I work at a university library, in a department specializing in old or rare books, media, artifacts, and so forth. The current collection I am working on is a collection of cookbooks, ranging in age from 1880 to the late 1970's (I'm sorting the old stuff out for us to keep, and the newer stuff to be catalogued for the general collection).
Anyway, I was flipping through an old cookbook, and I found this list of "sewing hints". I thought I would share them with you, because there were some things I'd not heard before.
I don't remember how old this particular book was, so I won't post all of them, just in case there should be a copyright issue.
And feel free to add your own general hints to this, by all means!
"When you sew those hooks or snaps to an article, sew one side on first, rub with chalk and press material on opposite side. In that way the exact places for the other halves will be accurately marked.
"Never iron against the grain of the material. This tends to stretch the garment completely out of shape.
Uses for old nylons. Throw rugs: Cut off heels and hems, sew nylons together to form a "rope". Holding rope firmly, single crochet around it, pulling stitches tight, and working into previous row. Coat Hanger: Prepare nylons as above; then weave around wire coat hanger, using single crochet stitch, pulled tight.
"To prevent seams from puckering when sewing sheer fabrics, place a piece of paper under the seam when stitching. It works every time.
"Put a small piece of white soap in your sewing basket. Stick needles and pins in it and they will run through cloth more easily.
"In lengthening hems of dresses, after ripping out the hem, place a cloth dipped in vinegar under the old hem seam and press with a hot iron. It will completely iron out old marks.
"When adjusting the tension on your sewing machine, use different colored threads on bobbin and spool and a third color for the testing material. You will find this helps you see the stitches plainly."
I hope you'll find some of these suggestions helpful.