Top 8 tips for Sewing Faster

Tips for Sewing FasterPeople sew for all kinds of reasons. Some, like me, consider sewing as a passionate hobby –which I practice as often as I can. Whereas for others, it can be a means of livelihood or sewing to sell. Whatever the reason you pursue this wonderful hobby, there is nothing wrong in being well organised and getting as much done as possible.  After many years of sewing, I’ve developed some tips for sewing faster.  I’m sure many of you have your own which I hope you will share but first let me share mine with you.

gest organized for sewingGet organised:

This might sound silly, but I have figured out that this can create magic. Less the clutter, the faster I am able to finish the work. I make sure that all the essentials like thread, needle and buttons are neatly arranged in small pouches. This way I need not have to spend time searching for them. Also, I make sure that I am free from all distractions and have enough time to finish the project in hand.  Here are some sewing storage ideas that might help you get organized.


cut fabric onceCut once:

I do all the cutting work at the same time. If the stitching requires 2-3 pieces of the same size, then I make sure that it is cut and stored at the same time. This way I need not have to waste time measuring the pieces again and again. Also, I have noticed that using a rotary cutter makes the task easier. I place the pattern on top of the fabric, keep some weight so that the pattern remains intact and then start the work.  It also really helps to avoid mistakes.  Here are some mistakes to avoid when cutting fabric.


fabric choiceFabric choice:

Unless it is a custom made design, the fabrics I use are the ones that are easy to handle like cotton and linen. Fabrics like brocade or light sheer fabrics can be quite difficult to handle and hence the entire task might take some time.  Here are some more tips about how to choose fabric.


use quality productsUse quality products:

I never compromise on the quality of products. All accessories that I use like thread, pin and buttons are of good quality so that it does not break or get worn out while sewing.  For more guidance on essential sewing tools, please read here.  We’ve also written before about the significant merits of investing in a high quality brass seam ripper and even using quality sewing pins.


skip pinningSkip pinning:

Beginners are advised to pin their clothes so that measurements can be accurate. But as I gained experience, I slowly started skipping the pinning part from time to time. Instead, I use my hand to hold the cloth firmly on to the bed of the machine.  Another alternative that is sort of half way is using Wonder Clips which are much faster but still really hold things together.


stitch lengthStitch length:

Adjusting the stitch length in the machine helps in finishing the sewing faster. If the normal stitch length is 2 or 2.5, I might increase it to 3 or 3.5 so that the sewing finishes faster.  When you lengthen the stitch length you’re basically increasing the amount of fabric that is fed under the presser foot each time the needle cycles.  However, keep in mind that the length of a stitch determines its durability.  If you really need a seam to be strong, keep the stitch length short.  For more about adjusting stitch length have a look at this article.


sewing buttonsSewing buttons:

I use 2-3 strands of embroidery thread for sewing buttons instead of a single strand of thread. This way I can finish the work faster and make sure that the button stays intact.  If you didn’t know, you can also sew buttons with a sewing machine which can be quite fast when you get the hang of it.


swivel chairGet a swivel chair:

My first major investment apart from the sewing machine was a good swivel chair. This makes it easier to adjust my position as and when I require thereby enabling me to finish the work faster.  I picked a reasonable quality office chair with good back support, adjustable height and roller wheels and I’ve never regretted it.  Don’t skimp on this and your back will thank you!  (You can get a good office chair delivered to your home from Amazon for very little money.  See HERE.)


All these are simple tips that make my sewing task easier and faster. But I have observed that the more the number of projects I do, the faster the work becomes.  We’d love to add to this list.  If you have any special tips to help other members sew faster, please share them in the comments below.  We’d love to get to 20 top tips!

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6 Responses to Top 8 tips for Sewing Faster

  1. marysews says:

    I think that cutting out my projects with a rotary cutter is much faster than cutting with scissors. When cutting this way, I use pattern weights instead of pins to hold the pattern in place on the fabric. By pattern weights, I mean anything small and heavy that’s around the house; in my case, it’s casted sand coasters.

  2. Pat Grappolini says:

    Chain stitching also saves time. Quilters will recognize this at once! Stitch across both shoulder seams one after the other, feeding fabric through without cutting thread between each seam, for example. When sewing a bodice, especially on a child’s dress or shirt, I frequently sew side seam, shoulder seam, shoulder seam, side seam without cutting thread between. For a skirt, sewing all darts in sequence is another pattern of sewing that also saves time – and thread!

    Keeping your iron nearby is another time-saving tip, but I usually use my trips to the ironing board as a stretching break … and that saves pain from sitting too long. 🙂

  3. Maureen T says:

    If you want to sew uninterrupted, earlier in the day or even on the previous day have everything ready for a meal that just needs reheating. hat way you can sew right up until the mealtime. You might want to also turn off your phone or anything else that might interrupt your progress.

  4. Darlene Shelton says:

    When working on large project, pre-wind several bobbins before starting. Always have extras of basic colors.

    Purchase and master the use of special pressure feet for your machine. Especially the narrow hem foot and the ruffler foot. Really saves time and gives professional looking finishes.

What do you think?