During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have turned to new hobbies or old skills to pass the time. Not only have these hobbies provided us with a creative outlet, but they also help give focus to some otherwise repetitive days at home. One of the quickest and cheapest hobbies to pick up – which many people have – is sewing. Sewing can be fulfilling, relaxing, and super creative.
Whether you’re fixing jeans, cross-stitching patterns, or crafting something completely from scratch, there’s plenty of opportunity for enjoyment with needle and thread. So, if you’ve turned – or returned – to sewing recently, read on to find out some useful sewing tips and tricks from the experts.
Hand sewing is one of the most relaxing forms of sewing, in our opinion. Plus, it’s cheap and easy to learn! We spoke to Jan, a sewing blogger over at www.makersnook.com who said “For a complete novice, hand sewing is certainly a great place to start. Pick up a needle, learn the simplest of stitches, and then start getting creative!” Hand sewing for repair or creation of clothes is the most common reason to hand stitch, so here are a few of the experts’ top tips relating to hand sewing.
Firstly, get your setup right. Experts recommend being in a well-lit room and relaxed environment. Gather all the proper equipment and get comfortable. Also, take a meditative approach to hand stitching anything. It is not a race! Take your time, start slowly, and practice. Speed will come naturally over time, don’t try to force it.
Sometimes, dealing with thread and needle by hand can lead to tangles and unwanted knots. A top tip for this is to run your thread through beeswax before using it, which helps it avoid becoming tangled and twisted in your hands. Also, needles are fiddly at first and easy to drop. An amazing tip here is to buy and keep a small magnet nearby when sewing. This way, any dropped needles – leading to both frustration and potential painful moments – can be quickly found by waving a magnet around.
Next up, let’s discuss the use of a sewing machine. Sewing machines are used for long hems, bigger projects, or simply for saving time. They have been around for almost 200 years now and were once a staple in homes. Nowadays, of course, they are mechanical and electric, some are even computerized. Here’s a couple of tips for the use of sewing machines:
It is of the utmost importance that you know what machine and needle to use for each project. If you are unsure, do a bit of research before diving in. Using the wrong machine setting or needle on the wrong fabric can lead to broken needles, torn fabrics, and damaged machines. Also, change your needles every time you start a new project. They get used a lot, rapidly, so don’t cut corners here.
One of the hardest parts of machine sewing is steadying the fabric to keep the stitch straight. People get themselves twisted into all kinds of positions! Keep it simple here, don’t lean behind the machine as that tends to lead to you pushing the fabric at an angle without realizing it. Stay seated, in front of the fabric, and gently guide it with both hands in line to help keep it straight. When turning a corner, leave the needle in the thread before rotating to give a nice, tight corner.
Embroidering is a lovely way to create decorative patterns for either display or as an addition to clothing. There are many stitches and patterns to use, and as your skills develop you will be able to create some beautiful designs. Here are a couple of tips for the newbie embroiderer.
Firstly, choose the right fabric. Start with a non-stretchy and non-see-through fabric. This helps your stitches look neater and more consistent. Plus, it makes it easier for you to handle when learning your first stitches. Using a tougher fabric also helps you regulate your stitches. Don’t pull them too tight as you can warp the fabric and end up with an uneven look.
Once you have mastered simple patterns on the tough fabric you will be able to use your skills to be more flexible and embroider designs on any type of fabric you like. Take your time, embroidery is relaxing and the final result will be so much more satisfying when complete and perfect.
There you have it, a few of our favorite tips from experts regarding beginners sewing. Whichever type of sewing you are going to try, do a bit of research, take your time, and mostly enjoy yourself. A great stitch is a really rewarding feeling.