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A Trio of Sewing Tips to save time and hassle!

By Wendy Gardiner, Brand Ambassador, The McCall Pattern Company

If you have enjoyed watching the Great British Sewing Bee you will have seen the contestants come a cropper a few times due to time – and who wouldn’t when working against the clock!

Below I’ve included three top tips for quick solutions to their last minute dilemmas!

Button sewing – there’s a super fast method that gets buttons in place in no time. Pull off 2m of thread, then fold this in half. Thread the fold through the eye of the needle and pull down so you have four threads. Knot ends and then sew through the button just twice. Done.

Put it to the test with these patterns:

Kwik Sew K4155 Misses’ Shirtdress.


Simplicity 8090 Misses’ Easy-to-sew button shirt and pullover top.

Pockets – adding pockets to side seams is an easy win – use an existing pocket in a garment you love as a template – remembering to add seam allowances. Stitch one pocket section, right sides together to the skirt front and repeat with the other pocket section to the skirt back. Press pockets out, away from garment. When sewing side seams, match front and back pocket bags, stitch from waist to top of pocket, pivot and stitch around pocket bag up to pocket bottom, pivot and continue the seam. Snip into the seam allowances under the pocket to turn and press pocket towards front of garment. Done!

Give inseam pockets a go with these patterns:

New Look 6246 Misses’ Tapered ankle pant and knit top.


Simplicity 8084 Misses’ and Miss plus shirt dress in two lengths.

Gathering fabric – there’s a very quick method that doesn’t involve stitching rows of straight stitch, pulling up thread with the risk of threads breaking as Leah did. Instead, anchor a length of crochet cotton or knitting yarn at one end over the stitching line. Then zigzag stitch over the yarn (without catching it). Pull up from the other end gathering the fabric evenly. Done!

Practise your gathering skills with the following patterns:

Simplicity S8873 Misses’ Gertie dress.


Kwik Sew K4218 Misses’ Tops with gathered waist.


Don’t forget to share your latest makes with us on social media using the hashtags #simplicitybyme or #mccallsbyme. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been making. There are prizes to be won each month too!

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