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Learning to Sew by Machine, the First Steps for Beginners

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Learning to sew by machine

Have you already bought your sewing machine? I suppose if you want to learn the wonderful world of sewing it’s because you already have your fantastic little machine at home.

The Pedal

All sewing machines operate with a pedal, which you plug into the machine and tail it on the ground. What is a pedal? Well, it’s like the accelerator pedal of the car; if you press it harder, the machine will sew faster (the needle will rise and fall more times per second), and if you press the pedal less, it will slow down.

When you start to sew for the first time it seems a little complicated to get the mechanism, and it happens as when you learn to drive, it is normal to do it in fits and starts, you give it very hard, and then you release intermittently … Failures of a beginner. But you will see that as you practice more and more, you will realize that you easily catch the thread.

The Giant Side Wheel

The wheel drives the needle to go up and down, which allows us to “sew by hand”, that is, make it raise and lower the needle manually just by moving the wheel.

In which cases is it necessary to use the manual wheel of the sewing machine?

  1. If for example you are sewing and you have been attracted the needle in some material more chubby, then you can release it by moving the wheel so that the needle goes up.
  2. When you want to sew small details and you are afraid to go with the pedal because it goes too fast, what you do is to activate the wheel yourself so that it goes as slow as you want. Each time the water lowers and rises when the thread is threaded, it stitches. The magic of sewing machines just happened 🙂
  3. When you are sewing and suddenly you find yourself with a thicker layer, it will be necessary to operate it manually so that the water does not split. What do I want to say? Imagine you are sewing some four layers of fabric, and suddenly you come to an area that has eight layers. Before this rise, sometimes it is common for the needle to split, so it is better to forget the pedal and start doing it manually, so that we go more lentito. Once the machine is already there and the needle is secured with the new measurement, you can operate the pedal again without problems.
  4. When you pass over a zipper of metal teeth. Thus, you will also prevent the needle from breaking.

The Buttons of the Sewing Machine

All sewing machines have several essential buttons: Stitch selection, stitch length control, and stitch width control. (Generally very basic sewing machines do not have the option of stitch width control)

Stitch Selection

When you want to buy a machine, see if in the product description come the types of stitches that your machine can do. They come exemplified with little pictures (like the ones you have in the gray image on the right) so that we know perfectly.

Also, in most cases, the machine itself brings (usually when lifting the top lid) the stitch patterns so you can see them on the fly.

Important: In this particular machine where we are looking at the images (Alfa style 40), in order to select the second and third row (S1 and S2), we will do it from the stitch length control wheel.

Stitch Length Control

Stitches can be either short or long, and generally go from zero to five millimeters. Just turn the wheel, your stitches will change length.

  1. Zero Stitch Length: what happens is that the needle stays stuck in the same point without advancing, for the times that we want to give many stitches in the same place to reinforce.
  2. Stitch length one: it offers the shortest length, and is ideal for buttonholes. In fact, almost all machines have a symbol next to the number one that warns you.
  3. Stitch length two and a half: yes, you can select between the numbers to have the exact length you want, to the millimeter). What is the best stitch for sewing? Answer: Two and a half. It is the one used for a normal stitching and is generally considered the most beautiful for sewing.
  4. Stitch length four or five: is the maximum (usually) and is used when you do not want to give strength to your stitch, as when you want to do a basting stitch or hem stitch. They are stitches that are made provisionally, that is, stitches that you can then easily undo by simply pulling the thread. Generally, for when you select the four or five of length and you want to baste, you will have to use an own thread to baste. Do you want to know more? More info here and a video here.

Stitch width control

In the best models of sewing machines we can also select the stitch width, and logically what we do is that we can vary if we want it to be narrower or wider, being able to select from zero to five.

In the stitch of straight type, as is logical, we can not vary the width (since it is always straight: p) but in all other zigzag stitches, we can make the stitch more or less wide depending on what we want to sew and the finish we want for our sewing.

Reverse or reverse

When we activate the back or reverse button and at the same time we operate the pedal of the machine, what happens is that the machine instead of sewing forward, begins to sew backward.

This technique is used to finish at the beginning and end of the seams, which is the substitute for the whole life we do when we are sewing by hand with a needle, thread, and thimble

Thread tension control

The tension is the tight or loose that sews the thread against our cloth. The thread starts from the coil, and until it reaches the needle, it goes through the mechanism that regulates its tension, being able to vary between zero (very little tense) to 9 (very tense). Depending on the machines, more or less tension may be applied.

