Sewing Tips from the Make and Do Studio

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Sewing Tips from The Make and Do StudioThe Make and Do Studio

A recent survery we did on Twitter told us that you would all like more sewing tips.  Given that we have so many sewing geniuses at our fingertips listed here on the site & on the blogs and sites that we love we have asked them to come and share their top sewing tips us. 

Each week we will have someone new sharing their top tips with you, first up is Maeri Howard from The Make and Do Studio.  Maeri runs a contemporary craft studio which offers a range of sewing and craft classes.  Visit to find out more. 

Maeri's Top Tips

  • Scissor sharpening - I use a lot of scissors at the Studio, but the ones I use for cutting fabric are the orange handled Fiskars. When they start to get dull (and you will know when they get dull as they will start to “fold” fabric instead of cut it) I take mine to my local key cutter to get them sharpened.  He is great and the first few times refused to take payment from me (even though I have five pairs that needed doing!) and now I give him a £1 a pair and we are both happy!


  • Pattern Tracing - For my pattern tracing, I use Reynolds Wax Paper which is something we use in America to wrap food for when it is going in to the deep freeze! It is a large roll of paper that has a waxy film on one side and matt paper on the other. It is thin enough to trace your pattern on to (which you do on the matt paper side) and then when you want to place the pattern on your fabric, instead of pinning it, you lay the waxy side of the paper face down on your fabric, apply a hot iron and it sticks to your fabric, allowing you to get a really good cut. When you are done, simple peal it off – it leaves no marks! – and use it again  (I have gotten twelve uses out of a piece before).  You will know when it is no longer usable as it doesn’t stick anymore.


  • Pattern Tracing -  Tracing is much easier if you can use a large window to tape the pattern up to and then put the tracing paper/wax paper over it……no squinting needed!


  • Needle Threading - If you find it hard to thread the needle in your sewing machine (as I have gotten older, I find it hard to actually find the eye of the needle to get the thread thru!) a way to make it easier is to put a piece of yellow or red electricians tape on the flat plate part of the foot - you will see this if you look past the needle.  Normally, this small flat section is also silver and it makes it hard to see the eye of the needle when looking through to another silver surface – a bit of tape added to cover that flat section and suddenly, you can see where the eye is much better.

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