are we allowed to put tips in here? if so try these
make a template if you are going to be doing a lot of one item;
I make a template for the gusset from card so all i have to do is put the bottom seam and side seam on top of one another and then lay the template down to fit the corner and draw a line across and sew
for the handle placment do the same. a bit of card measureing the length you want the handle to go from the side is easy to make and saves a lot of time, fold first hem and then measure placement with card and mark the turning
now your handles can be all in the same place time after time.
forget Pins, if like me you have lost a bit of the feeling in the tips then pins can be a nightmare but you still need something to hold that hem down at times.
try medium sized paper clips. you can get the smaller one that we all know but try the larger ones from Staples or a good stationers you can also get the four inch jumbo paper clips great for making the handles as you slip them on teh edge of he fabric and simply cut along the tops, your handles are then all four inches wide.
the best part is no more bloody fingers no more lost pins and you can see them without too much trouble. they work great when taking up a hem on curtains as you can do it whilst they are hanging and no pin marks
need to hold down a pices of material when doing aplique work, forget the spray. instead use a childs glue stick. it works well and will wash out. look for the big blue stick, use that and you can see just where yo ahve the glue but it will fade out so no problem. ironing on top of it will hold the material down really firm if you have to wait a while before sewing.
hope this will help.