Easy Sewing Hacks




About: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to my classroom (when appropriate) where I teach 6-12th grade English & Social Studies (...

Some great sewing tips and tricks for the novice or experienced sewer. Many of these can be used regardless if you're sewing by hand or by machine.

Step 1: Pleats & Ruffles

Use bobby pins to hold down pleats while sewing or while ironing. Bobby pins also help for keeping ruffles in place while you sew.

Step 2: DIY Seam Allowance

Not all patterns include a seam allowance, this is a handy way of making your own. Tape or wrap together 2 pencils to create seam allowances on patterns. Using different color pencils might help with identification.

Step 3: Cutting Station

Use foam adhesive squares, Zots, velcro etc. to affix measuring tape to the table you do the most cutting and measuring at. For a more permanent solution, use glue/epoxy. A stationary ruler helps make sure your measurements are correct.

Step 4: Bobbin Organization

I subscribe to a couple make-up boxes and frequently get stuff I'll never use. One such item is toe separators. While I do paint my nails, the little foam toe separators are so uncomfortable I never use them---but I also hate throwing perfectly good stuff out. Using the separators to organize bobbins is a great trick!

Step 5: Iron Wet Fabric

You generally need to wash your fabric before using it. But instead of hanging or throwing in the dryer to dry, iron it! My husband used to subscribe to GQ and one of the tips a few years ago related to clothes was to iron dry/press your clothes immediately after washing and he started doing this. I thought this would be a great trick to apply to fabric and sewing. It's a great time saver since you're drying at ironing at the same time AND money saver if you don't have your own dryer. Iron both sides for best results.

Step 6: Binder Clips

Some heavier fabrics (like jean, duck cloth, etc.) can be a pain to get pins into. Instead of pinning, use binder clips to hold your sections together for easier sewing. I'm a big fan of using binder clips in lieu of pins because I'm constantly sticking myself.

Step 7: Hair Spray

Sometimes threading a needle can be a pain. Spray the open end of your thread with hair spray to make it stiff and easy to insert into needles.

(Another great use for make-up subscription items I receive and don't use).

Step 8: No Slip Pedal

Wrap a rubber band or two around your foot pedal to keep it from slipping while you sew.



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    8 Discussions


    Tip 5 months ago on Step 7

    I use a glue stick the same way-- it makes the thread just stiff enough. And I admit that as my eyes got older I invested in a top of the line lighted needle threader.


    1 year ago

    Ironing wet fabric does work well. It also keeps you from having to put water in your steam iron

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Ironing wet fabric is great, but if you need to get creases out after you've started a project, or just need to press open seams etc., instead of wetting the fabric or having to fill the iron with water just grab a piece of left over fabric or a teatowel (my mums preferred method), run it under a tap/faucet and squeeze the excess water out then place over the item to be ironed. Hey presto, effect of steam ironing without the hassle, and you can leave it to one side and use it over and over as needed until finished, by which time you also have a dry tea towel again. Helps to protect delicate fabrics as well, plus I've never had to worry about the iron temperature being too high for the fabric I'm ironing, the tea towel acts as a protector in that regard as well. I still find it's better than a steam iron for many things, especially when applying iron-on interfacing or batting, either or both easily melt if the heat of the iron is too high even when set on steam.


    1 year ago

    Thank you! All great ideas.


    1 year ago

    I love the rubber bands on the foot pedal mine is always slipping under the sewing cabinet and sticking in high gear. Lol thanks much


    1 year ago

    So smart and clever! Rubberbanding the pencils together is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!