Take pattern tricks for example: they'll save you time, paper, materials, and (most importantly) stress.
This week I learned (and we're just doing bullet points to keep this joint organized):
-Using an awl
-The importance of a large cutting mat
-Sharpies, guys! Nothing is more useful than a Sharpie.
-Labeling (not people, your patterns)
-Walking through your pattern
And so, in order of appearance:
Using an awl! An awl is a sharp, pointy tool (cue my friends going, "isn't that what ALL your sewing tools are?") Well, yes. But this one is especially sharp and pointy. You can use it to poke holes in your pattern so that when you cut it out of fabric, there's a little hole where you can put a marker dot on the fabric to mark a pleat, dart, whatever you're in the mood for.
And that thing. That large cutting mat thing. That thing that will protect your dining room table, effectively protecting you from the wrath of your mother. Lay one down wherever you're working and Ta-Da! You can now cut whatever you want, poke whatever you want, and paint whatever you want (just to name a few) right on the mat without damaging the table. Pretty nifty, huh?
Sharpies. I feel like they're so important they can be their own sentence. My family buys black Sharpies in 24 packs at Costco fairly regularly. It's what happens when you have one seamstress, one person who likes to graffiti on their binders, and another who makes her own signs (like the sound of that? Check her out here). Sharpies have come in useful like crazy this summer. I've used them to mark changes on mock-ups and circle important parts on patterns. Having a couple different colors on hand is good too.
Which leads me to my next bullet point, labeling patterns! Put those Sharpies to good use and mark up your patterns! Always write which number in the series it is so you don't get your patterns mixed up later.
And finally, walking through your pattern. This will save you immeasurable time and material. Right before starting a mock-up, just do a quick walk through of your pattern. Make sure your side seams and shoulder seams match up. Double check that the front and back are the same length. See if you've properly labeled and marked everything with that handy Sharpie of yours.
Whew. That was a lot of typing. Time to go get some sewing done. Stay crafty, everyone!