As promised, I’m here with what I’m calling “Sewing Tips from the Pros.” I asked my readers to weigh in on my last Sewing Tips post with advice of their own. Handy hints, tips, tricks or just plain old common sense. I was delighted at the response I received and have put together this little post featuring each one. This post was so fun to write. I loved taking the pictures to highlight your advice and writing it was a breeze because these are your words, not mine. Let’s get started!
1.) Use the correct foot for the job. This is something we all need reminded of because it makes the job SO much easier. Trying to sew something with the wrong foot is just hard. There are a million different feet out there but as you can see, I sew with just three. Keep it simple if you can.
2.) Needles wear out. Change them on a regular basis! They don’t have to break to be bad. I admit that I am not very good at this one. Usually I break a needle before I change it. I agree 100% though because when I have a new needle everything works better.
3.) Store patterns and templates in labeled folders. These fun file folders are from Walmart. The brand is studio C and the cost was 3 for $1.00. Can’t beat that anywhere. I am a good one for throwing things in bins. I have my pattern templates in a bin but when I need one I have to dig through all of them. This filing system is brilliant…and affordable.
4.) Use only glass beaded head pins. Plastic ones will melt if they get too close to an iron. Honestly, I didn’t know about glass head pins. I have always used the different colored plastic head pins and have melted quite a few. This was a welcome piece of advice.
5.) Label your scissors as to the task they are for. For example: pinking, heavy fabric, silks, etc. I don’t have a lot of scissors…just what you see here. But I heard from some of you that have dozens of pairs of scissors. Sort of blew my mind! Labeling them is a great way to keep them straight.
6.) NEVER use your fabric scissors on paper. There were a few who mentioned this and I completely agree. There is no quicker way to dull your scissors than to cut paper with them. As tempting as it is sometimes, just don’t do it.
7.) This next tip is one I never would have thought of. My machine is about 20 years old but if you have a newer machine that is computerized, be careful with magnetic pin cushions or measuring gauges. The magnetic field could mess with the hard drive on your sewing machine.
8.) If you don’t have a serger, use french seams or a regular zig zag stitch to finish off your seams. I love french seams and hope to post a tutorial here soon. Even though I have a serger (thankfully) I still use my basic zig zag stitch for certain materials that won’t go through the serger. I have a hard time with grain sacks. I break needles and threads and sometimes it’s just not worth the hassle. To zig zag a seam takes just a second and really makes a difference in the final product.
9.) Clean out your bobbin case. This is another one that I tend to forget…until I knot the bobbin thread and the machine jams. I am always stunned when I open that bobbin case and there is all sorts of lint and crud. Clearly, it’s better not to wait until your machine jams…but if it does, take an extra minute to clean things out!
If you have an extra minute I’d love for you
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