It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or professional at sewing, let’s admit it, there are some things you’d often forget to do or not to do. Like pressing the seams as you sew! Because, well, you know, you could have a lot more done without the occasional distraction. If you’re on this table, we got you. Read on to know 10 common sewing mistakes and how to fix them.

Common Sewing Mistakes

1. Not oiling the pedal joints

pedal joints

Gather around if you can’t get yourself to quit procrastinating oiling the pedal joints on your sewing machine, and then blame yourself when they become stiff. Constantly applying sewing machine oil (most needle-workers in Nigeria often use hydraulic oil) to the pedal joints of your sewing machine, keeps it running smoothly and quietly. That familiar kre-ke-ke sound can be unamusing.

See how to properly oil pedal joints here.

2. Not oiling the needle plate

needle plate

Same goes for the needle plate. The feed dogs can become stiff from time to time as a result of the amount of thread that have to go through them, causing them to run a little slow. Oil them regularly to allow smooth running of the needle.

3. “Forgetting” to tighten the needle clamp from time to time

needle clamp

Have you been wondering why your needle suddenly breaks on a run? It’s because the needle clamp loosens often. The more the needle runs, the faster the clamp loosens its hold on the needle, making it lose focus on a line of stitching and go haywire. Next thing you hear is “ke!”

To prevent this, remember to constantly tighten the clamp while sewing, so you don’t have to buy new pack of needles every week.

4. Using the wrong needle for fabrics


In case you didn’t know, needles come in different types and sizes. There are specific needles for specific fabrics. For example, denim fabrics would require stronger needles than cotton or chiffon, to prevent needles from breaking due to the depth and weight of the fabric. Ensure to always change machine needles to suit whatever fabric you’re sewing at the time.

5. Attaching the wrong needle size to the needle clamp

It’s one thing to use appropriate needles for fabrics, and it’s another to use the appropriate needle for your sewing machine’s needle clamp. Using smaller or bigger needles than fits the needle clamp can either widen the clamp beyond proportion, making it loose over time, or cause a breaking spree. You’d keep wondering why the needle and thread are on a mission to frustrate you.

Solution, pay attention to your sewing machine manual to know its appropriate needle size.

6. Using the wrong thread for fabrics

sewing threads

Ever been disappointed when you saw what justice a seamstress did to your beautiful design? If only the thread was a shade darker, or lighter. If only it wasn’t white! Best things to do if you’re not doing the sewing yourself is to buy your preferred colour along with the fabric. Saves you the wahala.

7. Not checking the length regulating lever or dial

regulating dial

As a sewer, you’d often experience jumping seams on both sides, this is because the tension determines the length of the seams. To fix this, try regulating the tension with the lever or dial. Manual regulating dials are levers that you can push up or down, while electric sewing machines have dials you can roll forward or backward.

8. Not ironing seams as you sew

Going back and forth from the ironing board to the sewing machine can be stressful, we know. But it is important that you iron seams, so as to align them. Isn’t it annoying when parallel stitches don’t match?

9. Not washing stretchy fabrics before you sew them

We’ve all had that one really fitting dress or shirt that felt like it couldn’t be more perfect. Fast forward to one tumble in a washing machine and beauty goes astray. Welcome to the world of stretchy fabrics.

This isn’t compulsory, but before sewing any stretchy fabric, try to wash them. Nothing fancy, just a tumble in soapy water, rinse, and spread. This gives allowance for the fabric to stretch, so you know whether to reduce measurements, or leave them be.

10. Adding extra inches to measurements

If you’re part of some needle-workers who just decide that their customers may or may not have added weight in the two weeks they’ve taken their measurements, and proceed to widen the seams by a few more inches, please stop it.

There you are! Common sewing mistakes and how to fix them. If you know any we’ve left out? Kindly drop a comment and share.

Read more sewing tips here.