The four is the average tension, which is always used for normal tissues of medium thickness.

How to thread the needle and how to fill the bobbin with thread?

This you will learn very well with the great video of Naira. Take a look at a piece of youtube channel where you will learn a lot of things. In the next video you will learn the steps to learn how to thread the needle and fill the bobbin with the same bobbin thread with an Alfa Style 40 sewing machine as a sample, although once you learn how it is done in a model, you will see that you develop the sea of good with any other machine, in the end more or less all are equal, and between this video, and a look at your instruction manual, there will be no needle or sewing machine that you resist to be threaded.

How does a sewing machine work? How does the stitch?

Maybe you thought that the stitch was made by magic, that the manufacturers put a few magic powders inside the machine, and finally the result was a brand new stitch that made your seams a beautiful walk through a garden full of roses.

Now learn from a woman who has been sewing more than 60 years

This part of the post that you are going to read next is written by the brilliant Michelle, an expert blogger in French cuisine. When I met Michelle, I told her that she had this project where she talked about sewing machines, and she told me that one of her best friends, a woman who was around 80 years old, was an expert in a seamstress and had been sewing all her life. I did not think twice and I asked him if he would be so kind as to ask some little advice from his friend and transcribe it for me.

This is the result, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do

How to start from the right foot with your new sewing machine? You just bought your first machine and you’re excited, you can imagine yourself traveling through kilometers of fabric, the curtains, the curtains, the cushions, the tablecloth, that vintage blouse that you’ve got the boss … Wait, stop! First you have to learn to control that machine. More than that, woo her to get the best out of her.

Your first impulse will be put in and start. Well, no. First, take the time to read the manual Tooodo! From up to down. And when you have read it and you have understood it well …

Step 1: Remove the water and

Remove the needle! Yes, you read correctly, remove the needle and thread. Grab a large piece of cloth, fix it under the presser foot and start pedaling, you will see how the teeth of the machine are biting the fabric and you can see that it is not as easy as it seems to keep a straight course. Repeat as many times as necessary, until you make a straight one meter, because you wanted, and not chiripa … Remember also that you have to accompany the fabric, not pull it.

Then make hems, you must have a presser foot with curl that collects the fabric forming a hem as it is introduced under the said press. That particular presser foot is fine for making hems on the fly, but if you feel safer, basting first, do it.

Step 2: Put the needle and

Do you think you’ve practiced enough? Well now, put the needle. Now you can thread, follow all the steps you have read in the manual and start again making straight as many kilometers as you can see. And do not forget to put the machine in the zigzag point, it is very important to practice the zigzag .

Well, do you think you’re ready to sew your curtains ? Wait, you have to grease the mechanism with that special liquid for sewing machines. After greasing is very, very important to clean that grease, especially in the places where the thread makes its way, if you do not clean well those traces of grease will pick up the lint that loose the thread as it passes through the different gears, forming a pellet of size more than worrying and that can ruin your beautiful work, obstructing and staining.

In fact, you should always try on a cloth before putting on the final cloth, because after greasing and cleaning the first few centimeters of thread will be stained.

The tap is cleaned with the passage of the thread. Always watch the tensions, according to whether you are going to sew a very fine cloth like silk or one as thick as a guatine. Silk requires a very loose thread. That is, always, always before sewing the final piece you have to do tests on pieces of cloth.

Practice, practice and long before launching on the final pattern. Be patient, using a sewing machine can be like “sewing and singing”, if you are disciplined and patient. In fact, you can sew and sing like La Negra, “seamstress”, is the title of this song. It has a good rhythm when it comes to start, it should be done slowly and with good lyrics.

Books to learn how to sew

Do you still want more? Are you one of those who like to have a book and learn little by little? Then take a look at these books to learn how to sew. They are the best sellers of Amazon and have excellent comments in addition to a very affordable price. Do you want to buy a book to learn machine sewing?

Here are some recommendations, based simply on the comments and ratings of previous buyers at Amazon, these books are undoubtedly the best-selling and best valued Amazon, see for yourself.

My sewing machine and I, a book where you will find everything you need to learn how to sew. The book has many explanatory photographs to make your first steps a lot easier. You can click on the image to access the features of the book as well as its price and shipping method.

The great book of sewing, a book aimed at both those who want to start sewing and those who already have experience or are professionals of the clothing. You can click on the image to see all its features as well as comments from previous buyers, price, and shipping method.

 

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