Isn't YouTube fantastic for all kinds of things? It most definitely is extremely useful for the many videos about sewing and dressmaking. The trick is finding them.
Here is one on Ten Sewing Tips that I think is very good. One of the best 12 minutes you'll spend!
National Sewing Circle's '10 Sewing Tips from the Experts'
You may have come across some of these, but I bet that there is something here that is useful. I know that I had not heard of surgical seam rippers before (they sound kind of dangerous? But they could be quite good for the purposes described) and I thought the tip of how to test whether a sewing maching needle is the right size by threading the loose needle by hand and checking if the needle runs easily along the thread - that tip alone was worth the time watching the clip!
Some of the tips concern the sewing machine, others are general tips. All useful.
I really liked what Ellen March says about reading your sewing machine's manual. Now if you're like me then your eyes glaze over at the thought of reading through the whole thing when you just bought your machine, or even later on (let's face it: none of us did that when we first got our machines. I know I didn't). It takes a lot of focus and concentration to follow along - particularly when it is all theoretical at this stage, without an immediate practical use.
I would rather break this up into several sessions and avoid the long slog of a single sitting reading.
My problem is that I tend to forget things that I don't use soon after reading them. That's why my advice is to dip in and out of your manual and for that reason it is a really fantastic idea to designate a permenent place for it near your sewing machine. You'll want to know where it is at all times - it's beyond frustrating to start searching for the damn thing every single time you'll want it.
I learned how to do lapped zips from my manuel. The drawings are very useful and the description tells you what you're looking at. I don't do lapped zips all that often and therefore find it a very good idea to open my manual to remind myself how to place the fabric layers and which bit to fold over or under...
It saves time and energy that I prefer to use for actual sewing.
Having praised this video, I also have a book containing hundreds of sewing tips (by both experts and everyday seamstresses), called: "1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips", by Deepika Prakash from Patternreview.com - it is very good. There is so much material in this book that I have not been able to even get through a tenth of it. This blog post reminds me of the book. I'll think I'll go and put it with my machine manual!
What are your tips of something useful that you do all the time? Please share!