Monday, February 13, 2012

Learning to Sew: Practice First


When you are first learning to sew, it's a good idea to play around on your machine without thread. This will help you get the feel of the machine without worrying about thread jamming and bobbin winding. I've posted some free worksheets in my Craftsy Pattern Shop to help you with this.

The first sheet is simply straight lines - the goal of this is for you to work on ...you guessed it...sewing straight! Line the RIGHT edge of the foot up on the edge of the line and WATCH THE EDGE OF THE FOOT and NOT THE NEEDLE!

The second worksheets will help you work on speed control; they are squiggles. Line the right side of the foot up on the edge of the squiggle. SLOWLY sew next to the squiggle. It's not easy and you may not be able to do it. The point isn't to sew perfectly. The point is to learn how to control your speed with your foot or the speed control on your machine.

The third set of worksheets are connect the dots. These don't make anything...one day I'll fix it and you make a spool of thread or something.  But for the time being, all you need to do is start at "1" and sew to "2" - then end with your needle down, lift your foot, pivot (with needle down), drop your foot, sew to "3", lift your foot, pivot to "4", drop your foot and sew to "4." This is all about getting used to ending with your needle down, lifting your foot, putting your foot back down, etc.

Have fun with these. It's a great way to get comfortable with your machine. 

Download all my free tutorials, including these practice sheets!



9 comments:

  1. What a great idea!! :)
    I will be doing these practice
    sheets :) Thank you

    Chandice

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    Replies
    1. Good luck! I plan on posting some other tips for beginners in the next month or so. Be sure to check out the articles in "Learn To Sew" -- I've written some entries centered around comments my new sewists would make in class.

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  2. I really, really love this idea! But I have a digital sewing machine that stops & tells me if the thread has broken, so when I try to do this, my machine stops every few inches to tell me that 'the top thread has broken'. Do you have any suggestions for this?

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm... I guess it depends on the manufacturer. BUT...I guess we can just go with the flow - you can always try this with thread - just print the sheets on heavier paper. Let me know how it goes!

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    2. BTW, I started looking for an answer to this and ran across a really great website - http://sewusa.com/index.htm -- really good information on machine repair and maintenance. Plus in the REPAIR section they show how a stitch is formed!

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    3. Thanks so much! For awhile, I was just going a few stitches, stopping before it beeped at me, & repeating - but it was a pain. I agree, I do think I'll have to buy some cheap thread & just use thread with the paper. I actually just made my mom a Mother's Day card & matching envelope with some fun decorative stitching my machine has, so it works well! Also, thanks for the website reference, it looks so useful

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    4. YAY for you! I love my decorative stitches. I crazy quilt small projects (like purses and book covers), make my quilt sandwich (with a little quilt basting spray), then use my decorative stitches with pretty thread to sew over the seams. And if you have some time, make a stitch sampler of all your stitches! It's a great reference tool.

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  3. Great idea - planning to use these to teach my Granddaughter to sew. Many Thanks

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  4. I just found your blog! thank you so much! My daughter is 8 and for a few years now she has asked for a sewing machine and someone just recently gave us one. The catch is I have no idea how to sew! So here we are on a journey together. Starting with learning how to sew straight lines! lol thank you again!

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