Today I thought I'd share some of my tips for speedy sewing. I guess most are common sense but the following are a few ideas that I should but often am to lazy to employ to enable me to press on with my project swiftly and efficiently.
- Clear Workspace
For many this step goes without saying but it's my numero uno for two reasons. Of each of the tips on this list I think the set up of your work environment can help (or hinder) the most. They say 'Tidy space, tidy mind' (or words to that effect) and I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes to my productivity when I've properly cleared and organised my workspace. It's also up top as a reminder to myself as it's something I often overlook and later regret (when I'm drowning in fabric and can't find my shears amid the clutter!).
- Gather Supplies
Gather ALL the supplies at the very start. Everything you could potentially need along the way and place it somewhere easily accessible throughout. No up-turning a drawer mid-project for that missing marker. One project on my to-do list is a small portable caddy for my dressmaking essentials -shears, thread snips, pattern weights, pins, marking tools to store them together and keep within arms reach.
- Quality Tools
Whilst we're on the subject of tools, nothing hampers a project like a dull pair of shears or poor quality marking implements. Inferior tools really take the joy out of sewing for me so I make sure that I have really good basics to hand.
- Minimise Pinning
I rarely pin. I tend to match notches and ease in seams by hand having learnt this making hot air balloons as a sideline at college (fun fact!). I'm not proposing an outright pin ban, particularly if you're starting out as we're not looking to create more work by cutting corners here, but minimising excess or unneccessary pinning will speed things along. If you're feeling confident maybe try it out on your next straight seam? I love the function on my machine that stops the needle in the down position for this. It helps to avoid any slipage when repositioning.
- Group Like Tasks
Of course it's standard practise to cut all the required pieces at once, but grouping like tasks can save a huge amount of time. You can batch sew several garments in a fraction of the time to make them up one by one, or simply chain sew as many seams at once as you're able (if you're unsure about 'chaining' check out Jen's brilliant video), then press them all in one batch before proceeding. Scan through the instructions ahead of time to see which steps can be prepped / stitched out of sequence -Sometimes a little rule breaking is ok!
So there we are, a few tips to speed things along! Any pro-tips or techniques? I read a suggestion on Twitter to wind a spare bobbin at the start of your project. I'd love to hear how you get organised. Add your suggestions in the comments below!
x Happy Sewing!