Sewing Instructions, Tips & Tricks

Follow these ten sewing instructions and tips to get yourself started on rewarding and fun projects. Sewing can be a very rewarding hobby. Not only can you provide your family with clothing and household items, but you are creating something that is useful. When you begin any new hobby, there are always tips that can make things easier for you.

1. When sewing two pieces together, always keep the right sides together. When your project is turned inside out, the right sides will be on the outside and there will be very little sign of a seam.

2. Always read the instructions on the envelope of the sewing pattern before you buy anything. Make sure you are getting the correct type of fabric for the project. Be sure to pay attention to the width of the fabric you are buying. There will be different requirements for different widths of fabric.

3. Never use fabric that has not been washed and dried after purchase. You should wash the fabric in the same temperature water that you plan to use after the garment is finished. The project should also be dried in the same manner that it will be after completion. This will shrink the fabric before it is cut out. If you do this, your finished product will suffer much less shrinkage. If you are using a non-washable fabric such as wool, take it to the dry cleaner and have it cleaned and pre-shrunk.

4. Do not assume that a size that comes off the rack in a store will be the same as a size you will be sewing. Most commercial sewing patterns will have a range of sizes in a single envelope. Be sure to measure yourself or the person who will be wearing the garment. It is also advisable to measure the pieces of the pattern. Be sure to allow for the seam when figuring out the size the pieces will make when they are sewn together. The pattern envelope will list the body measurements that go with each size.

5. When cutting out the pattern, don't worry if the line of the cut is not perfectly straight. This edge of the fabric will be on the inside of the garment or project. And while you don't want to cut a wavy line and have the seams bunching, it is all right to be a little less than perfect.

6. Have a scissors sharpener handy. It is much easier to cut fabric with sharp scissors. Do not use your sewing scissors to cut anything other than fabric. Using them on paper other than the tissue paper of the pattern will cause them to become dull very quickly.

7. Before you start sewing on your machine, always take a piece of scrap fabric and run it through first. This will get any oil off of the needle or machine before it gets to your good fabric. You can also adjust the thread tension using this piece of fabric. This will save wear and tear on your finished project.

8. When choosing a fabric to use, always read the cleaning instructions. Be sure you are willing to take care of the finished product in the way it requires. This will help your garment keep its shape and stay looking new as long as possible.

9. Always be sure you have plenty of room for all of the supplies needed to complete your project. If the garment you are sewing requires a large quantity of fabric, you will need a large table that is clean and clear of clutter. If you do not have the room needed to maneuver a large amount of fabric, you run the risk of making mistakes. This could lead to a loss of fabric, or at least a loss of your time.

10. If the fabric you are planning to sew is slick, such as satin, you will need weights to hold it down while you cut out the sewing pattern. These can be anything found around the house that will not stain the fabric. Heavy glass candle holders, paper weights or books all make fine weights. It is also easy to make sewing weights by making a small bag and filling it with pebbles or sand.

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