Are you a sewer, or looking to take it up as a hobby? Perhaps it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t quite found the time? Well, there’s no time like retirement to practice a new skill or craft, so pull up a seat at the sewing machine!
These nine simple tips will help to make sewing that little bit easier for beginners and experiences sewers alike.
1. Use hairspray
You’ve probably threaded, or attempted to thread a needle at some point in your life, and know that it can be a downright pain in the proverbial. Use a little spritz of hairspray on the thread; it will stiffen it up nicely and make threading a breeze!
2. And soap
You may as well just bring your whole bathroom cupboard into the sewing room at this point. Use a bar of soap as a pin cushion. Not only does it do the job of holding your pins, it will also make them slide easily into the fabric.
3. A rubber band
Slip a rubber band – preferably one of the large, flat ones from your newspaper – around your sewing machine peddle. It will stop your foot from slipping off the smooth plastic, which can be very annoying when you’re in the zone.
4. Measuring tap on your cutting table
There’s no need to waste money on a special sewing table; simply stick measuring tapes along the sides of your table. It will make cutting the perfect amount quickly and easily a breeze.
5. Finding the grain
It is really important to know where the grain of your fabric is, to ensure a good fit. You can find this out by pulling a thread from the corner of your fabric.
6. Sharpening pin cushion
If the soap isn’t cutting it, you can make your own sharpening pin cushion by filling it with fine steel wool. It could be your first project if you’re a beginner!
7. Keep your scissors sharp
Most keen sewing enthusiasts are obsessive over their sewing scissors. It is best to have a good pair which are for sewing only – no vanishing to cut anything in the kitchen! A great way to sharpen your scissors is by cutting through tin foil. Place several sheets together, and slice through them, ensuring the whole scissor blade touches the foil as you cut.
8. Non-slip pad
Stick some non-slip grip to the backside of your rulers, so they don’t slip on you when you’re measuring or cutting.
9. Use clothes pegs
Pins aren’t always the best tool for the job. When you’re sewing fairly bulky things like bindings and piping, use clothes pegs or mini clothes pegs, or even bulldog clips to keep them in place.
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.