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Book Giveaway: “Threads Sew Smarter, Better & Faster”

Jun 06, 2014
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Click here to preview and order your copy of Threads Sew Smarter, Better, & Faster.

To help celebrate the launch of our new tips video series, There’s a Better Way, we’re awarding five lucky online members a copy of Threads Sew Smarter, Better & Faster (The Taunton Press, 2013).

Written by editors, contributors and even readers of Threads, this reference tool features close to 900 tips, tricks, techniques, shortcuts, and advice to help you sew more efficiently and smoother. You’ll learn tricks for hemming pants, shortcuts for quilting, secrets for working with intricate patterns, advanced tricks from tailors, and hundreds of other handy solutions.

To enter, share your favorite sewing tip in the comments section by 11:59 EDT on June 13, 2014. Five winners will be chosen at random and announced during the week of June 16.

Good Luck!

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  1. User avater rxxanne July 8th

    Don't hesitate to line or underline. It can make any fabric look richer. On a cheaper note. We almost always used self fabric for inter-facings.

  2. WinterBull July 8th

    Make sure you pre-wash the washables before sewing. The best thing to do is wash them when you get home so that this is done in case you bought a lot of fabrics for future use. No question then when you decide to sew it. Its ready to be cut up and put together.

  3. user-2643145 June 17th

    Buy extra fabric to accommodate shrinkage. Ask at the store what to expect. Some fabrics can shrink up to 25% even in cold water.

    If you change your mind about what to sew and go to buy more fabric, be aware that if you don't wash and dry the new fabric in exactly the same manner as the old fabric, you can end up with fabric that doesn't match even though it was from the same bolt. (Guess how I learned this -- the hard way!)

    Don't sew when you're tired. You're guaranteed to make a mistake.

  4. Denisedesigns June 14th

    Start with a clean and tidy workspace!

  5. User avater Colorful June 13th

    Stabilize neck and armhole edges, as well as hems with a fusible strip of interfacing prior to apply binding/hems on knit garments. Then topstitch using a twin needle to get a professional finish.

  6. user-3343488 June 13th

    When I see thread on sale, I can never remember what colors I need to buy! So I took a picture of my sewing and serger thread rack with my phone and now I'm able to see what colors I need when I'm shopping.

  7. User avater cucperson June 12th

    For a seam end that will potentially show I start sewing at the end that will be hidden then backstitch off the same end. No pokey outies.

  8. User avater kprincegentry June 12th

    When sewing lap zippers I always use a piece of scotch tape to use as a guide to make my zipper stitch straight

  9. user-3485151 June 12th

    I store my various sewing machine feet in a storage bin that is divided into many small compartments. Each compartment is labeled so I can quickly find exactly the foot that I need.

  10. user-2128640 June 12th

    My best tip concerns preparing muslins (toiles) for fitting; make sure you mark the lengthwise grainline AND horizontal balance lines - over bust and hip at the very least. Making sure these balance lines remain horizontal is key to getting a good fit. Also, if drafting a skirt pattern, start by fitting a cylinder of paper around your hips and tummy area - the circumference should measure the same at the top and bottom (easily done if you draw vertical lines at 1cm intervals or use squared paper). The finished measurement will usually need no extra ease - try it!

  11. user-2003399 June 11th


  12. JennCail June 10th

    A tip if you can't see what your doing slide door stops under the back of your machine.

  13. user-3385447 June 10th

    Although I've been sew for a very long time, I can always learn something new, especially with all the new fabrics and accessories on the market now. I am so enjoying my membership with Threads, so another book would be welcome.

  14. AliceEliza June 9th

    Take it easy. When I first learned to sew I was always in a hurry to finish my projects, so I often made mistakes which I left because I reasoned that they were not really that bad. But now I take my time, and if I make a mistake, I correct it. It's not really that terrible to rip out stitches and sew it again. I do my best on each project. I'm much happier with the results.

