No matter whether you are an amateur or professional seamer, there are a few tips and techniques in which one wants to become a pro. Only if you are a master in the basic techniques, you can take the next step in tailoring. Techniques play a pivotal role in perfecting ourselves from time to time. It helps in making your project more efficient and fun-filled.
If you want to become a professional seamster or seamstress, build a strong foundation through knowledge of the basic techniques. If you are confused about where to start, here are some sewing techniques and tricks to get you going.
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Choose The Right Machine
Having the ideal sewing machine has a great influence on your learning process and your projects as a beginner. Don’t opt for complicated models, if you are just starting with sewing machines. Go for a high-quality basic model. A basic model can be used to do a variety of projects and it is perfect for beginners.
Factors to consider while choosing a sewing machine:
- Decide the budget first. Deciding the budget gives you a direction to proceed with.
- Do you plan to make it your full-time job or is it going to be just a hobby?
- The purpose of sewing machine
Based on the above-mentioned factors, choose the ideal sewing machine.
Understand how to use the machine
If you are an absolute beginner, seeing the sewing machine can be very intimidating. Don’t worry as it is just a beginner’s fear. Once you start using the machine, you will get comfortable. Start with threading machines. Next, grab your user manual as each machine is a bit different.
Watch tutorials and start by learning how to thread the machine, insert the bobbin, setting tension, and winding the bobbin. Learn the parts of the sewing machine and once you are familiar with the parts, start by practicing using spare fabrics. Know the basic stitches and try to make straight stitches using the machine.
Sew straight stitches
One of the basic stitches in sewing is the straight stitch. It might be a bit hard when you start but as you start, it will become easy. Practice the straight stitch until you make proper straight lines and curves using it. The straight stitch is easy to master but don’t underestimate it by the level of difficulty as it is versatile and stunning.
The zig-zag stitches
Once you have got the hang of straight stitch, the next technique that you have to practice on your basic sewing machines is the zigzag pattern. A zigzag stitch is a stitch containing many zigzags. A zigzag stitch is also a basic stitch like that of the straight stitch. It can also be used as an alternative to the straight stitch because it is more sturdy.
The zig-zag stitch can also be used to prevent the fraying of stitches and fabric. Sewing a zigzag stitch starts with threading the machine. You have to select zigzag, on your stitch selector. As zigzag is a basic stitch, you will have this option in most of the machines.
Now start sewing zigzag by lowering the presser foot and needle through the fabric. Start the machine and sew an inch forward, now pull the reverse lever and make a back-stitch and again go forward to seal the stitch. Now continue sewing as you will do in a straight stitch.
Finishing a seam
As a beginner, knowing how to finish a seam is inevitable. The outside of a finished garment should look clean and neat while it is essential that the inside also looks tidy and this is where seam finishing comes to play. The seam finishing stitches the raw edges of sewed clothes and on inside to give a perfect finish. Seam finishing also prevents the cloth from getting frayed and adds strength to the seam.
There are a variety of ways in which one can finish but the most simple seam finish is the straight stitch seam finish. It is similar to sewing your fabric using a straight stitch. All you have to do is sew the raw edges of the finished garments using a straight stitch. This is a basic way to finish a seam.
For a more perfect finish and minimal fraying, you can use various other finishes such as Pinked seam finish, Zigzag seam finish, Flat felled seam, French seam, bias bound, overclock stitch, and more.
Backstitch and Lock Stitch
When you start a seam or end a seam, the seam has to be locked to prevent it from unraveling. Learning how to make a backstitch or a lock stitch is crucial as a beginner as it helps in making strong seams.
Sewing a backstitch: make a forward stitch and press the reverse stitch button on your machine and make a reverse stitch to the end of the fabric. Again make a forward inch and this locks the start of the stitch. Use the seam guide to maintain the consistency of the stitches.
Sewing a lock stitch: most of the latest sewing machines come with an in-built lock stitch feature. If a machine doesn’t have an in-built lack stitch feature, you can get the same result by reducing the length of the stitch to as short as possible. After reducing the length of the stitch, make two to four stitches in the same spot. More stitches are likely to jam the machine.
Applique is a basic sewing technique where a small piece of clothing is sewed on another fabric to create a textured pattern or decorative design. Applique can be done either by hand or by a machine. To create an applique; the raw edges are highly important.
Cover the raw edge of the fabric with a decorative stitch and then add it using glue. Appliques can also be added to your project using various stitches such as the straight stitch, zigzag stitch, fuzzy stitch, or decorative stitch.
A newbie might get overwhelmed while handling a zipper but learning how to add a zipper to your project can help you to create wonderful sewing projects. Adding a zipper starts with the type of zipper as the method differs based on it. The common type of zippers is Coil Zipper, Metal Zipper, Invisible Zipper, Open-Ended Zipper, and more. The process of how to sew a zipper can’t be explained in a few lines.
Check the working of the zipper before it is stitched. Sewing a zipper is not rocket science; you can get the hang of it on regular practice. As a beginner, start with the most basic zipper, which is the one that can be attached from the backside.
Learn To Sew A Button
Like zippers, buttons are also almost anywhere including pants, dresses, bags, and more. It is a skill that every sewer must master. You can have lots of fun sewing buttons with the use of funky buttons. Sewing a button is mostly done by hand. Button machines are used only in large scale manufacturing industries. Take the garment in which you wish to sew the button and mark the position. Place the button on the marked area.
Now use a threaded needle to begin sewing. Now poke the needle from underneath and make an X, then place the button over the X and bring the needle through one of the buttonholes. Push the needle down the adjacent buttonhole and follow the same twice and finish the stitch by knotting off.
Once you have mastered the above techniques, you can start by making small household projects such as stitching blankets, pillows, or pillow covers. You can also try small cloth bags and purses. Also, try mending clothes that have missing stitches.
As a beginner, this can be a load of information to take in but, when you start practicing you will feel at ease and start your journey as a seamer. Practice these techniques regularly and you will soon get better.