8 Sewing Tips and Hacks for Beginners / My Best Top 8

8 best sewing tips

If you are new to sewing or have been sewing for a long time, there are always some new sewing tips and hacks that could make your sewing experience easier and more enjoyable.


In this post, I share with you my top eight sewing tips.

8 best sewing tips hand weight

1. Preventing Ruler Slippage

This tip is a game-changer if you use a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler. When making long cuts, your ruler may slide, even if you press down firmly.

The solution? A simple five-pound hand weight. That’s it.

What do you do with it? Place the weight on the end of the ruler to keep it in place. This prevents any slipping or sliding and ensures straight cuts every time.

I keep my weight on my sewing table whenever I’m getting ready to cut.

sewing tips

2. Starting and Ending Seams on Knit and Lightweight Fabrics

Starting a seam on knit or lightweight fabrics without the fabric getting sucked into the machine can be challenging. 

You get bunched up fabric, and sometimes it will even make a hole in your fabric. OUCH!

I have the perfect little gadget that will cost you nothing and save you so much grief.

It’s just a piece of scrap fabric about 2 x 2 inches. When you start a seam, sew onto the scrap first and then put the end of the fabric against it.

sewing tipsThis keeps the presser foot level and allows the feed dogs to move the fabric through without getting it sucked down into the machine. (I’m sure you’ve experienced it). It is so frustrating.

It will also ensure a smooth start and finish to your seams.

sewing  tips scraps ***I keep many scrap pieces close to my machine in a little pouch on my sewing supply holder.

You can use the same scrap piece over and over again.

sewing tips bulky seams

3. Sewing Over Bulky Seams


When sewing over bulky seams, such as denim or fleece, skipped stitches and uneven stitches can be a problem.

To prevent this, all you need to do is keep the presser foot level by placing something under the back of the foot.

You can use a “hump jumper,” a folded piece of cereal box, or even an emery board.

Alternatively, some machines have a leveling button on the presser foot to help maintain an even stitch.

When you come to the bulky seam, slide the device under the back of the presser foot and start sewing. This will allow the feed dogs to pull the fabric evenly without skipping stitches.

Then, when you continue to sew and go off the bulky seam, the device will simply fall away or the button will pop back out, disengaging it.

4. Using Painter’s Tape or Masking Tape

I know this may seem like a strange thing to have in your sewing kit, but painter’s tape or masking tape can be incredibly useful in sewing projects. It’s one of my favorite sewing tips!

To mark the seam allowance on your sewing machin

  • As a guide to sew straight lines instead of using chalks or pens.
  • Seam Allowances and Straight Lines
  • Use it to mark your seam allowances on your sewing machine
  • As a temporary hold for fabric pieces 
sewing tips topstitching

5. Top Stitching without Thread Bunching

Top stitching adds a professional touch to your projects, but threads can bunch up and knot at the start and look really messy.

sewing tips starting seamTo avoid this, adjust your stitch length from 2.5 to 3 and gently pull back the threads from the needle and bobbin when you begin stitching. Take a few stitches and let them go.

This prevents bunching and ensures a clean finish start.

sewing tips sewing foot pedal

6. Keeping Your Sewing Pedal in Place

If your sewing pedal keeps sliding away while you work, place a piece of rubbery shelf liner under it.

sewing tips shelf linerThis will keep the pedal in place and prevent it from moving around.

Here’s a sewing tip for those of you with a carpet surface: You can apply a few pieces of sticky back Velcro to the pedal (the prickly hook piece) to keep it from slipping around.

sewing tips threading machine

7. Troubleshooting Funky Stitches


If your machine starts acting up and the stitches start looking a little wonky, the simplest solution is often to re-thread your sewing machine. It’s as simple as that.

Ensure you’re threading the machine correctly according to the instructions in your sewing machine manual, and check your bobbin.

This quick fix can solve many common stitching problems.

***If you still are having issues, check out my tutorial on

Troubleshooting 3 Common Sewing Machine Problems | Sew Simple Series Lesson #7

 

 

sewing tips serger thread

8. Managing Serger Tails

For those of you who use a serger, here is a tip to avoid leaving those obnoxious tails when starting or ending a seam with a serger.

