Sewing may be seen as a monotonous and lame hobby, but it can surprisingly be very relaxing and rewarding. The joy of creating something so beautiful for yourself or your loved ones is indeed wonderful. In addition, sewing can allow you to alter clothes, make clothes, repair clothes, create quilts, bags or more! Sounds highly rewarding, right?
So if you are a sewing enthusiast or want to take it up as a hobby, this article is just for you. Here, I have listed 15 essential sewing tips and tricks you need to know to make sewing much more enjoyable and easier.
These tips hopefully will help you kick up a notch your sewing game.
1. Maintain your machine
Ensure to keep your machine in the best condition with regular maintenance. A regularly maintained machine will run long and work smoothly.
You should not only clean your sewing machine after every use but also allow a local expert to provide you with some tune-ups at intervals so that it runs well in the upcoming years.
2. Gather your supplies before entering a project
It is an outstanding practice to buy and collect everything you need in a project before starting it. It not only smoothes out the process but also allows for a systematic way of creating any project. A few necessities include a sewing machine, pins, fabric, scissors, needles, thread and a seam ripper.
It might be frustrating to find that you lack supplies or necessary equipment for mid-project, which can lead you to procrastinate about it indefinitely.
But on the other hand, if you have everything in place, you can efficiently complete your project!
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3. Prewash Fabric and Trims
Some fabrics are highly shrinkable, so it is best to wash your fabric in case it stains or shrinks in size. On the other hand, you do not want to finish a project and then be unable to use it, do you? You can also prewash other supplies, like lace, decorative braid, ribbon, trim, zippers, and more.
4. Use Clear Nail Polish to Easily Thread a Needle
Threading a needle is quite irritating, especially if you are a person who uses glasses. It can get easily frustrating if it takes more than 2-3 efforts to thread a needle.
An excellent tip for threading a sewing needle is to dip the tip in clear nail polish to make it stiffer, thereby not ruining the thread color.
Most of the time, threading is difficult as the soft thread end biomes bend whenever you try to put it in the needle.
Now, you will no longer have such an annoying start to a sewing project.
5. Sewing elastics
Sometimes people lose the elastic band used in the cloth in the fabric itself, but there is no need to fret. Instead, gather the fabric, use a safety pin or a bodkin to draw the elastic out, and continue with your stitch.
6. Learn how to thread your sewing machine
Besides hand sewing, you also need to learn how to utilize your sewing machine properly. For example, you need to properly thread the machine, wind the bobbin, and adjust the tension. Even a slight discrepancy in any steps can disturb your machines’ smooth working.
Also, learn more about different kinds of threads and needs, as you will need them once you start working on various projects.
7. Sharpen scissors and pins
Use sharp scissors and pins, as it is a minimal requirement for an excellent overall sewing experience.
You can use aluminum foils to sharpen scissors at home and a pincushion stuffed with steel wool to keep needles safe and sharp.
8. Use Fabric Weights
You might think that you do not need fabric weights and can just trim and cut fabrics just fine without them, but you would be absolutely wrong. Fabric Weights make it easier to cut fabrics and are a great sewing trick.
They keep your fabric from moving when you cut them into your desired shapes. Without weights, your fabric ends will look uneven and wavy no matter what you do. But it does not mean you need to buy expensive fabric weights.
You can also DIY your own weight with anything heavy enough to hold down fabrics.
9. Use a straight stitch for most of your projects
It is the kind of stitch that everyone learns first once they want to start sewing. Believe it or not, it is all you need for most needles to be made.
Also, a straight stitch looks best if the width of each stitch is equal. So, when using a sewing machine, use the seam allowance guide on your needle plate to ensure all your seams are the same width.
10. Put pins on bar soap to help them glide better
Some pins may become blunt over time, but do you still want to use them? Worry not. Just put those dull straight pins in a bar soap to help them through the fabric much easier. It will work.
11. Measure the Hem of the cloth correctly before u start sewing
This sewing tip is the foundation of making any of your work look neat and seamless. If you want a straight hem with an even width:
- Make a hem guide yourself using any cardboard around your house.
- Use a scale to add marks on the cardboard at ¼ intervals.
- Use this cardboard next time when you want to fold your cloth hem.
12. Press cloth as you go on sewing
It is an essential step while sewing. Make sure to press the seam flat every time you start sewing.
It has helped me a lot in sewing, as I do not need to adjust the seam every time I sew.
The pressing creates a fold where you will have to sew, and thus, you can sew without interruptions.
13. Use a seam ripper
Sewing needs to be as detail-oriented as possible. While sewing, you are bound to make mistakes, but even a slight mismatch in stickers is highly noticeable.
So use a seam ripper to undo stitches. This small tool is available very quickly.
Using a seam ripper is good, but if you do not have it, try to use a safety pin instead, as it gets the job done.
14. Practice on scraps first
It is good practice for beginners in general but also if you are experienced. From time to time, you might work with a combination of different threads and fabrics with which you might not be familiar.
So, it is best to test that by sticking on a scrap sample before starting the big project.
15. Make a habit of pinning fabric together before you sew
Before you start your sewing, pin the fabric together, be it two different pieces of cloth, making a hem or creating ruffles.
It helps to avoid puckering of fabric and gives you a seamless stitch.