Contest: Tell us your favorite sewing tips!


The time has come to write and photograph some new posts for Snippets, and Caitlin and I thought it would be fun to invite contributions from everyone. We’re just two people after all, and I’m sure you guys have a ton of ideas we haven’t thought of.

Do you have…

  • A favorite way of dealing with a tricky technique?
  • A homemade tool that helps you out?
  • A favorite tool that you find invaluable but most people don’t know about?
  • An easy way to do something that’s otherwise time consuming?
  • A fun trick for keeping organized?
  • Anything else that might help another sewist out?

We’re going to pick our favorites, which we’ll post in the Snippets newletter with full attribution to you. In addition, if we publish your tip, we’ll send you a gift certificate for 10 bucks in our store to say thanks.

Oh, and if you remember where you picked up the tip, let us know that as well so we can give them a hat tip.

Fill out this form to submit your tip! You can enter up to three times, but please no more than that.

Note: We already have several tips queued up, so there is a chance we might already be publishing a tip similar to yours. Please understand that if you see a tip similar to one you submitted in the next few months, it’s more than likely one we’d already written.

{image above: Women sewing for a Balmain show in 1951, from the Life archives}

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 9

Maddie Flanigan

Great idea! I submitted my best tip and I’m excited to see who makes it. Good luck to all…

Maddie Flanigan

P.S. great picture about


One of the most generally useful tools I have is a pair of artery forceps – great for all sorts of odds and ends, especially turning things inside out, getting elastic through casings, holding things still, pushing out odd corners. I’m a nurse, and many nurses / medics I know have a pair lying round somewhere as a swear by general purpose tool.


One of my more useful tools is the custom stand my husband made for my dress form. She wasn’t on wheels, but my engineer husband took the base of an old hospital IV pole and machined a fitting to hold the pole for Martha, my dress form. Now she’s on a set of very sturdy and non-tippy wheels. The pole had measurements on it for marking hems, he made sure that the distance from the floor to the marks were still accurate. I can easily mark hems for skirts and dresses with Martha. I can give her a shove and she’ll roll right into the corner out of the way if I need to and I don’t have to worry that she’ll tip over in the process.


To turn a tube (apron strings, trims, etc) of fabric right side out, here is a trick that one of my sewing friends taught me. Before sewing the long seam of your tube, sew a string the length of your tube to one of the short ends. place it inside the length of the tube and sew the long end. Once you have finished your seams, pull the string end-through-end, and ta-da! Your tube is effortlessly right side out! This method sure beats the old wooden spoon or knitting needle trick I’ve typically have used before.

Lynn Mally

This comes from an old Threads, so I can’t claim originality. Some of the best advice I try to remember when I sew is not to pin in my lap. It is so tempting with long pieces, like pants, but it can really distort the seam.


Wonderful idea! I am going to submit a tip. Looking forward to seeing them all and learning a lot!!


My absolute favorite sewing accesories are pressing tools like my wood point turner/clapper combo….its perfect for getting into tight places like collars and cuffs and giving them a professional finish.

Debbie ericson

I use the glass tops of scented candles as pattern weights. They act similar to paper weights. The tops are used several areas in my sewing studio, like keeping fabric in place.

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