Any DIY junkie will love these sewing hacks, so expert or not, check them all out now for ones you might not know yet!
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Best Sewing Hacks that will Make your Life a Breeze
This post was originally posted on sewing.com and shared with permission.
I've seen tons of sewing tips, but none that were as simple and as straightforward as the ones listed here. You're going to be sewing like a pro after you've gotten to the last one!
Don't believe me? Make your way down my list and see what you think!
1. Use Muslin in Cutting Slippery Fabrics
Cutting slippery fabrics can be a little tricky. There is little to no traction between your scissors and fabric that just begs for a mistake.
To help you out, place a layer of muslin under it. You can pin the layers together to make cutting easier.
2. Keep Your Scissors Sharp
Keep your scissors sharp by designating a pair just for cutting fabric. When you use your fabric scissors to cut through paper or other material, it gets dull.
You don’t want that to happen! This is a really important and life-saving sewing hack you always have to remember.
3. Press Buttons Using Hair Straighteners
Use your trusty hair straightener to press fabric between buttons and other embellishments. This is a pretty nifty sewing hack using a day-to-day item!
4. Sew the Perfect Corners
Never worry about sewing corners again! Leave your needle down, rotate your fabric in a clean 90-degree angle, and voila!
Easy-peasy! You don’t even need a sewing table to do this!
5. Use Binder Clips in Applying Your Binding
Who knew these cute little school supplies could help make sewing bindings easier? Just clip these little binder clips on your binding and voila!
It’s like you have your own little helping hands. Talk about handy sewing tips!
6. Gather Your Fabric The Easy Way
Use yarn or a thicker thread to gather your fabric. Sew a zigzag over a length of yarn, then pull the yarn to easily gather your fabric.
Yarn won’t easily snap unlike your regular thread, so it’s easier to gather the fabric.
7. Sew Buttons on the Inside of Your Coat Sleeve
Buttons are so prone to popping off. Here’s what I discovered: Sew extra buttons on the inside of your coat sleeve.
In case you lose some buttons, there will always be some handy.
8. Use Freezer Paper to Cut Patterns
Press freezer paper to your fabric. It sticks to your fabric and you’ll be able to cut your fabric according to your pattern without weights and unnecessary errors.
And even more wonderful, it doesn’t leave any residue!
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9. Use Painter’s Tape
Painter’s tape is a handy tool to use all around. Hold your pleats and ruffles together with painter’s tape.
It doesn’t hurt any fabric and more importantly, it’s an inexpensive item!
10. Use Dental Floss to Sew Buttons
My children used to pop buttons off all the time. As a result, I kept sewing buttons back on all the time, too!
Here’s what I discovered: Using your dental floss as a thread, sew your buttons right back into place. Dental floss is stringier than your usual thread and can keep your buttons from popping off more than regular thread.
Now with this trick, I wouldn’t have to keep on sewing buttons back all the time.
11. Use Wax to Strengthen Threads
Use this little gadget. It’s wax, and when you pull the thread through, it gets coated in wax.
This makes the thread nice and strong while you hand-sew. It’s one of the best hand sewing hacks you’ll learn today.
12. Getting the Thread Through the Needle – the Easy Way!
It’s so frustrating to thread through needle holes. It always seems like the thread refuses to go through the hole!
Until I discovered one genius sewing hack: hairspray! Spray the tip so it stays straight.
13. Sewing Over Lumpy Fabrics Using a Plastic
Next time you’re sewing over the lumpy fabric like terry cloth or fleece, use a plastic bag. Place it over the fabric you are sewing and watch that presser foot glide!
14. Sewing in Your Zippers
Sew up your seam as you normally would, place the zipper face down over the seam allowance and sew it in place. Cut open the seam with your seam ripper to reveal the zipper underneath.
Note: Be sure to check out our easy step-by-step tutorial on How To Sew A Zipper in Two Ways
15. Taking Advantage of Your Stay Stitching
Stay stitching holds the shape of your material in place as you ease it around curves. Stay-stitch anything that isn’t cut on the grain or cross-grain to prevent it from becoming disfigured.
To stay stitch, stitch within the seam allowance, try 3/8″ if your seam allowance is 5/8″, and follow the curve of the piece. Stitch symmetrically, start your line on the outside and work your way in on both sides, if working on a centerfold.
16. Sewing Using Your Decorative Threads
Use two spools of thread, thread them through your machine and around your needle the same way you usually would, having both pieces of thread through the eye. Now when you sew with delicate metallic thread, the regular thread will help support it.
17. Marking Your Seam Allowance
Rubberband 3 pencils together for 5/8″, or 2 pencils for 1/2″. Trace the edge of your pattern piece for a perfect seam allowance every time.
