Sewing is a craft that requires great concentration and skill. Though thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable, certain aspects of sewing are also difficult to manage. From threading a needle to keeping track of your sewing supplies, the little challenges of sewing can add up to make for a draining and frustrating process.
1. When threading a needle, spray the tip of the thread with hairspray. It will stiffen and easily pass through the eye of the needle.
2. Keep a magnet handy to pick up spare pins and needles.
3. Use steel wool as stuffing for pin cushions to keep your pins and needles sharp and shiny.
4. If you don’t have a bodkin handy, you can use a safety pin to add elastic or cording to a waistband or seam.
5. Use binder clips instead of pins for fabrics such as leather that are easily damaged. They can also be used to hold binding together on a quilt.
6. Washers, nuts and bolts, or even coins can be used as pattern weights in a pinch.
7. To prevent fraying, cut your fabric out with pinking shears.
8. Apply clear nail polish to the top of buttons to keep threads in place.
9. Use a bar of soap as a pin cushion.
10. Fake a hem with bias tape.
11. Tie your scissors around your neck with ribbon to make sure you never misplace them while sewing.
12. Use old blankets as batting for quilts.
13. Use toe separators to store your bobbins.
14. If you’re using a slippery fabric, put a layer of muslin under it and pin the layers together before cutting.
15. Cut a straight line through burlap by pulling out one strand and cutting along the gap.
16. Use a hair straightener to press fabric between buttons or embellishments.
17. Add an easy sew allowance to any pattern by rubber banding two pencils together and tracing the pattern.
18. Substitute soap for chalk when tracing lines on fabric.
19. Store pins, needles, and thread in a matchbox for a mini, on the go sewing case.
20. Have a spool that is too big for your sewing machine? Place it in a mug next to your machine directly under the spool pin.
21. Pin a button hole so you don’t rip it open too far.
22. Attach a tape measure to the edge of your sewing table so your measurements are always exact and you never misplace your ruler.
23. Sew extra buttons on the inside of a coat sleeve so you never lose them and they’ll always be handy.
24. Use freezer paper to cut out patterns by pressing the paper to the fabric, causing it to adhere. You will easily be able to cut the fabric without weights and without cutting out your pattern pieces.
25. You don’t have to buy expensive fabric to print photos or designs. Instead, soak your plain cotton fabric in a mixture of Alum, washing soda, fabric softener, and hot water to get vibrant colors that won’t bleed.
26. Use bobby pins to hold pleats in place while ironing.