As part of our series on learning how to sew using a sewing machine, we are now going to be look at the basics of actually using your machine. Assuming you have become acquainted with your sewing machine, here we will be taking a look at how to tackle the most basic skill in machine sewing, so you need not worry about damaging any of your fabrics.
As much as you might think that this should be easy, sewing straight is actually something that beginners may not get the hang of straight away. In fact, for many people it takes time and a little practice before they can consistently sew a straight line. This step-by-step guide will tell you everything you need to know.
- Grab a piece of spare fabric to work on. If you are just getting started, don’t try to jump right into a project as you are liable to cause damage to your fabrics.
- Thread your machine, including the bobbin, and check that it is set to sew to the average stitch length.
- Fold your fabric in half and place it under the presser foot. Concentrate at this point and make sure that you line your fabric up so that its right edge matches up with the right hand side of the presser foot. This will help you keep your bearings when you are sewing.
- Lower the presser foot to secure the fabric.
- Lower the needle all the way into the fabric using the hand wheel on the side of the machine. Some computerised machines have a button that does this task for you.
- Apply light pressure to the pedal to begin sewing and do so for about an inch or so before reversing the stitch and sewing back over that inch. This creates what is known as a know, which ensures that your stitches won’t come loose.
- Proceed with your sewing, taking it slow and steady while always ensuring that the right side of the fabric matches up to the right side of the presser foot.
- When you get to the end of the fabric, you need to create another know. Follow the same process as before by reversing the stitch for an inch or so, before going back over it again. This will allow you to keep the stitch secure on both sides.
- Raise your presser foot and make sure to gently remove the fabric from the machine so that you don’t cause any issues with the stitch. Cut the threads attached to the piece and voila, you have sewed your first straight line.
Now, as we mentioned previously, a lot of people struggle to get the straight line right when they are sewing. It is easy to go off course, particularly if you haven’t mastered your pedal control and end up going to fast to keep things in line. Just ensure you have plenty of practice fabric at your disposal and you follow these steps. You’ll get that perfect line in no time at all and it will soon become second nature to you.