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A stitch in time …

cotton reel and needle

Useful sewing tips from Sarah Nicholson

Keep your sewing box organised by sorting small items that would otherwise get mixed up, like buttons, into see-through plastic deli tubs or film canisters.

button When replacing a button with four holes, sew each pair with a separate piece of thread. That way, if one side unravels, the other side will still hold the button in place.

Keep a small bag or box of sewing essentials (for example, useful colours of thread and spare buttons) in a cupboard next to your washing machine or where you iron, so you can quickly and easily make repairs when sorting or ironing clothing.

Whenever you sew up a hem, oversew (as if you were going to fasten off) every 6 inches or so. That way, if the thread comes loose, the hem won’t fall down completely and you’ll only have a short section to re-sew.

The easiest way to replace old elastic is to cut it, attach one end of the new elastic to one end of the old elastic with a small safety pin or some firm stitches and pull the old elastic out, which will bring the new elastic in. Don’t forget to hold onto the end of the new elastic!

lady sewing

A small tear in clothing can be neatly repaired by applying iron-on interfacing or hemming strip on the wrong side.

Keep a small magnet in your sewing box to pick up spilt pins.

safety pin Keep safety pins together in your sewing basket by threading them onto a pipe-cleaner or piece of wire and twisting the ends together. 

Alternatively, thread the bar of a large safety pin through the eyes of smaller ones.

If you run out of black cotton, run a length of cotton of another colour over the tip of a black permanent marker pen.  Make sure it is completely dry before use though.

Collect the little sachets of spare buttons or trimmings that come with clothes all together in a box or jar in your sewing basket or drawer, so they are easy to find should you need them.





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