When you are new to sewing, or even just new to sewing clothing, sewing a straight line can seem a little intimidating. Once you get the hang of it, it is a breeze. I want to share with you a few tips and tricks you can use to get the hang of sewing straight lines!
Take a scrap piece of fabric and draw on it! The most common stitches you will stitch are straight lines, curves, and corners. Draw on the fabric each of those and practice stitching over the lines you drew. When you start stitching, you want to make sure you hold both threads taut so it doesn’t come un-threaded, or tangled in bobbin area. When you stop, always make sure your needle is in the down position, especially on corners. You will stitch all the way to the corner, stop with the needle down, lift the pressure foot, turn the fabric, lower the pressure foot, and continue sewing. You will need to backstitch at the start and end of your stitch line, but don’t need to at corners.
Using Foot Plate Guides
Once you get the hang of sewing along the lines you drew, you can try using your foot plate on the sewing machine as your guide. Patterns will call for a seam allowance, we will talk more about seam allowances tomorrow. On your sewing machine’s foot plate there should be lines with a measurement beside it. These are the lines you will align the edge of your fabric up with when sewing. You choose your line based on the seam allowance called for the in the pattern. So the entire time you are sewing you will line up the edge of the fabric to that line. The line is only on the foot plate, so if you want a bigger line, you can always add washi tape to make the line bigger and more noticeable.
If you still aren’t comfortable using the foot plate guides, you can always draw the seam line right onto your fabric. Once you cut out your pattern, draw in the seam line. Say the seam allowance is 3/8″, you will mark 3/8″ around the piece of fabric you just cut excluding the cut on fold lines. Then when you sew, you simply stitch on top of the line you just drew. You will notice the edge of the fabric will line up to the foot plate guide. Once you get more and more used to stitching, you will eventually graduate to using the foot plate guide!
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