  15. user-659305 June 9th

    Sew every day. Even if it's only for 5 minutes. I can be a great stress reliever. Only 5 minutes is better than doing nothing. You'll finish eventually!

  16. PsychCharm June 9th

    If you're just starting sewing, and not sure if you want to purchase a serger, get an over edging foot! You can create a much neater finish than a regular zig zag stich :)

  17. user-659305 June 8th

    Sew every day even if its only for 5 minutes. You'll feel better for it and you'll make a little bit of progress on your project, which is better than no progress!

  18. Cuckooknits June 8th

    I keep a piece of wooden dowel by my ironing board and use it when pressing fiddly seams that I can't do on the ironing board.

  19. User avater GypsyThread June 7th

    Take good care of both your sewing machine and iron. It's essential to have them both cleaned and maintained regularly. Quality tools used correctly provide quality results.

  20. user-2422167 June 7th

    My machine does not have the right seam width marks sometimes that I need so I use a piece of masking tape on the plate so that I can see clearly where I need to sew.

  21. user-2654565 June 6th

    I was surprised to learn that I can use Elmers stick glue to position zippers correctly before sewing. It works perfectly every time. I also have used it to join curved quilt pieces instead of pins. Works great there too, but you have to be careful not to use too much.

  22. sewinggeek June 6th

    Press, press, press! Press the fabric beforehand and press every seam while sewing. Things turn out much better.

  23. DianaLouise June 6th

    Measure twice, cut once! Make sure fabric hangs straight when selvedges are placed together. This assures straight grain and eliminates twists or out of alignment of pieces and pattern.

  24. User avater BertaBoo June 6th

    Sewing Tip:
    File patterns in a manilla file folder by cutting the paper pattern envelope down one side and across the bottom. Zig-zag stitch the flattened pattern envelope to the front of the file folder, then zig-zag stitch the file folder closed down the sides. The tissue pattern pieces can now be put into the manilla folder with less folds and organized in a file cabinet by style and size. Also, fold the tissue pattern pieces with the pattern number showing and in numerical order to make finding the pieces easier the next time the pattern is used.

  25. user-2081848 June 6th

    Always purchase the best quality your budget will allow, whether it is fabric or supplies. I finally purchased an iron that does not drip on my fabric while I am pressing. If I had spent the money the first time on a quality product, I would not have half a dozen irons that I don't use!

  26. user-1127959 June 6th

    While trying to apply a zipper to a very sheer fabric I cut a piece of a sheer interfacing in a 5/8 in strip and fused to sipper seam allowance. It made all the difference.

  27. user-2081848 June 6th

    When pre-washing a fabric, I always put a small safety pin in the selvedge of the right side.

  28. User avater PRHPage June 6th

    Learning all the uses for my sewing machine feet is invaluable to me, especially when doing tasks I'm not so good at, like using the stitch-in-the-ditch foot for top-stitiching.

  29. user-234821 June 6th

    The best way to sew perfect items is to buy the best patterns! Vogue patterns have never let me down. They are expensive but can be found on sale.

  30. JudieL June 6th

    If you don't understand something, ask. There are many sewing groups/tutorials/videos out there and you question will be answered somewhere. Better to find out how to do it than to stop sewing or mess it up.

  31. User avater chelosunny June 6th

    Remember if you can read you can sew. Most people can't read. Also, you never regret buying quality.

  32. User avater user-1139316 June 5th

    Press as you sew makes your finished garment look much more professional.

  33. User avater ReneeDj June 5th

    Using Res Q Tape when replacing zippers in winter coats and jackets has been a lifesaver for me. No more buckling from having pins in them!

  34. tooold June 5th

    Before cutting out washable light weight fabric stabilize it with either s liquid stabilizer or even spray starch. It will be so much easier to cut and sew.

  35. JaneTisell June 5th

    My best tip is...take your time! If you rush mistakes are more likely (the voice of experience here!) and then you have to pull it apart and start again, much less fun. Even complex garments, which you think are beyond you, will get made if you give yourself thinking / nutting out time.

