Sewing: Tips and Tricks for Savvy Sewers or First Timers

Do you spray your thread with hairspray before threading it through the eye of a needle? Trust me it is a big time saver. And what about using a toe separator for storing loose bobbins? I know, it is true and who was the genius who first thought of that?

If you are new to sewing, not sure where to start or maybe you have forgotten a few things, here's a handy little list of sewing tips and tricks that you will appreciate no matter what your ability. Take a peak!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Firstly, ensure you have good lighting at your work station and if you require magnification, invest in the appropriate tool to improve visibility.
  • Go slowly with the foot pedal on your sewing machine, especially as a beginner. Enjoy the process! Sewing is as much about the making as it is about the finished piece.
  • Spray the tip of your thread with hairspray for faster threading of a needle.

  • All fabrics have a grain line and it is important to pay attention to this when cutting out your pattern. A pair of dressmaker shears is a must.
  • Shallow ring dishes are perfect for collecting and storing pins. Extra tip is to glue a magnet to the bottom.
  • Include a crochet hook in your kit for opening seams. Use the rounded tip to push under the stitch and the hook to remove the thread.

  • A golf tee is a simple way to organise a spool of thread and its matching bobbin. Insert the golf tee through both to keep together.

  • Store loose bobbins in a toe separator. Yes, the one you bought for painting your toe nails. It now has a new life and it is fabulous!
  • Don’t be afraid to use more pins when securing patterns to fabric and always set the pins parallel to the raw edge of the pattern.
  • Before hand-sewing, practice a few stitches on a scrap piece of material. This warms up your fingers and hones your technique for a better end result.
  • When sewing slippery fabric like a sateen place the fabric between two sheets of tissue paper to prevent it from sliding away. This also helps to avoid snags.
  • Leave the needle down and pivot the fabric will achieve an aligned seam.
  • Regularly clean your sewing machine to rid a build-up of lint or thread.
  • Iron your fabric as you sew.
  • Use good quality fabric like Nerida Hansen Fabrics and coordinating thread.
  • Place a pin at the end of your buttonhole to prevent you from cutting too far.

That is part one of our sewing tips and tricks series. If you have a beauty and happy to share, email it to

Words by Jacqui Taylor
Tips from various sources