Beginner Sewing Challenge Day 2

Tricks of the Trade

Day 2 is all about learning from each other and sharing our ah-ha moments. More details below...

Beginner Sewing Challenge Day 2

Day two of the Beginner Sewing 5-day Challenge is all about learning some tricks of the trade from one and another. The sewing community is a large one! And a helpful one! So, let’s take advantage of that in today’s beginner sewing challenge.

Your mission for today is to comment on this post with:

  • A helpful sewing tip or trick that you would like to share; or
  • An ah-ha moment you had while you were sewing.  Something you finally figured out that seemed complicated, but now you are mastering it! Let us know why you found it difficult and how you figured it out.

The Benefits of Today’s Beginner Sewing Challenge

Today’s challenge is dedicated to helping you learn. Read thru the comments and suggestions from others below. Perhaps you will find something that you can utilize in your sewing room! Or perhaps something will spark a new idea you are interested in trying. This challenge is about interacting and learning.

Bonus Benefit

After you have commented with your tip or ah-ha moment, enter today’s giveaway sponsored by Annie’s Publication.  The winner will have a free digital copy of Bench Pillows for all Seasons emailed to them!

Let Me Get You Started

Take a look at one of the most useful tips I learned when it comes to sewing with delicate or difficult fabrics! A cheap and easy way to stop your sewing machine feet from getting caught and tangled in your fabrics, as well as your fabric from being “eaten” by your feed dogs. In this video on weaving and sewing with yarn, I show you how I utilized things around me to make this beginner-friendly project. I also show you how I had a very frustrating problem that was not only time consuming, but it also could have not only ruined my project, needle, and sewing machine! I present to you my helpful sewing tip for Day 2 Sewing Challenge …

Enter Today’s Giveaway Here

In Case You Missed It

Don’t forget to give Day 1 of the 5-day Sewing Challenge a try! It is never too late to go back and challenge yourself to learn something new.

Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!


  • Kelly James says:

    Well of course yesterday’s challenge was a game changer for me. I was intimidated by button holes and buttons!
    For me it was taking my time with patterns. Reading the instructions thoroughly. I had a few failures with every one I tried (except PJ pants) and ended up destroying lots of projects and starting over. Once I took my time and pinned or clipped and then held the garment up to see if it looked right before sewing I have had much more success!!

  • Taylor says:

    I love the blanket in your video! Now I have more material on my list to buy so I can make it myself. Lol.

  • Maryanne says:

    I learned how to use tissue paper to keep your machine from eating fabric. Definite lifesaver!

  • Amy says:

    My favorite is sewing lining directly to the fabric of a bodice. I don’t have a serger and this gives me a finished piece with NO seams exposed. Lay real fabric wrong side up, place lining wiring side down on top of it, sew around the neck and arm holes but leave the shoulder and bottom open. I do this all after I connect the shirt to the bodice. Turn right side out and iron. Turn in the shoulders 1/4 inch, attach the shoulder one inside the other and zig zag the shoulder seam. Close the hem with extra wide bias tape. For reversible do the same thing but use real fabric on both sides instead of using lining.

  • Robin says:

    One Christmas I made drawstring bags for my family to put our coins in that we use while playing cards. I was having a heck of a time getting the drawstring cord through the casing. It was suggested to me to use a safety pin. Once I pinned the safety pin to the end of the cord it was so easy to slide the cording through.

  • katcoope says:

    Day 1. I completed the button challenge! I didn’t even know buttons could be sewn on by the machine. I hope I’m leaving comments where I’m supposed to!

  • Claire Mullis says:

    The best tip is to walk away when things don’t go to plan – better than throwing the sewing machine out of the window! It’s so very tempting at times 😂

  • Sharon says:

    The thread in the needle was always pulling out and I’d have to re-thread. I learned to use a long lead of thread and keep a finger on the thread so it wouldn’t get sucked back out. Works like a charm!

  • Tina Marie says:

    I learned while doing Christmas stocking to go slow around the curves and to also clip them afterwards to get a nice profile.

  • Dorothy says:

    I never knew that you could sew with tissue paper. I was trying to sew at Christmas time & could have used this tip to keep my machine from eating my delicate fabric. I can’t wait to give this a try.
    Also I have always been intimidated with installing zippers. I avoided putting them in. Finally I wanted to make a cushion which needed a zipper so I took a deep breath watched as many videos I could on how to sew zippers & I finally went for it. Once starting sewing the zipper I realized it wasn’t that bad & found out I can sew a zipper. Now I am going zipper crazy. I went to my local thrift store that supports our local SPCA & purchased all different sizes of zippers so I can start making bags, another cushion & other projects that needs a zipper. I now have no more fear of zippers!

