Top tips for sewing your own items

There is nothing quite like the thrill of receiving a compliment from someone about a skirt you are wearing knowing that you chose the fabric and made the garment for yourself. For me it is a feeling equal to that felt when looking through all the dressmaking fabrics available. My favourite place to look is

Here are some tips for starting your own sewing hobby:

  • It is worth investing in a number of different pairs of scissors. A pair of dressmaking shears for cutting your fabric, small sharp pointed scissors for cutting any loose threads or clipping curved seams, and a smaller pair for cutting out the paper pattern pieces. I also use a pair of pinking shears to cut some of the fabric edges before sewing.
  • Use pins with large plastic heads as these are the easiest ones to pull out of fabric before passing through the sewing machine needle area. You should also place your pins at right angles, 90 degrees, to the edge you are sewing with the head of the pin to the outside edge of the machine.

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  • Always check the tension of your machine on each piece of fabric on a small scrap piece so you can make adjustments without affecting your final piece.
  • When you are sewing with a light weight or jersey fabric it is best to use a ball point needle to prevent any snagging of the fabric.
  • You should always have a spare set of empty bobbins available ready to fill with the colour you are currently using.
  • Use tracing paper (as thin as possible) to make copies of your sewing patterns so that they last longer, and you can make different sizes of the garments should you need to in the future.
  • Iron your fabric before you start cutting (always follow the manufacturers guidelines) to ensure all wrinkled are removed and the fabric is lying flat before you start cutting out the pattern.
  • If possible, you should draw around your pattern with tailor’s chalk instead of pinning the pattern and cutting around. It is important to remember when cutting around the chalked pattern you should cut around the inside of the line. If you find a traditional tailor’s chalk piece difficult to handle there are tailor’s chalk pencils or pattern markers pens available on the market.

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  • It is worth keeping lots of black, white and navy coloured threads to hand as they are the colours most often used in sewing.

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