I've been sewing for what, eleven years now? And there have been some blunders here and there, but we learn from our mistakes as well as from others (mom). So here's a few tips to keep you sewers happy :)
1. Attach your sewing scissors to a lanyard and wear it around your neck while sewing. If it has a detachable clasp, you can attach it to your sewing machine as well
2. Binder clips and bobby pins make great holders in place of pins for fabrics like satin and leather that tend to get marked up with regular pins. They work great on sewing quilts together too.
3. Speaking of quilts, my nurse gave me a great tip: se the batting to one side first, then flip and see to the other side. It'll make it much easier to sew in your machine this way.
4. Parchment paper makes a great buffer between your sewing foot and your fabric when sewing thick fabrics like wool and fleece. Place one piece on top and one underneath, sew through them all, then gently rip the paper away and TA-DA! Perfect hem.
5. Pin cushions are great, but giant magnets are easier. You can throw your pins on them as you're taking them out of your fabric much faster, and it makes picking up dropped pins easier too - especially in carpet.
6. Use embroidery thread instead of common sewing thread when sewing buttons on knit, fleece, and wool fabrics. It'll be a stronger hold and take fewer passes to get the job done.
7. I'm lazy with hemming, and I actually didn't know how to do it properly for about four years. So what did I do? I used bias tape. It worked great on the faux leather for my friend Cody's cosplay, i also think it looks pretty when using one solid colour in the fabric and another solid colour in the bias tape.
8. Keep your scraps to see together into one long piece. Use the piece as "fabric yarn" to knit with, or cut and see together horizontally into a bigger piece of fabric. You can also use the scraps to help stuff things like cushions or soft toys.
9. Keep a bowl or mug close to your station to put your thread remnants after cutting them. Keeps your station neat and makes tidying up much faster.
10. Share your fabric stash with other friends. Not so much a "sewing" hack as it is a "sewer who is obsessed with their fabric stash" tip, but it's still valid. Swap fabric you aren't planning on using with a friend for something you might need. No fabric in the trash and you're not spending more money on what you need.
11. Can't draw a straight line to save your life? Painters tape to the rescue! Use it as a guide and peel it off once you're done. It won't leave a sticky residue and is easier than constantly adjusting a ruler.
12. Aren't sure if a pattern will work? Trace it onto parchment paper and cut it out. Tape the seams together and put it on. If it fits, do it. If no, fix the pattern until it does. I find wax paper tears less easily and moves more like fabric than the parchment, but wax paper is harder to mark your pattern. You could use scrap fabric as well, but paper is usually cheaper.
13. Painters tape and wax paper can also help when making patterns from your own clothing. Cut out a similar shape of the piece from wax paper, lay it on the section, and fill in the remaining gaps between the wax paper and seam with painters tape. Peel it off, affix some wax paper to the sticky side of the tape, cut the excess of the paper and viola!!
14. Ironing boards are expensive. Use a piece of scrap plywood, a cheap piece of fleece and a piece of cheap cotton on top. Lay down a piece of cotton 3 inches longer on each side, then the fleece, and finally the board. Use a nail gun or short thumbtacks to attach the fabric to the board, stretching it as you go. If you have these materials on hand, you just saved yourself $25!
15. Cutting mats are also expensive, that's why even I don't have one. Instead, I use a very sturdy placemat I got with a coupon code from Nutella. You could also use a sterile cutting board in a pinch.
Those are all my tips for this time, but if you have any, feel free to share by commenting on the post! Happy sewing, and until next time,