It is ok to make Sewing Mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you are just a starting to sew, or if you have years doing it.
These 12 Sewing Mistakes might be sabotaging your projects.
The thing is that if we want our sewing projects to get better each time, we have to start to get rid of these bad sewing habits.
And on this list, I will show you how to do it.
There are things that some of us might overlook when we make our sewing projects.
Don’t worry! Sewing can be tricky, especially if you are a beginner sewer.
You have to see this next: The funniest Sewing Memes that only Seamstresses will get.
Most of us, are self-taught seamstresses or we have learned to sew thanks to our mothers or grandmothers. So it is normal that sometimes we make some Sewing Mistakes on our projects that no one ever told us about.
Let me ask you something about your Sewing Mistakes.
Have you ever face some sewing issues within your projects and just don’t know why they are happening??
Maybe something like a stubborn sewing machine.
Or maybe a sewing project that you are trying to replicate with an internet sewing pattern simply won’t look like anything you thought of.
It can also be that you are ready to sew, you have all your pieces pinned down, and then you press your pedal and the sewing machine won’t make a single stitch???
Does this sound familiar to you??
Don’t worry, these are things that no one tells you, even if you are a professional seamstress (true that!).
Most of these “mistakes” happen along the journey of sewing, and these are things that you could fix easily most of the times.
Learning how to fix them is a thing of trial, errors and some research of your own.
But all of them have simple solutions most of the time.
This list will give you a better understanding of some of the most common mistakes people make (and that we might be making…) when they are sewing.
You will want to read this too: 7 Benefits Sewing changes in your body.
And if you keep these points in mind I assure you, that you will improve your sewing game in no time.
So I highly recommend that you read this list here, so you know why some of these mistakes are happening to you and how to fix them, one by one.
>NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase using one of the links in this article, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. (To know more about this click here.)<<
12 Sewing Mistakes to Stop Making Today
You can also print this guide from home! Scroll to the bottom of this page to get your printable file.
1. Using the Wrong Size of Nee fidle for a particular Fabric
Problem: Choosing the wrong needle size and type
This can cause: Skipped stitches, broken needles, knots at the bottom of the fabric, and more.
Most of the sewing mistakes are related to not choosing the best sewing needle for your project.
It might seem like is not a big deal, but the size of the needle actually plays a great role in the finishing details of your sewing project.
For example, for sewing jeans, you want a thicker, stronger needle. On the other hand, if you are sewing with chiffon, you might want to consider a smaller more delicate needle.
There are a lot of charts on the internet that you can find and print to keep near to you in the sewing room.
Having a good needle in your sewing machine it’s one of the easiest ways to improve your sewing projects. Check this tutorial to know more about this.
2. Using an Old and Damaged needle:
Problem: Not changing your needles often.
This might cause: Puckers or damage to your fabric
Do you use the same needle over, over, and over again??? This is another big sewing mistake!
Sometimes we don’t realize it, but after a few projects, our needles lose sharpness and they could even be chipped.
This can cause a variety of problems, one of the most important being the damage to your fabric.
Chipped needles can catch a fiber of your fabric and pull it out, ruing it.
I always try to use a new sharp needle every time I start a new project.
A great idea is to buy needles in bulk so it can be cheap for you and to make sure you always have one new needle at hand. In this post, I have listed these and other basic sewing notions you can buy in bulk to save money.
These are items we use almost every day in our sewing rooms and having them on hand will save us a lot of trips to the stores.
But if you can’t afford to do this, at least try to check your needles before starting a new project.
An easy cool tip for doing this is to slide the point of the needle over your nail slightly inclined and if it scratches your nail it would be a nice idea to change it.
3. Using the wrong Tension on your Sewing Machine:
Problem: Using the wrong thread tension.
What this does: Pulls or Puckers your fabric and leaves you with bad-looking seams.
This particular Sewing Mistake sometimes is hard to notice.
But it’s important for the final result that you spend a few minutes testing the best tension in a scrap of fabric before you start.
Believe me, if you make this point a habit you will notice the difference in no time! Remember: the heavier the fabric is the biggest tension it will need.
If you need help mastering your machine’s tension, (thread or bobbin) read this super helpful guide:
4. Not pressing your seams:
Problem: Not pressing as you sew.
This can get you: Uneven seams, make sewing harder than it is, crooked seams…
Pressing isn’t fun. It takes a lot of time.
I get you.
But the thing is that pressing your seams as you sew each project (not after you finish) can make a huge difference for your sewing projects.
If you want to save time, sew as many seams as you can before joining them, and then press them in “batches”.
This way you can save time and also have nice finishes.
