We all love sewing here. And all of us are at different stages of our sewing journey. Whether you're a sewing veteran or a complete new-comer, we've assembled a list of 5 tips that a lot of people still sometimes miss out on.
Tip #1: Use a pressing template to press your pockets
What's a pressing template you ask? It's essentially a piece of paper card stock cut in the shape of your patch pocket, collar, et all, with the seam allowance removed.
I've seen this used many times, from sewing vloggers (who know the value of this tip) to Japanese ateliers who sew samples of renowned European fashion houses. Especially when the finished garment needs to look as professional as possible. I definitely recommend taking the time to trace and copy your small pattern pieces for this tip, it's worth it and you'll always have the pressing template for the rest of your projects.
Tip #2: Use an awl to control your fabric while stitching
I learned this tip in fashion school when one of my favourite teachers taught it to me while I was attempting to sew delicate fabric like silk.
Use a tool like an awl or seam ripper to feed your fabric through your sewing machine. It'll offer precision control and is extremely useful for when accuracy is needed like when sewing a placket. It's also much safer than sticking your finger too close to the presser foot for the sake of control.
Tip #3: Use your “presser foot locking pin” to sew thick fabrics
Ever wondered what that black springy thing on the side of your presser foot is? It’s easy to overlook especially when you first receive your sewing machine and start your first project but have a plethora of other basic sewing skills you need to learn first. I personally didn’t learn this tip until a couple of years ago.
It’s a button! A button, that when pressed, locks the presser foot into a position that is level (as in straight) and is used for getting over seams of thick fabric with ease.
Tip #4: Be a minimalist with your fabric
So the term "minimalist" often gets thrown around with the wrong intent. It doesn't mean limit yourself to 5 fabrics in staple colours. Instead, pick the kinds with the most staying power.
I'm part of a few sewing groups now. I can promise you that on a weekly basis, someone, somewhere will post something along the lines of "I have huge fabric stash I no longer need. Help!". But! As Sewists, it's a mistake 99% of us will have committed (or are still committing) at some point in our lives.
How do we best counter this? Avoid fabrics that only catch your eye but serve no purpose! I remember purchasing a bolt of pleated fabric because I wanted to make an Issey Miyake inspired wardrobe. Had I taken the time to really assess the quality and make of the fabric, I would've realised sooner that the way it was pleated made it extremely difficult to sew and there are much better pleated fabric options out there. Now I'm stuck with heaps of fabric I don't know what to do with!
So what do I do differently now? I pick fabric that I know will sew easily, can be used across a plethora of sewing projects, and in colours that I can actually wear everyday. Where am I now? With half a wardrobe I can proudly say I made myself that mixes and matches with everything I wear! And my fabric stash is no longer a hoarder's dream. I feel like a much healthier and happier Sewist.
Tip #5: Design your garment with Mono-materiality in mind
Mono-materiality sounds like a fancy concept that only the smartest scholars will understand. It's not. It basically means creating a design using only one kind of material.
Steer clear from fabrics with blended synthetic and natural fibers (like poly/cotton blends). These fabrics are the absolute worst for the environment! They don't break down normally and are even harder to recycle or dispose of. So pick "clean" single fiber fabrics. And don't forget to sew with the matching thread. 100% Cotton fabric, use 100% cotton thread. 50% Polyester 50% acrylic, use 100% polyester thread. This rule can't ALWAYS be followed, cause let's face it sometimes we're in a circumstance that just doesn't permit us to be the most sustainable. But if you stay diligent, you'll be making the world a better place.
Did we miss your favourite tip? Let us know.