Whether you want to make more time for your hobby or need to get a few more projects done before your next big show, it never hurts to pick up a few time-saving sewing tricks. Check out these ideas for making the most of your sewing time.
- Prepare for your project
Before you begin, take some time to plan for your project, making sure that you've got all the material, notions, and equipment you'll need to see it through from start to finish. Carefully read through your pattern, taking note of any tricky procedures or any techniques you may not be familiar with.
- Cut multiple projects at once
Most of us home sewists don't have full-time cutting tables, so whether you take over the floor or the kitchen table, or have a fold-out cutting table you use, it's so much easier to set it up once, spend an afternoon cutting, and then use your sewing timeto actually sew!
- Use pattern weights instead of pins
If you've been using pins to lay out your patterns, this will be life changing. Pattern weights work best with a cutting mat and rotary cutter. Paired together, it's amazing how quickly you can cut out project after project, all without accidentally stabbing yourself or pinning the wrong layers together.
- Plan your seams
Your pattern comes with a specific order in which a project should be sewn, so make sure to follow those instructions carefully! Make an easily legible list of the order in which.
- Grab a spare bobbin
Before you start sewing, take a moment and wind a few extra bobbins with the thread you might need as you work on your project. This will keep you From having to unthread and re-thread your sewing machine each time your bobbin runs out.
- Mark your seam lines
Most of the time, the seam allowance lines on your sewing machine's deck are a good indicator that you're putting your seams right where they need to be, but if you really want to save yourself some sewing time, mark your stitch lines while you're laying out your pattern. It's a particularly handy habit for sewing curved seams, where one piece of material may need to be eased to match the other, or if your project uses a range of different seam allowances.
- Take a break
The Longer you work on a project, the more likely you are to get tired and make a mistake that will then take more time to Fix, making it more likely you'll make another mistake, and so on and so forth. Break the vicious cycle by remembering to set aside your project at regular intervals and stepping away. When you come back to it, you'll be ready to work again!
- Keep your iron hot
Make sure your iron is turned on and set to the appropriate temperature. Fill the water reservoir to make sure your steam Function is ready, and keep your iron and ironing board close at hand for easy access while you work.
- Chain seams together
When you finish a seam, there's no need to cut your fabric loose from your sewing machine's thread. Simply pull it away to give yourself a bit of space, and start in on the next seam, chaining the two seams together. This is aparticularly helpful trick for finishing small items, like collars and cuffs.
- Pin perpendicular to the seam line
Always insert your pins perpendicular to the seam line. Not only does this lessen the likelihood that you'll be stabbed while you're sewing, it also makes it much easier to sweep pins out of the way with one hand while guiding your fabric with the other.
- Use reinforcements
Working with a delicate fabric like lace, chiffon, or organza? Use a tearaway or washaway stabilizer to help keep your project in line as you sew. This will also help give your finished works a polished, professional appearance.
- Press in batches
While you should always press your project as you go, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to stop work every time you Finish a seam to go press it immediately. Instead, wait until you've sewn three to four seams (chained together if you like!), then cut any trailing threads and press all the seams before beginning your next round of sewing.
- Keep your tools close at hand
You never want to have to trek across the room just to retrieve your scissors or thread snips. Keep all your frequently used tools close at hand. For some, that could mean a sewing-table caddy that stays in easy reach of your workspace. For others, that could mean a dedicated drawer, or even the pocket of a sewing apron to keep everything corralled.
- Don’t skip your maintenance routine
Sewing machine difficulties can be a real time suck. Make sure to follow the regular maintenance plan recommended by your machine's manufacturer to try and avoid as many of those issues as you can, and take your machine in for a tune-up when necessary.
- Switch to a rotary cutter
Rotary cutters allow you to follow even the most complex seam lines. They can handle tough fabrics and delicate ones, and even mark pattern points like notches. Even better, they can do all this much faster than ordinary cutting shears.
- Use "project boxes"
Got multiple projects in the works? Keep everything straight, including swatches and materials, notions, patterns, and more, by keeping each project in its own separate box.
- Use time-saving tools
While there's always a bit of a learning curve with new equipment, sometimes it's worth the up-front investment to save a lot lot of time later. A great example is specialty feet For your sewing machine. A narrow hem foot can save you hours of meticulous pressing or even hand stitching, while a ruffler foot gives you even results without breaking.