My 20 best sewing tips

Find out how to make a belt with Strapping in Greenie Galleries

Read tips 1 to 10 by clicking through to this post.

11. Never cut threads close to the end of seams. The seam will split open the minute you put the garment on.  Rather sew loose threads away. Takes a bit of time but well worth it.

12. Always match your fabric and thread. Nothing worse that obvious stitching on a garment.

Look for this net underskirt in the Greenie Galleries

13. Fit your garment as you go along to make sure it’s not too loose or too tight, too long or too short. You can ALWAYS unpick and let out a little or take in a little as you go along. Once a garments is complete, it’s a helluva job to undo pieces so you can go back and adjust.

14. Sometimes, when sewing two pieces together, you get a bit of puckering. It will look horrible on your finished garment and is so easy to rectify. You only need  unpick areas where puckering may have occurred and re-sew them. Not the whole seam. I find playing around with the line-up of the edges or pulling a bit at the seam before re-sewing again helps. Click – here – to see example.

15. Use the correct sewing needle. You want a denim needle when sewing heavy cotton or a ball-point needle for

The Greenie Galleries have a FREE pattern for this skirt

slippery fabrics or those with a lot of elasticity.

16. And use the correct stitch. Most sewing machines have a stretch-stitch for knit fabrics. Use slightly bigger stitches for heavier fabrics and slightly smaller stitches for fine fabrics.

17. Use the best quality thread you can get. Proper thread glides through your needle, sits nice and flat and doesn’t shed loads of fluff. It won’t change colour and is unlikely to snap. If your thread keeps snapping, it might not be your machine. Thread is not expensive to start with, so investing in good stuff is easily within reach.

The Greenie Galleries have instructions for this top

18. Learn to sew a French seam for sheer fabrics or pierced fabrics like Broderie Anglaise or eyelet cotton. It looks so much neater. Sew your seam. Iron seam flat. Trim away excess fabric close to stitching. Fold over. And make another seam so original seam and fabric edges are enclosed and invisible.

19. Always sew darts from the widest end to the narrowest. And don’t suddenly stop at the narrow end. Taper it off gently. That way your dart won’t have a sharp point at the end.

20. Some things are easy to make. Others a nightmare. My advice – leave the complicated stuff to experienced sewers and tailors. Commercial patterns almost always have a rating from easy to advanced. And with the exception of one or two, all my FREE sewing patterns and tutorials are dead easy. Rule of thumb – the more pattern pieces – the more work and the harder the garment is to make.

Think you can’t sew a zipper? Yes you can. See my zipper tutorial – on this link.

Scroll back to the top of this page to find the Greenie Galleries which are full of tutorials and FREE patterns.

See you right here next week.