Last summer I shared some sewing tips for professional results. At the time, I had a hard time narrowing it down to five. I’d like to share five more now with the hope that your sewing projects will become easier and more fun. I’m a firm believer in using the right tools for the job. That and some prep work make all the difference.
All fabric purchased off the bolt, even 100% cotton and linen, has a stiffness to it before it is washed. Sometimes, this stiff finish makes it difficult to iron out wrinkles. I hate wrinkles in fabric when I’m trying to sew. Washing your fabric before you begin to work with it eliminates this stiffness and makes it so much easier to iron. Plus, if there is any shrinkage, it happens before you sew your project and not after. One thing though…please don’t wash 54 in. decorator fabric. Most is dry clean only and some of it has a soil resistant finish.
If I had to pick my top three can’t-do-without sewing tools, one of them would be straight pins. Straight pins have come a long way since I was a girl learning to sew. They used to be tiny, maybe an inch long, with really no head to speak of. My favorite pins now are long, at least 2 inches, with colorful ball heads. Easy to see, easy to use, and long enough to go through just about anything! I also highly recommend a magnetic pin holder. Mine is called a Grabbit and I’ve had it so long it’s like an extension of my right hand when I’m sewing. I could not live without it!
Sometimes using a pattern piece, pinning and then cutting, is very time-consuming. I have found that actually making a template, tracing and then cutting is so much easier and quicker as well. I make a template for every pattern piece I use out of old cardboard boxes. I can lay the template on the fabric, trace, cut and am finished in the time it would have taken me to just pin the pattern piece. I have several sizes of square templates for my pillow covers. I also made templates for the Christmas stockings I designed for my Etsy shop. I’m a believer in time-savers and this one is huge.
Included in that top three can’t-do-without sewing tools is, of course, scissors. My advice is to always have two pair. A large pair for cutting fabric and a small pair for cutting threads. I buy Fiskars and would never buy anything else. I get them at JoAnn fabric when they are on sale or I have a coupon…or sometimes both! Sharpening scissors is really a thing of the past. My sewing machine shop will do it but they actually send the scissors away. When my scissors wear out, and it doesn’t happen very often, I simply replace them.
If you’re wondering what number three is in that top three can’t-do-without list, it’s thread. Good thread. My all time favorite thread is Gutermann. (No…they aren’t paying me to say that.) Way back when I began actually selling what I made, I stopped buying the inexpensive thread. It just wasn’t worth the hassle of broken thread in my machine. Or knots. Or annoying fuzz. Not only is Gutermann thread easier on your machine, it’s much easier on your temper!
Click this link if you want to check out the Sewing Tips for Professional Results that I shared last summer. If you have a tip to share, I’d love for you to leave a comment. I will round them up and perhaps publish a post with YOUR sewing tips for professional results!
Update: Here is the post with reader sewing tips…just click HERE!
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