In no particular order, and I’ll add to them when I think of it.
* In woodworking there is a saying “measure twice, cut once”. That goes for sewing too. I’d even expand on it – “the cost of the material is in direct proportion to the number of times you measure”.
* If your material is very expensive and the event is very important take the time to make the whole outfit in a cheap cotton first – to make sure it’s perfect.
* Buy cheap material for tests from second hand shops – cheap sheets do the trick!
* If you don’t have an overlockers (serger to some) people always say “never mind, you can use your sewing machine”. I’m going to say “save up and buy one. You will see why when you use it.” If you are in Australia Spotlight often has 30% off everything in the store – wait until then and go buy one. BUT if you can afford it go to a specialist sewing shop and pay as much as you can for the best brand. But any overlocker is better then none.
* Buy the best cotton you can afford. Cheap cotton breaks – as does old cotton (yes, it has a use by date!)
* Same with scissors. Treat yourself and buy a pair that isn’t disposable. You can have them sharpened at your local sewing repair shop.
* Make friends with your local sewing machine shop!
* Change your needles every 8 hours of sewing! If your machine starts jumping stitches – change your needle. Don’t just change them when they break.