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September 2013
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Hand Sewing Secrets

For those of us in the sewing or craft businesses, there’s always hand sewing that needs to be done.  Some projects require more handwork than others, but very seldom do we skate through a project without at least a little hand sewing to do.  There are a lot of little things that can be done to make the hand sewing go much faster, so I’ll list a few of these “secrets” here.

1.  Keep small pieces of handwork near the telephone so you can work as you talk.  You’ll be surprised how much “extra” sewing you’ll get done this way.  I was AMAZED at the amount of hand sewing I got done in a days time using the “telephone time” that would otherwise have been wasted.

2.  For hand sewing, thread several needles before you start.  This will eliminate having to stop as often to re-thread – just reach for another needle.  This works GREAT for hand sewing while on the telephone.

3.  When getting thread ready for hand sewing, thread the needle FIRST then take the length off the spool.  If you knot the end that comes off the spool last, you will have much less tangling and knotting of the thread while you sew.

4.  To reduce tangles when hand sewing, keep your thread length under 20″.

5.  When hand sewing hems, keep the stitches loose so the hems will not get the “gathered” look.

6. Before discarding old rubber gloves, cut off a 2″ length of the thumb and needle fingers — these work great on hand sewing projects where the needle is hard to pull through the fabric.

7.  By using a fine sharp needle for hand basting, you will eliminate the unsightly stitch marks which will be left if you use a thicker needle.

8.  And, when hand basting, DO NOT knot the thread – it will be easier to remove if you don’t have to worry about the knot.

As we all know in our businesses, time is money, so whatever we can do to speed up a project just a little bit will add minutes, then hours to our sewing time.  There are times that I’ve gotten a project finished enough ahead of my “schedule”, that I’ve been able to start cutting something else out, or do some extra sewing on a different project.  WOW!  Does that ever feel good!


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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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