My 6 favourite sewing hacks

I enjoy learning new things that can improve my sewing. Things I've never thought about that blow my mind or things I actually know but need a reminder to actually do. Today I'm showing you some of my favourite tips and tricks that I've come across during my years of sewing. Let me know if you have additional hacks or tricks that you would like to add to this list or any other feedback! 

6 Sewing hacks

Now let's jump right in!

Hack number 1: Prewashing fabrics

I used to never do this. And I have to say I learned this the hard way.

I made a dress and wore it a few times - then threw it in the wash and yeah, you guessed it... It was a few sizes too small when I took it out...  

So, always pre wash you fabric before cutting guys! It's worth it. Believe me. 

It makes such a difference. You will not know how the fabric reacts otherwise. Pre-shrink and then you don't have to think about it any more. Wash the fabric in the same way you want to wash the finished garment later. Then it will not shrink any more the next time you wash. Genius! 

Read the article from My blue print here

They talk about different kinds of fabric too. It's a good article :)

Hack number 2: Finding the grain

I learned some of these tricks in tailoring school. Very useful to know when you have a scrap fabric piece without any selvage edges for example and you need to cut out your pattern pieces with the correct grainline. Check out this article by Colette. Well worth a read! I learned some new things as well as got a refresher on things that I might have forgotten... useful knowledge!

Hack number 3: Staystitching

This is also something I learned in tailoring school. It can help a lot with creating a professional looking garment! All shapes and edges that are on the bias can get stretched out when sewing. Staystitching ensures the shape stays in place and isn't stretched. For example around a neckline or sleeve cap. This is a very helpful and simple article by Tilly and the buttons. They always explain in a very clear way. Take a look!

Staystitching a neckline - Tilly and the Buttons

Hack number 4: Gathering the easy way

I have never actually tried this. Have any of you had any success with this technique? Let me know! It looks so helpful. I really don't like gathering so maybe I will give this a go on my next gathering project. Check out this article by Rae Gun Ramblings here.

She uses yarn and a zig zag stitch to gather. I've seen this technique go around quite a bit and some people swear by it so it might be worth a try!

Hack number 5: Seam ripping

If you have received my newsletter for a while you will recognize this hack. I was in shock a few months back when I came across this hack for the first time... How have I been in fashion school and technical design classes and tailoring classes for  years and never come across this? I couldn't understand it... So simple and efficient and logic... Oh well at least my life is better now that I know this seam ripper magic. Read the article by Serger Pepper and thank me later :) Hint: everything changed when I turned my seam ripper "upside down". And if this is old news to you - congratulations! Good for you for knowing this already. I bet you don't have the same hate for the seam ripper as I do...

Serger Pepper - how to use Seam Ripper - red ball point down

Hack number 6: Installing a basic zipper 

This is also a hack that I've never used but I like the idea of it. I think this can be super helpful for installing zippers for beginners. And for creating really even and neat looking zipper finishing. Have you tried installing zippers this way? Great article by Make it & Love it. I will definitely give it a try the next time I want to install a basic zipper. 

unpick that center seam

That's it for today. I hope you learned something new and got inspired to improve your sewing. I know I did! 

Let me know if there's something you think I missed on this list. Is there something I should add? Do you have any magical sewing hacks you would like to share with us? Let me know by emailing me at or in the comment section below. 

Bye for now!

♥ ♥ ♥ 


Ploen Patterns 


  • That’s great Karen! Glad this list could help! I love to learn new things that can improve my sewing so I figured this could be of some use :)
    Good luck with zippers – once you get the hang of them you will install them in no time! <3

    Ploen Patterns
  • Turn your seam ripper upsidedown! 🙃 Brilliant! And I might have a go at zippers now I’ve read the tutorial. It seems to make sense. 🤔Thanks Josephine. Have a great weekend

    Karen Hardwick
  • ❤️❤️❤️❤️


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