  36. beadembroiderer June 5th

    I think I make mistakes when my concentration of what I am doing wanes. To me, I see this as my biggest problem. I want to learn about stabilizers, hemming tips, and also fitting. I just need to work on it all. The book would be well-used!!!

  37. hautestuff June 5th

    I love using wash-away basting tape. I use it to hold zippers in place before stitching, to match and hold stripes in place before stitching, turning up hems; anything that needs to be held in place. Just be sure to use the wash-away type! One brand is Wonder Tape.

  38. etherealpr June 5th

    Take the time to find the right chair. You will be much more likely to focus on the work if you aren't distracted by a sore back and a cramping foot.

  39. Va1erieKay June 5th

    I use the heavy candle holders (solid glass colors)as pin cushions and weights. I made my own pattern (a'ball')to place inside the candle 'hole' and stuffing them to weight the fabric down while I am cutting and pinning. They work great!
    Val (Milwaukie)

  40. dkomar June 5th

    I keep a pair of chopsticks with my sewing tools to assist me when turning the points of items right side out. I also use them when pressing small areas. No more burnt fingertips!

  41. User avater 2tango June 5th

    I use thin nylon thread for basting, it never gets caught in my sttiching slips right out and is reusable for a few uses if you keep the threads in a big can or jar

  42. Seasidesewings June 5th

    My sewing room is narrow and I am unable to use a full size ironing board due to lack of space. A travel iron has proved an invaluable addition to the small table that I have converted for pressing and is perfect for the available space for me.

  43. Threadysetgo June 5th

    Keep a box of BandAids in your sewing kit! Great in a pinch for covering pin pricks and small burns, and also make a great thimble.

  44. User avater lmichelle June 5th

    Pin, pin, pin. But don't sew over the pins!

  45. gurliebot June 5th

    My favorite is snip instead of cutting triangles. It's so much easier to line up than mangled bits sticking out!

  46. User avater Cheriezel June 5th

    Make sure it gets oiled once a week and use GOOD thread!

  47. user-2386168 June 5th

    I made a sample stitch with my serger color coding it with the dials. It was helpful when I needed to adjust the tension

  48. gladgirl June 5th

    I need to keep a lip balm with all my sewing gear. For some reason, my lips dry out when I sew and this keeps them nice and soft.

  49. pmkurth June 5th

    Sew something every day!

  50. cynsew June 5th

    Sew when you are lonely, sew when you are depressed, sew when you are unhappy. Sewing helps take your mind off of your problems. It gives you a break from the world.

  51. CarmenW June 5th

    While learning to use a serger make a stitch and tension template for future reference. Before sewing garment on serger make strips 2"x6" strips of project fabric. Run through the stitches to determine proper setting. Save the strips for later comparison for similar fabrics.

  52. paulaberon70 June 5th

    One of my favorite tips, is to sew diagonally, 2 stitches in the corner, so when you turn it around the tip is a perfect pointed corner. I have been doing these for ages and its great.

  53. bajjmayer June 5th

    Work slowly, visualize the instructions first and press as you go along.

  54. User avater RedPointTailor June 5th

    The tips change - the most important thing is - JUST DO IT!

  55. user-3136551 June 5th

    put all things for the poject into a net laundry bag and wash like you would wash the garment. this saves a lot of disapiontment later down the line.

  56. sailcocktail June 4th

    For slippery fabrics, use a 505 spray adhesive to hold them together for sewing seams. But test it with your fabric first! I always wash my silks so I don't have any problem with spraying them. The adhesive dissipates over time; as long as you only spray lightly you can open the seam as soon as you've sewn it.

  57. pattipat June 4th

    It took me awhile to really get it that pressing between every step really makes a difference. So my tip is to set up the ironing board at a right angle to your sewing table lowered to the height of the table so you can just swivel and press, swivel and sew, swivel and press. If I have to jump up each time to press, I tend to not press as often.

