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SEWING TIPS

So these are the tips from our sewing tips competition..... winners chosen by Jane in pink

I  liked the ones in green

Jane also liked  Aarts (in orange) email and has promised to visit the Vatican if Aart  makes a mitre for the pope - thanks so much for your contributions.

My tip is to always have some beeswax handy for lubricating needles, a simple rub can help them pass through thick or stiff fabric and always keep some vino handy to lubricate ones mind and joints! Mark Jones

Stuff your pin cushion with steel wool to keep needles and pins sharp. Gill Ireland

Surround your workshop with inspiring images from around the world, have a steady supply of beads, buttons and all things ancient and pretty to embellish at the last moment, and always, always remember to take lots of tea breaks. 

Probably not the best tips you will receive, I'm sure in half an hour I will think of something much more useful.. Niamhue Robins

The best sewing tip I could give is have confidence in what you make.  Just because something isn't perfect doesn't mean that the recipient won't love it.  Hand made items are unique because someone chose the fabric, the design, the pattern and then took the time to put together something, made with love.  A good friend will appreciate the effort you have made and won't even notice a bit of bunching or a change of thread!!  Katy Massard

 

Sewing tip: Dont sew through your finger on an industrial sewing machine like i did last night! Kellie Holland

 I am a designer for liturgical textile and supply the global religiues institions for over 80 years. We even consider the vatican as client and the Holy Father as our customer.

Let us make a beautiful mitre out of some of the SCRAp materials  and we will ship it to the Vatican with a touching, comprehensive and striking letter.

Aart J. Stadelmaier

My tip - be ambitious but realistic, start with something simple, finish it and don't work on too many projects at the same time!  Carol Haughton

Could you please remove my name from your mailing list. Thank  you. Helen

Sewing tip! We use split and fold seams, and french seams on all our garments, so everything can be worn inside out! 

Thanks! Charlotte + Paris

My best sewing tip is to iron, iron, iron! Iron before cutting the fabric, iron once you have your pattern in place, esp on any folds that might help along with pinning, and also iron your piece on the stitches after sewing. It really helps make it look professional Gena Roylance

 Have a pair of 'fabric only' scissors and keep them sharp - it makes such a huge difference when cutting out your precious fabric. Maggie

  • use cheap hair bobbles to keep bobbins with their matching spool's of thread. Not only does this keep them paired, it also keeps the thread from unwinding.
  • keep a lint roller in your sewing box for picking up all the loose threads that you end up with on your table or ironing board.
  • if you have stained or torn clothing, make sure you take the buttons off before you throw anything away. I've now got quite a collection of lovely buttons by doing this!
    Rebecka

 

 

When doing embroidery, if you want a quick and easy way to make the stitch more raised and looked more layered and defined, then just cut out pieces of felt to match your embroidered pattern and stitch over it, creating the effect of a more worked into stitch pattern. Instead of having to stitch multiple times, reducing waste threads. Rosie Shillinglaw

 

 My tip would be to sew with fabric which you love in colours you love; fabric which doesn’t deplete the earth and is made by happy people. If not it is likely that you won’t enjoy your sewing and it just won’t turn out just right! That is my tip and is something I hold dear to my heart, Nancy.

No sewing tips – but I love to rag weave with stuff like this – It is also great for the tatting. I am a weaver with a great mind for recycling. Mr Ashleigh Slater

 Tip use clothes pegs to hold fabric together when sewing or masking tape as a seam guide Meg Dodson

My sewing tip would be: If you're making school or am-dram costumes do it in material you don't have to hem! A one-size fits all (circle skirts are great) and have more elastic than you ever think you'll need for waist adjustments!  Sian Hughe

 Use your fabric for middle at costumes! With their natural colors, they're perfect! Sigrid Westvik

 

My sewing tip would be to teach children to be creative with fabric and needle, so they develop a love for making things and be inspired to make their own clothes in the future.

