Using Sewing Machines
Using sewing machines might seem like a simple thing, especially when you see designers and tailors using it so effectively, but that's far from the truth. The moment you step into that world, you realise that you are in a situation where you need to do so many things perfectly, otherwise the outcome will be ruined. That said, using sewing machines is not an unmanageable task so if you do spend some time learn about it, you will be able to master the skill.
Before you can start sewing any designs or patterns, you need to learn how to sew a straight line as that will give you an understanding of the machine as well as the kind of control it demands from you. So here's what you need to do to sew a straight line while using sewing machines for the first time.
1. Sewing Paper:
Fabric shouldn't be the first thing you try your hand out on. The first thing you need to o is try your hand out on some paper. Paper offers lesser resistance than fabric so when you start working on it, you will be able to get an idea of how it feels to get things done. You can use a lined sheet of paper or a graph paper to move your lines although before you move onto fabrics, remember to change your needles because paper will make your needles blunt.
2. Striped Fabric:
Once you've got the hang of sewing on paper, you can move onto cloth or fabric. Try and pick one that has lines on it and you will be able to continue that process of using a guiding line to sew along.
3. Use the Presser Foot:
All sewing machines have a presser foot that holds down the fabric. When using sewing machines, try and keep that pressure foot running along the edge of the fabric, touching the line you've chosen to sew along.
4. Use Needle Plate Guides:
Every needle plate for sewing machines has a set of straight lines that run from the front to the back. These lines are parallel to each other and are drawn at a certain distance from the position of the needle. These can also be use to keep an eye on where things are going, giving you another guide for the process.
5. Mark out Seams:
When you begin your sewing process, the best thing you can do is mark out the seams you want to draw, using a tailor's chalk. You will be able to use your ruler and give yourself that edge you need to line your fabric against.
6. Tacking Stitches:
Finally, you can choose to employ something called a tacking stitch, or a hand stitch, that is used to keep fabric together rather roughly. The idea is to hold things in place and then, these stitches can be removed. This helps you overcome that initial wobble of the foot pedal while also allowing you to keep sewing onwards stopping to replace or reposition pins.
Pick the Right Sewing Needle
If you are using sewing machines for the first time, then you need to use the right accessories to get the job done right. The first thing you need is the right kind of needle and you need to understand how to pick one. The first thing is the size and these needles come in different sizes. There are a couple of sizing conventions as well, with the imperial units marking out needles from 9 to 18 size while the metric system marking them between 65 and 110.
The idea is always the same - the bigger the number, the larger the needle and in most cases, when you buy a case of needles, you will find the size mentioned in formats. The idea is basically about matching the right needle with the right fabric. If your fabric is too light or thin, then matching it with a big needle will leave behind huge holes that may lead to tearing up later. Stitches might slip and when you are using sewing machines, you might even see the need shove the fabric down, instead of going through it.
A smaller needle might even break in the attempt to go through cloth that is too thick for it. You also get some specialized needles that come with special names instead of numbers. There is the universal needle, which is the most common needle of them all and when using sewing machines, you are likely to be using this variety most often. There are denim needles that are stiffer and have an extra-sharp point. Then there are ballpoint needles that, like ballpoint pens, have blunt tips that are designed to slip between the fibres of the cloth rather than go through them.
Finally, you have twin needles that come with two shafts placed across a bar that runs a across. Both needles are connected to a single-shaft via that crossbar and this is mainly used in decorative stitching. You can pick one of these needles to take your sewing hobby further ahead but when you start using sewing machines, you might want to look at something simple to begin with.
There are always a lot of things that you can use and do to make improve your skills on the sewing machine but the best way to make things better is to spend a lot of time using sewing machines. The more time you spend, the better you will become and eventually, there will come a time when you are extremely comfortable with the skill and become a master at sewing.