There’s a stack of sewing projects in the corner of my room that are either in progress already or I’ve bought all the supplies for the creation I have in mind. My goal is always to finish at least one project on the stack before I add any more to it, but between kids, job and house there’s so much life going on in my life that I tend to not have much free time to do the things I want to do. Sound familiar?
Sewing and crafting are amazing ways to relax and destress, but time is at a premium for most all of us so I’ve put together this list of ways to optimize your sewing time when you do get a chance to tackle your stack:
- Be prepared – gather and purchase all of the supplies necessary to complete your sewing or craft project ahead of time. Having to stop in the middle of a project in order to run out and get a forgotten essential item is both time consuming and irritating.
- Check the threading of your sewing machine – double check the threading of your sewing machine to prevent immediate stitching problems. Breaking thread or skipped stitches right off the bat can cause you to lose interest in the project, not to mention the time lost in fixing the problem. Pro Tip: Always use a good quality thread. Old or cheap thread will fray and break, causing knotting and more frustration than its worth.
- Use the right needle for the project – most people use the same needle for everything they sew until it breaks, but that’s a mistake. Some fabrics require a fine needle while heavier duck canvas or denim fabrics require a heavy duty needle. Keep a supply of assorted needles handy so you’ll have the correct needle for any fabric you choose to use.
- Cut your fabric carefully – all pattern pieces have grainline markings and the grainline should run parallel with the length of the fabric. If you ignore the grainlines and lay out the pattern pieces willy nilly, the finished garment will not hang right. Spend an extra few minutes laying out the pattern pieces correctly to create a professional looking garment that you’ll be proud to wear.
- Practice new or unusual techniques – if your current project includes a technique you aren’t comfortable with, like maybe buttonholes or flat felled seams, practice first on a scrap piece of fabric.
- Clip all threads as you sew – it only takes a second to clip the stitches from the beginning and end of your seams. If you wait until a project is finished it will become a chore and you may be tempted to leave them, resulting in an unprofessional looking end product.
- Press seams as you work – pressing the seams as you go during the sewing process will produce a more professional looking garment, and will also make it easier to sew any seams that will “cross” other seams you’ve already sewn.
- Clean your sewing area – clean up your sewing area after each project. Put everything away, leftover fabric in a scrap box or drawer, scissors, pins and thread back in their place. Keeping your sewing area organized makes the space much more inviting than a messy, piled up area.