Before embarking on any real sewing projects, always practice on scrap fabric first. Begin with straight seams before moving on to curves. Pin your fabric carefully so the right side faces out when stitching; remember natural fibres like cotton tend to shrink when washed and prewashing may be necessary if prewashing fabric.
Sewing a Seam
Sewing projects rely on seams as their core building block. You'll use seams to connect pieces of fabric together and build structures within garments.
To sew a seam, pin two pieces of fabric together with matching edges and pin them along the seam allowance guideline on your footplate (typical pattern sewing assumes 5/8" seam allowance). Lower your foot and start stitching!
Your machine comes equipped with a lever to raise and lower the needle, as well as a feed dog underneath its presser foot that pulls fabric forward while stitching. No manual effort should be required if fabric moves too quickly or slowly during sewing; check your hand wheel instead.
Practice using your machine and you will soon be creating beautiful seams with professional finish. Remember to press open each seam after sewing!
Dependent upon the type of sewing machine, stitch length settings will either be an adjustable dial (computerized and electronic machines), or a button or touch panel/screen (mechanical machines). Please refer to your machine's instruction manual for more details about selecting stitches of different lengths.
The stitch length setting on a sewing machine determines how long each stitch will take to sew, with shorter stitch lengths packing more stitches into each inch of sewing and producing tighter seams, while longer lengths tend to result in looser ones due to fewer stitches per inch.
Longer stitch lengths are best used when basting (temporary stitches), sewing heavyweight fabric or creating professional topstitching effects. Shorter stitches may make seam ripping more challenging; thus experimenting to find your ideal stitch length may be key in finding success.
Your sewing machine allows you to adjust stitch width and stitch length settings for precise results, both of which can be easy to understand with a bit of practice. In general, these parameters will be preset when choosing to sew one particular stitch type (such as standard straight or zigzag stitch).
Stitch width is measured in millimeters and represents the number of stitches per inch; larger numbers indicate smaller stitches and vice versa.
Longer stitch lengths are best used for basting (temporary stitches), sewing with heavyweight fabric and creating topstiches, while sheer fabrics need shorter stitch lengths to prevent gathering or pulling. Always test a stitching pattern on scraps of fabric before beginning any major project to see if it looks and feels right; check your sewing machine manual for suggestions regarding stitching settings on specific machine models.
Specific details on how to adjust stitches will differ depending on the brand and model of sewing machine used, but all machines share some general principles for doing so. Your best resource for understanding your machine's stitches is its instruction manual - refer back often, testing out adjustments on scrap fabric samples!embroidery machine that hooks up to computer
Straight stitch is the fundamental sewing machine stitch and should be sufficient for most canvas seams. It creates an excellent fold line and is used in three of the most popular flat felled seams: an overlapping seam, semi-flat felled seam and full flat felled seam.
The zigzag stitch is another versatile sewing machine stitch. Ideal for sewing over light cords and yarns, its width and length settings can be changed easily to meet different fabric widths; making it suitable for homemade teddy bears that feature this stitch as part of their construction process. When properly sewn it creates near invisible seams!