As so many of you have pulled out your sewing machines and are experimenting with sewing once again, I thought it would be helpful to send out Top Sewing Tips for the beginning seamstress.
1. Make sure to leave enough thread tail, often we error towards the side of being tidy too soon, and want to cut the thread close to the needle. It’s best to keep at least 4-5” of thread tail, then as the machine starts to move the thread does not pop out of the needle.
2. Place fabric past needle to start. Otherwise, as the needle starts it will push the fabric into the plate slot and jam up just as you are getting started. After you start sewing, then you can back stitch (reverse) to sew edge of seam.
3.When threading machine, make sure to hook thread into tension bar, the silver bar in the slot of machine. If that is not threaded, the machine will not sew, and often makes a loud clunking sound and the thread tangles into a birds nest.
4. Tension setting (the dial at top), for most machines should be set at a 4-5. That number is only adjusted if you are switching to a specialty fabric such as heavy interior fabrics, or very fine silky fabrics.
5. Always make sure bobbin is placed in correctly. If the thread can pull without any tension, most likely the bobbin thread is not clicked into its slots. (Every machine has different slots, but this picture below is to give you an idea)
6. Make sure you are using the correct thread, All Purpose, is the best for basic sewing. If you use a Button thread, Crafting Thread, or other specialty threads, they work in the machine, but typically not as smoothly, and can cause difficulties for the beginner sewist.
7. Needles! Needles need to be changed more often than you think. The recommendation for changing a needle varies from every 4 - 8 hours of sewing time, or after you have used 3 bobbins of thread. When needles become dull or bent (even so subtle you don’t notice), you may get skipped stitches, broken or looped thread, runs and pulls in the fabric, or even damage to your machine. I suggest purchasing a pack of Schmetz Universal needles, a mixed pack, 70/10 - 90/14.