My top 5 Sewing Tips!

In a bid to become a better blogger, and to make the blog better, i did read somewhere that you should write about what you would like to read in a blog, so here you go! My bloglovin list is filled with sewing, personal style blogs and also small creative businesses too, so i guess that is the way this is going!

So today i bring you my top 5 sewing tips, i think i'll do a countdown of my top 5 sewing secrets from 'not so amazing' to truely amazing for that extra wow factor

Number #5
Trim your threads as you go.
It may sound like a pretty crappy tip, but a helpful one. One of my worst nightmares is that horrible tangle of threads you get at the end, or even worse, getting loose threads (especially overlocker ends) caught in the seam. It may sound pernickety but its easier to trim as you go than try and find all those loose threads at the end.

Number #4
If you can't match your colours, darker is better than lighter.

When trying to match treads or zips or trims, (or anything really) sometimes you can match the colours perfectly, and its a miracle, other time theres just no colour thread in the shop that will match your lovely fabric. Damn it. Best thing to do is to go for the closest darker shade rather than the lighter one. Lighter tones will always 'pop out' a little more than the darker ones.

Number #3
Glass headed pins.

Amazing - why didn't i know about these before i started sewing.
Glass = does not melt when iron is applied (i have ruined a few projects by melting a plastic pin head to it!) They are lovely and sharp - possibly too sharp so be careful (again a few projects ruined with little spots of finger blood) and the coloured heads are easy to find when they are holding your project together. Not as pretty as those long pins with the metallic heart shaped ends, but 100 times better performance wise.

Number #2
Pinking Shears.

Yes - they are not just for decorative use. You've probably heard of pinking seams to finish them neatly if you dont have an overlocker to hand, but I use the pinking shears to trim away the seam allowances on finished seams (like necks and armholes) especially curved seams for a perfect crisp curve and no bulk. Who has time to clip notch seams for turning!

Number #1
Pritt Stick.

So many people say to me - "wow how did you put in that zip so neatly? I always have so much trouble inserting zips!" By using this little trick i can insert a zip in under 10 minutes.
With this method using the secret ingredient of Pritt Stick - you should be able to easily insert a zipper without any problems. The ideas behind it is you glue the zip to the seam while sewing so you haven't got to stop to take pins out, or try sew over them leaving you with wobbly stitching. Before i show you how i insert a zipper via a lovely picture story, i do have to give credit to for the initial idea, i do follow her instructions to a point, but sew the zip in slightly differently to the original instructions. Here is a tutorial ony! how to insert a zipper into a dress, but you can also use this method for skirts, cushions, purses, well anything with a zip reall

First, sew the seam your zip will be going in to. I like to sew the seam with quite a long stitch so its easier to unpick later. Also press the seam open.

Then glue the zip tapes down both sides. As you can see this is an invisible zipper so you can't see the zipper teeth from the right side - which is this side! If you are using a normal zip, you'll glue down the sides where you can see the zipper teeth.

I pin my zip at the top of the seam, just to keep it in place whilst i stick the rest of the zip down. I line up the top of the zip with the top seam as i have already sewn the lining (the polka dot fabric) If you are attaching your lining after putting the zip in, i would line up the end of the zip tape with the edge of your fabric. (So those bits sticking out on the above photo would meet the top edge of your fabric instead of the zipper meeting the edge of the fabric like in the photo)

Then carefully match up the seam with your zipper teeth, smoothing as you go. Apologies for my awful nails - i had just washed my hair with purple shampoo and it stains your nails!

Once your zip is all stuck down, give it a quick press with an iron to keep it in place.

Then using your zipper foot, sew away! I start as far up as i can (as the zipper pull is i the way) and sew all the way down until you get to the bottom. The stitching on the other side (the part that you will see when it's finished) should be perfectly straight if you have placed the zip carefully in the centre and you keep your zipper foot right next to the zipper for guidance.

When you get to the bottom, turn the fabric to a 90 degree angle to sew across the zip (the tape not the actual zip) and reverse a few times, then carry on up the other side.

Sew as far as you can until the zipper pull gets in the way then stop.

Unpick the seam down to the end of the zip and pull out all of the ripped threads to make it all neat and tidy.

You know we couldn't sew all of the zip because the pull was in the way? Now we have opened up the seam we can pull the zipper head down to get at those little bits at the top to secure those, using the same method as before,

Sew down from the start of the dress to where the original stitching started.

 Trim all threads and ta daa! Here is the finished piece. As you can see the zip is neatly topstitched, and is finished nicely at the top!

I prefer to topstitch zips into my dresses rather than use the invisible  zipper method as i find that if the dress pulls ever so slightly your likely to see the invisible zipper, but if you use this method and topstitch, theres always a little flap of fabric covering the zip so your less likely to see it!

I really hope my first tutorial was easy to follow and above all helpful. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and i will do my best to answer any questions you may have on my 5 tips - and also share any of yours if you think you have a really awesome one.

Grace Face xoxo