Sewing Tips for Beautiful Results
Here are a few of our best sewing tips to make your sewing easier and your results more professional looking.
1. Use the right size pattern
You do realize that there’s no
in patterns? The whole point of making your own clothes is to make them fit. And the pattern companies
have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with your size when you try on clothes at the mall.
In the malls I’m a size ten. In a pattern I’m closer to a size 16. Now if I can say that here, you can surely face your own measurements.
If you truly shudder at finding out the real you (according to the pattern companies), then use the metric side of your tape measure to record your measurements. You'll be
starting with the right size pattern so your adjustments will be easier.
2. The more pieces in the pattern, the more difficult to sew
Since we’re talking about patterns here – before committing to a project, see how many separate pattern pieces there are for your layout. It’s okay to open the pattern envelope and look at the layout. Each view will have a list of pattern pieces needed.
If you’re up for the challenge of 15 separate pieces, great! But if you need to make something quickly, or are a beginner – look for simple lines and construction, with fewer pattern pieces. Simple lines are usually easier to fit too.
Notice this sewing tip didn't say you should never do a complicated pattern. The more experience you get, the easier it will get to do the more difficult patterns later.
3. Change your sewing needle with every project
Or change it at least every 8 hours of sewing. I have this theory that half of all sewing machine frustrations are caused by using the incorrect needle size, or a worn needle.
I know - it seems like this sewing tip is a waste of money and resources. But, it doesn’t cost that much to use a new one, really.
Make it a habit to buy a new pack of needles every time there's a sale! And if you don't know what kind of needles you need, here are more
sewing tips on needles.
4. Use the right thread
Color should match or be slightly darker. But
color isn’t the only factor to consider when buying thread.
Every thread has a specific use, and quality, size and type of thread truly do make a difference.
Another theory of mine is that the other half of sewing machine problems comes from using poor quality or the wrong type of thread. Don’t you want to love your machine?
5. There is a difference in the type of elastic you use
Same with buttons, zippers, and interfacings. Don’t just use what you think you might have on hand – buy notions as listed on the back of the pattern envelope, and the
right type of elastic.
If you spend time getting special buttons and the right color of zipper, you won't be frustrated in the middle of your project when you have everything you need to complete it!
6. Hide your one good pair of fabric scissors
Have at least one really
good pair of scissors for cutting fabrics.
They might be expensive, but they are SO worth it.
Hide the good scissors from family members. Label them DO NOT USE! Never cut anything but fabric with them. And the best sewing tip of all - get them sharpened (by the manufacturer).
Use your cheap scissors for cutting apart patterns, snipping threads, and cutting off those little plastic tie tags.
7. Buy extra tools
Another sewing tip to help you not get frustrated. You know you're going to misplace some sewing tool - and you won't find it right away. Who wants to be stressed out looking for something when all you really want is to keep sewing (or ripping)?
So save wasted time. Have two seam rippers. Two thimbles, two boxes of pins, etc. Two of everything you use repeatedly. If you buy them on sale, you won't be spending so much (time or money).
8. Iron, even though it's a bother
This sewing tip reminds me of my Home Ec classes in high school. But, okay the teacher was right. Ironing does make a big difference in your finished product.
So iron your yardage before you cut it. Iron your pattern before you pin it. Press your stitches after you sew them, and before you sew something else on top. You’ll have superb seams and intersections. And your garments will look professional!
9. Create your own clothing style
Please, don’t just make an exact duplicate of something you saw at the mall. Make it yours by adding details, finding a different color, adding pockets or trim. Change things to fit your personality.
That’s what making your own is all about – so you can take pride in knowing what you made is a one of a kind!
Creating your own clothes is an adventure - one you will enjoy if
you know you've got a style that's unique to you.
Ready to begin sewing?
First, make sure you pick out the right fabric and prepare it before cutting. Here's an article about how to make sure the
fabric is right for you!