I Commit Sewing Crimes.

I commit sewing crimes

Yeah I know. I’m BAD. I’m really bad.

But rules were made to be broken, right?


1.I use cheap thread. Really cheap – like a triple pack for $2. Not always, but particularly for white thread. My machine is fine with it and I’ve never had any thread snap or nest.

2. Sometimes when a pattern says “trim seam allowances” or “clip curves”…. I don’t.


3. When a pattern says “sew side seams then finish with a serger” I just use my serger for the whole thing.

4. Sometimes I use my rotary cutter to trim paper.


5. I cut fabric with an old pair of scissors I nicked from the Year 7 art and craft cupboard from the school I worked at in 2007.

6. Sewing in a perfectly straight line is REALLY HARD. And I’m terrible at it.


7. I free motion quilt on my second hand, very basic, small Janome that I bought on eBay for about $100. I bought a darning foot and then I broke it  modified it as suggested by the teacher of the free motion Craftsy class I did. Cheap machine with a broken foot? Works a treat.

8. I am very lazy when it comes to finishing touches. I have improved my skills when it comes to the finish of an item, but perfection is not something strive for.

9. It’s been a looooong time since I took my machine in for a service. Maybe about two years?

Alright, fess up. What naughty things have you been up to?

52 thoughts on “I Commit Sewing Crimes.

  1. Geez if you commit crimes I think I must be a sewing serial killer. I use hemming tape if I can't be bothered finishing, I also just serge seams and my cutting is horrific. Thanks for the confession though lol

    1. my Janome machine is around 28 years old, its a no oil machine and guess what, it has never been serviced! and still works a treat with an awful lot of sewing being done on it! old saying….don't fix what's not broken 🙂

  2. I can never be bothered changing the colour of the thread on my overlocker/ serger – so I keep it with white and pretend it's intentional "contrast stitch", I have had no working light bulb on my sewing machine for a couple of years… yeah I'll get round to that one day! I serge the seams rather than sew first too! I never oil my machine and have never serviced it! And sometimes when I'm feeling really naughty I don't preswash my fabric (Stretch denim made me regret this recently though!) Love this post, might have to do one of my own 😉

  3. This makes me feel a whole lot better about my current response to the instruction "lap the end of the waistband facing", which is pretty much "make something up and don't worry too much because it's inside and I'm the only one who'll ever see it". Thanks! I'm just getting back into sewing and it's good to know that breaking the rules is part of the game.

  4. Haha. Love your honesty. Although I am guilty of breaking many rules I consciously try to work on my downfalls! Let me add…points in blocks are not pointy, used glue to hold a pulled seam after the quilting was done!

  5. I don't prewash my fabric.. and my cutting is absolutely horrid, it always comes out really wonky, no idea how to improve that.. Also, I buy fabric with no project in mind, only because I feel compelled to buy it. Phew! Glad I got that off my chest

    1. I started using a rotary cutter and my cutting is so much better. I don’t commit too many crimes – yet. I’m just a beginner, so I’m sure to become a master criminal soon.

  6. Haha! I'm the queen of short cuts!
    I will roll hem rather than a traditional hem because that would require having to iron stuff.
    I sew on an Elna Sew Fun. It's never had a service. I've oiled it twice.
    I only change needles when they bend or break because Ive sewn over a pin.
    I use my standard needles for sewing knit.
    Hell, I use my standard needles to sew leather!

  7. I oil my machine *occasionally*, but as far as I know it's never been serviced – not since I've been using it regularly, anyway. My mom got it in the '80s sometime I think and I started using it a lot in the '90s. I tend to avoid "monkey fuss" and try to figure out easier ways to do sewing projects, especially after I've done something "the right way" once already (or tried). I don't consider them sewing crimes, just saving work. 😉

  8. Ha ha … I never pre wash fabric, use a ballpoint needle for everything, have never serviced my machine … Poor thing … I think it needs one though, and will avoid inserting a zip in clothing whenever I can work out another closure method instead. I don't think I've ever followed a pattern/tutorial exactly (it might be laziness, but I like to call it 'my own creative slant') and hand sewing? … I loathe it … Everything can be machined, right? That was so much fun … Thanks for the confessional Ros!

  9. OMG, I am so glad I am not the only one.
    I recently stopped pre washing certain fabrics…I was making baskets, not clothes, so it doesn't matter! Right?!
    I ran out of white thread on my serger, so I saddled up the hot pink I'd bought! It's been 6 mos LOL
    (It's always on the inside, so it gives it some inside fun!)
    I saved an old rotary cutter blade for paper when cutting out patterns. Awesome right?! Well, sometimes I"m too lazy or forget to change it back for fabrics!

