Sewing with an overcast presser foot to get the cool look

Sewing with an overcast presser foot to get the professional look of a Serger machine

Using a sewing machine is easier than it seems. With all their hooks, bobbins, knobs and accessories, it can be hard to know where to start. Once you learn how to do a straight stitch, you can try more complex techniques and start new projects. Sewing machines can save you hours of hard work, especially if you are used to sewing by hand. Those who are looking to save money can use sewing machines for making their own clothes at home.

Start by choosing a basic sewing machine for beginners. If you already have one, it is important to make sure it has been recently serviced. Get a machine with all-metal parts and avoid cheap machines with plastic components. Plastic pieces are the ones that will break first. It is better to invest a few extra dollars in a quality sewing machine than spending hundreds of dollars on replacement parts later. A good sewing machine will last for years.

Most sewers will never use more stitches than those included with the basic 12-stitch model. When you’re first starting out, consider a basic model. If you are on a budget, find a repair shop specializing in sewing machines and ask the people who work there to recommend you a good source for acquiring a used machine that gets the job done.

Once you bought a machine, try to understand how it works. Read the instructions that came with your machine and familiarize yourself with its accessories and parts. Raise the needle to its highest position. Raise the presser foot. This piece presses the fabric down. Arrange the machine so that the body of the machine is on the right and the needle end is on your left. If your machine has a needle, make sure it is securely inserted.

Sewing machines use two thread sources stored on a bobbin. In order to use your machine, you have to wind and insert the bobbin. Check if the machine has threading directions. Follow the instructions in the manual to thread your sewing machine. Choose two scraps of fabric and place them on top of each other. The distance between the needle and fabric edges should be equal to the required seam allowance. Practice on a simple, woven material first. Cut up a pillowcase or an old sheet if you don’t have any scrap material sitting around. Don’t use a heavy fabric the first time you sew.

Move the needle to the top of its travel by using the hand wheel. Choose a straight stitch and a medium stitch length. Place the fabric under the needle while lowering the presser foot to hold your fabric in place. Raise the needle to the highest position to end stitching. Cut bottom and top threads to release the fabric.


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