    Thank you all for the good tips.

  58. user-1079422 June 4th

    Once I get sewing it becomes easier. Instead of stopping after finishing a seam, I find it draws me in more to leave the next section pinned up and waiting for me.Enjoy your stitching.

  59. ustabahippie June 4th

    Keep your sewing machine cleaned and oiled!!!

  60. user-3403975 June 4th

    I discovered using Wonder Clips, which I believe is more of a quilting product, instead of pins for holding seams together before sewing - they work great and how nice not to be stuck by the pin ends!

  61. user-955426 June 4th

    I bought a book holder (kind that attaches to a table edge) and put it
    on my sewing table. It can hold sewing instruction books, Threads magazine articles, or even pattern instructions so I can glance at them while working. I don't make nearly as many mistakes now!

  62. sailorita2002 June 4th

    I use up the ends of spools of thread (colors that I'm pretty sure I won't ever use again!) by using them for basting items. It makes it especially easy to remove the threads afterwards.

    And I trimmed around and cut the top edge off of the blister pack from sewing machine needles and taped that to the front of my machine. It holds the "case" from the needle that is currently in the machine so I can tell at a glance what it is. When I'm finished with that project I put the needle back in the "case" on the right side so I know it's been used. (Or, of course, throw it away!) The empty "holder" on the machine is then ready for the next needle "case".

  63. Savonnier June 4th

    I make extensive use of those old fashioned red apple pincushions. I keep one for used needles and write on each apple 'segment' the needle size, i.e. 90/14, 80/12, jeans, etc. This way, when I have to change the needle for a project, and the needle in the machine is still quite new, I have a place to put it safely. I always check my pin cushion to see if I have a needle 'on the go' before reaching for a brand new one. Needles aren't particularly expensive but making small economies can add up. I used to keep a separate pin cushion for wovens and knits but find I use universal needles most often these days.
    I also keep separate pin catchers for woven and ball point pin straight pins.

  64. User avater sewold June 4th

    I make my own pj's using a pattern I've had for years. As it begins to wear, I use another piece of tissue under it, place a piece of dry cleaner bag plastic between the two tissue pieces and iron to melt them together. Strengthens the places where you use pins.

  65. gailete June 4th

    Freezer paper should be in every sewing room whether for use in applique, making hexagons, using as a stabilizer and even making small pattern pieces. Just iron the shiny side to the fabric and away you go.

    Also when making lingerie guards, sew the snap (or fastener) on the side closer to your neck. If you sew it closer to your shoulder, depending on the slope of your shoulder, gravity and your slip strap will pop it right open. Most explanations for lingerie guards never mention this, they just tell you how to make them. The most important info is left out, how to make them work correctly. You don't want to find out at your son's wedding, like I did, that they attached in the wrong direction.

  66. bethatply June 4th

    One the most important things I learned about sewing is to press as you sew.

  67. PatHersl June 4th

    Use a bamboo skewer as your third hand. It's a wonderful stiletto for the machine. If the needle hits it, it will pierce and not break the needle.

  68. User avater ArkmanZA June 4th

    Always measure and pin the hem of a dress or skirt from the floor up. This ensures that the hem always looks even whatever shape you are.

  69. Elizam June 4th

    I like to use plain fabric for a muslin or when making technique samples. I write directly on the muslin or sample fabric the adjustments required, changes I would make or things to remember when doing the assembly of the technique. I found it easier to adjust a paper pattern with the notes on the muslin. I keep the technique samples for reference. With notes written directly on the sample I find it easier to remember particular points when applying the technique to a finished project.

  70. sewerdownunder June 4th

    I try to pre shrink any fabric or interfacing after as soon as I bring it home, that way there is no wondering if I have done it. Also if pre shrinking cotton corduroy fabric, overlock the raw edges first as it tends to 'moult' in the washing machine. this saves cleaning the lint filter too often.

