Sewing is fun and you will definitely love it. Getting started is always the hardest part because many beginners do not even know that they can do it until they start. This is one of the most rewarding skills that you will learn in your life, and with a few tips, you can be sure that you will have minimal issues along the way:
1) Reduce seam allowances on enclosed seams. Large seam allowances on homemade patterns are very bulky on facings, cuffs, collars, waistbands and plackets. You need to consider reducing your seam allowances in order to save on your time when you are grading, trimming, clipping and notching after sewing. This will also ensure that your seams look smooth after sewing. For a beginner, this is a tip that can make things much easier for you before you learn how to handle larger seam allowances. Remember that larger seam allowances are often made to give you some room in the case of mistakes. If you make the right decision to begin with, you will not have this concern.
2) Always cut and mark your pieces at once to avoid confusion. Once you cut out the pieces that you need to work with, tie them together, and then put them in a bag. This will ensure that you are working swiftly at all times. When you are putting them in the bag, ensure that you have arranged them in some order so that you know which ones to find and when.
3) Always cut clean. Learn how to cut well first before you can start working on important projects so that you will be perfect in cutting. With clear cuts, half the work has been accomplished. Make use of a large table just to ensure that you are cutting accurately all the time. Buy a rotary cutter too, as this will cut much better than even the scissors. Get a rotary mat for the table to avoid messing up your working surface.
4) To mark your notches, you do not have to cut diamond shapes, which can be taxing and frustrating especially if you are still mastering the skill. You can always use nips because they are more accurate and they will not fray easily for a neat finish or even weaken your seams.
5) You do not have to pin your patterns down on the fabric. You can hold them down on the fabric using weights. This will save you time and energy too. In addition, if you are working with a fabric that is delicate, you will protect it from the damage that could occur following pinning and adding holes.
6) Save time by working on the small details first, then assembling the pieces together to create the garment in the end. Work on all operations that are similar at the same time first, then you can finish with the sewing. By taking this step by step approach, you will experience a real sense of achievement when you finally put the entire garment together.
7) Always cut your patterns on the cutting line. This will produce neat patterns at all times and you will not have to spend so much time perfecting them. Once you cut them, press them well. This way, you will make sure that there are no mistakes in your cloth before you commence actual sewing.
8) Work on your buttonholes first, then use them to guide you where the buttons should be. For the buttonholes, avoid using a seam ripper, as this can take so much of your time. Try a punch instead and see how fast it can be.
9) Avoid pinning if you can. Pins slow tailors down, and if you want to finish a project on time, you might have to skip that bit. Pinning can distort your seams too and pins can damage your needles. You can make use of both of your hands in sewing so that you do not have to use pins. Match your corners perfectly form the beginning to the end and then ensure that the raw edges match up too, then you can start sewing.
10) Save so much time and energy by sewing continuously. You do not have to sew one piece after another; sew them continuously then you can separate them once you get to the pressing board.
11) Sew more seams first, then press all of them later. You do not have to keep moving from the sewing machine to the pressing board, which is tiring and time consuming.
12)Make a pressing station for yourself instead of relying on an ironing board. This may not be sufficient enough and it can slow you down so much especially if you are working on a large garment. If you have the space, build a good pressing station. This will make it possible for you to create a layout of all the pieces that you are working on so that you can press them when necessary and get excellent results. Having this ability will save you time running from one station to another within your space.