Otherwise, you will be making this Sewing Mistake too.
Read this when you finish: Top 10 tools you need in your life if you want to sew FASTER!
5. Ironing with too Much or too Little temperature:
Problem: Not regulate the temperature of the iron.
This will make you: Burn your fabric!!
Who among us hasn’t burned their fabrics yet??
If you raised your hand, let me tell you… Bravo!
I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had any problems with the iron yet.
Here is the thing.
Most home irons come with a temperature regulator dial that has different settings depending on the fabric you are going to press.
Depending on the type of fabric you are using you will need to change the temperature settings.
If you use too much temperature you might burn or melt your fabric, especially if it is synthetic.
Here is a guide from low temperature to high-temperature fabrics:
6. Not Finishing Visible Inner Seams:
Problem: Not finishing inner seams
This can make: Your clothes look cheap and threads to fray.
I think most of the seamstresses who are starting in the world of sewing are guilty of this Sewing Mistake.
We are so excited to have a finished project that we forget about this detail.
And don’t get me wrong.
There are times when not finishing the edges of your fabric with serger stitches or zig-zag stitches is totally fine.
For example, when you have a dress entirely lined.
But if you only sew facings in your garment piece and the inner seams are even slightly visible that’s another thing.
They might be in the skirt, or at the neckline.
In this case, you might want to consider doing a finish overlock or zig-zag seam, so it can have a more professional look. We also have a great post about 8 ways to finish raw edges of fabrics without a serger here.
I recommend you buy a Serger machine for this purpose.
This is the Overlock Machine I used for more than 7 years and I’ve had incredible results! (Just remember point 12 of this list).
7. The Worst Sewing Mistake: Don’t Take a Break:
Problem: Don’t take breaks from sewing.
What cand this do: Obsessing with the little details, frustration, urge to quit.
Have you ever found yourself struggling and hating your fabric or your sewing machine?
Messing up the same part over and over again? Unstitching for the thousandth time?
Especially if you are making an advanced-level project, sewing can get frustrating and stressful.
We tend to become obsessed with small details or feel bad about ourselves because we can’t seem to manage a simple stitch or seam.
We’ve all been there, don’t worry!.
The next time this happens to you remember, you are human, you are allowed to make mistakes and you are allowed to take breaks for that too.
Therefore, if you are having a little bit of struggle with something, in particular, that does not seem to have a solution, turn your sewing machine off, fold your project and go make yourself some tea, rest, and come back the next day.
You’ll see that now it won’t seem that hard and you will be able to find new solutions with a well-rested mind.
8. Poor choosing of fabric:
Problem: Don’t care about what is the right fabric for your project.
What this will cause: Your projects will look either cheap or different than expected or your clothes won’t get the right fit.
I am in love with this picture from the first moment I saw it.
You can clearly see how different fabrics behave on the “same-ish” design.
You see, I had a teacher in fashion school that once told me: “The fabric doesn’t have the fault of looking like this, you as a designer do”.
The meaning of this is that every fabric has a purpose and you should give it to it.
Experimenting with different materials will lead you to know how different fabric behaves in which kind of garments.
I do recommend doing this as you gain more experience in sewing.
But first, you will want to ask or inform yourself about what kind of fabric works best for the kind of garment you want to make.
There is a ton of graphics out there on Pinterest or Google.
Or don’t go that far and ask the lady that is cutting your fabric at the store, she might be able to help.
We also have a great guide on types of knits fabrics and their proper uses if you want to check it out.
9. Using the same Scissors to cut Fabric and Paper:
Problem: Using any kind of scissors to cut fabric. Or worst use your fabric scissors to cut other things.
What this will cause: Your fabric scissors will lose sharpness causing problems and damage to your fabric.
Nop. Nope. No-No.
The worst of the Sewing Mistakes ever!
This is one of the most common unspoken (but very spoken) sewing mistakes.
Using fabric scissors to cut paper will gradually remove the sharp edge of the scissors making them bad for cutting and they might even damage your fabric.
Make sure to have one pair of very nice sharp sewing scissors only for fabric and another pair for cutting your patterns.
You didn’t know this and now you are in need of a new SHARP pair of scissors???
Check out this TOP RATED Fabric Scissors I found on Amazon. They Have 4.5 + stars and almost All customers swear by them with great reviews…
- Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears
- Sewing Scissors +Free Thread Snips – Heavy Duty Scissors
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10. Don’t know your RIGHT Measurements:
Problem: Don’t know your body’s measurements.
What this would do: Your clothes won’t fit properly and you will need to alter them after (if it is possible).
