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Tell us your best sewing tip for your chance to win a sewing machine and a serger from Fabric.com!

To celebrate our launch of the Winter 2014 issue of BurdaStyle US magazine (our premier issue of BurdaStyle US), Fabric.com is giving away a Singer Confidence Machine 7470 and a Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger worth a total of $554.48.

For a chance to win this two-machine sewing package, answer the following question in the comments section below: WHAT’S YOUR BEST SEWING TIP?

The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 8, 2013, at 11:59 PM (EST). One lucky winner will be chosen and announced in the next issue of BurdaStyle US magazine!

Think creatively! Good luck!

295 Comments

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.33 PMby Slotaby

    Buying a walking foot totally revolutionized my sewing! It’s especially helpful for sewing with knits, but I use it for everything. It helps the fabric glide through the machine with much less effort and much more control.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.31 PMby papermothballvintage

    When you are sewing by hand, be it putting on buttons, adding a trim, sequins or embroidery, use a thread wax to prevent the thread from winding and curling up and causing knots. If you are stitching on a easy to fray fabric, add fray-check to the edges after cutting out pattern pieces but before sewing. As always, be careful not to get the wax or fray check on parts of the garment that will show.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.30 PMby purplevodka79

    Make sure you have everything you need, including enough time and space. Nothing will stop a project in its tracks faster than being interrupted by the kids or realizing you don’t have the right colour thread.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.30 PMby mrsak09

    My best tip is for sewing sleeves. I always wait to sew the side seams of my bodice until I’ve got the sleeves sewn in at the shoulders. Then I sew the side seams and join the sleeves together all in one seam. It works like a charm every time!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.30 PMby zapper45701

    Paying attention: STOP SEWING when you get tired. (The only time to stop, really.) If you are too tired, you will make mistakes, and spend more time with the seam ripper than with the seam sewer. It seems like common sense, but it’s so easy to become deeply involved with a project, that the brain, over time, becomes sluggish and isn’t as sharp as our needles. It’s far too easy to ruin or mutilate our fabric if we are not paying close attention to all the details, and we lose that attention when we are exhausted. Rest, and then take up where you left off. You will profit in the long run. Best wishes to all.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.30 PMby Dana Mook

    Have someone help you take full body measurements of yourself, so you can custom-tweak your patterns to fit you perfectly. Do this every 6-12 months to accommodate changes in your body.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.29 PMby woolbothy

    My tips are for people on a ‘shoestring’ budget. 1. You DON’T need a fabric stash. Don’t even think about it. Buy your fabric specifically for each project as you plan it. Even if you pay more per yard, trust me, it will end up costing you less. 2. You don’t need most of the modern tools and gadgets. We always managed perfectly well without them in the past. Marketing people have just convinced people that they need them. When you’re tempted, ask yourself, “Did my granny have that?” 3. Use old materials, from the charity/thrift shop or from your house, to make new. eg blouses from cotton sheets, coats from wool blankets…etc.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.24 PMby Grace Miller

    I’ve always wanted to work with very lightweight, airy fabrics like chiffon and found out that putting a piece of tissue paper (the kind used in gift bags and boxes) on the seam while sewing prevents the fabric from getting sucked down into the sewing machine! Works like a charm and it so easy to tear away when the seam is finished!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.21 PMby kitkat3000

    Take your time and visualize how you’re going to put something together to avoid making mistakes or becoming frustrated with your project

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.21 PMby ladynunu

    Don’t have a lightbox for tracing pattern pieces? Then put your windows to work! Use Blu-Tack to stick your pattern pieces to your window, then fix pattern paper on top, the natural light will shine through and highlight the pattern lines for you to copy. Admittedly, my neighbors thought I’d gone a bit crazy when I had all my wedding dress pattern pieces stuck to my window, but it got the job done!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.13 PMby MartyMarie

    My best tip would be to take your time and be patient when making your project. Sometimes we get so excited about making something that we miss a step or we are going so fast that you sew the right side to the wrong side of the fabric. If you take things one step at a time then you can be more successful.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.09 PMby Viki Rudkin

    Never leave the dinner on the hob to finish that last quick seam Always results in hungry husband and kids, but a perfect french seam :)

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    Oct 16, 2013, 03.07 PMby Manic Pop

    That seger there is great! I have the same one and it’s really easy to use. Enjoy it, whoever wins!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 02.58 PMby jessiestern

    Be patient and make friends with your iron!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 02.54 PMby hwilson

    Don’t use pins when laying out fabric to cut. It’s time-consuming and can distort your final cut-out pattern pieces. Use pattern weights instead. Only don’t buy them; they are expensive. Make your own with flat washers from the hardware store. Glue 3 or 4 of them together and wrap with pretty scraps from your stash. Search a how-to on the web for more details.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 02.50 PMby jenbot

    Great giveaway! My advice is to have excellent quality scissors and keep them sharp. Also have your machine serviced regularly.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 02.10 PMby espantalhete

    work the fabric with love and sew with tenderness. Make Your own magical and creative World lined with fabric :)

