When you’ve had a few projects under your belt, you feel confident. This is as true for writing as it is for sewing or any other creative endeavour. This confidence is good because it can get you started on moving beyond the basics. It can also be bad because it leads to you making unnecessary mistakes.

One typical mistake is to cut the pattern wrong. To avoid it, measure twice – or more if you want to be sure, this way you will only cut once.

Make sure you use the presser foot on your machine.

The presser foot is designed to hold the fabric in place. This lets you make neater stitches. Forgetting to use it can cause the material to jump around, creating a tangled mess.

We know that tensioning is tough, but you should remember to check the dial on your machine as well as your bobbin anyway.

A lack of proper tension causes stitching to look uneven. In some cases, it looks tighter on the top. And loose on the bottom, this is a clear indicator something is off. Check that the bobbin is threaded properly, then set the tension. Turn the machine dial or little bolt on your bobbin left and this will loosen, right will tighten. You may need to stitch a few test fabrics first to see if you have it right.

Take notes. Especially for differ fabrics.

Fabric choice matters, people!

Choosing the wrong fabric for the project is a risk. Sheer, drapy, or soft fabrics might seem tempting, but they might also be a poor fit for your project or a challenge to work with without the right knowledge, but don’t let this put you off, practice, practice, practice, you have to start somewhere.

Choose a textile or fabric that is suggested by the pattern you are working on. These are suggested because they’re the ones that fit best, choosing based only on aesthetics or a whim can sabotage your project.

Learn to read a sewing pattern. Seriously, people. You need to learn how to read these things. Don’t just cut out and start sewing with that peaking confidence, follow the instructions trust me even with years under my belt I still read the pattern to avoid any unnecessary issues.

Pick the right needle and thread for the project. Sure, most of the time you can get away with a 100% polyester, all-purpose thread. There are also universal needles.

However, sometimes this won’t cut it. Sometimes, you need to use something specific like rayon, quilting thread, or silk.

Some needle types are designed for specific purposes. Stretch needles are for stretchy fabrics. If you’re working with leather or other speciality materials, you’ll need the needles to match. Getting the right needle to the weight of the cloth is integral.

Sewing machines should only use needles for about six to eight hours of time. After that, replace. This helps keeps things smooth.

I hope some of these tips can be of use! Good luck and happy sewing! For more advice, click here.