Sewing Tips and Tricks

Sewing Tips and Tricks

Crafting Time:
  • Varies
Skill Level:
  • Intermediate
Project Courtesy of: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
Print Project Description Add to Project List

Additional Information



From Left to Right:

  • Gertie Collection Fabrics- Rayon Cherries Teal Fabric/Butterick Pattern B6019

  • Gretchen Hirsch, Designer

  • Gertie Collection Fabrics- Sateen Rose Dot Fabric/Butterick Pattern B6167

  • Gertie Collection Fabrics- Swiss Dot Roses White Cotton Fabric (Top), Gertie Collection Fabrics- Chambray Red Dot Cotton Fabric (Pants)/Butterick Pattern B5895


Apparel sewing is a great way to customize your wardrobe to fit your style, size, and personality. Here are some great beginner tips when taking the leap into sewing your own clothes.

* The right tools are key to success. Using high quality scissors and rotary cutters that are kept sharp helps when cutting fabric. Using dull scissors can improperly cut fabric and can be unsafe to use. Only use fabric scissors for cutting fabric. Using fabric scissors to cut paper and other materials can dull the blades prematurely.
* Start out with simple patterns before taking on a project that can be too complicated. Everyone has to start somewhere. Learn the basics of reading and understanding patterns for a more simple design first. Learn how to alter a pattern to your size using a simple pattern. Keep notes on your size measurements for future reference.
* Understand the fiber content of the fabric you are working with. Pre-wash fabrics (based on care code) before cutting and sewing to avoid shrinkage once the garment is constructed. Use the appropriate setting on your iron based on the fabric content. An iron that is too hot for the fabric can scorch and damage the fabric and your iron.
* Always test a swatch of fabric on your sewing machine before beginning garment construction. Ensure proper tension and stitch length on a test swatch as to not damage your main pieces.
* Use a zig-zag stitch on a standard sewing machine or a serger to create finished edges and seams. The details in garment construction will help the fabric drape correctly.
* When laying pattern pieces out on fabric prior to cutting, ensure the pieces are laid in accordance with the noted grain direction. Also keep in mind any prints or patterns on the fabric to ensure they fall in the desired location.
* Ensure your sewing machine needle is sharp. A dull needle can break, damage fabric, or cause thread breakage.
* Use the correct thread type based on fabric and garment. Refer to the pattern envelope for recommended thread.