April 10

Mastering These Basics Will Quickly Advance Your Skill Level


There are some things that I have learned that will continue to help you no matter your skill level. Although they are basic things, by using these basic sewing ideas and tips, you can become more creative and continue to learn more advanced techniques.

Organization is Key

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Although not a sewing skill, being organized can be a skill you develop that will help you with all your sewing projects. Before you start, gather all the supplies that your are going to need for your project.

Keep them in one area so they are easy to find. When you are organized, everything goes smoother. One easy way is to use this type of cart with wheels to keep your materials in.

You can move it closer to the area you are going to be laying everything out on. You can find it on Amazon by clicking the image below:

Use Grainlines

The grain of the fabric is the weave that runs lengthwise. It will run parallel to the factory finished edges. You must cut patterns on the grain for the garment to fit and hang correctly. 

It's important to measure every single pattern piece's grainline to the factory finished edge before you cut the fabric. If making piping, you should only cut on the true bias which is 45 degrees.

If you don't cut straight or don't cut on the true bias, it simply will not look right.

Don't Sew Over Any Pins

It can be dangerous to sew over a pin because if the needle hits it, it could break off and enter your eye, which could result in losing your sight. If the pin doesn't break, it could weaken and your sewing machine needle will become dull.

Basic Thread Colors

If you have white, black, navy and cream colored threads, you could sew just about anything with these colors. You can expand these colors by adding forest green, medium yellow and a basic red.


If you aren't sure of the color to use, always use a darker thread than your fabric. You can buy spools of thread in bulk that have a wide range of colors.


Here is a neat little collection of 30 different color spools. It has different spool sizes for both hand sewing and machines. Click on the image to see it on Amazon.

Sharp Scissors

Make sure you have a sharp pair of scissors for cutting fabric and a smaller pair for cutting your thread. Keep the smaller pair by your machine and your fabric scissors on your cutting table.

It's important that they are sharp so that you are tearing your fabric or ripping the edge on your thread.


Always use a thimble when working with heavier fabrics when sewing by hand. If you don't have a thimble, you may not be able to push the needle through the fabric.

Seam Ripper

Who doesn't hate using a seam ripper? This means you made a mistake and it's extra work. But you will, undoubtedly, make mistakes and a seam ripper is the quickest way to get that stitch out and try again.

Magnetic Pin Cushion

When picking up pins, a magnetic pin cushion will help you save lots of time. When removing pins from a pattern, you can simply drop the pins onto the pin cushion and they will stay there.

I especially like this wrist band pin holder on Amazon. Click on the image below to check it out on Amazon.

Extra Table

Having an extra table that is kept close to your sewing table can help you to become more efficient. You can keep some extra supplies there along with other pattern pieces and other pieces of fabric.

Keep Your Scraps

After cutting out the larger pieces, keep the leftovers. This is great for those smaller pattern pieces that you are going to be needing.

Erasable Marking Pen

You can use this pen to mark your fabric for button placements or any other marks you will need without worrying about marking up the fabric. Test this first to make sure it actually erases.

These heat erasable pens are perfect for removing the marks with a quick touch of your iron. Click the image below to see them on Amazon. And speaking of ironing...

Iron And Ironing Board

If you want the outfits that you sew to look more professional, using an iron before sewing seams and edges is crucial. Expert seamstresses will tell you that half of the time you spend sewing should be on the ironing board.

If you aren't ironing your seams right now, just try this for your next project and let me know if the finished product looks "sharper" and more professional.

Clear Ruler

Because this is see through, you will be able to see exactly where you need to mark the pattern or fabric. You won't have to lift the ruler so that you can see if you are on the right spot.

Although these are basic sewing tips and tools, you can expand your skills by using these simple tools and by adding these tips to your sewing routine.

Check out Anastasia's video below for more tips and tools to help you become a better seamstress.


Tips, Tools

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