10 Things About Sewing That I Learned The Hard Way

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I’ve learned from my mistakes this past year of sewing, and I wish I knew some of the stuff I know now. Here are my tips.

1. Make sure you have enough fabric for your project. 

Sometimes I’m so caught up in sewing something that I forget to check how much fabric I need. This has happened to me a million times, and it’s frustrating!

2.  Clean your machine often.

Need I say more? Check out this link where I am reminded painfully of this.

3. When cutting a pattern, make sure you have cut all the pieces before you throw away the scraps.

Last year, I was sewing a dress, and I cut all the pieces without checking for the back bodice piece. It either didn’t come in the pattern package, or I threw it out, but it caused a lot of trauma and stress. Eventually, I drafted my own pattern with my mom.

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This was the dress I made–it’s hard to tell that I drafted my own back bodice pattern.

4. When buying fabric at a store, be sure to check how much the fabric is per yard.

I think everybody knows this, but once I get to the checkout counter, it’s shocking how much fabric supplies I buy! Just walking into Joann’s instantly makes me want to buy stuff.

5. When buying fabric, have an idea of what you’re actually going to do with it.

This is similar to the 4th and 1st tip. I always buy fabric and don’t actually have an idea of what to do with it. Then when I wan to make something out of it, I either don’t have enough or it’s the wrong type of fabric, etc.

6. Remember to change out your needle for the right fabric.

I’m always so lazy about this, and the other day I was sewing really thick fabric with the standard needle. And what do you think happened? The needle got caught when sewing, and it wouldn’t sew or come up. I eventually had to take the bobbin out, turn the machine off, and cut the fabric out until the needle finally came up bent. So I had to throw it away! You would have thought I learned my lesson, but then the next week the same thing happened!

7. Use the right stich length and tension for the right project.

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened, and again, I was lazy and didn’t change it. Oh well.

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8. Don’t use a million pins.

I’m pin-crazy, and I use tons of pins when I don’t really need them. Once it’s time to sew, though, I get annoyed at having to pull out the pins.

9. Don’t sew over the pin.

Okay, so maybe this one is like the 8th tip, but it’s happened to all of us.

10. Last, but not least, read all the instructions on the pattern.

More often than not, I skim over the instructions, and it comes back to me later when I sew the wrong pieces together.

I would LOVE to hear your funny sewing stories. Either let me know in the comments or tell me here. I’ll post all the stories on the blog in the next post. Thanks!

love abigail

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12 thoughts on “10 Things About Sewing That I Learned The Hard Way

  1. This was great……one of the things I do over and over……is not transfer all my markings from the paper pattern to my fabric. This is so frustrating. I’ve put the pattern away and I am ready to start sewing then I realize…..I forgot to transfer all the markings.

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  2. I’m always having to eyeball the sizes of my kids as they run from me and my tape measure…the result is that I’ve learned to make everything super big so sometimes I have to wait a whole year for their outfits to fit, but that’s far better than it being too small. I guess we do what we can.

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    1. Thank you for the comment! Yes, I’ll totally check out your blog! Since I’m a tween, of course I love makeup, even though Fashion Design is my life, so I’ll enjoy reading your posts.

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  3. Haha, this made me laugh as I can definitely relate to all of these!

    I can particularly relate to changing your needle. It’s amazing how much difference this makes isn’t it?

    A big thing for me is the trusty, ‘measure twice and cut once’ and to also check the heat of the iron. That could have saved me from a few melted accidents in the past!

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  4. I love this I am timidly starting my sewing journey and this makes me feel a whole lot better!! My mom is such a great seamstress and she’s well perfect. I just have to keep reminding myself it gets better!!

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