Top 10 Sewing Hacks

sewing objectsSewing tips and hacks are in place to make the life of individuals who sew for a living or as a hobby easier. Below are 10 important sewing hacks that can be used to increase a person’s skills, keep things more organized or speed up the process.

1.Hand Stitching Guide

When looking for a way to sew hand stitches that are evenly spaced use a sewing machine to machine-baste a straight line of the required stitches and then use these stitches in the form of a guide for the hand stitching. The stitch lengths should be set on the type of hand stitch chosen. Now pull on a few of the machine stitches each time and hand sew following on the holes that have been left behind.

Alternatively, the machine stitches can be left in place and then pulled out once the hand sewing is complete. Machine stitches can serve the purpose of guides for various hand stitches like herringbone stitch, topstitch or blanket stitch.

2.Simplified Tailor’s Tack

There is another technique for tailor’s tacks which offers a way to hold threads more securely compared to the traditional methods. Once the pattern pieces are cut out, use unknotted contrasting doubled-thread in the hand needle. Now take one stitch that passes through the tissue pattern and the layers of the fabric.

Now from the other side take the needle back through the pattern and fabric and cut thread tails that are long in length. The next step involves lifting the tissue pattern off of the fabric allowing the tails to pass through. Now turn the fabric over use a different thread color and use a second stitch that goes over the first in the same technique leaving behind the long tails. Now pulling the layers of fabric apart, the one set will stay stitched onto the top layer of fabric while the alternative set will remain stitched onto the bottom fabric layer. These threads now mark a clear position for sewing that can be viewed from either side.

3.Why Two Safety Pins Are Better Than Just One

Many sewing enthusiasts pull cording or elastic through a type of casing. For this technique some people make use of a safety pin to guide it through. However, in some cases the cord or elastic at the start point can end up going into the casing. This is when it becomes a complex task to weave backwards and it usually means the individual has to start all over again. To avoid this issue use another safety pin for securing the tail of the cord or elastic to its casing.

4.How To Make A Button Shank Out Of Thread

When using flat buttons for thicker fabric, it is advisable to create button shanks out of thread. To do this start off with threading the needle using thread that is a double strand. The next step involves taking one stitch at the placement mark for the button on the fabric’s right side. This will hide the knots underneath the buttons.

Now take the stitch through each button as one would normally do but avoid pulling this thread tight. Follow this up by selecting a spacer that ensures ample room between the button and the fabric. When using thinner fabrics use a toothpick or pin and when using the thicker fabrics use a thin pen, chopstick, darning needle or bobby pin. Place the spacer underneath each button between these holes and then tug on the thread from the sewing needle to secure the spacers as well as tighten up the thread. Follow up by sewing on the buttons in the traditional manner.

Once the button is securely sewn making sure the needle is on the fabric’s underside remove the spacer ensuring the stitch remains taut. Now bring the needle through the fabric and then the button and wind this thread around the sewn stitches until a shank has been created. For a finished look, especially when using the larger spacers, use blanket stitches that are closely spaced around these threads opposed to just winding threads around this shank. When finished make sure the thread has been secured closely to the shank.

5.Extreme Makeovers

Shop consignment or resale stores that sell used shirts for men can be used for this type of project. Take the shirt and cut off the sleeves, cuffs and collars and open up the side seams. Now press all the items flat. Now lay a simple blouse pattern over the remainder of the shirt and use the existing hems and button plackets.

One can make a scoop-neck blouse by adapting the neckline in order to take advantage of the original button placements. From the original shirt shorter sleeves can be cut out and in most cases there will be sufficient fabric left over to cut out a new self-facing that will be for the neckline. Pockets can also be repositioned and dependent on the fit of the original garment, one can keep the yoke and shoulders of the shirt and only adapt the length, sleeves and neck.

6.Tape Guide Using Topstitch

One can sew straight top stitching onto fabric without any markings by using masking tape on the fabric in order to establish the top stitching guide. All that is required is to stitch along the tapes edge and then remove this tape once finished.

7.Hem Guide Using Silicone

Hem guides made out of metal can be uncomfortablly hot when pressing the hem. To avoid this issue, use one strip of a silicone pot-holder. One can make these strips out of a whole pot holder and cut the strips into various sized hem guides. The iron will not harm the silicone and they will always remain cool.

8.How To Stop Disappearing Ink From Vanishing

To stop air-soluble disappearing inks from fading away to fast apply Scotch Magic Tape onto each mark. In addition, when pulling off the tape, there will be no residue left behind. This takes far less time for removing the tape compared to having to reconstruct these marks.

9.Marking A Hem Without A Helper

To mark hems without helpers take a string and stretch it tightly across the length of a doorway to the desired height for the hem and now tape or tack it onto the jamb on each side. Now dust bath powder over this string. Now with the garment on brush up against this powdered string which will transfer a dusting onto this garment at the exact right height. This is ideal for coats, dresses and skirts.

10.Using A Crotchet Hook To Remove Basting

Crotchet hooks are fantastic tools to remove any basting threads, open seams or ease up stitching threads. Use the rounded-point to get underneath a stitch and then the hook to remove the threads. This technique stops the dangers of snagging the threads fabrics or cutting an accidental hole into the fabric. This is usually a risk when using a seam-ripper. It is best to use a size 9 hook but smaller hooks work just as well.