How to sew on a sewing machine for beginners.

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If you have never used a sewing machine before, it can seem quite daunting. It’s loud, it looks complicated and it can go really fast! Used properly however, it can be incredibly useful and can save so much time and energy.

The most important thing I would recommend for a beginner is to go slowly, so many people, put their foot down on the pedal and then wonder why their stitches aren’t straight, or their thread is a tangled mess.

Sewing a seam.

Tack the seams together. If you don’t know what tacking is, it is simply stitches that are designed to temporarily hold the garment together in the correct position until it can be permanently sewn. These are quick basic stitches that will be removed when the garment is finished.

Put the seams onto the machine, so that the edge of the seam is on the 15mm line on the needle plate. Using the hand wheel, bring the needle down to the fabric so that you can ensure it is in the correct place. Start to sew, slowly, apply light pressure to the pedal, so that you achieve a slow, but steady pace. When you first get your machine, I recommend that you practise on an old piece of fabric, just sew any kind of stitch until you figure out the pressure you need to apply to get the right pace that you are comfortable with.

When you reach the end of the seam, press the button that makes the needle go backwards, sew 5 or 6 stitches this way to strengthen the seam and prevent it from coming undone.

Corners.

A beginners nightmare,  slow down as you near the corner, when you reach the point where the lines meet, leave the needle in the fabric. Raise the presser foot, pivot the material in the appropriate direction and continue to sew. Alternatively, you can use the hand wheel to make the stitches if you are nervous about getting it wrong.

Problems.

Whether you are a beginner or you have years of experience, nobody likes it when things go wrong. Unfortunately, there are several things that can go wrong, and it’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint what it is. The suggestions below are a guide to some of the things that can go wrong and what the problem might be. There should be a guide that comes with your machine that tells you how to do things like increasing or decreasing tensions.

1.The stitches are too loose on the right side of the fabric:             

Increase the bobbin tension.

Decrease the thread tension.

2. The thread keeps breaking.

Make sure that your machine is threaded correctly.

Ensure that the spool of thread is not catching on anything, this would prevent it from spinning properly.

3. The needle keeps breaking.

You might be using the wrong kind of needle for the fabric you have, a thin needle will not work on leather or thick materials.

Don’t sew over pins.

Don’t pull the fabric as you sew, this will pull the needle backwards or forwards, causing it to hit the plate, this is dangerous, as the tip of the needle could snap off and hit you in the eye. I have had more than one needle hit me in the face and I was very lucky to have never been hit n the eye.

If it doesn’t seem to be any of these things, check the alignment on your machine, that was what was wrong with mine, the needle was too close to the fron of the needle plate, so when I was sewing any material, thin or thick, it would hit the plate and break off.

4. The machine is jammed.

If it just won’t sew at all, unthread the whole machine, including the bobbin, clean the bobbin case and re thread the machine.

Make sure nothing is stuck anywhere in the machine, It is very easy for the thread to get caught up anywhere in the mechanism.

5. The fabric isn’t moving forward.

Make sure nothing is caught in the mechanisms.

Make sure your presser foot is screwed on tightly.

Make sure the presser foot is not pressing too hard on the fabric, sew with it up if necessary.

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