10 Awesome Sewing Tips to Help You Sew Better & Faster

Lydia Naomi
by Lydia Naomi
9 Materials

Today I’ll be sharing 10 awesome sewing tips so you can sew efficiently and faster! There are so many sewing tricks and hacks to sew efficiently, making your projects easier. Let’s dive in so you can get inspired.

Tools and materials:

  • Sewing machine
  • Pattern
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Journal
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Pins
Converting a t-shirt pattern into different garments

1. Choose basic and hackable patterns

My first tip is geared more toward beginners and advanced beginners; choose basic and hackable patterns. For example, something very basic to sew is a t-shirt.

T-shirts are closet staples and I actually find good-quality t-shirts difficult to find in stores. By making your own t-shirts, you can choose the cut, design, and fabric that you want.

Plus, you can tweak the pattern, too. With small adjustments, you can use a basic t-shirt pattern to make a sweater, turtleneck, or t-shirt dress!

The more familiar you are with a type of garment, the quicker you can sew it (and adjust it). 

Pattern specs

2. Always read through pattern specs

When you have a pattern, always read through the specs. You’ll better understand the measurements, notions, what kind of fabric to get, and how much fabric you need.

These are important things that you shouldn’t skip. You may end up with too little fabric or the wrong notions. You’ll save yourself time later by taking the time to read through everything first. 

Sewing tips and tricks for beginners

3. Sustain yourself

One of the most essential tips on how to sew well is sustaining yourself! Do not start on low energy; make sure to drink and eat accordingly, and get adequate sleep. 

When starting a new project, prepare your materials, your body, and your mind!

Watch DIY sewing tutorials

4. Read and watch instructions

Before you even think of cutting, be sure to read and watch the instructions 2-3 times. If there’s anything you don’t understand, you can Google and do some research for better clarification.

Maybe you don’t know how to sew a dart, and there are four darts on your particular pattern. Being prepared is one of the most important DIY sewing tips! 

DIY sewing tips

5. Set realistic timelines

This is a crucial sewing trick; estimating realistic timelines. Sometimes, that coat you want to sew may not take a day but more like two. So, it’s best to break up your project accordingly.

Break up your project into manageable bites. You can dedicate one day to doing research and reading your specs. The next day can be dedicated to cutting and prepping. Then, sewing and assembling.

Psychologically, you'll feel better than trying to tackle everything in one go.

Making a toile before the garment

6. Create a toile

Before sewing, it’s best to create a toile. Get some fabric that’s not expensive (like muslin), cut your pattern pieces, and sew it up.

You don’t necessarily have to hem a toile or finish it up completely; you basically want the shell shape of the garment to see if there are any adjustments needed. Like this, you won’t ruin your fabric and waste time! 

Cutting and prepping fabric beforehand

7. Cut and prep

Having everything ready before you sew goes a long way. And when I say everything, I mean interfacing, pattern pieces, and pre-pressed hems.

For example, on a t-shirt, I like to press the hems before. So, when I’m sewing it from the top, it ends up being an even 1-inch hem all the way around. I really think you’ll be successful in sewing your garments when you have a habit of prepping everything before. 

Sewing machine tips and tricks for beginners

8. Set up your workspace

This is not a particularly fun task for me, but it needs to be done! This means setting up your sewing machines, getting the right thread, and setting up your bobbin.

Like this, you don’t need to stop in the middle of your project and spend your time winding a whole bobbin. Even changing your needle to the right size goes a long way! 

How to sew well

9. Go for the complex parts first

When starting your project, do not procrastinate on the challenging parts. If you can, do those parts first. For example, when sewing many garments, I start with the most difficult and end with the easiest.

This is really helpful because when you start a project, you have more energy and “steam” to do the difficult components first.

Also, if you’re breaking up your project into several days, don’t stop at a challenging part, as it can be discouraging and you can lose motivation to start up again.

Sewing journal with sketches

10. Write a sewing journal

Lastly, it’s great to have a little sewing journal to write down things that you’ve learned, things that you found challenging, and things you can improve on.

Sometimes, even the act of writing down these tips and techniques helps solidify them in your head. I even put my sketches and notes on there. 

Sewing tips

So, these are my top sewing tips for anyone who wants to know how to sew well. If you have any top sewing tips, please share them in the comments below. I hope you found this helpful, and good luck! 

Suggested materials:
  • Sewing machine
  • Pattern
  • Fabric
See all materials

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 1 comment
  • Heather Heather on Jun 04, 2022

    Excellent tips, thank you! I am a beginner but really enjoying sewing 🧵.:)