If you’ve been sewing for a while, odds are you’ve picked up a few tricks along the way. But for those of us starting out, or haven’t picked up a needle in a few years, we tend to do things the hard way, usually because no one taught us sewing tricks that could make the job a little easier. And I’m all for making jobs easier! So for the experienced the amateur and the out of practice person, here are 15 sewing tricks your grandma should have taught you. (You’ll kick yourself because some of them are so obviously simple.)
Sewing Tricks Every Crafter Needs to Know
Fill a pincushion with steel wool to make your own needle-sharpening pincushion.
Washi tape is invaluable in the sewing room! Mark fabric, use it to make bias binding, mark out seams, etc. It’s 1/4″ wide, so it’s a handy seam measuring tool!
Create gathers in fabric using the cheating method (aka the corded zig zag method). Simply sew a large zig zag stitch over a piece of yarn, and use the yarn to gather the fabric before using a straight stitch to sew the gathers in place.
Tired of pinning fabrics? Make your own heavy duty fabric weights using washers and a hot glue gun. Genius!
Create your own hemline tool out of cardstock. It’ll help you iron perfectly straight hemlines and folds every time.
After sewing buttons on, cover them with a coat of clear nail polish to keep the thread from unraveling and to hold the button in place longer. (We have more nail polish hacks!)
Use binder clips as an extra set of hands when quilting. They’re perfect for holding your binding in place or making a quilt sandwich.
Slide a pin across the end of a buttonhole before ripping the stitches to ensure that you don’t go too far.
Speaking of buttonholes, do you find sewing them to be intimidating?
Put dull, stubborn straight pins in a piece of bar soap to help them go through fabric much easier.
Rubber band two pencils together to easily create a seam allowance anytime you need one. The pencils will be about 8 mm apart.
Keep your filled bobbins together by storing them in a foam toe separator for pedicures.
You can’t pin leather; any holes made in the fabric will remain. Instead, use paperclips to keep pieces of leather together.
Fabric must be cut along the lengthwise grain in order to drape properly. If you’re not sure how to find the lengthwise grain, use this technique to find the crosswise grain. You’ll then cut the fabric in the opposite (perpendicular) direction.
Use a bodkin to draw elastic out of a waistband. You can also use it to find missing cords in drawstring pants and hoodies.
Some of the most frustration parts of sewing have now been solved and you are ready to tackle your next project. Go, dust off your sewing equipment and go for it! Do you have some other sewing tricks you’d like to share?