Here's a quick tip from us at Mood Fabrics on how to dramatically improve the appearance of your finished garments: Stop eyeballing and measure everything.
You know what we mean when we say eyeballing, right? You're pressing and turning under a seam that's supposed to be 1/2 inch but you're not using a sewing gauge to measure as you turn and press--you're just eyeballing it and telling yourself it's probably close enough. Or you're laying out a pattern and assuming that the grainline is perfectly parallel to the selvedges--because it looks that way to you.
This way of eyeballing as you sew is so 2012, readers. For 2013, strive to practice more precision sewing. Don't trust your eyes alone anymore, no matter how accurate you think you are at eyeballing. By using measuring tools as you work you'll save time--because you'll get it right the first time and won't have to rip seams when something is wonky--and your finished garments will look so much more professional.
Want to know a fast and easy way to add more accuracy to your sewing? Whenever you need to turn under and press an edge, trying using your sewing machine to mark the distance that needs to be turned. For example, you're attaching a lining to a dress or a jacket by hand and need to press the edges under 5/8". Just stitch along the lining's edge at 5/8" using a long stitch, then turn and press under using the stitching line as your rule. So much faster than pressing along using a sewing gauge; just make sure you press so your stitching line isn't visible. I do this now anytime I have to turn and press--it's fast and accurate.
Mood is steadily trying to beef up the line of sewing notions we offer, both in our stores and online. We know there are a gazillion types of sewing tools out there--tell us here what tools you like for accuracy or anything else sewing- and construction- related. And Happy New Year from all of us at Mood Fabrics!