20 sewing tips for making clothes

Learn simple sewing tips to make sewing clothes easier. Whether it's for the sewing machine, cutting room or sewing room, these ideas can all be useful.

Do you like to sew clothes? Sewing clothes is my favorite type of sewing, but I do all kinds of sewing. There are some tips and tricks to make your sewing easier and faster, and here are twenty sewing tips!

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Sewing Tips

I made a video of all the sewing tips in motion, and then you can read the details of each one below. There are only eighteen in the video, but there are twenty listed because I couldn't get videos of all the sewing tips.

Also don’t miss the tips for a more organized sewing room!

1. Washi Tape and Folds

To use adhesive tape to hold wrinkles before sewing. It holds the entire fold instead of just the top of the fold. The ribbon does not damage the fabric like a pin would.

washi tape and folds

2. The corners and the needle of the sewing machine

When sewing corners, keep the sewing machine needle down, lift the sewing machine foot and move the fabric. Then, attach the sewing machine foot and sew the next side.

pivot with the sewing machine needle down

3. Hairspray and machine threading

Spray the end of the thread with hairspray to make it easier to thread through the sewing machine needle. It simply slides through the eye of the needle once sprayed.

hairspray for threading needles

4. Marking with washi tape

Sometimes you have a larger seam allowance than indicated on your sewing machine. The easiest way to mark a larger seam allowance without making it permanent is to use adhesive tape*.

I like to write down what the seam allowance is so I don't forget it.

mark lines on a sewing machine with tape

5. Fabric scissors, foil and sandpaper

It's the worst when your fabric scissors are dull. Use sandpaper and aluminum foil to sharpen the scissors again.

I like to cut the sandpaper first, then cut the aluminum foil.

cut scissors from foil and sandpaper

Be sure to sharpen all sections of the blades.

cut scissors from foil and sandpaper

6. Bulletin board and sewing machine needles

When you sew clothes, you're constantly changing sewing machine needles, and this can be confusing.

Set up a place on a pincushion or poster board with labels so you can always keep your needles organized.

organize sewing machine needles

7. Tissue paper and light fabrics

Cutting lightweight fabrics is quite tricky, except when you use tissue paper underneath. This makes it much easier to cut your project precisely.

cut light fabric

8. Buttons and dental floss

The worst is when a button falls off an item of clothing. It's boring to sew them, and it's awful to have to sew one again.

If you use dental floss instead of wire, it is much stronger and your pimple will never fall off. However, you cannot use dental floss in your sewing machine!

sew buttons with dental floss

9. Buttons and Clear Nail Polish

Floss may be stronger, but you may not always want to use white to sew on your buttons.

When using thread to sew buttons, cover the thread on the front with clear nail polish* to keep it strong and secure.

add nail polish to the button wire

10. Remaining seams

Hang seams are a simple thing and may seem obvious, but there have been several projects where I skipped the hang seams and always ended up with a stretched neckline or armhole.

Staystitching always keeps my sewing projects looking good, and it's very important to do!

11. Two pencils and seam allowance

Sometimes you buy a sewing pattern that doesn't have a seam allowance. So the quickest way to add seam allowances is to use two pencils.

Glue the two pencils together and trace the pattern. The outer pencil draws a perfect seam allowance.

add a seam allowance with two pencils

12. Blood and sputum

I didn't want to create a photo for this, but I tried it and it works.

If you ever get cut or pricked and have blood on your item, use your own spit to clean it. The pin contains specific enzymes which are the best way to clean the blood.

13. Scissor Necklace

This is my favorite hack of all time and I've been doing this for FIFTEEN years. Carry a small pair of scissors on a ribbon around your neck and you will never lose your scissors again.

I use it to cut threads, trim and file seams, and cut small pieces of fabric to sew interfacing.

scissors on a ribbon

14. A glue stick instead of pinning

Sometimes when pinning, the pins can tilt the fabric slightly and especially on lightweight fabrics. Instead of using pins, I like to use a glue stick* on belts and patch pockets.

It holds it in place while I sew and then it washes in the washing machine.

use glue to hold the seams in place

15. Frixion Pens and Marking Cloth

I actually think this one is a bit controversial after doing a lot of research. Many seamstresses love to use Frixion Pens* because they are precise and the ink disappears when ironed.

BUT if it is frozen the ink will return and if you iron over a mark before using it it will disappear. I think they're great, but I only use them in seam allowances or on the back of the fabric.

use Frixion pens to mark fabric

16. Pins and soap

Pins wear out and sometimes they get a little sticky or rough. Slide the pins in and out of one bar of soap* to make them smooth and slippery again.

put pins in soap

17. Pins and pin cushions

I always wondered why tomato cushions* are so popular, and I learned that they are often made with wood shavings or steel wool that sharpens your pins with each outing.

I have pins that I use on paper patterns, so I make sure to tuck them into my tomato to keep them sharp.

use tomato to sharpen the pins

18. Clips and leather

Leather cannot be pricked with pins, so it is difficult to sew. Instead you can use quilting clips* to prevent the leather from being damaged! (I've also used a glue stick with great success!)

use clips with leather

19. Skewer and fabric tubes

I hate turning tubes of fabric, but one wooden skewer* makes things quick and easy! I had a little trouble getting it started, but then it was quick to spin!

use a thin stick to twist the thin tube

This is the only way I want to turn tiny tubes into fabric!

use a thin stick to twist the thin tube

20. Bend the corners

If you have a 90 degree corner, this is a simple way to sew it and you will never have to cut any corners. Sew one side of the corner and go straight to the edge, backstitching both ends.

Then fold the fabric towards the main part of the garment at the seam line, and backstitch the other side of the corner at both ends.

fold the fabric in the corner to get neat stitches

It looks a little strange with the crease in the corner, but once you turn it over you get a perfectly clean corner without having to cut anything.

fold the fabric in the corner to get neat stitches

What is your favorite sewing tip? If you make anything using this tutorial, I'd love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and identify me!

sewing tips

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