|I saw these tips on television by Margaret Islander, who is great at integrating sewing industry techniques into home sewing. These are the kinds of things that you hear and then think to yourself "Why didn't that occur to me before?".
1. You know how when you are sewing in a sleeve, the directions say to sew the sleeve all the way around once, then stitch again under the arm between the notches 1/8 inside your first stitching? It makes it two different steps. Well, forget that! Start at one of the notches, and sew to the other notch, 1/8 inch inside the regular seam allowance. Now, when you get to the other notch, taper out to the regular seam allowance, and sew all the way around to where the seam-allowance-distance stitching started. One big, continuous seam is easier than starting and stopping with the cutting thread and everything that goes along with it.
And speaking of stopping and starting:
2. When you need to stitch the same thing on piece after piece (like stay-stitching), instead of finishing one piece, cutting off the thread, then starting another one anew, just stitch your first one, then push the next pattern piece through right behind it, leaving just a little thread space between them for clipping and separating the pieces when the stitching of all pieces is completed.
You'd ba amazed how much little steps like these can streamline the more mundane parts of sewing!