Top 5 Sewing Mistakes

Top 5 Sewing Mistakes

loose threads

Looking to improve your basic sewing techniques? Follow these top five sewing fixes and your work will improve instantly.

Loose threads – depending on how you prefer to work, threads can either be snipped off as you go or at the end. Whichever way you choose, take a moment to check over your work and ensure there are no stray threads hanging off your item. I do this as I’m doing the final press.

bunchy threadsThread bunches and incorrect back-tacking – nothing says homemade more than bunches of thread in your work. Practice back-tacking until you get it looking neat. Three stitches forward, back and forward once more is usually enough for an average seam ending or beginning.

stitch sizeWrong size stitches – stitching too small makes unpicking a nightmare and take longer to sew. Too large and the seam may pull apart, especially in open weave fabrics. A good setting would be between the mid size and largest size stitch length. The row of stitching on the left is too small and will be tricky and time consuming to unpick. The row on the right is too long and could lead to a weaker seam. The row in the center is just right.


uneven topstitching


Uneven topstitching – use your presser foot as the main guide for topstitching and go a bit slower if you need to. Practice, practice, practice is the only way to perfect your topstitching. If your topstitching is in a contrast colour, make sure your bobbin matches in case it shows through to the front of your work.

wonky buttonholes


Wonky/too large buttonholes – I know this may seem obvious, but nothing ruins the look of an item like a wonky buttonhole. Practice (see a pattern here?) to make sure the button is a snug fit – pin both ends to mark it or use a tailors chalk if you need to. And always trim off stray threads once you’ve cut the hole.

With practice these five tips will improve your sewing experience and give you a more professional look.

8 thoughts on “Top 5 Sewing Mistakes

    1. Debra Verrall Post author

      Try practicing on scrap fabric Julie – and then you can keep that sample to refer to whenever you need to do any more button holes. You could even write notes on the fabric such as the machine settings. Just an idea – let me know how you go.

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