Sewing Time Savers

Sewing Time Savers
Intrepid beginners as well as long time experienced sewers will all have an assortment of favored sewing techniques to share with others. Some techniques seem almost too basic to mention but are seen many times, for example use sewing scissors only for cutting fabric and trims to keep them sharp, measure twice cut once, use clothespins or office clips instead of straight pins on difficult to handle materials, how to sew on a button by hand, etc.

Well-known common-sense sewing tips are without a doubt useful; however, it is the more obscure or simply long forgotten sewing tips that are sought after treasures.

Consider the following 10 sewing tips, some or all may be familiar:

Use a checked vinyl tablecloth as a gridded large surface sewing mat for the dining or kitchen table when a foldable pattern cardboard is not available. Easier than trying to lay out tissue patterns and fabric on the floor.

When threading elastic through a casing, place a safety pin at both ends of the elastic. Helps to retrieve the elastic if it inadvertently disappears into the casing.

Use embroidery floss instead of regular thread when sewing on a button for extra strength. Particularly useful when sewing on outerwear coat buttons.

When sewing buttons onto somewhat fragile fabric, use a tiny button on the underside of the garment opposite the button on the front. Sew through both buttons. The small unseen underside button will take the stress off the fabric.

When sewing a centered and lapped zipper, first stitch the seam closed the length of the zipper using a machine basting stitch and a regular stitch length for the remainder of the seam. Press seam open, lay the zipper face down on the pressed underside seam so the zipper coils are centered on the seam then secure with several strips of clear tape across the zipper. Stitch the zipper to the seam right through the clear tape. Remove tape and using a seam ripper carefully open the seam from the right side exposing the zipper underneath.

To prevent thread from tangling and knotting when hand sewing, run the length of the thread through an unused fabric dryer sheet. Alternatively, lightly run two fingers over a beeswax lip gloss then the thread through the fingers for tangle-less hand sewing.

When stitching pockets to t-shirts, first iron-on a 3/4-inch strip of fusible web to the underside of the pocket under the top fold over. The entire pocket does not need to have fusible interfacing to strengthen it, just use the fusible web strip to the underside of the pocket top which will prevent the top from gaping open.

To protect expensive fabric shears when not in use and for easy retrieval, place them into an inexpensive purchased quilted potholder that has a pocket to protect the blades and tips.

When machine stitching deep hems that cover the stitch plate markings, use a piece of easy to remove blue painter’s tape on the machine bed as a seam guide to mark where the hem edge will butt against it when stitching.

Use a desktop document holder with a clear adjustable bar for an easy way to have the pattern’s guide sheet sections in an upright view when placed just behind the sewing machine.

Sewing tips that 'measure up' and make sewing easier and hopefully more enjoyable are welcomed by all who venture into the timeless craft and practiced artistry of sewing endeavors.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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