Video: My sewing routine — get ready to sew with me!

Curious about the stuff I do before I start sewing the actual garment? Well, I have a whole routine in place, since I’m very fond of creating a smooth workflow once I get started on a garment.

Especially since I often use three different machines to create my clothes, which requires some extra planning. Plus I find that with proper prep work, there is less room for mistakes later (but of course I still make mistakes, but that’s a topic for another video…).

Do you like to prep beforehand or rather go with the flow and adjust things as you are sewing? I can totally see the merit of both approaches, my prep work does take time, and sometimes you just want to get started!


  • Sara
    March 10, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks! That was interesting and helpful. I have a large pin board in my sewing room and I like to keep my pattern and pattern pieces tacked up there for easy access, along with notes, inspiration photos, and printouts of blog posts that describe tricky bits of a particular construction step. I may adopt the idea of pinning fabric to the dress dummy! It is so important to have a nice clear surface and clear ironing board for a project, I do like to set myself up, before cutting, by cleaning and tidying the space and ensuring I have my tools where I can find them. I repurposed a large jewelry box to hold scissors, marking tools, seam rippers, etc., and that has been super valuable to keeping things organized.

    • Johanna
      March 11, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      What a great method you use to keep everything in clear view and easy to access! And a good system for tools sure helps too!

  • Kathy Z.
    March 10, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    I prep my machines like you do, Johanna. I also like to get out all the notions I’m going to use, such as tapes, elastic, etc, and have them handy. Since I always use commercial patterns, the most important prep for me is to read the instructions all the way through several times. I make notes right on the pages if I’m planning to use a different method or order of sewing.
    Love your blog and videos!

    • Johanna
      March 11, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Yes reading the instructions beforehand is so important, when I skip it I usually regret it big time afterwards, having an understanding of the process makes everything flow so much better!

  • Claudia
    March 26, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    I like to thread all my machines in advance of starting my project and I also do tests on my scraps before I start my sewing. I enjoy doing my sewing without interruptions by doing prep beforehand. I make notes on my pattern instructions and reference what might be improved next time. I try not to rush to avoid mistakes. I don’t always change my needle, but perhaps I should.

  • Pat Smith
    August 22, 2021 at 3:31 am

    Johanna, hello my name is Pat Smith, I live in Michigan, US. I have a question. I have been debating whether to purchase a cover stitch machine or not. I want to sew on knits but I’m not confident enough in myself to just go for it. My question is I have a Juki DX2000QVP sewing machine & it has a knit stitch on it. I am very particular on the quality of my sewing. So do I just sew my knits to my regular sewing machine or is it worth the money to purchase a cover stitch machine? I am looking at the Juki MCS 1700 QVP cover stitch machine. It is on sale till the end of the month for $699.99 my gut feeling is to go for it. I want to sew on knits & achieve a professional look. Your advice would be much appreciated. I do have a lovely Juki air threader serger which I’m also in love with. I’ve seen your new book on cover stitch and watched your video’s over & over again about cover stitch machines which has drawn me to getting a cover stitch machine.

    Thank you, Pat Smith
    email is (


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