Best Sewing Tips
Sewing Tips that Make Sewing Easier and More Fun
Here are my best tips for better sewing plus links to some of the sewing resources I have found. I have been sewing for a long time, but I never fail to learn new things from other sewists both on the web and offline. Many of the online sewing resources are free or low cost downloads. I hope to share new discoveries here with you as I find them. Sewing is a wonderful creative outlet which has its practical side too. Sewing has a lot to offer you no matter what your age. So enjoy and watch for updates.
Top 10 Tips for Better Sewing
Sewing Tips for Beginners
1. Be sure your sewing machine is in good working order. If in doubt, have your machine tuned up by a good sewing machine repairman. No amount of sewing skill can compensate for the annoyances of a machine that needs work.
2. Whenever you are sewing two pieces of fabric together and one piece is longer than the other,be sure to place the longer piece on the bottom. That way the feed dogs will automatically help ease in the longer piece.
3. Start with a new needle for each project.
4. Sew with the best materials you can afford. Better quality fabrics are often easier to sew.
5. Invest in a good all around sewing reference book such as The Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing or the Vogue Sewing Book. Used copies are available online or at your local Half-Price Book Store.
6. Use good quality thread. Bad thread equals trouble-filled sewing and even possible damage to your sewing machine, so bypass the 10 spools for $1 table.
7. Use your sewing scissors for sewing only. Tiny burrs and nicks can snag expensive fabrics. Dull scissors make cutting tough going so keep your scissors sharp.
8. Learn to use a rotary cutter and mat. Although once used mostly for quilting, rotary cutters can be very handy for general sewing. They are especially useful for accurately cutting slippery lingerie and special occasion fabrics.
9. Assemble everything you need for your project and read through your pattern instructions before you begin cutting and sewing.
10. Above all be patient with yourself. When you are tired you are more likely to make mistakes, so when you start having problems, take a break or perhaps come back to your project another day.
Bonus Sewing Tips
There's always more to discover.
1. Always discard bent and burred pins as you find them. Like bad needles, bad pins can snag fabric and help make sewing more difficult than it needs to be.
2. Get free software that allows you to print out patterns for all kinds of accessories like bags and hats. The program called Wild Things is available at http://www.wildginger.com. Wild Things is one of the most valuable freebies for sewers being offered on the internet. Don't miss it.
3. Ever been at the fabric store and wonder how many yards of fabric are left on a bolt? There is a fast easy way to check. Hold the bolt so that the folded edges of the fabric are up. Count the number of folds on one side of the bolt. Divide by 2. Your result is the approximate number of yards left.
4. If you are a beginning sewer you may be tempted to sew over straight pins rather than take them out as you sew your seams. Don't do it! If you hit a pin with your needle you may throw off the timing of your machine, resulting in a costly repair.
5. Burdastyle.com offers stylish sewing patterns you can print out on your computer and they're FREE. This open source sewing website also features photos of users' versions of the patterns made up and their tips for working with the patterns. This is a freebie right up there with Wildginger's Wild Things. It's a must see. ;)
Just Learning to Sew?
Here is a good tutorial for you.
Just go to visit the blog of Tilly and the Buttons at
A Great Free Bag Pattern
I found this bag pattern and sewed one up. It came out great. The bag is a very nice size and it's easy to make. Although it doesn't really say so one the website, you will need about a yard of each fabric. You can use heavier fabrics like denim or home dec fabrics. Get the pattern and instructions here:
Great Deal on Sewing Machine Needles
Amazon sells a pack of 100 sewing machine needles that will fit most machines. This is a real bargain if you sew a lot because it is important to change your needle with each project or after hours of sewing. A sharp new needle makes your life easier.
Favorite Sewing and Quilting Books
Cool Easy and Cheap to Make!! - The Le Sac Dress
- Make Your Own "Le Sac" style dress! - sew-whats-new.com
A tutorial video for making your own American Apparel Le Sac Style dress. It can be worn in multitude of ways and can be made for under $10!
- Cute Easy Wrap Pants
These wrap pants are ingenious. Give them a try even if you are beginner.
Patternreview.com --A Great Resource
Patternreview.com is a great resource for sewists at all levels of experience. You will find lots of valuable first hand information shared here by people who sew from all over the world. The website name is a little misleading since there is information here on far more than specific patterns. Using the searchable index you can find loads of reviews and assorted information about specific sewing machine models and so much more. You can register for the site free and have access to all this great information. Don't miss it.
Patternreview's Book of Tips
My Dream Machine
This Juki would be the perfect compliment to my straight stitch Juki. It is a computerized machine that does so much for such a reasonable price. I want one!
- How to make a Coif
How to make a Coif: 1 and 3 piece patterns by Cynthia Virtue aka Cynthia du PrÃ© Argent Coifs are great for keeping you warm at night (either while partying or sleeping-- my mother the biology teacher tells me that 80% of one's heat loss is from the
- Mexican Dress | Traditional Mexican Dress Pattern
With my easy-to-use, downloadable Mexican dress pattern instruction booklet, you can sew a fabulous Mexican peasant dress made just for you.
- Vintage 40s 50s 60s 70s Sewing Pattern Patterns Dress Gown Slip Retro Clothing Swing Rockabilly Mod
Easily search hundreds of authentic and original vintage sewing patterns for clothing from the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and retro fashion clothing including pinup lingerie, nightgowns, full slips, half slips, panties, purses, shoes, boots and m
- Recreating 16th and 17th Century Clothing: The Renaissance Tailor
16th and 17th Century Clothing: Renaissance tailoring techniques, manuscript sources, and technical advice
- Spool Sewing Â» 2008 Â» May
Archive for May, 2008 Chef’s Apron Friday, May 30th, 2008 Father’s Day is right around the corner and we have the perfect project for your poppa. Michael came up with this chef;s apron that is simple to make and will look great on your favorite grill
- Grace Street Studio
Cocktail Apron Tutorial. Would make a great hostess gift.
- Welcome to Modern Sewing Patterns
Sewing patterns catalog of stylish clothing. New pattern-making technology allows us to create patterns of your exact size.
- Fabric Yardage Requirements
Estimated Fabric Yardage Requirements for various garments. This info will give you an idea of how much fabric to buy when you want to buy fabric first and pick a pattern for it later.
- Directory of Free Sewing Patterns, Tutorials and Projects
loads of free sewing patterns for a wide variety of projects
- ikat bag: Strawberry Bag
A cute strawberry bag that holds a tote bag inside. Ingenious!
- 1-Hour Dress - CraftStylish
This knit dress is perfect for your work or nighttime wardrobe. Simple instructions for drafting, cutting, and sewing a 1-Hour Dress.
- Cute easy to make top pattern.
Make this attractive top with just a couple yards of fabric and a bit of narrow elastic.
Lingerie Sewing Resources
It's a Juki You Can Take to Classes! - Zigzags and Makes Buttonholes,too.
Are you looking for a light weight machine to take to classes? This cute Juki may be just what you are looking for. Also nice for a motor home, cottage, or other situation where space is limited.