Here are my top 12 tips to make your stitching experience more efficient, and far more enjoyable.
- Put things away, so you can find them again later – it sounds so simple, but this is one thing I struggle with because I’m usually so excited about what I’m doing and like to work quickly. But honestly, I work far more effectively and efficiently if I just put things away so I don’t waste time looking for them next time I need them.
- Thread up at least four needles if you’re stitching by hand or wind a number of bobbins if you’re working large areas by machine. Having those needles or bobbins ready to go is not only efficient and time-saving, but it also means I don’t lose momentum.
- Keep well-used tools in an easily accessible box or tin next to where you work. Machine oil, machine brush, tweezers, scissors, bobbins, notebook, and a marker are all in a tin next to my machine because I use them daily – and I’ve learned to create a box for hand embroidery that holds the threads I’m working with, scissors, beads, pin/needle cushion, glue, notebook and markers along with a small container for thread off-cuts.
- Work neatly – again, it sounds so simple and is not always easy to achieve – but it does help me work more effectively if I’m well organised throughout the entire process.
- Re-use and recycle – I try to do this wherever possible, for instance, I’ve recycled beads from old necklaces and jumpers in recent work, even some re-cycled embroidery. I also re-use sauce containers from takeaways and small glass spice bottles for bead storage.
- Keep a large bowl next to your machine and fill it with all your thread off-cuts. Every six months or so, sit down and think of the various ways you could utilise them in your work.
- Colour-code your threads and beads. This has helped me so much. Instead of keeping my beads and threads all together, I now have them stored in colour-coded recycled plastic zip-lock bags. For instance, I have all my yellow beads, sequins, and other yellow embellishments in one bag. Same for my yellow threads including cotton floss, silks, rayons, etc. It makes looking for colours and textures so much easier and quicker.
- Always have a pen and paper with you when you’re working – just a small notebook to quickly jot down ideas that come to you while you’re working – or ideas and notes about your work for your social media posts. Because, this is the time they’ll come – when you’re relaxed and in the middle of a large, intricate project.
- Keep your sewing machine manual close by your machine – it’s invaluable. Also, use google to find answers to questions your machine manual may not cover – I bet there’s someone, somewhere who has had that same question.
- Do an annual tidy-up at the end of each year and make a list of items that are low, require repair, or need servicing – that’s your ‘to do’ list for the new year.
- Keep a list of your favourite suppliers and their contact details.
- Make your sewing space a pleasant space to work – if you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated space, that is. Flowers in pretty vases, family photos, inspiration boards – just fill it with things that make you feel uplifted, creative, and at peace.
I’d love to hear your sewing tips. Contact me via my Facebook page.