  • Rachel Berezecky says:

    My best piece of advice is to give zippers a try if you haven’t already, make sure to use the zipper foot and watch a video. It can be scary to try something new but so rewarding to add another skill on.

  • Barb says:

    I just started sewing again after many years of just making rag quilts. Want to make other things but have
    Issues with pins, I keep jabbing myself and I was told those clips aren’t necessary pins are better. Well I
    Decided to try the clips and for me they work great! So I would suggest trying something you think might
    Work for you even if you were told something wasn’t needed.

  • Carol Biles says:

    To cut a straight line I use a long ruler and draw a line with an erasable chalk. Also, I measure twice before cutting.

  • Gina Gibson says:

    You can draw or print shapes onto regular paper and use on your machine to practice sewing curves and straight lines etc. You don’t need to use thread, but you should use a dedicated needle and be sure to change it out before you begin your actual sewing. The paper will dull the needle. Also, it will create a lot of dust in your machine, so be sure to clean it afterwards.

  • Kathy says:

    Day 2. I decided before Christmas that I was going to try and make pillowcases.
    Disaster! It shouldn’t have been that hard, but I guess I made it hard. 2 or 3 pillowcases later, I had it it figured out!
    I mastered the burrito method, and learned from a friend how to do french seams! Youtube was a huge help! If you haven’t made a Pillowcase yet, give it a try. It was super easy!

    • Maria says:

      To use a fabric pen or chalk to mark the fabric. As I am learning to do straight lines, I measure my fabric and draw a line. Also to not look at the needle while I’m sewing. The Facebook groups has so many great tips and I’m learning as I go.

  • iammimiof4 says:

    I have been sewing for a couple years but sporadically. I have done valances, curtains, pot holders, bowl cozies and a lot of other things, BUT I am afraid to do anything related to clothing. Today I did the button and it worked well. I can do zippers pretty well. Reading about everything you ladies can do is making me feel a little more brave to look into sewing clothing! I have been looking at patterns and then putting them away for later. Maybe I will get one out today!

  • James says:

    My ah-ha moment happened while trying to figure out zippers. I could never get them right. I watched a video by Made Everyday where Dana explained it so simply. I finally understand which way the zipper teeth go when putting a pouch together.

  • Cerys says:

    My best piece of advice that changed the game for me… iron everything. Just iron it. Don’t skip ironing it!

  • Heather S says:

    My favorite tip so far has been to use blue painters tape on your machine to extend the quarter inch seam line or which ever one you are using. It really helps me to keep my lines straight.

  • Linu says:

    I’m a newbie – been sewing less than a month. Always turn the knob to raise the needle forward to bring the needle up, not back and forth.

  • Linda says:

    My aunt taught me to cut the fabric with pinking shears so I wouldn’t have to cut the dreaded triangles.

  • Allie Bruscato says:

    I know that this is something little but recently I learned how to use the automatic threader on my machine. I was determined to just keep threading on my own; but once I used the threader it has been a dream! 🙂

  • Julia B says:

    As a beginner I think the giving yourself grace to not be perfect the first time, and most of all…to enjoy the journey. I am really excited to start sewing and learning new things!

  • Thomas Kroeck says:

    One thing that always frustrated me so much was when I’d start to sew and the needle would unthread itself. Not sure where I saw it but I learned always to start sewing with the needle in the highest position and I’ve not had that problem since. It was a eureka moment for me ! haha.

  • Mai says:

    I learned to use double-sided tape to keep the fabric from shifting. This is super handy when I need to sew a zipper or sew multiple layers such as a wristlet keychain. The Dollar Tree sells double-sided tape now. I’ve also read that you can use a little bit of Elmer’s Glue and use the iron to bind the layers before sewing, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  • Taylor says:

    A tip I have learned is to use a knitting needle as a point turner! I have even been able to find some at dollar tree so that was a Ben better for the budget!

  • Kimberley Franklin says:

    My favourite all time tip is to check your local thrift shops before heading to the “real” store. I’ve picked up furniture, decorations, patterns, books, fabric, notions, and clothes to upcycle. It’s always way cheaper, and you never know what bargains you might find.

  • lesleytubbs says:

    Measure carefully and cut slowly

  • jmantini says:

    I will try to see if I can post it today in the Facebook group 🙂

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