12 Surprising Sewing Tricks

Hoping to up your sewing game? Make mending easier, hem better, prevent knots and more with the sewing tips and tricks.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
3-minute read
12 Surprising Sewing Tricks

Tip 1: Make Mending Easier

If you’re mending a hole on a sleeve or pant leg, it’s easy to miss a stitch when the fabric gets all balled up. Make your job easier by rolling up a magazine and placing it inside. It will partially unroll as far as the sleeve or leg will let it, creating just enough tension to hold the fabric in place.

Tip 2: Wine Cork Pincushion

Don’t have a pincushion handy for your next sewing project, or simply need a place to stash a single needle? Use the cork from a wine bottle instead! Simply stick your needles and pins into the cork for a quick and safe substitute cushion. You can also use a pencil eraser.

Tip 3: Thread Substitution

Need to mend an item of clothing on the fly and don’t have any thread? Dental floss makes an excellent stand-in for regular sewing thread, especially when working with hearty items like backpacks or coats.

Tip 4: How to Keep a Thimble On

Do you use a thimble to sew? If so, wet your finger before you put the thimble on. This will create suction, so the thimble stays put.

Tip 5: Make a Sewing Board

If you use a sewing machine often, mount a small bulletin board on the wall next to it. Then fill it with pushpins or straight pins. That way when you’ve got your hands full, you can use the pins to hang extra thread, buttons, bobbins, and other miscellany until you need it.

Tip 6: Don’t Toss That Snagged Swimwear!

You might know that clear nail polish will stop a run in stockings, but did you know it will also work on snagged swimwear? Paint a little bit on the run, and check periodically before hitting the pool to see if it needs a touch-up.

Tip 7: Easier Needle Threading

Do you have trouble threading needles? For easier threading, stiffen the ends of your thread by applying a light spritz of hairspray. The strengthened thread won’t fray and will easily slip through the eye of your needle.

Tip 8: How to Get Rid of Hem Marks

When you let down hems on clothes such as skirts, dresses, and pants, there is often a white mark where the fabric was turned up. Vinegar can be used to get rid of this pesky stain. First warm up your iron, and then scrub the mark with an old toothbrush dipped in white vinegar that has been diluted with small amount of water. Then press with the iron. The mark will usually come right out, but if it doesn’t repeat the process until it does.

Tip 9: Prevent Knots in Thread

One of the most common (and irritating) sewing mishaps is tangled thread. So, before you begin a sewing project, stick a threaded needle through a dryer sheet, which will help prevent knotty messes. Or, run a bar of soap over the thread.

Tip 10: Bulletproof Button Sewing

When you’re sewing a button, don’t use the same strand of thread for every hole. Instead, sew through two holes until attached to the garment, then knot and cut the thread before doing the other two holes in an x across your first stitch. If one piece of thread breaks, you’ll still have the other piece to hold the button on. When sewing on buttons, to ensure you’re not sewing them too flush with the fabric, place a toothpick between the button and the garment.

Tip 11: Avoid Lost Buttons

Dab a small drop of clear nail polish on the front of a button to keep the threads in place and never lose a button again.

Tip 12: Last Needle Gone Dull?

If your needle has grown dull, sharpen it up again by running its tip back and forth on an emery board several times.

Did these tricks work for you? Let us know in the comments below or on the Who Knew? Facebook page!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.

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