Beginning to Sew? Easy Tricks and Quick Tips!

Learning to sew is both rewarding and a challenge. Classes and private lessons help, but so does taking time to “play” with your sewing machine for beginners. Learn what you can do and what you like, with scrap fabrics and projects that are forgiving. Beginning quilters might start with a couple utility potholders. Pillowcases, dog beds and doll clothes don’t have to be perfect to give you valuable experience.

Seams Straight

Believe it or not crooked seams are not inevitable. You can easily fix them, and your accuracy will improve with practice. Here’s a trick to help: The seam allowance guides on your sewing machine can be small and hard to see. Use masking tape to make them bigger. Line up the edge of the masking tape with the correct guideline, use a ruler if you need to, and run the tape out to each side. Then you can use the straight edge of the tape as your seam allowance guide. Another way to go is to use a chalk-line. Sewing chalk and tracing papers can be used to draw your seam allowance, your sewing line, directly onto the fabric. You then simply feed that line directly under the needle.


Pin Outside Pintrest

Learn to love your pins. Curved seams, especially need to be pinned in place to turn out well. Even straight seams benefit from a few pins. While most people automatically pin in-line, try pinning sideways instead. Pinning at a right-angle to your seam-line makes the pins accessible and easier to remove as you are sewing. Experienced seamstresses and quilters recommend using pins that are extra fine with glass heads. If you miss removing a pin, an extra-fine shaft is less likely to foul the sewing machine, and a glass head won’t melt under a hot iron.


Easy Towel Trick

Professional tailors use devices called “sewing hams” to help press shaped seams open and give the garments a nice finish. You can do the same with a rolled up towel. Makeshift “towel hams” work especially well for sleeves and shoulder areas.


Hold On

Thread snarls happen to everyone, but most of them are easy to fix. When you start your seam do you always remember to hold the two thread ends? Those threads can be pulled back into the machine and create a messy knot of threads on the back of your sewing. Hold onto the threads until the machine has taken two or three stitches, then you can let go without problems.


Threading is Tricky

Sewing machines can be a bit OCD. Clockwise and counter-clockwise thread directions matter when inserting the bobbin, and the top thread must be threaded through every tensioning loop to make the machine sew properly. The main reason beginning sewers get frustrated is trying to sew with an improperly threaded machine. Don’t give up. Read the instructions again, look online for clarification, ask a friend or go back to your local fabric store for help getting it threaded properly. It’s worth it.


Remember, it’s okay to not be perfect right away. You will get better with practice. Also, unless someone will be inspecting your sewing close-up, chances are that a few imperfections won’t be noticed. Sew, go for it!