  71. user-2024836 June 4th

    Your scissors are precious, always keep one pair for paper and never ever use your fabrics shears for anything else than fabrics, have tiny sharp pointed scissors or snips for threads and unpicking. I have more than one pair of the small scissors, one pair next to the machine, one pair next to my ironing board and also one pair next to the cutting table - makes life so much easier, rather than constantly wondering where they have last been put down.

  72. Alaya June 4th

    I use as muslin old bedsheets from secondhand. It's cheaper than real muslin and if the pattern on bedsheet is nice and the pattern fit for the first try you can have new dress piece from it.

    Another I find out tha you can sew jersey without serger quite ease when you use walking feet, it don't strech and when you use twin needle for hems it's undistinguishialbe from proffesional finish.

  73. Mamato8 June 4th

    Measure yourself and compare your measurements directly to the pattern. Remember how much ease you need for that pattern and make the adjustments. Don't trust the pattern to fit just because your measurement match the back of the envelope. Some run small and some run large.

    Learn from your mistakes!

  74. User avater agapantha June 3rd

    Did you know there is a right side and a wrong side to a hand sewing needle? If you have trouble threading your needle from one side, turn it over and thread it through the other.

  75. User avater Andysmom June 3rd

    My tip is to use the correct thread for you fabric and make sure the thread is of high quality, no fuzzy's, and in new condition. Old thread can be a nightmare. Always start with a new machine needle of the correct size and type for your fabric and thread.

  76. user-178494 June 3rd

    Always press each seam as you sew. It makes a huge difference in the look of the finished product.

  77. User avater smfsprout June 3rd

    I keep an office supply carousel on my sewing desk to hold all the little items that I need to access to while I'm sewing.

  78. NEFitter June 3rd

    In trying to preserve well used pattern, when marking darts,etc, I put a plastic bag over the area to be marked before using my marking tool. Keeps the pattern piece from tearing. From NEfitter

  79. User avater Letha June 3rd

    I like to have a bulletin board or cork board on the wall above my main work area. That way I can tack notes and instructions up there and they are handy but out of the way.

  80. User avater slmendes June 3rd

    I keep my older iron ready to go to press out pattern pieces before I cut them out of the fabric. I keep the iron dry and on just the right temperature setting and just take it out for pressing my pattern pieces perfectly flat.

  81. User avater SewingSadie June 3rd

    Last summer when I started sewing again, after 40 + years, I got a great tip from the teacher of the sewing class I was taking: ALWAYS STOP AND READ ALL THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE GOING TO THE NEXT STEP OF ANY PROJECT! That is the best advise I have ever heard, and I believe it applies to life, in general, as well as to sewing! Good luck to all who have entered...........!

  82. rrjane011749 June 3rd

    Always preshrink your fabric, according to how it will be cleaned after you make your garment. It will save you lots of grief later!

  83. Judy G. June 3rd

    When I use a single needle pressure foot or single needle plate I place a strip of blue painter's tape over the zig-zag button on my machine to avoid the crunch of needle on plate.

  84. SewMagical June 3rd

    Learn to think outside the box. Home-dec fabric doesn't have to be used just for deocrating. It can make great vests, tote bags, and even skirts.
    Buttons don't have to have buttonholes. Sew a button on the outside and put a snap or hook-and-loop tape underneath.
    There are lots of possibilities. Give yourself permission to be creative!

  85. SewMagical June 3rd

    Learn to think outside the box. Home-dec fabric doesn't have to be used just for deocrating. It can make great vests, tote bags, and even skirts.
    Buttons don't have to have buttonholes. Sew a button on the outside and put a snap or hook-and-loop tape underneath.
    There are lots of possibilities. Give yourself permission to be creative!

  86. idosew June 3rd

    Always iron your pattern before cutting. Even small creases can change things when you cut.

