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How to find and master a sewing machine.

Sewing Machine Tips from SIMPLICITY:

Sewing specialist - Wendy Gardiner
Sewing specialist – Wendy Gardiner

For novice sew-istas looking to take their sewing skills to the next level, here’s our second instalment of sewing tips with SIMPLICITY‘s sewing specialist Wendy Gardiner, offering  handy pointers – from finding and mastering a sewing machine to making essential finishing touches and perfecting seams.

Finding your perfect sewing machine:

If you are looking to invest in a sewing machine, don’t be tempted to choose the most complicated sewing machine on the market.

Find one that meets your needs, whilst allowing you to develop your skills. Follow these top tips for finding the right sewing machine for you:

  • Pick a machine that can do more than you want it to – this allows you to develop your skills, challenge yourself and ensure it lasts for years to come.
  • Choose a reputable brand – this will help when needing spare parts or added extras.
  • If you’re an avid quilter, felter or prefer to focus on simple sewing- choose a machine that matches your particular needs.
  • If your budget allows, opt for a computerised model. They are ideal for beginners and comes with automatic settings for stitch length and width.

Inserting the bobbin

Always make sure the presser foot is raised before you begin to thread your sewing machine – this releases the tension discs so it is easier for the thread to slip between the discs as you follow the threading path.

TIP: Make sure you insert the bobbin the right way round to avoid incorrectly skipped or broken stitching!

Use new sewing needles

Blunt needles often cause problems such as skipped stitches and broken threads so using a new needle is a must for each project.

When inserting a needle into your new machine, make sure the needle is ‘flat to back’ (the flat part of the shank towards the back of the machine) and push it up into the holder as far as it will go. Then tighten the needle screw with the screwdriver provided in the tool kit accompanying your sewing machine so it can’t work loose as you sew.

Perfecting seams

Once you have mastered how to use your sewing machine, practice your seams using scraps of fabric that have the same number of layers and interfacing as your project.

Use the appropriate foot for the sewing technique, It really does make a difference:

  1. Choose a general purpose foot for straight stitching.
  2. Choose a zip foot for zip insertion.
  3. Choose a buttonhole foot for buttonholes.

Achieving a finished look

To ensure your garment has a finished look, neaten seam allowances with overcast, zigzag or overlocking to prevent them fraying away.

TIP: If working with a fabric that frays easily, dab a little fray-check glue at the corners or V-neckline.

For more sewing inspiration and advice, latest ‘new in’ patterns to handy ‘how to’ videos and the Simplicity It’s So Easy range, take a look at www.simplicitynewlook.com.

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