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Get to know your Sewing Machine – Ten Top Tips

Have you got a new sewing machine? Have you had a machine for years but are still a bit intimidated by it? Do you sew regularly but are never fully confident of your stitching?

Whether you are a novice or are a bit more experienced, I have putt together ten top tips that will help you get to know your sewing machine better and make you a better sewer!

Ten Top Tips #1

Only turn the handwheel forwards.

Turning it in the opposite direction can cause your threads to get tangled and/or snap.

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Ten Top Tips #2

When putting your thread onto the machine always make sure the thread is coming off the spool in the right direction.

If on your machine, the spool lies flat then the thread should be coming from underneath. If your machine has upright spool pins, any writing on the spool should be the right way up.

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Ten Top Tips #3

Use the correct needle for your fabric.

The lower the number the finer the needle, and the finer the fabric, the finer the needle you should use.

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Ten Top Tips #4

Remove your thread from the machine, by unthreading your needle first and then cutting at the top near the spool and pulling from the bottom.

Whipping the thread out from the top can upset the tension discs.

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Ten Top Tips #5

Understand your machine dials – read your manual

  1. Tension
  2. Needle position/stitch width
  3. Stitch Selection
  4. Stitch Length

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Ten Top Tips #6

If you are having tension issues, thread the top and bottom in different colours so you can more clearly identify the issue.

If the thread is bunching up under your fabric it is an issue with your top threading.

If the thread is bunching up on the top of your fabric it is an issue with your bobbin.

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Ten Top Tips #7

Change your needle regularly – you will not sew well with a blunt needle.

It is recommended that you change your needle after 8 hours of sewing, but I tend to change it at the start of every new project.

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Ten Top Tips #8

Use the seam guides on the machine base to keep your sewing straight.

Your pattern should tell you what seam allowance to use, find the guideline that corresponds and keep the raw edges of the fabric level with this line.

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Ten Top Tips #9

Play about with the different stitches, so you know what your machine can do.

Consult the manual.

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Ten Top Tips #10

Find out what the different presser feet you have are for.

The only ones I ever use are:

  1. Regular presser foot
  2. Zip foot
  3. Invisible zip foot
  4. Automatic buttonhole foot

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If you want to get to know your sewing machine or overlocker better, for £30, you can book in for a private 1 hour get to know your sewing machine lesson at my home sewing studio in January. Just click here, pay & I will be in touch to book your date and time.

Alison xx

PS. If you want more tips and advice, inspiration and support, join my Facebook Group, Learning to Sew, here.

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