10 Bad Sewing Habits to Stop Doing Right Now!

Yes, we all have a few bad habits in our lives, from snacking on junk food after midnight to sweeping the floor dust underneath the area rug instead of grabbing a dust pan. We have also probably developed a few bad sewing habits over the years. Today, we have gathered a list of the good sewing habits to have and the worst ones you need to stop doing right now.

1. Ignoring the lint, dirt and dust that gets into your sewing machine

Sewing machines are not self-cleaning and do not perform self-maintenance. You have to set up a regular cleaning schedule to tackle all the lint and debris that can clog up the working parts in the machine. You should also get the machine serviced by a professional technician at an authorized repair shop.

2. Not practicing a new technique before using it on an important project

It becomes so tempting to do. You are at a point in the project where that new sewing technique that you just recently read about would look awesome on the fabric. So you take the plunge and try it out — to horrible results. It’s okay to get creative and imaginative with your projects. Yet if you really want to try a new technique, practice it on a scrap piece of fabric first so you don’t ruin a complicated project that you worked hard on for weeks.

3. Using fabric scissors for other things

Not all scissors are the same, and there is nothing worse than trying to cut fabric with a dull pair of scissors. Keep your scissors in the craft room or place a label on them so other family members don’t accidentally pick them up. Do not use these scissors to cut paper or even worse… cutting open vegetable or raw meat packages in the kitchen.

4. Hold sewing pins between your lips

You may be used to multitasking by using your lips to hold items that you are working on. But never place sewing pins in your mouth. You risk the chance of actually inhaling a pin into your lung, not just swallowing them into your stomach.

5. Skipping out on measuring everything

It’s great that you know your measurements or your family’s body measurements by heart when you go looking for clothing patterns. Yet before you start cutting any fabric out, make sure to take new measurements just in case you or a family member lost weight, gained weight or had a growth spurt. Also make sure to double check the measurements for your print squares.

6. Working at the sewing machine for hours on end

We like to joke about how we skip out on cooking meals and cleaning the house when there are more important sewing tasks to do. Yet, in reality, not taking breaks can be bad for both you and the sewing project. When you take a break, it allows your hands, body, eyes and mind to rest for a spell. When you return to the project, you can feel refreshed as the project can turn out even better.

7. Using a regular pen to mark fabric

You need to mark up something so you grab the first thing that your fingers can reach: a regular ink pen. Banish all types of ink pens out of the craft room so you don’t fall into this bad habit. Then invest in water-soluble pens and chalk pencils. When you get a new pen or pencil, test it out on some fabric to make sure the mark can be removed as some water-soluble pens will still stain certain fabrics.

8. Never checking your fabric stash before heading to the fabric store

We know that some people won’t see this as a bad habit. Yet, check the stash before you go out and purchase more. You may find that you already have tons of the exact same fabric tucked away in the corner of your craft room patiently waiting to be turned into a fabulous project.

9. Selecting any old fabric for the clothing design

Every fabric type has its own unique qualities and characteristics. So just grabbing the first yard of fabric that is on hand and using it for the garment design is a big no-no. There are reasons why there are suggested fabrics that are recommended in the pattern instructions. If you don’t pay attention to them, you may end up using a fabric that is too difficult to work with for the chosen garment design.

10. Storing your thread out on the table

This is a bad habit that usually happens with beginners. You leave the thread out where you can see it and it is easily accessible, such as in a small basket or on a peg board. While it looks all neat and organized, you are exposing it to dust and lint that can end up clogging your sewing machine. Store your thread in a sealed container to keep it free of dust.

By recognizing your bad sewing habits, you can stop yourself from committing such actions as you begin practicing better techniques today. Then you will see a difference in the quality of your sewing projects. You will also eliminate the bad habits that may turn into future, costly problems.

About the author

Sandra McConnell

My sewing journey started when I was 7 years old, with my grandmother as my first teacher in her sewing room. I went from a career in teaching to professional seamstress and from stressed out and tired to happy and contented.

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