Love your Sewing Machine - Some top tips! February 12 2015

We've been sewing for a long old time. Here are some pointers and tips to help you along the way! To start sewing you can get by on a basic kit. A good needle and thread and a few pins or a basic sewing machine will do the job fine until you get more confident.

Your machine will become a real essential item. It’s so satisfying to whizz up cushions and bags at the drop of a hat. You don’t need a machine with all the bells and whistles - a basic model with a few different stitches will serve you just fine. Don’t over complicate things - grab a machine and start stitching!

Most machines will have some basic attachments and different feet for doing different projects along with spare bobbins and screwdriver and oils. You can also buy universal attachments - but check the model against the parts to check that they will fit first.

  

Some tips and words of wisdom for newbies!

Don’t underestimate your own ability, but don’t start too big.  Read through instructions, accomplish some simple projects with success and this will give you the confidence to try new more advanced ones and really get creative.

Get to know your sewing machine - try out the different stitches and stitch lengths and refer to the manual if you need to. They are normally pretty informative and have pictures. If you have a vintage machine, type the model number into Google - you may be able to find a downloadable version.

Always have few scraps of fabric similar to what you are sewing with to hand so you can sew a couple of rows of stitching to check tension and stitch length before you start on the real thing

If you need to sew a short bit, a precise bit or the beginning or end use the hand wheel to manually sew.

If you go wrong, just unpick it. And sew it again, no worries.

Use old fabrics to cut and sew with before you hack into your gorgeous new prints. Old bed covers, denims and shirts are perfect and offer a breadth of materials to practise with. 

If your machine isn’t sewing well - rethread and change the needle. This is quite often the problem! Needles get blunt really quickly and will effect your stitch. 

When you start to sew turn the wheel to put the needle in the work and have at least 20cm of thread (top and bottom) coming out. This will stop it getting swallowed back in when you start stitching.

Don’t tackle a project if you aren’t in the mood. It should be enjoyable, not stressful and you shouldn’t need to swear at your machine!

Press, iron, press. Keep your work ironed and it will always look neat! It makes such a difference to your finished project.

Remember to put the presser foot down - if the work isn’t secured down the stitches will skip!

Chill out and enjoy it. The machine won’t bite and if you need to stop just take your foot off the pedal!

Take the extra time to be precise if you need to but don’t get too bogged down by perfection - if you’re a beginner you will get better with practise!

And finally, Practice makes perfect!

Happy Sewing, R x