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10 Sewing Hacks You’ll Be Glad to Know

Sewing is magical. Sewing is our superpower… but sometimes sewing can be full of frustration and techniques that make you shudder. The great thing about sewists is that we love nothing more than passing on a handy sewing hack we’ve discovered. It seems that the rule of dressmaking is that you must pass your wisdom along.

We absolutely love a clever sewing hack that saves time, frustration and is fun to do! We’ve gathered quite a few tips from fellow makers over the years so we want to share 10 of our favourite sewing hacks!

Threading elastic…

This one may seem obvious but I saw it on Instagram and thought to myself ‘why have I never done this?’ When you need to lace elastic through an encased space like a waistband, use some washi tape to stop the safety pin from coming open. For anyone who has experienced the pin coming open, usually about halfway through… it’s a blooming nightmare and this quick fix stops it from happening.


Gathering is something I used to struggle with in the past as the stitches always ended up breaking. It can also be a bit fiddly sewing two perfectly spaced lines of gathering stitches so this trick will make this process so much easier! If you zigzag over dental floss and use that to gather, you get really even gathers in half the time with no snapping threads! I have also seen yarn being used (in place of the dental floss) so work with what you have to hand.

Measuring your buttons…

We’ve got a buttonhole sewing tip for you. When you get to the point that you need to measure your buttonholes for the machine it’s often hard to do with the curve of the edge of the button. First, wrap a small piece of ribbon around the buttonhole and pin. Then remove the button and you can measure accurately the size of the buttonhole you need to make.

Changing your machine needle…

Changing your needle is something we should do regularly and I can never remember when I last changed it. Now I have a Post-it note on the back of my machine with the date of the last time I changed the needle! I have also seen sewists using a marker to leave dots on their needles to indicate how many times it has been used. Find a method that works for you and change that needle!

Sewing through thick fabric…

This is a household favourite tip and one I’m sure a lot of people do this already, but for anyone not in the loop, this is going to be a game-changer. When you are sewing over multiple thicknesses of fabric, e.g. adding a patch pocket onto a garment (as above) you turn the corner and the machine just sews in one spot and ruins your perfect topstitching. To avoid this fold up a piece of fabric and place it under the machine foot behind where you need to sew and this will never happen again.

Clipping curves…

When trimming down the seam allowance on a curve use pinking shears instead of notching or clipping. It has the same effect and takes a lot less time to do.

Hemming jersey…

Love sewing knit garments? You are going to like this simple but effective tip for hemming jersey or sweatshirt fabric. If you snip into the side seam at the point you need to fold the fabric to hem. Press as above, it will prevent you from getting lumpy side seams. It’s especially effective on thicker fabrics… go forth and give it a go.

Bias binding…

If you’re making your own bias binding (it’s a great project for using up your scraps!) we have a great way of speeding things up. If you get a long needle and pin it to your ironing board cover you can then pull through your fabric strips and press as you go. It’s saved us hours!

Measure guide…

This is one of our absolute FAVOURITES, once you’ve done this you’ll never look back! This elasticated loop lives on my sewing machine and is there as my sewing guide. Move the elastic to where you need it for every project and no more need for tape, pen marks etc. Make sure the elastic is fairly taught as you don’t want it moving around when sewing.

Zip placement…

When putting in a zip that you want to line up (e.g matching the waist seam at the back of a dress on either side) all you need to do is a mark on the zip in pencil where the seams meet and you’ll never get a miss-matching seam again.

We hope you enjoyed those sewing hacks and found one or two you can take into your sewing practice and share with your friends!

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1 thought on “10 Sewing Hacks You’ll Be Glad to Know

  1. Nearly every one of these is new to me!!! you so much!!!

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