I love sewing BUT there are plenty of frustrations on the way to a beautiful garment. Here are my top 10 and how to avoid them.
You are merrily sewing away and the needle breaks. Extra annoyance points when you don’t have a spare one on hand.
✂️ Always try to have a spare set on hand.
✂️ Make sure that you are using the correct needle for the weight of your fabric.
✂️ Remove the pins as you sew, rather than just being lazy and leaving them in.
✂️ If you are feeling kind of lazy, pin horizontally rather than vertically to minimise potential needle damage (this isn’t fool proof though).
The bobbin thread runs into a different colour
I don’t know why but this always happens to me on the hem. The place where it really counts.
✂️ Or if you are keen, keep a supply of bobbins in different colours.
The overlocker thread snaps and it’s always the thread that’s hardest to re-thread.
Isn’t this the most frustrating thing? I really do not enjoy re-threading overlockers.
✂️ Make sure the spool itself is free of any tangles and the thread is moving easily through the machine.
The tension on the overlocker goes out
Okay, I was wrong. THIS is the most frustrating thing. Playing with tension dials is never fun.
✂️ If the tension is just beyond redemption, it might be time to book your overlocker in for a service. Sometimes new machines come with a free service, so check that out first.
You sew the wrong side of something to the wrong side of something else
This is always such an uggggh moment. Take a deep breath. Get the un-picker. Be careful. Don’t take your frustration out on the stitches and end up poking holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Maybe take a break before you start unpicking.
Forgetting to reset the stitch length after tacking or gathering
I have done this so many times! I am not sure it can be avoided other than paying more attention but it’s definitely annoying.
Cutting out the pattern piece so that the fabric is the wrong way around.
This is just heart-breaking when you realise it’s occurred. You have bought a beautiful print and then you realise it’s running the wrong way and will be upside down on your lovely new skirt.
Probably one of largest sewing annoyances is when you have to unpick something. I am trying to create something – not undo something!
✂️ My big tip would be not to reverse dozens of times – just go once and only on the seams that actually need that added security. Unpicking isn’t fun. Unpicking a big mess of thread is even less so.
Messy threads, birds nests and/or losing thread at the start of a seam.
Don’t you hate it when the thread goes missing just as you are starting a seam? This one is at least is easy to avoid. And the solution will save you from threads bunching at the start of your seam as well.
Ways to avoid it:
✂️ As per the above don’t go back and forth a million times.
✂️ Gently hold onto the threads at the back of the needle as you start to sew. Release after a few stitches, but make sure the threads are clear of the fabric so that it doesn’t get caught underneath.
✂️ For hems, consider hand sewing for the neatest finish (in an exact thread match to your fabric).
Abuse of the fabric scissors
The bane of every home sewer! When family members use the good fabric scissors for something other than fabric. My dad used to cut grasshoppers in half as an effective, if not traditional, method of pest control. Mum’s dress making scissors were often the nearest and sharpest pair. Mum was never amused.