Look in Greenie Galleries for this No Sew Scarf

My 10 best sewing tips

1. Zig-zagging or over-casting edges is not always necessary. You can tell if you need to finish your edges, gently pull at your fabric, if threads come loose easily, then zig-zag. Or fold over edges – and sew a flat seam. Satin for example, must be sewed or it will fray. Most cottons and stretch knits are fine without finishing the edges. The garment may even look good with raw edges.

2. Hand stitching or tacking before machine sewing is not always necessary. You can get away with pinning side seams and even hems. Zips must

Find this OBI belt in Greenie Galleries

be hand sewn in place before you machine sew them.

3. If you hand-sew or tack, make sure to use a bright coloured or high contrast colour thread. You will need to remove these stitches and it helps to be able to see them.

4. Always pre-wash fabric that might shrink or colour run. Cottons are the usual culprits. And to ensure a colour stays fast – add salt to your final rinse.

5. Iron as you go along. It’s almost impossible to iron certain seams open after a garment has been completed. Smooth flat seams give a finished garment that extra polish.

Make greeting cards with sewing stitches. See Greenie Galleries

6. Beware of iron temperatures. I have burnt beautiful garments misjudging the correct heat. Rather press with a damp cloth. Safer and gives the best results.

7. Your choice of fabric is the biggest factor in the success of a garment. A scarf in heavy denim? Just thinking about it feels wrong. Jeans in fine silk? No need to explain.

8. Cut your pattern with the grain of the fabric in mind. Fabric has threads woven lengthwise (warp) and width wise (weft). Ideally, you want to cut your garment running neatly in line with the grain of the fabric or your garment will look off-centre. Draw a line down the centre of your pattern. (if it doesn’t have a line) Place the top and bottom of your pattern along the grain of your fabric.

9. The diagonal of your fabric is known as the

The tutorial for this dress is in the Greenie Galleries

bias. Pull gently and you will see it has a small amount of give. Some garments need a bit of give to fit nicely. A camisole top or bias cut skirt for example. In that case, the line from the top to the bottom of your pattern piece must be placed diagonally.

10. Always start and end a seam with a few backwards and forwards stitches. This helps keep the seam from coming apart while you are constructing your garment.

For those who fear sewing a zip into a garment – this tutorial – shows how to set a zipper.

At the top of this page are the Greenie Galleries with 100s of tutorials for crafting and sewing your own clothing and accessories.

Find 10 more sewing tips – here.

Back next week.