When you first learn how to sew, the various terms, tools and variety of sewing machines can be overwhelming. Luckily, when you begin to sew, you also join a vibrant community of experts who are full of experience. All sewers have their own tips and tricks to help you sew more effectively. While sewing advice can range from how to use your first sewing machine to picking the right needle for your project, we compiled a list of some of the best sewing tips for beginners.
Buy a Quality Sewing Machine
One of the most important things you can do when you begin sewing is invest in a high-quality sewing machine. The best sewing machines for beginners have automatic features that help you with common tasks, such as needle threading, cutting or winding the bobbin. Adjustable speeds and the ability to sew using a button or the foot controller also impact a beginner’s experience.
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While it is tempting to buy a cheap sewing machine until you know if you want to invest in the hobby, you will not have an accurate perception of your skills or how fun sewing can be. If you want to wait to purchase an expensive machine, practice sewing on a family member or friend’s machine until you is ready to invest in a high-quality sewing machine.
Maintain the Quality of your Machine
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You can have a high-quality machine with all the bells and whistles, but if you don’t take care of it, the machine will malfunction. You need to clean and oil your machine occasionally. Depending on how much you use it will determine how often you need to clean it. Your sewing machine manual should have instructions for cleaning your machine. As long as the machine is clean and oiled, it will stay in top working order.
You need to change your needles often. Experienced sewers recommend starting each new sewing project with a new needle. By doing so, you ensure that your needle is sharp, and it reduces the risk of damaging your fabric with a dull needle. While most fabrics work well with a universal needle, occasionally you will want to change the needle to fit the type of fabric you are using. Needles display both the American and European size on them.
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Delicate fabrics, such as silk or chiffon, require a smaller needle like an American size nine. For medium weight fabrics like flannel or wool, you will want the American size 14 needle. Heavy fabrics, such as denim, require an American size 18 needle. The larger the number on the needle, the more heavy-duty it is. If your needle becomes damaged at any time, you will need to replace it or risk damaging your fabrics.
Use High-Quality Thread
The better quality of the sewing machine, needles, fabric and thread will not only determine how long they will last, but also how well the machine will work. If you use cheap thread, it will likely break often or jam the sewing machine. Not only will cheap thread hurt the machine, but it will also deteriorate the quality of your project.
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When choosing which thread to use for your project, use thread that is either the same color or slightly darker than the fabric you are sewing. In the cases where you are sewing two different colored fabrics, use one color for the top thread and another color for the bobbin thread. By doing so, it will give your project a more cohesive look. While most projects simply require quality all-purpose thread, heavy fabrics will need heavy-duty thread.
Sew Quality Items
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If you are going to purchase a quality machine, thread and fabrics, take the time to make quality projects. Always backstitch at the start and finish of every seam. Create beautiful hemlines and double them if necessary. Add decorative topstitches to your garments. Cut the corners of your fabric so that they will lay better, and finish any raw edges with a zigzag stitch.