You know how you do the same sewing mistakes over and over? We’ve all been there.
I know I’m not that experienced of a sewer, but along my projects I have developed a (growing) set of tools and methods to quicken and better my sewing.
Here are a few tips that you might benefit from:
Take Your Time
Sewing faster doesn’t mean you have to give up on the quality of your work. Pay close attention to what you’re doing. Long projects can be distracting and tiring, and your mind drifts off while you’re sewing a loooong seam, for the 4th time… but don’t put pedal to the metal if you’re not sure about what you’re doing. Is the stitch length correct? What’s the seam allowance? Do I need a straight stitch plate for that kind of fabric? Ask yourself these questions. Pay extra care when cutting the pattern pieces.
Faster sewing is achieved through accurate work that’s done only once, and not by having to correct or repeat the same thing over and over again.
Your #1 goal is to avoid the seam ripper!
Check Your Needle, Thread Tension and Sewing Foot
A lot can go wrong if you’re using the wrong accessory combination. A thin needle on a thick fabric can easily snap. A thread too tight might pucker or stretch the fabric. A thread too loose will ravel. Not all sewing feet work with all weights of fabric. Do your homework, make an experiment on some scraps you have left.
Once you’ve replaced your needle, do make sure it’s sitting all the way up in the tunnel; There’s nothing more tedious than untying a clump of thread caused by bad tension.
My favorite method of all is to take the pattern pieces and write on them which stitch to use, how much is the seam allowance and letter mark any corresponding seams. (more here)
Go over your pattern and mark letters on the wrong side of the fabric for matching seams that go together. Be even smarter and mark them in alphabetical order.
Going back and forth from the instructions to the pattern is so time-consuming! We want the sewing part to be smooth sailing, and what’s easier than matching letters?
Find what takes you the longest to do – if it’s cutting the fabric, choosing the pattern, or even a certain stitch; and do that the night before. This will allow you to work with a clear mind, without worrying about the steps that come next, and not hurrying to get as many steps as possible done.
This is factory-like thinking. The idea is to take all the similar actions and to do them in a batch.
If you’re sewing a straight stitch, find all the pieces that need to be sewn with a straight stitch and do them one by one. If you need to iron seams, first get all the seams done, and only then iron them all.
I’m not saying you have to finish all the seams, or wait for all the seams to be done before ironing any of them, but accumulate as much work as logically possible before continuing to a different action.
Goes without saying that I’m not inventing the wheel here, and everything here had probably all been said before, but these are the methods that really work for me. Of course, in a perfect world I would actually remember to apply these methods every time I sew haha
I hope you might find these tips helpful, and transform from a stressed pony into a happy pony 🙂
Thanks for reading,