This contributor post is by Sandie of crazy’boutquilts.
Hello everyone! I’m Sandie and I blog at crazy’boutquilts. I love quilting, sewing, crafts… well, you get the idea. LOL And I am so happy to be here with y’all~ thank you Jennie and Clara!
Today I am bringing you a couple tips and tricks to get professional results in your sewing. Many times it is the part of a project that you can’t see that is just as important as the part you can! Whether you make quilts, sew clothing, home decor items etc., we all know the importance of pressing, so I won’t mention that as long as you remember to always set those seams! Instead, today I am going to share a few tricks I learned when making clothes for my children that carry over into lots of other sewing and quilting projects.
An easy way to give any ready-to-wear item a little spark is to add a pocket. This trick works for pockets, pillows, anything you sew where you need to leave an opening to turn your work.
I’m going to demonstrate with a little patch pocket~
First draw your seam line with a pencil. In this case I’m doing a ¼ inch seam. (this will work well with any size seam). You can mark your opening if you need to. I didn’t, but just a little ‘x’ on the line at your stop and start places will remind you to leave that opening.
Next go to your sewing machine and sew, starting at the edge of the fabric (this is a little different than you would normally start), back stitch, and sew up to your drawn line. With your needle down, pivot onto your seam line. Stop right before you get to the corner and take one diagonal stitch. You should have a perfect little triangle showing next to your foot. If you don’t, you either sewed too far into the seam allowance, or not quite enough. This comes with practice.
Sew all the way around your pocket, sewing each corner like the first one. Stop about 2 inches from where you started, you will be sewing on your line again~ needle down, pivot and sew to the edge, back tacking here too.
Your little pocket will look like this~
Next, you can see I have trimmed the corners. Do all 4 the same way. One cut is diagonally across the corner, two smaller cuts take a bit of the bulk off. (Ack! Don’t look too closely at my cutting mat! It appears to need a good cleaning!)
Turn your pocket right side out through the opening you left. Do you see how the seam allowances magically turn into the pocket at the opening? That is because you started sewing at the edge of the fabric. You don’t have to fiddle with a hot iron to get those seam allowances to go in, meet evenly, and look like there isn’t even an opening there!
I like to help the corners a bit with a skewer. Don’t poke too hard, just enough to get the corner to pop out nicely. You are the only one who can tell you took a little diagonal stitch~ and you saved yourself a lot of hassle trying to get that corner to look like a corner. This little hint works great for the points on a collar or if you are making a pocket that comes to a point at the bottom~ you will magically have great points without the bulk! 🙂
Once you have given your pocket a good press, you can position it with the little opening at the bottom and it will be sewn shut when you sew your pocket onto your top, apron or whatever.
I hope these little tricks help you in your sewing! Thank you Jennie & Clara for inviting me to guest post! I will happily answer any questions in the comments.
Happy sewing everyone!