    I have to ask….how do you serge the seams without them pulling apart? I tried that when I first got my serger and the slightest pressure made the thread show.


    1. I've never had that problem Kerry so perhaps it's related to the tension on your serger? Not sure sorry. Love the story about the hot pink thread – that would actually look really cool!

    2. Hmm, tension is automatic. But no sweat. I'm sure it's me 🙂
      Hehe, I do like the pink!!
      One day I will rethread with all pink and do something to let it show!

  10. They all sound like very clever things to do. I never clip my threads if they're going to end up on the inside of something. If you turned out something I've made it would be the biggest mess! If your machine can work with cheap thread then that's good! I've only had my overlocker serviced once when the timing was out and all the tensions were rubbish…it's 25 years old so I think that's pretty good!

  11. Oh my what a funny blog topic! Yep I do it all, cheap thread, buy fabric from Hobby Lobby, don't change needles, etc etc etc, but hey I love nearly all my quilts, and the people I give them to seem to enjoy them too so hey, it's all good! Break those rules!!!!!!

  12. Ok, the most shocking for me out of all those was your choice of fabric scissors… How are they still sharp, lol?!

    Hmm, well, I'm terrible at changing my machine needle – only when it snaps or I'm having stitch issues. I cut scrapbooking paper with my rotary cutter, but I do use an old blade for that.

  13. I commit sewing crimes. I could probably fill a couple of blog posts with my list of offences, but I regularly admit to my crimes after each project I blog about, anyway (although I haven't admitted all of it! Shhhh!). I find it cathartic to do it regularly, I imagine it's like going to confession 🙂

  14. Now I can't help but come up with Micheal Jackson sewing songs – Smooth Criminal has become Sewing Criminal, and Billy Jean is now about sewing Skinny Jeans. I'm struggling to stop Thriller turning into Quilter… but I can hear it… please make it stop… 'CAUSE SHE'S A QUILTER!… ahhh…what have you started?!!!!

  15. I'm so glad to have run across your blog. My sewing guilt is gone! But I suppose there is something I should check into. I got my machine about 30 years ago at a yard sale – I'm supposed to oil it?

  16. I cut pieces free hand and measure by eye. There! I said it! On the rare occasions I do use patterns, I just draw on the fabric with a plain blue biro.

  17. Great post – not changing sewing needles regularly – really makes a difference when you do though. Using my rotary cutter on paper, when paper piecing – I do have scissors for paper though.

  18. Guilty on all counts except 8, and then I’m an over-achiever. (Isaved time from all that other stuff, right?)

  19. I use needles too long, buy cheap thread, cheap fabric, don’t always pin when I should, sew over pins, don’t always measure, just eye it, I have 3 machines, one I got for high school graduation 40 years ago, a Janome I bought in the late 80’s and a Baby Lock I got about 5 years ago……none have been serviced in a very long time…..I also bought a used serger about 2 years ago and have yet to tackle using it, Im going to give it away…..lol……so, Ive committed lots of sewing crimes along the way too! Love this post!

  20. I’d consider myself a sewing felon. I don’t vacuum my sewing room. Instead, I use a toilet brush to occasionally pickup threads in the carpet.

    1. It usually tells ya in the manual. If you don’t have yours, some research online with your make and model number may turn a PDF of it up – I just got a Dumpster dived Kenmore from the 60s, and found its manual online for free. You oil a lot more – and in a lot more places ! – with older machines, that’s for sure ! Happy hunting !

  21. I use ‘vintage’ thread on wooden spools that I find cheep in second-hand venues (thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, etc.) – and I buy fabric there, too. I only change needles when I hear them ‘punch’ the fabric, and I’ve been known to remove them from my embroidery machine and install ’em in the sewing one. I make doll clothes and rarely finish the cut edges. I don’t think I’ve sewn a proper double-fold hem in a decade. And I have to move to where the light is to pin up anything – my machine’s unfortunately in the room’s only black hole. And yes, all four of my machines have their own name and quirks. I think I’m more of a criminally insane sewist !

    1. I think you’ve just gotta go with what works well! If we all followed the ‘rules’ projects would take forever and we’d all be broke!

  22. I’m in a relationship with a “sewing machine technician” LOL!! if he should EVER read these comments, he’ll jump off the nearest bridge!!! Needless to say,…. “I ” commit sewing crimes ever so often too!!! oh well,… what he doesn’t know…..!!

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