Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Avoid

This week we have a guest post by Helen of HelloSewing.com! Helen is the founder of HelloSewing.com, a blog providing sewing tips and sewing machine advice. She loves all things DIY- crafts, drawing, decorating, making beautiful things out of scratch with her own hands and above all – she simply loves sewing!

She’s here to give you some pointers about what to avoid (I’m totally guilty of a few of these… *cough, Ineedtomashmyfabric, cough*)

Without further ado, here’s Helen with her tips!

We all have some flaws and bad habits, that’s perfectly normal. Not working on fixing them though, is not a good thing. When it comes to sewing, bad habits can definitely have a negative impact on your work. And you might have one of them without even knowing it.

Some of them affect the quality of your creations. Others affect your health and skill. And some just make you less productive.

That is why we will be showing you a few most common bad sewing habits. We will also show you how to avoid them. Hopefully, you’ll find these tips of ours helpful and put them to good use.

Not washing the fabric before using it

This bad habit can find its way even to experienced sewing practitioners. It might seem unnecessary but if you skip the washing before you start sewing, two things will happen.

First and the biggest issue that appears is the shrinkage. Natural fabrics and blends will shrink after the first wash.

The second problem is the stiffness. Washing softens the fabric and makes it easier to handle and cut. It also removes all of the folds and creases.

Not checking the pattern measurements

Many sewists have trouble with fit because they can’t break out of their ready to wear sizing habit. There’s nothing more disheartening than spending a lot of time, money and effort on sewing a garment that does not fit well. Spend a few minutes to take your body measurements and check them against the pattern. One of the most common mistakes among new sewists is sewing their RTW size without checking the paper pattern measurements. When sewing, you might have to go up 2 or 3 sizes, so if you usually buy size 12, you might have to use size 16 or size 18 when sewing with a pattern. If you are not the same size all over, then adjust the pattern accordingly.

Not using a new needle for a new project


Needles also go through wear and tear. While the thread passes through them, it gradually grinds the needle and makes microscopic saw-like teeth on it. These teeth later scratch the thread and thin it out. Then your thread becomes weak and it tends to break easily.

To avoid this, swap the needle out after using them for eight hours.

Putting pins in your mouth


I myself used to have this habit, just like many other sewing enthusiasts. Those pins are not clean enough for you to be putting them inside your mouth. They also tend to scratch your teeth and damages their enamel. So, if you hate going to the dentist, avoid putting pins in your mouth.

Not organizing your workspace

If you leave your tools on a pile near your sewing machine, you’re not as productive as you can be. Going through the pile to find what you need takes a lot of time. Time you could spend on the actual sewing instead. Keeping everything stored away also isn’t wise for the same reason. If you can only sew in small chunks of time during the day, then according to the review website Hellosewing.com, you will need to have your sewing machine ready to go. If you need to pull the machine out of storage every time and gather all the tools and notions, you won’t be able to sew as much as you would otherwise.

Take the tools you use the most and keep them next to your sewing machine. Pins, shears, scissors, threads, and needles are all you need to have at hand. Everything else should stay in separate boxes.

Using shears for something other than cutting fabric

If you use dressmaking shears for cutting out paper patterns or opening your newly delivered packages, you will blunt them. Obviously, you will also blunt them if you use them for something unrelated to sewing, like opening packages. Cutting fabric with shears that aren’t sharp is a nightmare. They can’t cut in a straight line and they occasionally chew on the fabric. Synthetic fabrics blunt shears as well, especially fleece. So don’t forget to sharpen them regularly. You can do that by yourself with a scissor sharpener, or by taking them to a professional.

Sewing with a bad posture

You should always try your best to keep your back straight while sewing. Slouching and leaning front will cause you some health issues on the long run. Your back will become stiff and start to ache sooner and sooner until the pain becomes almost constant. You can do all of your sewing work just fine with your back straightened up. Pay attention to your health and you’ll enjoy sewing for a long time.

I sincerely hope you liked this article and that it has been helpful to you. Did you have some of these bad habits? Did I forget to put an important one on the list? Do let me know in the comments, your input is appreciated!

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