  87. user-3068394 June 3rd

    My Grandmother who taught me to sew at 12, taught me to clean my iron by putting shavings, chunks or drippings of candle in between layers of fabric and rub my hot iron over the top layer. It melts the wax and cleans my iron beautifully and I don't have to spend money on iron cleaning products. PS: I am so thankful I discovered Threads, I go to bed with it almost every night. Ann

  88. LeeWells June 3rd

    When I do something differently and it works better than the way I did it before, I make notes and put them into the pattern envelope, with the date I made the change. (I sew all my husband's trousers -- he is hard to fit and it is simpler to sew from the fabric than alter purchased ones) I have also changed the pattern pieces over the years: he has gained about 20 pounds in the last 30 years so I have added to the width of the front and back pieces as well as making changes for stride (as suggested in Threads several years ago) I date the new pattern pieces and put in a 6/8 inch seam allowances so I can make more space if I need to. (I have also modified my favorite skirt pattern over the years as my shape has changed, again making not of the date and change I made) Lee Wells

  89. SewMomma June 3rd

    When sewing lingerie straps or ties for a robe I use my serger to sew the seam than I take the tail and draw it through a double eye needle then I take the tail through the inside of the tube to turn it right side out. The serger seam seems to make the strap sturdier.

  90. mb230slk2000 June 3rd

    sorry I meant glue sticks not ink!

  91. mb230slk2000 June 3rd

    I sew lots of doll and kids clothes. The girls love sparkly trim on everything. I discovered I can glue on trim usind permanent ink tubes and the hold the trim with office binder clips
    ..they are all over my office so i can place them closely on the trim. I let it dry twenty four hours

  92. User avater lorjmoon June 3rd

    When I do alterations, like for a bridesmaid dress, just to make sure I put it back together properly, I take pictures of the pieces I have to rip apart so I can remember how it looked to begin with.

  93. fiberthyme June 3rd

    My tip for sewing is to use office supply paper clip magnetized containers for pins. I use 3 of these: one on my cutting table, one on my ironing board and one beside the sewing machine. To travel with one of these, I use Press 'n' Seal over the opening.

  94. User avater kneedlez June 3rd

    With four sewing machines, multiple projects, as well as a busy career, often it is easy to forget a particular machine's last task. I no longer have that problem because I affix a strip of transparent tape to the table in front of a machine with the size/type needle and strength/type thread currently in that machine. No more unwelcome surprises!

  95. User avater Jen_NYC June 3rd

    Make any easy, smooth hem on knits by folding the hem over as desired, apply steam-a-seam lite or a similar product. Press, and then stitch the hem from the right side. Use a double stretch needle if the hem needs elasticity; a regular single jersey needle if not.

  96. User avater user-2565019 June 3rd

    When I store fabric and want to know how much yardage I each piece is, I write in in the selvage, on the right side up and I note whether it's been pre-washed with a W. If it requires dry cleaning I write a D instead. When I fold it I make sure that my notes are on the top side so I know right off whether I have enough to make what I want.

  97. Mskayo June 3rd

    Have a bunch of projects going on simultaneously? Pack everything associated with individual projects in their own shoebox (fabric, pattern, threads etc) with a swatch attached as a reminder.

  98. User avater beebusby June 3rd

    when using your serger, keep a bag handy to drop your threads and scraps into right by or in front of machine to keep things a little neater.

  99. User avater beebusby June 3rd

    If I am sewing straps on a top, especially if it has multiple straps I just keep sewing them one after another them when finished I just snip the threads where they are joined. Then all I have to do is turn them inside out and they are ready to be joined to the top.

  100. CAS48 June 3rd

    Definitely, read the directions before you start any pattern, and measure twice before you cut your fabric.

