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February 2015
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Sewing Shortcuts are a Lifesaver to Seamstresses Short on Time!

When a deadline for doing a sewing job is very near, shortcuts can mean the difference between it being wise or foolish for an expert or novice to undertake the project.  For those who dislike detail or those whose temperaments demand that a project must go quickly, shortcuts can mean the difference between continued interest or giving up on the project completely.

Quality must not be sacrificed, and it needn’t be if the entire project is viewed with shortcuts in mind.  Consider some of the following shortcut suggestions.

**If your customer has a more-than-one size figure, it may be easier to ask her to purchase separate sizes in patterns for the top and bottom of a garment, just as when buying ready to wear.  Or buy patterns styled for the easiest fit that have a minimum of “fitting” requirements.

** Use chalk for markings when you can as it washes away easily.

**Cut the fabric with right-sides together; the wrong side will then be exposed for quick marking.

**Sew the center seams right after removing the pattern from the fabric.

** Fold the pattern pieces as you go so they don’t get lost or torn.

**When you reach the end of a seam, and before fastening off, check to see if there is another seam that can be fed into the machine; this will make fewer starts and stops, and clipping of loose threads.

**When you don’t have a second seam to feed into the machine, always clip the threads “as you go” to eliminate the need for finding and clipping all loose threads when finished with the project.

**Substitute basting tape or basting-adhestive glue stick for basting stitches whenever practical, even for holding zippers in place.  This will eliminate the need to spend time on removal of basting stitches.

**With fusible webbing, fuse pockets in position for top-stitching; fuse hems instead of hand sewing them; fuse facings.  (Of course the use of this shortcut would be determined by the type of fabric being used).

**When practical, sew in sleeves before sewing the side seams and sleeve seams.  If done in this manner, you can make one “side seam” stitching from the cuff to the waist or to the hem of the garment.

For additional helpful articles, visit SewWithSarah.com.  Check out the pattern making books/classes and repair books that can give your sewing time a boost.

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

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