you a uniform width!

Sewing On Buttons

If you want to sew on a button with a machine, here are a few quick tips.

Many machines and manufacturers will make special feet designed to sew on buttons.  They will have special rubber grips that are designed to hold a button in place.  Check with your machine manufacturer to see what options are available for you.  You can also just use a regular foot as long as your machine has a zigzag setting.

Buttons are notoriously difficult to keep steady when sewing on with a machine or by hand.  Using simple clear scotch tape to tape the button in place on the fabric is an excellent way to ensure that the button stays in one spot while you sew!

Using an older machine is possible to sew on a button – just use the zigzag setting and slowly set the width by hand before setting the feed dogs in place.

Preserving Sizes In A Sewing Pattern

If you’re like me and don’t like to cut up your patterns in case you need to change sizes or make a different size in the future, there is a neat trick to folding along the lines that I learned from this blog post.  Without getting too much into it she provides a few crafty ways to fold the curves that she has come up with, saving the need for tracing paper or taping the pattern back together again.