If you’re new to sewing, you’ll be keen to produce stylish garments as soon as you can. To help you do this, you’ve probably invested in one of the leading domestic brands, like Brother sewing machines. Buying the best machine you can is a good idea because the smooth performance and reliability will make your sewing experience much more enjoyable.
As you take the first steps on your sewing journey, you’ll gain plenty of knowledge through sewing classes, online sewing forums, and craft books. As you progress, you’ll pick up plenty of habits – some good, some not so good. Because bad habits can dampen the joy of sewing, we thought we’d share a few that you shouldn’t get into.
- Sewing in an untidy workspace. The first bad habit to not get into simply because not being able to find what you need is immensely frustrating. It kills the mood and often sees you compromise with an item or accessory that won’t do the job. As well as the bare basics like scissors, tape measure, pins and chalk, keep only the items on your sewing table that you’re likely to use for that particular project. Everything else can be stored away until you need it.
– Bad habit number two is not washing your fabric before using it. Most fabrics you buy contain finishing treatments which make them firmer and leads to them becoming creased and hard to handle. Plus, it’s far more difficult to cut out when the fabric has folds that won’t smooth out. Washing the fabrics before you start sewing will remove these annoying folds. Plus, natural fabrics like linen, cotton, and wool are liable to shrink when they’re washed. By washing before sewing, you won’t waste time making a garment that will shrink and become too tight after its first wash.
– Not transferring pattern markings onto your fabric is another bad habit that many sewers get into. Don’t make that mistake! Not taking the time to transfer these key markings will invariably make your project more time-consuming and complicated and the results will be far from ideal.
- Overusing the needle on your machine is another no-no. Some experienced sewers say you should replace your needle after every eight hours of sewing, and the reason is simple. When thread passes through the needle as part of the stitching process, it rubs against the metal of the eye. This can create microscopic grooves in the needle, which wears the thread as it passes through. This will result in the thread shredding and breaking more than it should.
- While we’re talking about thread, here’s a bad habit you should not get into: buying cheap and nasty stuff! Always buy the best thread you can afford. Inferior thread will make sewing difficult beyond belief and we’re not just talking about having to constantly re-thread your needle – you will have to do this by the way, and that will make you question this whole sewing caper. A good way to tell if thread is of poor quality is to hold a short length up to the light. Check if it is evenly spun, or uneven in thickness. Look to see if it is smooth with a distinct sheen, or matt with a fluffy appearance. Lower-quality thread will be uneven in thickness and won’t pass smoothly through your machine. It could cause tension problems and will be more prone to breaking. If thread looks fluffy it will shed more lint and cause further problems. You could also try the ‘snap” test for thread strength. Wrap a little around your index fingers and give it a pull – if it breaks easily, buy something else.
- Anyone who has been sewing for years will say that not ironing as you go is one of the worst practices to adopt. Puckers and wrinkles in home-made clothes are much more noticeable than you think and drag the whole garment down. So, when creating a garment, iron every seam once its sewn, and then move onto the next stage. This will help the thread settle into the fabric, and achieve a smooth seam which lies flat as a result. If possible, set up an iron and board next to your sewing table. If you have to go to another room, you’re far less likely to keep up this good ironing habit. It’s worth doing as the quality of the finished garment will be so much higher.
Of course, you will learn as you go, and pick up many more handy habits on the way. When you use them, instead of the bad ones we’ve just spoken about, you’ll love sewing for a lifetime.