OT: Does anyone here SEW?

I’m trying to learn…well, with the machine that is. I’m pretty good at sewing things by hand, reading patterns, and creating patterns from actual garments…but my GOD, the sewing machine is the worst thing ever invented by humans!

OMIGOD! How can you say that?!? Sewing machines are the greatest invention since the wheel. They are a remarkable feat of engineering. I own a lot of them, and each of them has its own charm.

What kinds of questions/problems do you have? I will confess that I’m not that experienced with sewing clothes, but I’ve pieced several quilts, made a zillion Halloween costumes, and made a fair share of window treatments over the years.

I agree with PP, I adore my sewing machine and was extatic to receive a 2 needle serger to finish edges. I detest hand sewing and in fact to 2 Christmas gifts to my mother to complete the hand sewing parts !!

What about the machine is giving you trouble?

Sewing machines are better than hand sewing but each machine has its own quirks.

Is it a new machine? If so and you bought it at a sewing machine shop they offer classes usually to help people learn about their machine.

If it’s old but new to you hopefully you have the instructions, go through them step by step. Machines can have tension problems or need cleaning. I have a very old Viking, I had it cleaned several years ago and ever since it has worked like a dream.

:heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: my sewing machines! Tell us of your problem, we can probably help.

Haven’t sewn much recently, but love my old Singer Style Mate 348. Am wanting to get back into it and have ordered a newer refurbished Singer free arm model. You can see a few things that I have sewn in the past (Holly Hobby outfit and Brooke Shields Moonbear) on my blog Always a Beginnner in the KH blog threads.

Ooo ooo ooo … I have a sewing machine too!! :mrgreen: Although, I haven’t been working with it to the extent that I’d like to. :oops: Thus far, I only hem my pants and fix my Jiu-Jitsu uniform with it. Oh, and I’ve made some PJ pants too!

One of these days I’m going to take a sewing class. Unfortunately, the sewing classes that I’ve found thus far are offered at like 1:00 PM during the @*&%^#ing work week! Um, WTF? :gah: :!!!: I have a J.O.B!!! What ever happened to weekend classes? :??

I love both my sewing machine & serger. I’ve been sewing almost daily (mostly kids clothes) for about 3 years & I’ve known how to sew since 6th grade (I’m 28). I kindof got burned out on sewing Christmas presents, which is partially why I’m learning to knit. Now sewing is my retreat when knitting gets me frustrated.

I find it impossible to keep the stitch going straight…it seems that even the least slippery fabric you can imagine still keeps sliding around and messing things up. I know it’s not the machine, because I bought it from a friend at work who wouldn’t sell me something bad. I took it back to her to check if something was wrong with it, and of course when SHE does it, everything looks perfect. :wall:

Is the feed dog engaged?
Do you have the presser foot down when you sew?

I was also going to make sure the presser foot was down. that is usually what i forget. most newer machines at least have a guide on the base that you can line your fabric against to make it straight. as long as you don’t go too fast, you can keep the fabric against that line and the stitch will be straight.

you might need to adjust the tension on the upper thread and/or the bobbin.

Also, I bought a foot for my machine that has a guide built in so I can sew a perfect 1/4 inch seam when piecing quilt pieces. The standard for dressmaking, though, is 5/8ths, and I’m sure you can buy a 5/8ths foot for your machine.

Try not to strech your fabric by pulling it taught as it feeds into the machine.

it sounds like the foot isnt down. also, when learning on new machine, it’s best to start out slow. trying to go too fast on an unfamiliar machine will make it very hard to keep things neat.
have your friend watch you while you work with it - maybe she can provide some insight.

[quote=“Momma_Jo”]I find it impossible to keep the stitch going straight…it seems that even the least slippery fabric you can imagine still keeps sliding around and messing things up.

One thing that helped me was to apply some tape lengthwise on the machine so I would have a nice long guide to keep me sewing straight.

Just to mix things up a bit and confuse the issue…

I find it hard to sew really slowly on a machine. Too much time to think about it and twiddle with the fabric. I find a moderate speed works really, but I love to run machines full bore on long straight seams. On the other hand, I’ve been using sewing machines since I was 8-9 years old. I grew up in a family of outstanding seamstresses who were happy to teach me how to use a machine.

A properly adjusted machine should feed the fabric through and do most of the work for you. One trick that helps me is to NOT focus on the needle. It’s just going up and down. As long as you keep your finger out of the immediate vicinity of the presser foot, the needle isn’t going to jump over and bite you. It’s also helpful to use the seam guide if your machine has one. If the bed of the machine is metal, you can use a flat refrigerator magnet (like the kind your insurance agent sends you) for a guide. Another great trick is to use thin moleskin (the Dr. Schols stuff you put on your feet) for a guide–I use that a lot when I’m piecing a quilt. It’s just thick enough to butt the fabric up against it.

In no time at all you will LOVE your sewing machine. Just pet it and speak gently to it. It wants to make you happy. (Yes, I’m kind of weird about sewing machines–I could never consider one a completely inanimate object).