Gitta Cooper

 

My sewing tip is to recycle scraps of fabric into small or medium sized lined gift bags, which are especially suitable for jewellery, scarves,and small ornaments – Vivienne Fitzpatrick


My sewing tip is for those tricky moments when you're having trouble fitting a tight cover to a cushion, sofa, Morris Minor car seat, or anything a bit sticky. Put torn open carrier bags, or some other thin plastic over the filling and the cover will slide and glide with ease, pull out the plastic sheet and zip up - Jac Button

 

Patience is a virtue. Tomas dano

 

The best sewing tip I could give is have confidence in what you make.  Just because something isn't perfect doesn't mean that the recipient won't love it.  Hand made items are unique because someone chose the fabric, the design, the pattern and then took the time to put together something, made with love.  A good friend will appreciate the effort you have made and won't even notice a bit of bunching or a change of thread!!  Katy Massard

 

If you are making rouleau loops for backs of fine gowns, cut them on the bias and BUY a rouleau loop turner. So much easier to pull the loop right way than using a needle and cotton.I used to make wedding dresses for Broopy and Brown before having children 25 years ago, and that's what we used to do!
Anna at Blacksmith Shop Crafts

 

 

What seems useless at the moment can always be used in the future so weather it is updating a garment or a bag, making something for your home or a loved one... Or even if it is dyed I personally am a fan of dyeing my fabric with what ever is in the garden personally fav at the moment is plum leaves. So my tip is keep all your fabric an save it for a rainy day!  Susie

 

 

A great sewing tip of mine is .... when cutting fabric always use the scissors on the table. it makes sure you get a perfect cut and because they are on the table. it is stable!

Miss Hayley Cooke

 

Hi my tip is: When going round corners or doing freestyle embroidery with a machine always leave needle half way down through fabric before lifting foot as this prevents puckering of thread and losing your place. Jenny

 

My best sewing tip is keep all your scraps as they come in handy....they are great for appliqué, embellishment, patchwork and mending! I work in a sewing shop and make all sorts of things from our scraps to sell in the shop and every one looks home-made and unique plus it means there is no waste! Katie-Hannah Tubbs

 

I would be interested in 'scrap' stuff!

I'll use for Organic Bags with quilted technique!! Michela

 

Best tip? Get given three old hand crank sewing machines, clean them up and teach your 11 year daughter to sew. And her best friend. And best friend's other friend, and her sister, and before you know it you don't have to do any more sewing for the school play or nursery or school fair because you've got your own sewing slaves to do it and all you have to do then is drink tea and give technical advice. :) Isabella Hodge

 

Hi my tip is never under estimate scrap fabric and what can be achieved with it. Lorraine mclaughlin

 

my sewing tip is to make copies of the pattern unto paper without cutting out a size and then it can be used again for another size person [ i have 3 daughters aged 21 - 13 so i need all sizes!!] Jayne

 

My Mum taught me that the most important thing ever when sewing is  "RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER"

It's as simple as that! Ros Rowell

 

Sewing tip... OK, one I learned last week: When you're sewing with corduroy or velvet (or any napped fabric) the colour will look deeper and richer if you have the nap running the 'wrong' way - i.e. so it feels smooth when you run your hand upwards. I've always thought it should stroke downwards (like a cat/dog!) but it reflects more light that way and looks a lighter colour and even a bit shiny. So you should choose the direction based on how you want the colour to appear. (I'm just finishing up a skirt in your indigo babycord, which looks a lovely dark blue with the 'fur' running upwards.)

Nina Yogasundram

 

Get some thick string/rope and twist strips of your material around the rope

Using your machine, start sewing the rope in a circle so you end up with a beautiful circular place mat - or if you are really clever - a bowl shape!

Elle Gray

 

My sewing tip is to invest in at least one really good pair of scissors for cutting fabrics. They might be expensive, but they are SO worth it and will last a life time if looked after correctly. BUT REMEMBER - Hide the good scissors from family members. Label them DO NOT USE! Never cut anything but fabric with them. And the best sewing tip of all - get them sharpene

Happy sewing
Sue

 My top tip for perfect corners, for example on cushion covers for perfect strong durable corners.

Sew one side of your inside out seam allowance. Fold the seam allowance along the stitch line towards yourself. Sew next edge, making sure the seam allowance edge is sewn down too. Fold seam allowance towards you as before. Turn your piece right side out and you will have really neat corners.

Carol miller

 

My sewing tip is a bit boring - sticking a bit of tape on the machine so that you get the right seam allowance

but I though I'd throw in a baking tip as well - dunno if it will count - but to make pastry I grate my butter into the flour so you barely have to rub it in - which helps keep the butter cool and makes for the best shortcrust pastry ever!!!!!!Name - Karen Watson

 

When sewing keep your mind as sharp as your needle, do this and your work will not be feeble. Skye Yerby

 I use the scraps to do t-shirts for my girls and for fabric necklaces. Easy, fast and the girls love it.