When you buy patterns is very easy to go with your “commercial size” (the size you usually buy in stores).
The thing is that not every pattern maker uses the same range of sizes. And not knowing what size corresponds to your measurements might cause you to have an unflattering garment.
So take a moment to understand how to take the RIGHT measurements for your own body.
And the most important recommendation I can make to you is to re-measure every time you make a new garment, just to be sure.
11. Don’t prep your fabric
Problem: Don’t pre-wash your fabrics before sewing.
This might cause: Shrinking of fabric/garments, stains for decoloration.
Most of the fabrics won’t need any prep before you use them for your projects.
But some of them such as denim, linen, or some cotton ones do.
This is because of the behavior of the fibers.
The thing is that some of these fabrics might shrink after you wash them or release their color and tints. This, can destroy that project you work so hard on, or dye all your laundry with unwanted colors.
So, make sure when you buy your fabric, to ask if it needs preparation or some special indications.
If it doesn’t say anything, pre-wash your fabrics before you start your projects the same way you will wash them after.
Meaning that if you will put that project on a regular cycle with a softener, do the same thing when you wash the fabric.
12. Not cleaning your sewing machine periodically:
Problem: Don’t clean your machines often.
This will cause: Internal problems with your machine, like stopping sewing or broken parts, heating, etc.
Sewing machines are super noble friends if you treat them right.
But they can also become your worst enemies especially if you neglect them.
So you probably want to make sure you clean any loose threads after every project, keep them covered (you can download this free printable), and schedule your deep cleaning and oiling, so you never forget when it’s time to do it.
That’s it for today!
I am sure that if you keep this advice in mind your projects will become better and better each time. I hope you’ll find some light in this post, and that you enjoyed this reading.
- 7 Sewing Benefits for your body you won’t believe.
- 10 Steps to the Perfect Sewing Room Plan
- Best Sewing Books for Beginners and Improvers.
- How to organize sewing patterns
- Pattern Cards: How and why to use them.
Print this post!
1. Using the Wrong Size of Needle
Mistake: not choosing the best sewing needle for your project.
Solution: for sewing jeans, you want a thicker, stronger needle. On the other hand, if you are sewing with chiffon, you might want to consider a smaller more delicate needle. Find a needle size chart online and print it as a reference.
2. Using an Old and Damaged needle
Mistake: using the same needle over, over, and over again.
Solution: Always try to use a new sharp needle every time I start a new project. But if you can’t afford to do this, at least try to check your needles before starting a new project.
3. Using the wrong Thread Tension
Mistake: This particular Sewing Mistake sometimes is hard to notice. Finding the right tension for your fabric might be a tricky thing to do.
Solution: Watch our thread tension tutorial and spend a few minutes testing the best tension in a scrap of fabric before you start.
4. Not pressing your seams
Mistake: Not pressing your seams as you sew.
Solution: sew as many seams as you can before joining the final piece, and then press them in “batches”.
5. Ironing with too Much or too Little temperature
Mistake: Not changing the temperature settings depending on the fabric.
Solution: change the temperature regulator dial that has different settings depending on the fabric you are going to press.
6. Not Finishing Visible Inner Seams
Mistake: Leaving inner seams unfinished.
Solution: finish the edges of your fabric with serger stitches or zig-zag stitches
7. Don’t rest or Take a Break
Mistake: Obsessing with small details and try to fix them all.
Solution: turn your sewing machine off, fold your project and go make yourself some tea, rest, and come back the next day.
8. Poor choosing of fabric
Mistake: Not caring about what is the right fabric for your project.
Solution: Experimenting with different materials will lead you to know how different fabric behaves in which kind of garments.
9. Using the same Scissors to cut Fabric and Paper
Mistake: Using any kind of scissors to cut fabric. Or worst, use your fabric scissors to cut other things.
Solution: Make sure to have one pair of very nice sharp scissors only for fabric and another pair for cutting your patterns.
10. Don’t know your RIGHT Measurements
Mistakes: Don’t know how to take your body’s measurements.
Solutions: Follow our video tutorials to learn how to take your own measurements.
11. Not pre-washing your fabric
Mistakes: Not-prewashing your fabrics before sewing them.
Solutions: wash your fabrics before you start your projects the same way you will wash them after.
12. Not cleaning your sewing machine
Mistake: Don’t have a cleaning schedule for your sewing machine
Solution: clean any loose threads after every project, keep them cover (you can download this free printable), and schedule your deep cleaning and oiling, so you never forget when it's time to do it.
I also want to give a special thank you to Designed by Nensuria / Freepik for the picture we used for the featured and main pics on this post. Thank you, guys!!