Five Recently Discovered Sewing Hacks

sewing hacks

I tend to be a bit behind the times.  I think that is one reason why I enjoy the past so much.  🙂  

So when it comes to sewing, I am truly a trial and error kind of sewer.  I encounter a problem, and then I sit and think about how to fix it.  I am a very “keep my eyes on my own paper” type of person.  However, I will often miss out on tricks of the trade that other experienced sewers have discovered which could help make my sewing easier and more efficient.  So, I spent a little time searching out some of these little tips and thought I would share my favorite five.  Many of you may already be very familiar with these ideas, but in case you are like me, you may have never found them on your own without a little bit of help! 🙂

Tip #1 – Use two or three pencils rubber banded together to add in your seam allowance when tracing or designing your own pattern.


Photo credit: Sew McCool

Tip #2 – Wrap a large rubber band around your sewing machine arm to keep seams very straight.


Photo Credit: Yesterday’s Thimble

Tip#3 – To avoid frayed ends, wash fabric in a pillow case with the end tied in knot.


Photo Credit: The Mother Huddle

Tip #4 – This tip hits home as I have ruined many a gown with ripping through a buttonhole.  Place a pin on one end of the buttonhole to avoid tearing through the fabric.


Photo Credit: Simple Simon and Company

Tip #5 – Keep pins in a bar of soap to help them slide through fabric easier.  I imagine this would be wonderful when pleating large amounts of fabric into a waistband.


Photo Credit: Make it Love it

I hope these little tips will help make your sewing more effective and enjoyable…I know they have mine!

Happy Wednesday!


Did you know that I have begun creating more 19th century clothing to sell?  


Feel free hop over here for a little peek!!

Sewing Tip Saturday: Collars Part One

As one of the easiest aspects of bodice making, collars come in as many shapes and styles as one can imagine.  The majority of collars are stitched in the same way so it makes it very easy to play around and try various styles.

Here are some great examples of collars:

Collar Examples

Here is a basic tutorial for attaching a pointed and/or Peter Pan (rounded) collar:

Basic collar tutorial

The trick is to make sure that your whipstitch can only be seen on the inside of the garment.

Add interfacing for a stiffer collar or change up materials to add interest and contrast to your creation!

The possibilities are truly endless!

Next Time:  Collar Patterns

My Top Sewing Must Haves

I thought that I would take some time to share with you my absolute, most-favorite, must-have sewing tools.  While many of these are not unique or expensive, they are nonetheless vital to successful sewing.  I linked each item below the picture in case you would like to purchase any of these items for yourself.

I hope you enjoy and are able to take advantage of some of these wonderful products!


Craft Table

A bit of an investment, but your sewing and pattern designing will thank you for it!  I love that the size can be adjusted.  It isn’t the most sturdy table, but it has really given me the extra space I need to pin and cut.


Pattern Weights

I found these in the clearance bin at a Joann Fabrics and have not stopped using them!  If you dislike pinning pattern pieces to fabric, these are definitely for you!


Wristlet Pincushion

Have pins, will travel!  Again, another time saver that allows you to adjust and pin on a dress form at will.


A Loop Turner

My secret weapon for turning ties or straps of any size!


Thread Snips

These make cutting and trimming all those little threads very easy and allow for a close cut without the danger of snipping the actual fabric.


Plain Craft Paper

I create all my patterns on craft paper and then save them, labeled, in a bin for future use.  You can make notes and write down measurements to your heart’s content!


Book Holder

For those who do a lot of historical sewing, many of the patterns/ inspiration that you use are found in books or online.  I always keep a book holder on my sewing table so my reference (whether book or iPad) is never too far away.


Hardcover Journal

This is a must if you create your own patterns.  Everything I have ever created gets logged away in a journal for future reference, inspiration, or to save a few steps in the drafting process!  And of course,  it doesn’t hurt if it has a pretty design! 🙂


A Fun Coffee Mug

I sew better with coffee.  Period. 🙂


Fine Tipped Markers

Very helpful when I am  pattern drafting.  I like to color code or create notes in different colors to make sure that I don’t miss any little detail.

What are your sewing must haves?  Leave a comment below…I am always eager to learn about new tools or techniques!

Happy Sewing!