biggest sewing mistakes to avoid

Avoid These Disastrous Biggest Sewing Mistakes to Become a Skilled Sewist

We all make mistakes when sewing, even the most experienced sewers. In this article, I’ll share some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made over the years and how I try to avoid them now.

  • Not following the pattern instructions carefully
  • Using the wrong needle or thread for the fabric
  • Not testing stitches on a scrap piece of fabric first
  • Cutting fabric without measuring twice
  • Rushing through and not double-checking my work

Do these common sewing mistakes sound familiar? If so, keep reading to learn from my experiences!

Not Reading the Pattern Instructions

One of the biggest mistakes I used to make was not reading through all the pattern instructions before starting a new project. I’d skim over them quickly, assume I knew what to do, and then get stuck halfway through when I missed an important step.

These days, I always read the full instructions from start to finish before I even take out my fabric and scissors. That way, I understand everything I need to do and can prepare accordingly. It saves me from having to backtrack or redo parts later on.

Using the Wrong Needles and Thread

 Another mistake was using whatever needles and thread I had on hand,  instead of choosing the right ones for the specific fabric I was sewing. This often led to skipped stitches, bunching, or the thread breaking.

Now,  I take a few minutes to get the proper needle for woven or knit fabrics. I also choose high-quality thread that is strong enough and won’t leave lint or fuzz on my project. Taking these small extra steps makes sewing so much smoother.

Testing on Fabric Scraps

Testing on Fabric Scraps
Photo credit: freepik

First, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sewn part of a project, only to realize too late that my stitch length or tension was off. Such a waste of time and materials!

These days, I always test my machine settings on a small scrap of the same fabric before starting the real thing. This helps me get the stitch length, width, and tension just right from the beginning. It’s a quick step that saves me a headache later.

Measuring Twice Before Cutting

We’ve all heard the saying “measure twice, cut once” – but how many times have you skipped that crucial first step? I know I’ve rushed into cutting my fabric without properly measuring, only to end up with pieces that were too short or asymmetrical.

No more! Now, I always measure my fabric pieces twice (or even three times) before picking up the scissors. Cutting accuracy is so important, and this easy double-check prevents me from making an irreversible mistake.

Rushing and Not Double-Checking

My final big mistake was often rushing through steps and not carefully checking my work before moving to the next part. This led to missed stitches, twisted patterns, uneven hems – you name it.

Slow and steady really does win the race when it comes to sewing. Now, I build in extra time to sew carefully and methodically. I double-check each step before continuing. This prevents little errors from snowballing into bigger issues down the line.


What are some common sewing mistakes to avoid?

Not following pattern instructions carefully, using the wrong needles/thread, not testing stitches first, inaccurate measuring and cutting, and rushing without double-checking work.

How can I prevent making sewing mistakes?

Read all instructions fully before starting. Choose the proper needles and thread for your fabric. Test stitches on scraps first. Measure fabric pieces multiple times. Work slowly and double-check each step.

Why is it important to avoid sewing mistakes?

Mistakes can ruin your project and waste time and materials. Avoiding mishaps creates professional-looking results and prevents frustration while sewing.


We all make mistakes when learning a new skill like sewing – but the key is learning from those errors so we don’t repeat them. By following patterns closely, using the right tools, testing first, measuring thoroughly, and working slowly, you can avoid many common sewing pitfalls.

What has been your biggest sewing mistake so far? I’d love to hear about it and how you’ve learned to prevent it. Sharing experiences helps all of us become better sewists!


Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 285

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