Your sewing machine is one of your most prized possessions that you have an investment in. It can last for years to come if you perform a few routine maintenance steps while you are using it.
Careful maintenance will also keep your sewing machine running smoothly and it will help to prevent major problems from occurring.
Maintaining your Sewing Machine:
The following steps will help you to protect your investment:
Keep your sewing machine covered in between uses.
When you are not using your sewing machine, always keep it covered with the cover or case it came with. This will keep dust form accumulating on it and will prevent it from getting wet from accidental spills or splashes which can cause damage.
Most beginning sewers start by working with quilting cotton fabric. It’s a good choice because it’s sturdy, presses easily, takes pins well and stays where you put it. But now that you’re at a point where you want to venture into light airy fashion fabrics with a lovely drape for a prettier look, you’ll need a few more sewing skills. Light fabrics like chiffon, rayon, or organza need some special techniques.
Cut One Layer at a Time
When it comes to cutting light fabrics, you can sometimes feel like you’re working with slippery eels. They slide all over your cutting table and never stay put! With cotton, you can fold it in half and you know it won’t move. So you can cut our two pattern pieces at one time.
But with light fashion fabrics you’re better off to cut one layer at a time. Lay the fabric out in a single layer on your table. Gently smooth out the wrinkles with your hands and place one p
Normally when your sewing machine is humming along happily, your stitches will look exactly the same on the top of the seam as on the bottom. They will be beautifully balanced. What a satisfying feeling!
But then it happens! Tension troubles!! And I don’t mean a sense of stress and building frustration in your neck and shoulders. No, I mean the thread tension in your sewing machine goes haywire and you start to see your bobbin thread pull through to the top or your upper thread peek out on the bottom. It looks sloppy and it doesn’t hold the seam together well.
When this happens try to refrain from throwing your machine out the window and take a deep breath. It could be a really simple fix. And there are a few things to check first before you start trying to change tension dial settings.
Maybe you missed something when you threaded the machine. This is the most common reason for tension problems. Every one
A very common problem that occurs when sewing by hand is that the thread gets all twisted and tangled up. It sounds like a small problem but if you’re reading this you perhaps know how annoying it can be!
This happens because thread is essentially made of two or more yarns tightly twisted together. Being under tension, it tends to twist upon itself very easily.
Untangling those loops and knots that occur now and again can be very time consuming (and frustrating). And if you can’t untangle them, sometimes you just have to cut the thread and start over.
But the good thing is that there are some simple ways to avoid the tangles.
Seams hold two pieces of fabric together. That sounds simple enough, but there’s more to it than that. Sewing a straight stitch along the edge will hold the pieces together at the moment, but if you leave it at that and go ahead and wash the garment, blanket, pillow case or whatever you’re making, the seam will soon unravel and fall apart. Then all your hard sewing work will be wasted. So all seams need to be finished. And there are several ways to do that.
All of these options can be accomplished with a simple basic sewing machine and no special attachments. There are other ways to finish seams, but those require a serger or special kind of presser foot.
1. The easiest way doesn’t involve sewing at all. You just trim along the edge of the fabric cutting both layers with a pair of pinking shears. These special scissors cut a zig-zag pattern making the cut edges tiny. This way the fibers fray only a little and the seam holds toge
There are three categories of sewing machine stitches: straight, zig-zag, and decorative. Just about any brand and every price point of machine can do all of these. Even the least expensive ones have at least a few decorative stitches.
By far, the most commonly used stitch is the straight stitch. You’ll use this one probably 90% of the time. It sews seams together, stitches up hems, sews on trims and can even be used to do fancy embellishments like pintucks. The good old straight stitch will be your stand-by for just about every sewing task.
The straight stitch does have some variations though. You can change the stitch length settings on your machine to make stitches very close together for a tight secure seam. Alternately you can set it to the longest length to make a basting stitch. This stitch is a lot looser and can be pulled up to make gathers. Basting stitches are also easy to pull out, so they’re used when y
Choosing a sewing machine can be a daunting task. There are so many brands and models! Where do you begin?
Well, first you need to consider your needs and your budget. Are you going to be sewing a lot, as in starting a business? Are you just going to be doing a little sewing as a hobby? And how much money do you think you can invest in your new machine? Do you really need all the bells and whistles or can you accomplish what you want to with a more basic machine? Having answers to these questions will help a lot as you investigate which sewing machine to buy. The top brands have different models, ranging from beginner machines that cover the basics up to very advanced models that include many extra functions. But to begin, let’s take a look at the top sewing machine brands.
Singer comes to mind first. It’s the company that invented the sewing machine and continues to make good solid ma
It’s an exciting moment when your first sewing machine arrives at your home! But oddly enough, it can be a little scary too. Here are some steps to build up your confidence quickly and get off to a solid start on your sewing journey.
You’ve threaded your sewing machine, now what?
First set your new machine on a sturdy table and pull up a comfortable chair. You want your hands to rest on the machine at a height that doesn’t stress your neck and shoulders.
Next pull your owner’s manual out of the box. Keep this little book close by because you will need to refer to it very often.
No sewing machine can sew without thread and putting thread in a machine may not be as simple as you imagine. The process can confound beginners at first. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be threading without even thinking about it.
1. Open the manual to the “threading” page
The first thing you need to do is open up your sewing machine manual to the “threading” page. Don’t be abashed if you need to check this page several times before you memorize it. It takes several steps. So keep the manual nearby to remind you of them the first few times.
Machines vary by manufacturer, so I’ll just give you the basic idea here. Check your manual for the specific steps involved for your machine. And make sure to follow the steps in your manual carefully.
Threading a sewing machine improperly can lead to a tangled mess of thread and even a broken needle.
If you look on Amazon or JoAnn Fabrics websites you’ll see zillions of sewing gadgets. Do you need all those to get started? No! It’s fun to collect them as you get more and more into sewing, but to start with, all you need are these few basics besides your sewing machine.
The first step in learning how to sew is getting to know your sewing machine.
Your new sewing machine has arrived on your doorstep. Congratulations! This is the exciting day you’ve been anticipating for so long.
Maybe you plan to start a sewing business or perhaps you just want to begin a new hobby. Either way, you have to start somewhere. And deciphering the parts of this new tool is as good a place as any.
When you open the box and pull out your new sewing machine, set it on a sturdy table. Then pull out the user’s manual. This little book will be your constant companion as you begin your sewing journey and long afterwards too.
Lots of people never read their sewing machine manuals, or any other manual for that matter. But if you want to feel like a genius, read the manual.
Initially, so many different parts can seem a little scary. But if you understand the function of each, it is actually quite simple!