Just a quick post, grouping together some of my tips....for me as much as anybody. It is amazing how easily I forget things I have learned from experience, only to have to re-learn them again after later mistakes.
Cutting denim is not always easy, especially some of the stretch denims. Whilst I don't own any hugely expensive dressmaking scissors, I have a couple of decent pairs. When I was sewing dance costumes (all that sequined and glittered fabric), I did not want to ruin my good scissors, so I bought a cheap pair of Fiskars from Officeworks for $20. As it turned out, I was impressed by how well they cut. Not only are they sharp, but they stay sharp. They don't have a nice point on the end like my dress making scissors, but I often reach for them in preference anyway. Well, I was reaching for them when cutting my stretch denims, that is for sure. Nice to know that you can get away with cheaper sometimes (especially for children to take to home ec classes).
2. Needle identification
I always meant to organise storage for my half used needles, but keeping those sort of systems is not my forte. Now, when I am swapping needles, I stick the old needle through a bit of fabric I used it for and stick it in my pin cushion. The fabric is a memory jog for the needle and I don't have to struggle to read that tiny print on the side of the needle.
Here you can see different needles for denim, linen knit and liberty cotton.
3. Trueing the crotch seam on jeans.
The first photo below shows how I was trueing the crotch seams on my jeans after drafting the pattern.
This is fine, and necessary, but it is not complete. Jeans are traditionally assembled in a different order to pants. The front crotch seams are sewn together and then the back crotch seams sewn together and then the inner leg seam sewn. I was struggling to sew the inner leg seam neatly, when I realised it was because I had not trued the seam that way. I needed to butt the crotch seams up together, as shown below, and then true the inner leg seam. So obvious in hindsight!
I hope these tips help somebody out there. Happy sewing xx