15 Sewing Tricks Grandma Should Have Shown You

Sewing is one of those skills that as you learn, you find there’s more and more you need to know. We all remember our grandmothers and their ability to create or fix nearly every item. They seemed to know everything about mending and keeping sewing supplies organized. We have some of their great sewing tips, tricks and hacks we think everyone should know.

  1. Make perfect ruffles every time by laying a piece of crochet thread along the fabric (in the length of the seam allowance). Then stitch over it with a zig-zag stitch. Finally, pull the crochet thread (gently!) to gather the fabric. Voila!
  2. Always keep washi tape around. It is so handy and enables you to make bias binding, mark fabric, mark out seams, and even measure a seam.
  3. When your pins have dulled over time, put them into a bar of soap. They will easily go through your fabric again.
  4. Use tailor’s beeswax to have your needle slide through the fabric as you sew or baste a hem.  
  5. If you are always searching for dropped pins, this one is for you….  Super glue a few magnets to the bottom of a dish, creating a magnetic dish that will ‘hang on’ to your pins!
  6. Create a hemline tool using cardstock. Measure your lines once and you’ll have a tool to help you iron perfectly hemlines and clean folds time after time.
  7. You can make some quick and easy pattern weights with a few large washers and some ribbon you have on hand. Wrap the ribbon around the washer and glue the ends. This finished product is both pretty and functional as it holds patterns in place without using pins.
  8. Slide a pin across one end of a buttonhole before you rip the stitches. It will ensure you don’t go too far.
  9. Use paperclips when you work with leather. Pins will leave permanent holes, but clips will slide off without damaging your leather.
  10. Use a coat of clear nail polish over a newly sewn on button. It will keep the thread from unravelling and keep the button in place longer.
  11. If you hate buying new pins to replace dull ones, make your own pin cushion filled with steel wool. The pins will sharpen every time they go into and out of the cushion.
  12. Use canned air or Endust for electronics to blow away tiny fabric ‘bits’ from your sewing machine’s moving parts. It will keep your machine clean in between being serviced.
  13. Use hairspray on your thread before threading the needle to stiffen up the thread. It will make it much easier to get the eye threaded.
  14. Keep spools of thread and their matching bobbin together using a golf tee. After you put the bobbin on top of the spool of thread, put the golf tee through it. The size of the tee is perfect and keeps you organized for the next time you need that color.
  15. Use rubber bands as measuring guides for your sewing machine.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you in your sewing and crafting. Have a tip to share? Leave a comment and we will gather them all for future articles.

For more tips and tools please be sure to visit our website: www.CNTPattern.com.




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Jacquie Tinch

2) I know what washi tape is now (like fancy masking tape, originating in Japan hence weird name) but 10 years ago I’d never heard of it and my grandmother certainly never had.
5) A magnetic dish will certainly hang on to your pins for you, but after a while the pins will also hang on to each other so every time you try to pick one up you get a whole string or clump of them. My mum used to teach dressmaking and thought this was a brilliant idea when she first read about it (and that must be 40 years ago) but after a few weeks decided it was more trouble than it was worth. It took several years (yes, years) for the pins to de-magnetise those pins.
8) An excellent idea, I hadn’t heard this one before.

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