  101. SherryLee4 June 3rd

    The challenging part of sewing is taking your time, making sure you have all the necessary materials and rereading the pattern that you have taken the time to fit. One helpful hint is mark the wrong side of material with a chalk check mark. Makes life a little easier if you know which side is the right side. Have fun sewing

  102. splainer June 3rd

    Cynthia Guffey's "clip, lift, clip" technique to remove excess from concave seam allowances (e.g., sleeve caps) so that they lay flat with no lumps or overlap. With the seam wrong side up over a ham, clip into one of the ruffles of the the convex seam allowance, and leaving the tip of your scissors at the end of the clip you just made, gently lift the seam up a little. The ruffled part of the seam allowance that was just released by the clip will straighten out on its own, leaving a little wedge over your scissors to clip away.

  103. User avater margritlb June 2nd

    Pre-shrink fabrics that can shrink (cotton, linen, etc) before you cut them out.

  104. Louise1001 May 31st

    I rescued this book "The Perfect Fit" (1985) hoping I would finally experience that proverbial ah-ha moment when it comes to fitting my very big bosom. No matter how many tips I've read I just couldn't make the flat pattern equal the fit I needed. This book offers a very regimented programme on getting the perfect fit, so of course for the most part it goes in one ear out the other. But, the author requires you to trace the pattern piece, add the generous 1" seam allowance and cut. I then sew the traced line and presto, for some magical reason I experienced my ah-ha moment: my princess seam top has a perfect fit over my bosom all I had to do was follow the traced line - something so simple...

  105. User avater Delores10550 May 31st

    I have been sewing for many years. One tip that is always true no matter how long a person has been sewing, is to be able to enjoy what you are doing. If a problem arises, and you are having a difficult time resolving it, step away from the project for a while ( a few minutes or a day) and when you come back to it, the problem usually isn't as big as you thought it was, and can be resolved.

  106. sewgramms May 30th

    Read through all the directions first, then read them all again!

  107. pfwl May 29th

    Before you start to sew, make sure you have all supplies for your project. Change your sewing machine needle if required.

  108. pfwl May 29th

    Before you start to sew, make sure you have all supplies for your project. Change your sewing machine needle if required.

  109. pfwl May 29th

    Before you start to sew, make sure you have all supplies for your project. Change your sewing machine needle if required.

  110. User avater Marty_Marie May 29th

    TAKE YOUR TIME AND BE PATIENT!! I swear i should have this stamped on my forehead. Every time i start rushing a project and going too fast, i screw up and end up having to unpick and resew which just takes wayyy more time in the long run.

  111. Clean your machine first! Lint, threads, and what-not are not going to make any project faster, easier, or more enjoyable.

  112. Clean your machine first! Lint, threads, and what-not are not going to make any project faster, easier, or more enjoyable.

  113. User avater Lainysews May 29th

    Keep a sewing journal! I wish I had started this years ago. Keeping notes of fabric behavior, techniques and solutions to fitting or construction problems has been invaluable. In my journal, I also comment on the way the garment fits, or things I wish I had done differently, and cost considerations. I feel a sewing project isn't finished until it has been been worn and cleaned a couple of times.

  114. user-3416736 May 28th

    "Press as you go." By making good use of your iron (from start to finish) you have a much more professional, polished looking end product. Cutting out the project on wrinkle free fabric, pressing seams as they are completed, etc. make a better looking, better fitting garment. I'm just as impatient as the next person when it comes to wanting to cross the finish line but I've learned over the years that making friends with my iron is a really good idea and worth every second.

  115. User avater jamaco May 28th

    It has saved me $ more than once -- always double check grain and right/wrong side before cutting into fashion fabric!

  116. miamihoneybee May 28th

    Always make a muslin of a new pattern before cutting into your fashion fabric. While it is time consuming, a muslin gives you the opportunity to make changes to the pattern for fit or design before you have committed your nice fabric. And sometimes the muslin tells you that this isn't the pattern for you, saving you time, money, and aggravation.

  117. user-1050845 May 28th

    Before your start sewing something you pinned always think "did I really put the rights sides together now?"

  118. virb May 27th

    I don't have a fav tip yet, as I'm a newbie - so would love to win this book! Thx

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