There are just some tricks that I think every seamster should know and implement in their everyday sewing ritual.
Why? Well, because I believe we shouldn't waste our time with silly tasks and instead, spend it on making more of things we love. Here's my list of 8 tricks that every seamster new or old school should use.
1. ROLL WITH IT:
Do yourself a favor and get a rotary cutter and self-healing mat, your hands will thank you! This will cut down on your cutting time significantly and helps if you are cutting on the floor. This method is way more efficient when cutting multiple layers of fabric all at once. (Just maybe you‘re like me so many years ago and needed to cut your small production runs?!) Another tip, buy a larger diameter rotary blade if you are cutting multiple layers. The bigger the blade diameter the thicker your layers can be.
2. A STICKY HABIT:
Already loving that cutting mat but you've just cut something fuzzy, glittery or full of sequins? Then you've been left with a hot mess on your mat. My expert advice?!
Keep a lint roller handy and just like a kid's dropped lollipop, that sticky paper with pick up any and all furry grossness.
3. WEIGH IT DOWN:
Stop pinning your patterns to the fabric. It's a super sucker of time plus it's a major pain to pin through printer paper (like all those at-home patterns you have.) Instead use some fabric weights. There are things called Fabric Weights you can buy, but you don't have to. Anything gravity challenged can and should be used as a fabric weight. Soup cans, tape dispenser, books, a stapler... they can all be used. Get creative and leave pinning your pattern behind you.
4.FUSE IT ALL TOGETHER:
Why cut something twice? Instead, cut a piece of fabric and fusible that will fit all of your pattern pieces that require interfacing. Fuse the interfacing and fabric together first, then lay your pieces out and cut (or roll!) Not only is this a time saver but now your pieces are perfectly matched and more precise.
5. NO PINS:
This is absolutely my favorite tip... stop using pins to sew! They are a crutch we've been duped into thinking we need. Just place the pieces you need together, put them under the machine and sew. You can always adjust and move the fabric as your sewing the seam. No more breaking a needle because you caught the pin and no more puckers when your fabric pushes over your pin. The time wasted pinning is ridiculous. It might take a little practice but trust me and take the leap. You will never look back.
(Check out my #nopinsewing video and get more tips for sewing without spins here.)
6. JUST BATCH IT:
Even if you are just sewing up a single garment it's a pretty nifty idea to batch-sew your seams. All this means is you'll sew similar seams at one time before moving on to more challenging steps. So, maybe stitching up any long seams, side seams or shoulder seams before moving on to steps that are more detailed. Some seamsters prefer to do the detailed work such as collars first. Either way, grouping your sewing by similar tasks is a great way to save some sweet precious time!
7. PRESS IT IN THE END:
Giving your garments a great press is vital to it's rad-ness when it's finished, but there's no reason to press each seam after every step. I save ALL my garment pressing until the very end. It's like bringing it to life for the first time! (Maybe that's why pressing a garment is like #sewporn for me?) Unless you want a few extra steps in your day, don't slow yourself down with extra trips to the iron.
8. WRAP IT:
Want to get a more effective press with your iron?! Here's some sewing trickery for you...
Place a layer of tin foil under your ironing board's cover. This nifty science trick called Heat Reflection will now be heating your garment from BOTH sides, making your garment press faster and look better.
I’m betting you were probably already a badass to begin with, but at least now you can be faster and more efficient as a seamster to polish off that badassery.
Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and rule breaking!