I’ve compiled quite a few tips and tricks over the years when it comes to sewing. I am about to share my sewing hacks for beginners secrets with you.
Make cutting out patterns easier
When you lay out your fabric, right sides together, pin the selvages together so the fabric does not move as you are placing/pinning your pattern pieces to your fabric.
Hand stitching secret
For hand stitching with needle and thread, use the length of your shoulder to wrist for just the right measurement. I can’t claim this secret as it was passed down from my mom who got it from her mom.
Making your fabric go further
If you have a feeling that your pattern will fit for the amount of fabric you have, but you don’t have enough when you lay it out right sides together with selvages together, here’s what you do.
First, lay out what you need to have with the right sides together (such as bodice front and back). Then mark where the end of these pieces will be with a pin.
As you can see from the first picture, the bodice has already been cut out using the fold. Then the fabric was opened up to accommodate the scarf pattern piece and one of the sleeve pieces. To accommodate the sleeves, they had to become shortened. The same happened with the sleeve pattern piece in the second picture. It is clear that the fabric needs to be opened up in order to be cut out properly.
Then open up your folded fabric and place your pattern pieces on this open fabric. This might mean that you only cut out one sleeve at a time. (Remember to reverse the fabric when you cut out the second piece.
At this point, you may realize that the sleeves/bodice length need to be shorter in order to accommodate all of the pattern pieces. Or making a garment sleeveless is also an option, depending on what features you want to highlight.
When you can’t use pattern pieces on the fold
If your fabric doesn’t accommodate for placing and cutting on the fold, cut two pieces separately but add seam allowance where the fold would be. And if it is possible to line up the pattern, that is a bonus! You will see the seam but most area you can hide it well, such as in the back bodice.
Using up bobbin thread
We all have those bobbins that we used for a project and do not need that colour thread ever again. I use my bobbin thread to mark the dart points, button or zipper placements. The picture below will explain the concept.
Using transparent tape
One of my favorite sewing hacks (I am almost sure I cannot take credit for this one) is using tape to attach a buttonhole loop to a garment (see above). The tape keeps the buttonhole loop from moving and the presser foot sews easily through the tape. Then it is easy to peel the tape away and the stitching remains. This photo comes from my version of the Marnie Blouse from Tilly and the Buttons.
How to fake a button placement
Often times, I don’t want to make button hole in my fabric. So, instead of making a button hole, I sew a button on the outer part of the garment and then place a snap underneath. This works really well for cuffs or the back opening of a blouse or dress.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about my sewing hacks for beginners and will put some of them to use. If you like what you have read, please share the love with a pin or comment.