Learn These Sewing Trade Secrets

Sewers love sharing trade secrets-- anything to make sewing easier, right? Here are some trade secrets you may or may not know…

First, there’s the seam allowance, right? Most commercial sewing patterns use a ⅝” seam allowance, but you can oftentimes get away with using a ⅜” seam allowance. Why do this? Well, it works well on curved seams, it reduces bulkiness, and, in the end, it can make setting in sleeves easier.

Did someone teach you sewing using lots of pins? For some, pinning was/is where it’s at. But maybe, just maybe you can skip the pins all together. You see, pins cause your fabric to lay differently, often resulting in puckering. So, instead of using pins, try pattern weights when cutting pattern pieces. And when you’re at your machine, just use your left hand to hold down the fabric, while, at the same time, holding both pieces of fabric in your right hand. The tension you provide with your hands and the machine mimics the effect of pins.


Do you absolutely need a serger? No. A serger can make sewing easier, but you don’t have to use it. If you want to sew knits, use a ball point needle and a zigzag stitch!


For those who use piping, if there’s a need for the stiffer maxi piping, try using electrical wire in place of cording-- see what works best for you. Choose wiring that’s the right thickness for your project.

Help Your Sewing Toolbox

Tired of clipped threads making a mess? Why not add a lint roller and magnet to your sewing toolbox? The magnet attracts pins and the lint roller cleans up stray threads efficiently.

Making the Right Cut

Fabric cut off the bolt has a straight edge and fabric, in general, rips straight. If you’re trying to line things up “perfectly,” you can make a slight cut on the gross grain of fabric and “rip away.”

Using a Folding Template

Finally, if you don’t want to use a seam gauge, use a folding template instead. You fold the fabric down to the appropriate line and then press with your iron-- very efficient. 

These are some handy trade secrets sewers can use to make their sewing sessions better.

If you're looking for a great selection of fabrics in the Houston, TX area, stop by Fabrictopia today.

June 04, 2018