Start sewing about half an inch. Stop and lift the presser foot. Pull the tail to the front and under the presser foot so that when you continue to sew, the tail will be reinforced by sewing over it and then cut off.

sewing tips sergerAt the end of a seam, sew to the end of the fabric, maybe one stitch off the fabric, then lift the presser foot, pull the fabric back slightly, flip it over, and align the edge with the needle before continuing to sew. Sew a few inches, then veer quickly off.

Cut your threads. This technique results in a neat finish without loose tails.

Feel free to share your experiences, ask questions, or comment below.

I would love to hear some of your sewing tips.

 

Have fun sewing!

jan3

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Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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How To Sew Over Bulky Seams the Easy Way / Best Sewing Tips

sewing over bulky seams

Do you find it challenging to sew over bulky seams?  Your machine’s struggling, you’re getting skipped  stitches and it is just downright frustrating. Well, not anymore.

In this blog post, I’m going to show you some great tips where you can  sew over a bulky seams and still get a beautiful, professional-looking stitch.

bu;ly seams

 Whenever you are sewing with denim, canvas, fleece, or sewing with a bunch of layers, going over the bulky seams can be a little tricky. There are some things you can do and use to make this a lot easier.

bulky seams and skipped stitches

What causes you to have skipped stitches?

Let’s go over what causes you to get skipped stitches.

The presser foot on your machine is meant to pivot up and down.

When the presser foot goes over the bulky seams,  the front of the pressure foot will angle up, and then the feed dogs aren’t able to push the fabric through.

sewing over bulky seams

The results, long skipped stitches, which not only look bad, but the seam will not be secure in that area.

If you make the presser foot level somehow, then it will feed the fabric through and you’re good to go.

All that you need to do is get that presser foot level by putting something underneath the back of the presser foot while you’re sewing.

There are several little gadgets that you can use to make the presser foot level and make sewing over bulky seams a snap.

Bulky Seams Gadget #1 Hump Jumper

When you buy a sewing machine, most likely it will come with this little device called a “hump jumper”.

If you don’t have one, you can easily buy one here, or make your own.

SEWING OVER BULKY SEAMS hump jumper

How to use a hump jumper on bulky seams

Let me explain how to use it. Sew up to the seam and when the presser foot starts to tilt up, stop sewing, leave the needle in the down position, lift up the presser foot and slide the hump jumper under the foot as shown above.

Then continue to sew over the bulky seams and the hump jumper will just fall off.

hump jumper bulky seams
tip

The little hole on the hump jumper is used to help steady the needle when you are putting a new needle in the machine.

Just place the needle in the hole (make sure it is facing the correct way) and shove the top of the needle in place.

In the video tutorial, I demonstrate all of these methods, so be sure to watch it at the end of the post.

LEVELING BUTTON BULKY SEAMS

Bulky Seams Gadget #2 Leveling Foot

Some machines come with a presser foot that has a little black button on the side.

My machine has one and it is a Babylock Verve. (J foot)

BULKY SEAMS LEVELING BUTTON

How to use a LEVELING FOOT

Here is how to use that foot. Sew up to the seam and when the presser foot starts to tilt up, stop sewing, leave the needle in the down position, lift up the presser foot and push the little black button on the side of the foot.

When you bring the foot down, it will lock in place.

 


Continue to sew and when you go off the bulky seam, the button will pop back out. That’s it.

diy hump jumper bulky seams

Bulky Seams Gadget #3 DIY Hump Jumper

If you don’t have either of these items, you can simply make your own.

All you need is a cracker or cereal box (As some of you know, I love to recycle.

  • Cut a piece of the box about 6 x 3 inches.
  • Fold the long part over about 2 inches and repeat folding until you have a folded bundle.
  • Unfold it to the height of your fabric and simply slide it under the back of the presser foot against the edge of the bulky seam.

 

paper hump jumper bulky seams

This will lift and level the presser foot so you can continue to sew. Once over the seam it will just fall out.

Bulky Seam Gadget #4 Emery Board

You can get creative here and use a lot of items to prop up that presser foot.

One thing I found that works well and doesn’t cost you anything, if you have one on hand, is a simple EMERY BOARD.

Who would have thought?

I love using these little gadgets when I’m hemming a pair of jeans.

There you have it. I hope you find these tips helpful and that you’ll get out your sewing machines and make something fun!

Have fun sewing!

jan3

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Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More