Fair warning these are really random and all over the place. haha so bare with me here.
Tip #1. Iron pattern pieces flat before pinning them onto your fabric. It will make cutting them out so much easier! Just make sure that when you're ironing them you don't leave the iron on the paper for too long because paper obviously burns more easily than fabric.
Tip #2. Almost every project goes through a phase where it looks really bad. My mom calls this the "ugly stage." I think that's pretty fitting. The important thing is to not give up at this point. I promise it will look better once the seams are finished and any fitting issues are fixed.
Tip #3. Take it step by step. I know it's easy to get intimidated by projects when you look at it as a whole, but when it comes down to it, sewing is just following directions. That's it! It's easy to get intimidated by the whole process, but take it one step at a time and you won't feel like you're getting in over your head.
Tip #4. You know these pens? You will split the cap each and every time you buy a new one. So do yourself a favor and buy about 10. ha seriously though, am I the only one who this happens to? Every. single. time.
Tip #5. Hem your sleeves first, before you insert them into your shirt/dress. I promise it will make your life easier. (Then you don't have to worry about hemming them once they're attached to more fabric/weight/material that's easy to get twisted around the sewing machine.) I actually also like to hem the sleeves even before I sew them together into a circular shape. (It's harder to sew once it's in the shape of an actual sleeve because sometimes it's tricky to maneuver the tube shape around the sewing machine arm.) I've found it to be easier to get a good, clean hem to just finish the hem first and then sew the sleeve sides together.
Tip #6. Don't sew to save money. Wait what now? I know a lot of people aren't going to like this one. Heck isn't that why you sew in the first place? The reality is however that unfortunately most of the time sewing costs more money because of our sad mass-produced clothing era. Don't get me wrong, you can still save money sometimes (especially when shopping fabric/pattern sales!) but just don't go into it with the notion that you will (see what I did there? sewing joke. haha)
(Edited to add: Check out Emily's post down below for some good tips on saving money!)
Tip #7. When making fabric-covered buttons, use books (or something hard) to press down on the button shank (to enclose the fabric around the back of the button.) That probably made no sense, I'm finding it hard to explain this one. ha I've just found that your fingers (and in my case, elbow!) will start to hurt and get tired really fast from pressing down on the buttons so hard. So I use books to fix that problem! If you are having a hard time understanding what I mean by this let me know and I can totally make a video showing it better. I'm not very good at explaining things.
That's all I've got! What are some tips and tricks you've found?