10 Common Sewing Mistakes and How to Fix Them – (Beginner)

Last Updated on July 31, 2023

Discover some common sewing mistakes and how to fix them: Sewing is a rewarding and creative hobby, but like any skill, it comes with its fair share of challenges. Whether you’re a seasoned sewist or just starting, it’s natural to encounter some sewing mistakes along the way.

Common Sewing Mistakes

10 Common Sewing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Here, we’ll explore ten common sewing blunders and provide practical tips to help you fix them. By addressing these issues, you can confidently enhance your sewing experience and create beautiful garments. Let’s dive in!

1. Not Cutting Your Pattern Out on Grain

Not Cutting Your Pattern Out on Grain
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One crucial step in sewing is cutting your fabric pieces on grain. Woven fabric has lengthwise and crosswise grains, and cutting along these lines ensures proper fit and drape of your finished garment.

Commercial patterns usually indicate the grain line, but if you’re draping your own pattern, be sure to mark the grain line carefully. To ensure your fabric is on grain, fold it in half and match up the corners, adjusting as needed. Steam and gently press the fabric to help the grain stay in place.

2. Not Ironing and Pressing Seams After Sewing

Not Ironing and Pressing Seams After Sewing
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Before proceeding to the next step in your sewing project, take the time to iron and press your seams. Pressing your project makes the seams lay flat and gives your work a more professional appearance. Additionally, pressing allows the thread to meld into the fabric, making the seam stronger and neater.

3. Forgetting to Add Seam Allowance

Common Sewing Mistakes - Forgetting to Add Seam Allowance
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Adding seam allowance is essential to ensure your garment fits properly. If you omit seam allowance, your finished piece may end up smaller and tighter than intended. Always add the required seam allowance along all sides of your pattern. If you’re unsure or sewing for someone else, it’s wise to add a slightly bigger seam allowance to allow for adjustments.

4. Using the Wrong Needle for the Fabric Type

Using the Wrong Needle for the Fabric Type
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Choosing the correct needle for your fabric type is crucial for smooth sewing. The higher the needle number, the thicker fabric can handle, and vice versa. Different fabrics like woven, knits, and leather require specific needle types. Refer to online resources or books to determine the appropriate needle for your project.

5. Choosing the Wrong Fabric for the Project

Choosing the Wrong Fabric for the Project
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Selecting the right fabric for your sewing project is essential for its success. Consider factors like drape, stretch, and weight when choosing your fabric. Textile guides and books can be valuable resources for learning more about fabric types and their suitable uses.

6. Sewing Stretch Fabric with a Straight Stitch

Sewing Stretch Fabric with a Straight Stitch
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Stretch fabrics require special attention to avoid seam breakage when worn. Sewing stretchy fabrics with a straight stitch can cause the seam to pop when stretched. Instead, use a stretch stitch or a narrow zigzag stitch to allow the fabric to stretch without damaging the seam.

7. Not Pinning and Notching Fabric Before Sewing

Taking the time to pin and notch fabric pieces before sewing may seem time-consuming, but it ensures accurate and aligned seams. Pinning helps hold the fabric in place, preventing it from shifting during sewing. Notching allows for smoother curves and precise matching of seams.

8. Pulling and Pushing Fabric Through the Machine

Pulling and Pushing Fabric Through the Machine
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Let the machine’s feed dogs do the work of moving the fabric through the machine. Avoid forcefully pulling or pushing the fabric, as it can lead to uneven stitches and distortion. Guide the fabric gently while sewing.

9. Not Double Checking Your Work Before Cutting and Sewing

“Measure twice, cut once” is a golden rule in sewing. Take the time to double-check your measurements, markings, and pattern pieces before cutting and sewing. This careful attention to detail will save you from unnecessary seam ripping and frustration.

10. Forgetting to Backstitch

Common Sewing Mistakes - Forgetting to Backstitch
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Always remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seams. Backstitching secures the stitches and prevents the seam from unraveling. This small step ensures the longevity and durability of your creations.


Sewing is a skill that improves with practice, and making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. By recognizing these common sewing mistakes and learning how to fix them, you can enhance your sewing techniques and achieve more polished and professional results. So, embrace the sewing journey, enjoy the process, and let your creativity flourish!

Remember, even experienced sewers encounter challenges, but each mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow. As you gain experience, you’ll develop your own tips and tricks to overcome sewing hurdles. Happy sewing, and may your sewing studio always be filled with creativity and joy!

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