If you’re new to the world of sewing and dressmaking then there are probably numerous pitfalls that you will encounter on your journey ahead. The key to success is to not let these setbacks dampen your enthusiasm for what is a thoroughly satisfying past-time. Here are a few handy tips to help you avoid as many of these pitfalls as possible so you can enjoy hours of sewing satisfaction:
Much of your success will rely on the type of fabric you use. For a garment that you’ll be truly proud of and for ease of work, you need a high-quality fabric. Pay a little more for excellent fabric, make sure you buy what you need for the pattern and don’t overbuy and make sure you know which sewing methods suit each fabric choice. Materials such as denim, silk, poplin and polyester require different types of sewing.
Expect fabric to shrink slightly in the wash so you’ll want to prewash it before you cut it into the required pattern. Otherwise you run the risk of the garment not fitting correctly once you’ve washed it a couple of times. A quick hand wash, thorough drying and ironing out of all creases will see your material good to go.
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- Good Quality Equipment
It’s vital to have an excellent pair of scissors for cutting fabric. This part of sewing is often seen as a chore so why make the job even harder by trying to use blunt scissors that will damage the fabric? There are different types of scissors too so make sure you’re using the right ones for the task at hand. For example, you’ll find angled scissors, paper-cutting scissors, seam-rippers, button-hole cutters, pinking shears and curved embroidery scissors. Fear not though, as there are loads of online guides to help you with what function each one has.
- Sewing Machine
It doesn’t have to be top of the range but it should be sturdy and full-size, you won’t be able to a great deal with a mini-machine for example. Before embarking on a new project, make sure you know your sewing machine like the back of your hand. Read the instruction manual and familiarise yourself with the machine doing simple tasks before diving straight in with anything more complicated.
- Sewing Machine Care
A trusty, faithful workhorse needs looking after and careful maintenance. Sewing can become a nightmare if your machine starts to misbehave. How to recognise and treat some common issues will come in very handy. The first things to check are correct needle placement, correct threading and whether you are using the right setting for the fabric you have. Regularly clean out fluff and lint from under the needle plate area. Needles are the most heavily used part of a sewing machine so do occasionally break, bend or become blunt. To prevent this from occurring, ensure that you are always using the correct needle size for the fabric you are working on.