Missing a button on your work shirt or ripped the side of your favorite skirt? Use one of these sewing tips your Grandma should have shown you a long time ago to fix it right up!

15 Sewing Tricks Your Grandma Should Have Taught You

If you’ve been sewing for a while, odds are you’ve picked up a few sewing tricks along the way. But, for those of us starting out, or haven’t picked up a needle in a few years, we tend to do things the hard way.

Even if you are a beginner you will become a pro with these sewing tips.

Cause these sewing tricks make any project a little easier.

15 Sewing Tips Every Crafter Needs to Know

I remember learning to mend from my grandmother, and have watched my kids learn to fix a zipper, or sew on a button, mend a seam from their grandmother! Now it’s your turn for the virtual sewing. Here are 15 sewing tips and tricks your grandma should have taught you no matter your sewing level: beginner, intermediate, or pro!

Note: You’ll kick yourself because some of them are so obviously simple {giggle}.

1. Make A Needle Sharpening Pincushion

Fill a pincushion with steel wool to make your own needle-sharpening pincushion. This will make using a needle and pushing it through the fabric so much easier!

Related Post: 16 Incredibly Cool Things To Do With Washi Tape

2. Create Sewing Gathers Faster with the “Cheating” Method

Create gathers in fabric using the cheating method (aka the corded zig-zag method).

Simply sew a large zig-zag stitch over a piece of yarn, and use the yarn to gather the fabric before using a straight stitch to sew the gathers in place.

3. Sew with Your Finger as a Stitch Guide!

Make marks to measure on your finger when you are sewing embroidery stitches. Your finger becomes your pattern! You will be able to sew faster and have no marks on your fabric using this trick.

4. Use Clear Nail Polish To Protect The Thread

After sewing buttons on, cover them with a coat of clear nail polish to keep the thread from unraveling and to hold the button in place longer.

What a smart hand sewing tip!

Related Post: 21 Clever Uses For Nail Polish (Not On Nails)

5. Sharpen Scissors with Aluminum Foil!

If your scissors are getting dull, lightly rub them with aluminum foil. This will help you keep the blades sharp. You can also cut the foil if your blades are especially dull.

6. Adapt Any Pattern – Genius Sewing Tip!

Use a rubber band and wrap it around two pencils together to easily create a seam allowance, anytime you need one. The pencils will be about 8 mm apart. That makes it exactly what you need to go up or down a size! Pattern making is going to be a cinch with this sewing trick!

7. Use Washi Tape as a Sewing Guide!

Machine sewing becomes easier when you can follow a line. Washi tape is invaluable in the sewing room! You can mark fabric, use it to make bias binding, mark out seams, etc. It’s 1/4″ wide, so it’s a handy seam measuring tool.

This is such a clever sewing tip that will help keep your sewing by hand to a minimum.

8. Graph Paper Doubles as a Hem Guide

Create your own hemline tool use graph paper. As you sew line up the fabric with your graph paper. It is thinner than regular printer paper which helps your machine needles last longer.

This’ll help you iron perfectly straight hemlines and folds every time. This is one of the sewing tricks that will improve your sewing skills immediately.

9. Sew as if you have an Extra Set Of Hands With Clips

Use binder clips as an extra set of hands when quilting. They’re perfect for holding your binding in place or making a quilt sandwich -especially for slippery fabrics! Binder clips fit with 1/4″ seams too.

Related Post: 15 Binder Clip Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

10. Help Pins “Glide” – Use A Bar Soap To Hold Your Pins

Yup, I went there!

Put dull, stubborn straight pins in a piece of bar soap to help them go through fabric much easier. Just try it!

Related Post: Soap Hacks- 15 Unusual Ways To Use Bar Soap

11. Fabric Weights Make it Easier to Cut Fabric

Tired of pinning fabric when cutting it to hold it in place when you are cutting fabric for our sewing projects?? Make your own heavy-duty fabric weights using washers and a hot glue gun. Wrap them in fabric to help them not slide on your project. This is going to take your sewing projects to the next level! Genius!

12. Pull Out That Foam Toe Separator

Keep your filled bobbins together by storing them in a foam toe separator for pedicures. This such a cute and colorful way to store thread on bobbins. I love it so much because it upcycles all those separators!

Create Heavy-Duty Pattern Weights
Use washers from your toolbox as weights to pin down your fabric easy-peasy, helps you handsew or machine sew like a pro.
Read more here.
diy fabric weights
How to Make a Pin-Sharpening Pin Cushion | CraftyPod
Learn how to make a pin-sharpening pin cushion when sewing facric.
Read more here.
Steel wool pin cushion for sharpening needles

13. Sewing Tip: Pin The Button Hole

Slide a pin across the end of a buttonhole before ripping the stitches to ensure that you don’t go too far. This is going to add safety to your straight pin use.

14. Learn How To Sew One-Step Buttonholes

Speaking of buttonholes, do you find sewing them to be intimidating? Check out this tutorial on sewing one-step buttonholes. I am so thankful for that sewing instruction because it changed everything…

15. Did You Lose The Elastic In Your Waistband?

Use a bodkin to draw elastic out of a waistband!

You can also use it to find missing cords in drawstring pants and hoodies. I can’t even think about all the times I have lost a cord…this is genius.

16. Use This Technique for Crosswise Grain

Fabric must be cut along the lengthwise grain in order to drape properly. If you’re not sure how to find the lengthwise grain, use this technique to find the crosswise grain. You’ll then cut the fabric in the opposite (perpendicular) direction.

Grainline: Finding the Grain
Use this technique to find the grainline when sewing.
Read more here.
Sewing Tip: No More Stubborn Straight Pins
Do you sometimes get angry at your straight pins? Try this… it will change your cranky straight pin world! Just stick them right into a bar of soap, pull it out, and wah-laa… all lubed up.
Read more here.
Donna Babylon: Quick Tip – The Care And Feeding Of Bobbins
Keep your filled bobbins together (and keep the threads from dangling) by storing them in a foam toe separator, the kind used for pedicures.
Read more here.
sewing tips - store bobbins in a foam toe separator
Sewing Tutorial: How to Use a Bodkin
The clever little sewing tool with a funny name. The bodkin is a handy sewing tool that acts like a tweezer to draw elastic, cording, etc., through tubing …
Read more here.

18. Grab Any Paper Clips Lying Around

You can’t pin leather; any holes made in the fabric will remain. Instead, use paperclips to keep pieces of leather together! #sewingtips

Related Post: 15 Paperclip Tips and Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

Leather Sewing Tips and Tricks
Learn how to sew leather using paperclips!
Read more here.
Leather sewing tips - hold leather with paperclips

Learn How To Sew The Right Way With These Sewing Tips and Tricks

Some of the most frustration parts of sewing have now been solved and you are ready to tackle your next sewing project. Go, dust off your sewing machine, needle, thread, fabric, straight pins…and go for it!

Do you have some other sewing tricks you’d like to share?

More Sewing Posts To Read

15 sewing tricks that even Grandma would love.