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Sewing is a fantastic DIY craft you will ultimately fall in love with. Us DIY buffs live by the saying, “If you want it done right, do it yourself”, but a little helping hand would be best.
Now, with these DIY projects, sewing hacks, and ideas, you can create wonderful works of art you can be proud of!
What do you think of these sewing hacks? Got any sewing tricks of your own? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 26, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
If you cut and sew your article side to center, bottom to top and wide to narrow, your fabric won’t stretch and pieces will fit together easier.
Thanks, that’s good to know. I’m just getting back to sewing, and discovered I have forgotten a whole lot of things.
Gaynor Mann says
You really don’t need to buy a spool kit to use serger thread on your sewing machine. Just place a plastic drinking straw over your existing spool pin and the serger thread will ride along nicely!
Deby at So Sew Easy says
Some of those were new to me thanks. I’ve got lots of free sewing patterns to share and a page of sewing tips, tricks and tutorials over at So Sew Easy. I you liked this article, I think you’ll love my site too.
It’s not recommended you use serger thread for regular machine sewn seams. Serger thread is thinner, twisted with two strands of light filament. It’s meant to get it’s strength by using in tandem with the other cones in the loopers in a three thread or more machine. If you use it to sew straight stitch seams your seams will likely pop at stress points. It’s also more than likely entirely polyester thread.
Sewing thread for regular machines have three twisted medium strands. It’s thicker and stronger. It comes in cotton poly, cotton, silk. Good thing though, you can buy it in even larger cones than your typical serger cone! I buy common colors this way from a sewing supply. I set my cone in a clean tin can at the back of my machine, thread it through a safety pin placed on my machine’s thread holder held tight by the spool cap, and then threaded as normal.
I was questioning the use of serger thread myself. I’m not quite as knowledgeable about why you can’t use it as you are, thanks for explaining it. The trick for using the larger spools is just so stinkin’ smart!! Thanks for sharing.
I agree–using serger thread on your sewing machine is not a good idea.
Heather Feather says
Thanks for the feature! This list is great, and I read some tips that I didn’t know and will help me!
I use serger thread for embroidery for my bobbin thread. Its just right for use in embroidery because it is thin. and It costs a lot less that bobbin thread. and comes in many colors.
Hello everybody! I wad just wondering if anyone could help with my sewing table dilemma. I have an old sewing table but my new portable sewing machine doesn’t seem to have the two holes on the bottom to attach to the mounting pins on the table . Its a Brother LS 2125. Any ideas on how to mount the new machine in the old table? Thanks a lot!
Rynna Machate says
You may need to drill on your table if that’s an option you’d like to go.
Kim meyer says
Making a faceplate for your machine and mount it to the plsteand on the other side of the faceplate have those holes match up to the mounting hardware.
I used a wooden cutting board on top of the old Singer sewing table I had to cover the hole where the machine drops down in. Then just set my machine on top of it. Worked really great.
I highly agree with using serger thread. It has saved me 100’s of dollars sewing.
I buy and use Maxi Lock serger thread exclusively to sew dog collars. I’ve sold literally thousands of collars & I’ve had solid metal hardware come apart before a stitch pops.
A trick that has helped me a great deal is: When using bias tape as a facing around curves, press the tape in the shape of the curve before applying it (making sure that the open side of the tape is on the proper side of the curve to fit it over the fabric–made that mistake a few times!) It is very difficult to stitch bias tape around curves without stretching it, making the edge cup or flare. A simple round with the iron avoids that.
Ok, I hate to be persnickety, but #2 probably refers to getting the thread through the hold of a needle, not the needle through the hole…sorry…
hole, not hold of the needle…see, I can’t even type !
I have used the safety pin method shown on #11 often but have found that if you turn the pin and insert it butt first. It will not have a tendency for the pin to come undone while trying to push it through the casing. Great tips. I also use serger thread too and have no problems with seams ripping out.
Thank you, very much…#22 is a bit too risky though, there is a wide group of followers and not everyone can handle a very sharp object hanging on your chest, belly, etc. but there is more good in all than just this quirk.
I used serger thread on a quilt years ago. The fabric is coming apart, but the thread is still holding on fine. I put a small spool of regular thread under the cone of serger thread to help it turn smoothly. Guetterman serger thread comes on spools that fit my regular sewing machine.
carol chudy says
I have had a negative experience with using wax to coat thread (Tip #1) I used it on a hem for a bridesmaid dress – when I pressed the hem the wax melted into the fabric leaving a row of dark holes where the thread passed through the fabric.
Lisa Loperfido says
That is a very negative experience indeed! Best to not use the wax hack on anything that fine of quality. Your thread is much more likely to break when working with tougher materials like denim or canvas. These fabrics won’t show the melted wax either.
gery horne says
nice job! Thank you.
DIY Crush Marketplace says
Fantastic round-up!! Thanks for posting this!!