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.