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Sewing Tips

Updated on April 16, 2010


Sewing tips that will make your sewing job easier before you start using your new machine. Here are a few simple things to do to help before you start sewing, mending, or working on new creations. Sewing is easy if you take the time to learn the basic fundamentals on how to use a sewing machine.


Straight lines are not always as straight as you may like, but with a little practice you will become like a professional.  Before starting to use your sewing machine you need to familiarize yourself with the little bits and pieces on the machine.

Preparation of Sewing Machine

Things to do before you start sewing

  • Read the manual before you start sewing to familiarize yourself with the machine
  • Oil your machine to keep it running smoothly with correct machine oil
  • Make sure to thread machine as directed.
  • Use a full bobbin - do not overfill as this can cause problems
  • Use scrap pieces of material to practice on
  • Look at the stitching on your practice material make sure stitching is even on both sides

Using your sewing machine


Use these sewing tips as an important part of learning to use your machine before you start. Good sewing will result if you make sure your machine is threaded right. If not it will cause breakages of the thread. Check with your manual on threading.


You need to check tension with both the needle and the bobbin.  If this is out you will find the stitching either gathers on one side or is too loose. Adjust the tension until it is same firm stitching on both sides.


Stitch length is important and will depend on what you sew. Never use tiny stitches as they will be too hard to pull out.  For curtains and drapes it is best to us a larger stitch.  


Use correct size needles for the type of fabric.  Fine needles for lightweight or delicate materials and medium for thicker material and heavy duty needles for the heavy drape type materials or denim.


Experiment with the pressure foot until it holds the material firm enough to make a smooth stitch without excessive drag. Guide the fabric as you sew by holding behind the pressure foot with one hand and use the other hand to guide the front straight. Do not pull it through, guide and keep it smooth and flat.


Correct use of attachments

All machines have a variety of attachments. Learn to use the correct ones for that type of garment. If your machine does not have the attachment you need check with your local sewing shop and tell them what brand and model of sewing machine you have.  They may be able to order it for you.


Use tape – If you are new to sewing and have trouble keeping the fabric straight. Then this tip fees is for youMeasure out how wide your seam needs to be and place some masking tape across the machine at that point so that your fabric sits exactly at the left hand edge of that tape.


This is great for using on hems of garments or any straight seams you intend to sew.  I know the machine has guides, although if you are like me those are hard to see, the tape is more visible.


Sew at a steady pace until you are comfortable with your machine.  Remember to keep your fingers away from the needle as we would not want you to stitch your finger to the fabric.  Yes, if you sew too fast this can be painful.


Selvages – Trim the selvages from your fabric before joining the seams. Otherwise the fabric can loosen on one side and not on the other side as the selvage will keep it firm.


Hopefully these sewing tips will help the beginner to use their machine with more confidence. Start with simple smaller articles and as you learn experiment with more complicated garments and sewing.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Lady_E thanks so much for that. Hope it helps them.

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      Very handy tips - Thanks. I will be sharing this with others.


    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      wealthymadehealthy, yes its asmazing we are never too old too learn new tricks,thanks for stopping by

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      What an informative hub. I have been sewing for a long time, but never grasped the idea of putting tape on the machine. Thanks for the tip!!!

      Have a wonderful day!

    • BeatsMe profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Eileen, just been quite busy lately, offline. It's kind of hard to juggle both activities, online and offline. :)

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      beats me, thats a shame, you arent writing as much lately either or am I missing new articles of yours.

      Thanks for stopping by

    • BeatsMe profile image


      9 years ago

      It seems that many people who read your hub used to sew, myself included. :) But now, I don't even hold a needle anymore. :D

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Georgina_writes, gee you are a lucky lady to have a son that can sew. yes I didnt know those tipe when sewing curtains and other long seams. wish I had though. thanks for reading

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina Crawford 

      9 years ago from Dartmoor

      Great hub. Like many, I used to sew, but sadly now just don't have the time. I particularly like the tips about using tape - now why didn't I think of that - and trimming selvedges. These two tips would have made sewing much easier. My 14 year old son sews, so I'll pass the tips on. Thank you!

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Support med, it is easy, and you get instructions with the machines, or get sewing classes through places that sell sewing machines too.

      brake12, yes I have the sitting problem with this writing but I suppose we have to put up with pain sometimes to do the things we love.

      Thanks for stopping by

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      I used to sew a lot, and these tips are excellent. I cannot sit for too long at a time, but maybe I will try again on something easy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      This is a skill I wish I had learned. I took one class when I was in junior high school. Never followed up on it. It has been something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I will keep these tips in mind and remember this article as a reference. Thanks for the helpful tips!

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Pamela 99, thanks for that, we al need a bit of a push. thanks for stopping by

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      A good article about sewing. It makes me want to get started again. I don't sew nearly as much as I used to but every once in a while I get the urge and begin anew. Good hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      daisyjae, hope you do. thanks for taking the time to read this

    • daisyjae profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Nice tips, makes me want to start sewing again.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Yes I know what you mean, I spend most of my days writing and reading. Wasting my life away eh what.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      Linda Todd 

      9 years ago from Charleston

      This is good information. I used to sew years ago but lost touch with it after I became busy with in my career. It seemed there was never time.

      Thanks for sharing with us.


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