Video: Cheap sewing supplies, stay-stitching & better sewing skills

This post contains affiliate links.

Hey, it’s time for another Q&A video where I answer your questions! As always I got some fantastic questions that really had me thinking. Enjoy!

Topics covered in this Q&A:

  • Are there instances when one can skip stay-stitching?
  • Tips on making ones sewing more professional?
  • What do I buy cheap, what do I spend more money on?

Videos mentioned

Better sewing skills and less mistakes 

Sewing jeans pockets – The best pro trick

Other stuff I talk about in the video

Vilene Seam tape  (Amazon affiliate link)

How to sew ease stitching

All my sewing Q&A videos


  • Esther
    March 18, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks for another great video! You are soo right about not buying cheap fabric! And you forgot to mention not buying cheap thread either! However, your video made me long for a high quality sewing machine, I believe it will soon be time to upgrade from my Singer Brilliance!

    • Johanna
      March 19, 2018 at 8:10 am

      A very good point about the thread, I have made this mistake many times! Cheap, poor quality thread really is so bad, it can ruin a garment. I’m very excited for your up-coming sewing machine upgrade, getting a better machine really is such a game changer!

  • Kathy
    March 18, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Hi Johanna, from Arkansas in the US. I did so agree with everything in your video. One category that I would spend money on is quality cutting tools. Cheap shears or rotary blades just chew fabric up. I have and love several specialty cutting tools such as duckbilled appliqué scissors for grading seams, Havel thread snips next to my sewing machine (BERNINA also) and serger (Babylock,) and small sharp scissors for clipping and trimming. Cheap scissors are for cutting paper! I do have a weakness for patterns, though. Since I’m quite a bit older than many new sewers, the many new Indie patterns by young designers don’t appeal to me. I stick with “the big 4,” especially Marcy and Katherine Tilton; however, I do love the patterns by Linda Lee at The Sewing Workshop. You can tell I don’t go for fitted patterns 😆 due to my shape but I like a little edginess also. That said, I think these young pattern designers do encourage many new sewers and that’s a good thing. I hope you enjoy my comments; keep up the excellent blogging and tutorials.

    • Johanna
      March 19, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Excellent point about investing in good cutting tools! I made the switch to Kai scissors a while back and wow, what a difference. I will never ever buy a cheapish fabric shear again! And I agree about your observation about younger pattern designer, the styles and the way they present the patterns have definitely contributed to the current sewing book among the younger crowd. But as you say we all have our own preferences and I do believe it’s important to know what pattern brands that work for us, I too tend to stick to a select few and only sometimes venture outside those to test something new.

    March 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I really enjoyed the video and it was great that you touched on cheap fabric. I think I pointed out that cheap fabric needs to be used for muslin making when testing new patterns. As far as cutting tools, i have terrific cutting tools. I will eventually get a reliable corp cutting tools and pressing station. Having good ergonomic snips next to your machine is critical. Sew clip press. I guess one topic i could also suggest that you cover is “industrial sewing techniques” specially this relates to stay stitching. I never stay stitch anymore but use fusible knit web to stay areas around collars, sleeves etc. It ensures the fabric does not get pulled out of shape. As far as machines, i have many, my most expensive is a bernina artista 180 and i will eventually upgrade to a Bernina 770QE. I also have used many vintage machines but as i have been sewing, i find i use mainly a good straight stitch machine, serger and coverstitch, Buttonholing i use a computerized machine and for tailored jackets, i use a computerized machine plus buttonhole twist for hand finished professional looking buttonholes, My most favorite sewing machine is a green viking husqvarna CL 21 that I inherited from grandma. That machine can stitch thru anything much like the only vintage pfaff 332 machine I have.

    • Johanna
      March 22, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Oh you have the green Husqvarna! Those were the ones we had in school for sewing when I was young, it is such a classic gorgeous machine! And you have quite a machine selection, wow! And I agree about getting good cutting tools, I only upgraded to a good pair of scissors less than 2 years ago and agree, what a huge difference! I too prefer fusibles a lot of the times instead stay-stitching (like I showed in the video). It just creates a more even surface and gives me better control. But on delicate fabrics I still prefer stay-stitching. Were you referring to other methods as well when you say industrial sewing techniques (i.e. not just fusibles?) If so I might have to do more research since I think I covered all the ways I know of how to keep the fabric in check in the video 🙂 Apart from sewing in stay bands, which I don’t really do these days since I think it adds bulk


Leave a Reply