I've learned a few thing in all my years of sewing.
1. Don't sew tired. I used to sew until the wee hours of the morning. That led to the möbius vest...no matter how long I pulled on the pieces, some part was always wrong side out. No pictures, but it did take me at least 10 minutes to realize a toddler sized vest shouldn't take that long to flip.
2. It helps to cut precisely. It's amazing, but if you precisely cut along the lines or measurements, your corners align so much better
3. Be consistent with seam allowances. Again, stuff lines up so nicely if you use the same seams throughout! Amazing!
4. Don't use cotton thread on purses, especially anywhere that will be under strain. Quilting should use thread to match the fabric type, something about shrinking or thread being the weakest link I think. Polyester thread is stronger and purses take a lot of strain. Especially if your kids like to play "spin around and see who we can knock down" with them.
5. Sewing requires blood sacrifices. Just watch for tools that acquire a taste for blood, they probably need replaced.
6. Hand sewing isn't as scary as I thought. Practice helps, and a purse lining that is hand sewn shut looks a little nicer. It is the inside bottom, so probably no one will ever notice or care, but I know it's pretty!
7. Don't use blunt needles. They can actually catch on the fabric and distort it. Trust me on this. Both sewing machine needles and pins.
8. Buy a nice seam ripper. Mine is ergonomic and his name is Jack.
9. Quality fabric does make a difference, but cheaper fabric is great to start with. My first purse was made with a free pattern and pirate fabric from Walmart. I get compliments on it ever time I use it, but it is showing the wear.
10. Read directions all the way through before starting. Maybe even twice. If you get confused, get up and take a break. Several times I have been thoroughly confused and after taking a break realized it wasn't as complicated as I was trying to make it.
That's enough for now!