Sewing: avoiding mistakes, making projects NOT look homemade – and stuff to sew!

Avoiding sewing mistakes

Top sewing tips – and a couple of sewing projects

We have some marvellous tips for you this time! We’re starting off with some wonderful pointers – including an article we love, helping you to avoid the dreaded “home-made” look.

And we finish off with a couple of really straightforwards sewing how-to’s showing you how to get to grips with sewing shorts with – and without a pattern.

Drumroll please…

10 sewing mistakes that will make your clothes look homemade

You may be at the stage where, you’re really getting the hang of your sewing machine, you’re getting organised with your workspace and really beginning to gain confidence.

And yet… The end results of your labours are failing to hit the “Wow!” button.

Everything looks a little “home made”!!!!

Don’t worry – this is a phase that many sewists go through as they progress and to help you brush up on your project presentation, we’ve picked up a couple of our favourite go-tos for emergency assistance!

This first one is brilliant by Katrina on the Katrina Kay Creations website.

Some of them, upon reading seem obvious – though you won’t have necessarily thought of them – and some will really give you one of those lightbulb-switching-on moments. Enjoy reading about the importance of pattern markings, avoiding the wrong hem finish and the importance of avoiding laying pattern pieces in both directions.

We paid particular attention to: “Nothing says homemade like this one, and I cringe every time I see it. You cannot get a good result from turning under a curved seam allowance and top stitching at the neckline and armhole.” 

Top 7 sewing mistakes that every sewist needs to avoid

Thanks to Javeriya who sourced a piece by Alex Moore and posted it on the Sew Some Stuff blog.

Again, common sense is at the heart of these suggestions, which cover a number of topics from the fundamental flaw of choosing the wrong needle and thread to making sure that you use the presser foot correctly.

Top tip: “A good approach is to start small and gradually acquire new skills as you gain more experience.”

How to make easy women’s boxer shorts (with free pattern)

Of course, we don’t just want to tell you what not to do – we want to help you achieve something wonderful with your sewing!

A beautifully quirky one here – with this excellent how-to by Jessica Abbott on the eHow website.

The perfect pyjama shorts for a lazy Sunday morning! This is also a really straightforward project for pretty much anyone armed with a sewing machine – and it come with a free downloadable sewing pattern.

Jessica provides really clear instructions, which show how to get the best out of that free pattern. A total of 13 simple steps will provide you with the finished article.

Look out for: the pattern includes a 1/2″ seam allowance.

How to make shorts – without a pattern

The logical next step as your confidence begins to build, courtesy of Linda on an excellent blog piece that passed us by when it first appeared. It can be found on the Craftaholics Anonymous website.

And at the risk of stating the obvious, we really like the fact that it show you how to work well without needing to resort to a pattern – but using a pair of existing ones as a template.

Make sure that your computer screen’s not too bright – the material that Linda uses could give you a bit of a shock if you happen across it unawares!

Top tip: “Make sure that the opening is on the bottom side of the pocket so that it is sewn shut with the top stitch and that you do not sew the back piece of the shorts!“

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