I hope you are all doing well.
This post is all about how you can all learn from my many mistakes I’ve made whilst improving my sewing skills. While some of them are probably obvious, it’s always the simple ones that can be easily forgotten! I thought of these recently whilst I was making all my Christmas bags.
- When sewing pieces of fabric together make sure that both sides are the correct way around and if it’s a directional print, that it’s the right way up.
This is what I forgot to do recently when I stitched the two sides of my snowman bag together. One side was the correct way, but the other fabric piece was the wrong way around. I was so annoyed that I stitched a wrong side to the right, so the un-picker was out again. Then I used a directional print for another project, but I didn’t realise that the hearts would be upside down, which is annoying, but I left it like that. I can always say it’s unique as a one-off. 😉
- Try to ensure the fabric doesn’t move about whilst sewing.
I’ve only just learned this myself. As the fabric is pulled under the needle by the feed dogs, it snatches the fabric underneath to create the stitch, but when it does this, it can pull the fabric at an angle then your lovely neat stitching line is ruined because the fabric moved too much. If you notice straight away it can usually be fixed, but if you wait until you finish the row of stitches without realising the mistake, then it may be too late, and the un-picker will be needed again.
- Keep the fabric under the presser foot.
This tip is just my personal preference and obviously can’t be done if you sew a ¼ inch seam allowance. I like to keep the edge of the fabric lined up with the edge of the presser foot because I find this keeps the fabric from going underneath the presser foot and either making the fabric go wavy or get caught underneath. I find this frustrating when I’m sewing in a straight line, all is well, then the fabric moves, gets caught under the presser foot, then the sewing end up a mess then un-picker raises its head again.
- Cut out all pieces accurately to make sure they line up perfectly before you start sewing.
Again, this is something I learned recently. If your fabric isn’t cut out correctly, for example, your lining fabric is slightly smaller than your main fabric, then when the project is sewn together it will not look as nice, lay flat, or look professional. That’s assuming it can be finished at all. Even if your fabric is out only by a small margin, it will still make a huge difference to how the finished item will look. Something else I learned the hard way!
On a similar vein, make sure your fabric pieces are straight, if they need to be, before you start sewing. Fabric that isn’t cut out correctly will not have the same finish and polish as another project that has been cut out accurately.
- Small details matter, so my final tip is to make sure to poke out the corners where needed, plus, if hand sewing, try and make it look as neat as possible.
Again, I wish I had remembered this when I made my knitting needle case. I forgot all about poking out the corners and I didn’t remember until I’d already sewn the first one, but my sewing was going well, so I didn’t want to stop and unpick it. Plus, it’s only for me so it’s fine, but I will remember in future!
Of course, the main thing is to enjoy your time sewing. Learning and making mistakes is all part of it as this is how we all change and get better at what we do because we are learning all the time.
I’d love to see pictures of your finished makes so do feel free to tag me on social media.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share,