Sandrine Peeters

 

My sewing tip is on my blog on my website - www.ilovesewing.co.uk
Its "How to thread a needle" with photos and full instructions. Anna

 

Every time you buy fabric, put a small sample aside and staple it into a scrapbook or folder, with a note of the fabric composition, where you got it, any notes about sewing it etc. That way, when you come to use any leftovers from your stash, you know what it is and can source more if you want it. 

 

The best thing to do with this kind of little squares – in my opinion – is, of course, PATCHWORK and QUILT! There are a lots of wonderful patterns for this kind of sewing. Hahaaaa, I have just had both my sewing machines repaired and bought all the material (ruler, corresponding mat, cutter) for that, because I want to make my own pillows, blankets and bags out of patchwork!!! Montserrat Castro Romay

 

My sewing tip is when I am sewing a very stretchy jersey or knit I use tissue paper to stabilise the fabric. I cut a strip about 1" wide,  place it on top of the fabric in line with the edge of the seam and sew through both layers. I simply tear away the tissue paper after sewing and am left with a perfect seam without any puckering! I have even tried this technique with computer paper. Ginie Benton

 

For those seams that need easing or are awkward to sew, or fabrics that slip and slide, use temporary spray adhesive to hold in place – it fixes the layers more firmly than tacking or pinning and good quality spray adhesive (I use an embroidery one) does not mark the fabric.

Sally

 

 

A calico mock up is well worth the time and effort.  It might seem like a faf to effectively make it twice but then you will have something that fits perfectly that you can make in a myriad of different fabrics that will fit perfectly every time.  You can’t try on paper patterns! Hannah

 

My sewing tip is, when sewing thick fabric (denim or twill for example), there is nothing wrong with using a hammer to flatten bulky seams to help it through the machine. Wapping it in a piece of scrap fabric to protect it, placing it on a cutting mat and using the flat side of a hammer has got me through some tricky moments. Becky Whiteley

 For pointed corners stop one stitch before the corner and cut a length of thread. Stitch over this to the corner point and continue to sew the rest of the line. When you've finished you just pull on the length of thread you've sewn over and you can easily achieve a neat, clean point. Useful for pockets and collars. Sara

Decorating, embroidering and generally sewing with metallic threads can be difficult. Where possible load the metallic thread into a bobbin and work on the wrong  side, this will usually stop metallic threads breaking or catching in the needle.Chris Miller.

 

- When hand sewing, once the needle is threaded, pull it through beeswax. This stops the thread from knotting.

- When quilting, press the seams flat before pressing them open, much more precise and clean finish

- Keep a water spray at your ironing table for a better finish....

- Cut shear fabrics with serrated edged scissors to avoid movement and fraying

Caroline

 


 
My sewing tip is to keep old small medicine bottles, or spice jars and use them to dispose of used sewing machine needles. You can get many needles in one jar, and nobody gets stabbed when emptying bins.
Deborah Collins

 

When machine stitching two pieces of velvet together, slip a piece of tissue paper between fabric surfaces and stitch; this will deter slipping and sliding and those disappointing uneven joins. Simply tear paper away when complete. Voila!

Carolyn

 

Surround your workshop with inspiring images from around the world, have a steady supply of beads, buttons and all things ancient and pretty to embellish at the last moment, and always, always remember to take lots of tea breaks. 

Probably not the best tips you will receive, I'm sure in half an hour I will think of something much more useful.. Niamhue Robins

 

 If your struggling to find a thread that matches your fabric, or you run out when you've got a tiny little bit of hand stitching left to
Unpick a little bit of scrap fabric and then double up these scrap threads to make perfectly matching sewing thread, a good tip for frugality too! Kirsty Barker


 

My sewing tip is to always notch everything that needs to be attached! Makes sewing so much easier. Saima

 

 Finish seams as you go and sew everything as though it was your wedding dress. If you take the time to practise being precise and neat on everyday sewing, it becomes quick and easy to achieve high quality results all the time. Anne Goodwin

 

Clean the sewing machine! (especially the bit where the bobbin lives) Largely overlooked, there's loads of dust, fluff, fuzz and sand in my case lurking in there.  Use a cotton bud, blow into it, don't use sharp objects...it really helps for a smooth sew.
 Mandy

 

Patch work quilt, small bags/purses, childrens clothes by combining a contrasting fabric, applique, a good for schools work, therapy and learning on. Gill