I’m back with a second round of sewing tips for you today, these are quite a mixed bag but they are all things that I tell our customers all the time, so I’m sure at least a few will be helpful for you too.

Zips: Not sure about which size zip you need, don’t panic Zips can be cut to size. If you buy one that is too long, as long as you stitch across the ends to stop the runner from coming off you can cut off the excess to make it the right length for your project.

Patterns: Make your patterns last longer by tracing them off onto greaseproof paper rather than cutting out from your pattern sheet. It means you never cut anything important away and if you need to make adjustments you don’t spoil your original pattern papers.

Pattern Sizing: The big brand patterns, Simplicity, McCall’s etc, often work from fashion sizing measurements, not retail sizing measurements. You will often need to make up your patterns in a larger size than you would buy in the shops. If in doubt always check the body and garment measurements on each pattern and make to the size it recommends for your stats.

Fabrics: Always wash your fabric before you start a new project, even if you aren’t using cotton fabric (which can shrink when washed) or the project you have in mind won’t be washed afterwards, it is still worth giving it a rinse and an iron before you start to get rid of any dust or creases.

Tools: Invest in a small ruler, it is helpful to have a small measuring tool to hand so you don’t always have to reach for your tape measure.

Storage: Rather than a pretty but not totally functional sewing basket for all your machine parts and sewing notions, why not invest in a toolbox or vanity case. The mix of large and small compartments are perfect for keeping all those little bits and bobs in order.

Button Holes: Pop a pin at the end of your buttonhole to stop cutting too far and ruining your buttonhole.

Machine Stitching: Always check your machine top and bottom tension before you start to sew. If you have a machine with a removable case dangle it with the bobbin inside, if it shakes down slowly its perfect, if it falls it’s too loose and if it doesn’t move it’s too tight.

Seams: Always press your seams as you go, you will never regret it later.

Seating: Make sure your sewing machine chair is at a good height for your machine and is comfortable. But do make sure you get up and take breaks every so often, so you don’t get too stiff.

Equipment: Always try and buy the best equipment you can afford. Cheap haberdashery is usually cheap for a reason. This is most important when referring to thread. The time it takes to make a garment to have the seams pop the first time you wear it is not worth the saving!

That’s it for this round, but if you have any questions feel free to add them in the comments!

Sammy x

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