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September 21, 2017 3 min read

Although there are many tips and tricks that you can use to make your sewing a lot more easy, here we’re going to show you ten of the most amazing tips to use.

  1. Test your fabric for shrinkage

If you aren’t sure whether you need to preshrink your machine washable fabric, you need to test it to find out the answer. To test your fabric for shrinkage, you need to create a 4”x4” square on a piece of paper and use it to cut a piece of your fabric. Take the piece of fabric and throw it in the wash when you do your laundry of like colors. Once it is dried, place it on the paper square you used for cutting the piece of fabric. If it is the same size, you don’t need to preshrink before you cut out your pattern. However, if your piece of fabric is now smaller than 4”x4”, then you need to preshrink it. To do this, you need to give it a wash and dry according to its care instructions.

  1. Take a photo before you rip

If you need to alter the hem of a lined skirt with a kick pleat, it is recommended to take a photo of the pleat prior to making any changes. You’ll need the photo to use it as a reference for when you want to put the hem back together again.

  1. Hang before you hem

If you make your top, skirt or pants out of chiffon, you should hang them before you hem them. Chiffon is a fabric that stretches or grows, so if you only want to hem the garment once, hang it up for 24 hours and only then hem.

  1. Buy according to your bust

When you are looking to buy patterns for your garments, you should pay attention to the measurements. For tops, jackets, and dresses, you should buy a commercial pattern according to your bust measurement. It is easier to adjust the waist and hip than the bust. For skirts and pants, you need to buy depending on your hip measurement.

  1. Record your stash

When you go to the fabric store, make sure you take a notebook with you, so you can record the necessary details. If you prefer, you can use your smartphone instead of a notebook, so you take a picture of the fabric, its washing instructions, and other important details.

If you use a notebook, remember to glue or staple a sample of fabric to the page with the details. If you used your smartphone to take photos, keep a digital or hard copy file. This way, you’ll always know exactly what you have in your fabric stash.

  1. Get two sets of tools

You are recommended to keep two sets of tools: one at your sewing station, and the other at your pressing/cutting station. In case your cutting and pressing stations are separate, you can also get three sets of tools instead of two. This way, you’ll never need to stop from your activity to go to another part of your room to get the tool you need. Some of the basic tools you need to have in these sets include:

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors/clippers
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Straight pins
  • Marking chalk
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing gauge
  1. Preshrink your lining

There are manufacturers who preshrink linings, but this is only mentioned at the end of the bolt. However, if the lining hasn’t been preshrunk, it is easy to do it. You are recommended to take silk or specialty linings that must be dry cleaned to the cleaners.

  1. Don’t allow hem allowances on you muslin

When you make a muslin, make sure you remove hem allowances. This way, you’ll be able to see the finished length of your test garment, without being needed to hem.

  1. Mirror your hem allowance

When you do a large hem on a slightly curved hemline, make sure you eliminate some of the excess fullness from the hem allowance. To do this, mirror the side seam lines.

  1. Learn to create buttonholes
If you have ever needed to add a buttonhole to a pattern or to a garment you bought, you know that sometimes they can get sparse on the buttons. The extra 1/8” is meant to allow the button to slide easily through the buttonhole, without stretching or destruct it.