9 Sewing Tricks Your Grandma Should Have Showed You

If you’ve been sewing for a while, odds are you’ve picked up a few tricks along the way. But for those of us starting out, we tend to do things the hard way, usually because no one taught us sewing tricks that could make the job a little easier. So for both the experienced and amateur, here are 15 sewing tricks your grandma should have taught you. (You’ll kick yourself because some of them are so obviously simple.)


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.


Fill a pincushion with steel wool to make your own needle-sharpening pincushion.


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.


Tired of pinning fabrics? Make your own heavy duty fabric weights using washers and a hot glue gun. Genius!


Create your own hemline tool out of cardstock. It’ll help you iron perfectly straight hemlines and folds every time.


Washi tape is invaluable in the sewing room! 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!


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. (More binder clip tips here!)


Slide a pin across the end of a buttonhole before ripping the stitches to ensure that you don’t go too far.


Speaking of buttonholes, do you find sewing them to be intimidating? Check out this tutorial on sewing one-step buttonholes.


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