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    Oct 16, 2013, 01.37 PMby mgellner

    My best tip is to read the pattern instructions from start to finish before doing any sewing. That way you know where certain steps are going and it avoids messing up and having to pull out stitches because you didn’t understand a certain step until you’ve continued on.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 01.35 PMby ariannachi

    My advice is: Be Precise!!! This includes taking measurements, cutting patterns and matching pieces, but most of all seam allowances! Use a standard seam allowance in every piece you cut: year after year, you won’t even have to measure it, you’ll get used to cutting at the same distance from every pattern, and with a good sewing machine you’ll be able to take advantage from the guidelines on the throat plate. It doesn’t take much time to learn and enjoy being precise, and it allows to save patience, efforts and money, no matter if you sew for work or pleasure!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 01.33 PMby gabcorb

    My top tips are for sewing knits or stretch fabrics. To prevent puckered seams, use a walking foot and sew slowly. If your fabric is getting caught in the feed dogs you can sew with a piece of thin paper under your fabric (easily pulled off the fabric later). To ensure your seams can stretch with the fabric, use a zigzag or “lightning bolt” stitch if using a single needle, or alternatively use a twin needle with a straight stitch. To prevent channeling when using twin needles, sew slowly and hold the fabric taut (but not stretched out) as you sew. For seams that need to bear some stress (shoulder seams, some necklines), sew a piece of transparent narrow elastic into the seam – you can do this in a second pass if you’re worried about catching the elastic on the seam line, but don’t stretch the elastic as you sew or you’ll be gathering the seam. And finally, test stitch length, tension etc on scraps of your garment fabric first!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 01.15 PMby max

    My best sewing tip is to make sure you do everything with your fabrics on grain. Straighten the fabric by ripping it or pulling a crosswise thread and cutting along that line, then pull on the bias to straighten grain if necessary. Once the grain is even, place the pattern on grain using the arrows on the pattern pieces. If the grain is not straight from the beginning your garment won’t hang right and all your hard work is for naught!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 01.06 PMby alfalfasprout70

    My best tip is to always use a TEST piece when you refill your bobbin. Every time i forget you can guarantee it jams and i have to unpick my sewing.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 01.00 PMby alien-sunset

    I’m still very new to sewing, but my advice would be to measure very carefully, and to always remember you seam allowance before cutting. also, never cut fabric on your bed, eventually you will accidentally cut up your comforter, and that wouldn’t be good.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 12.07 PMby Jacqueline Kellly

    So, these are for total beginners, of course. But I hope these tips help someone! ;) When sewing something for yourself, my tips would be: 1 – Choose a fabric you really like; 2 – Wash the fabric before you do anything else (you don’t want it to shrink AFTER it’s all ready); 3 – Use a really good iron and make sure the fabric is really straight before cutting (I tend to iron a bit more before sewing -and in between, if I see it’s becoming too wavy); 4 – When cutting, leave a finger space or more, to give you space for sewing and finishing it properly (or may get too tight after you do these); 5 – Try, try, and try what you are sewing -I tend to try it a lot, to make sure it fits well throughout the process.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 11.47 AMby Sarah219

    I’m too new to have any unique sewing tips yet….so my advice for newbies like me is be patient! Skills and tricks will come in time. Enjoy the learning process and learn from the mistakes instead of getting frustrated and giving up.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 10.56 AMby Dume

    What an incredible give-away! I’ll throw my opinion in here too… Hairspray all your silks! Before sewing with them that is. A speedy way to stabilize finicky fabrics like silk and fine rayon. And it all washes out in the first bath. The madness that goes with trying to sew slippery see-through fabrics is just not worth it otherwise.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 10.18 AMby karancsi

    1: before cutting the fabric, if it’s washable, overcast the raw egdes and wash it in the washing machine (same temperature and washing powder as to be used for the ready garment) – years ago i forgot to do so and my new, lovely trousers and skirt shrinked and because unusable at the first wash 2: if you tend to put on and loose weight, make the side seams of trousers, skirts only after sewing the waistband. This way it’s easy to change the weight/hip area wider or smaller whenever needed.

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    Oct 16, 2013, 08.59 AMby mixtlii

    There are two things I would like to say : 1- Use your iron, a good iron, it helps so much! and 2- Always finish what you started. Very often, the result at midway seems very ugly, but in the end, it is just a matter of shortening the hemline, of the waistline… So don’t give up!

  • Missing

    Oct 16, 2013, 08.50 AMby Eva Ypunto

    PRE-WASH TIP

    Clip the corners of your fabric before washing it. It avoids to pull tangled messes out of the wash.

    Also sew a line across the edges of the fabric, this helps cut back on how much fabric you lose from fraying in the wash!!

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    Oct 16, 2013, 07.24 AMby rita61

    My sewing tip: relax and have fun, enjoy what you are doing and take pride and pleasure in what your are accomplishing. You can always wear it around your home or as pyjamas if it didn’t work out. :-)

    • This is a question
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