I don't really like to tell people how to sew because I never want to teach people the wrong way. But then, this morning I had this thought. When you're cooking and you tweek the recipe a little bit, that doesn't mean you did it wrong, that just means you did it your own way and you created something of your own in the mean time. Right?
Well, I believe the same thing goes for sewing. If you always follow the pattern, you're never going to make something of your own. So tip #1, step away from the pattern and try something on your own! You'll probably screw it up the first 7 times like I did, but then something great will come along!
Tip #2, this is my real tip for the day! Rachel Ray says to use your hands to measure out your foods when cooking and I say use your fingers to measure when you sew. I do it all the time. I know the length and width of my hands and fingers and I always use them to measure on my bags. I don't have time to always hunt down my measuring tape, so I just use what was given to me. Give it a try next time and let me know how it works!