Following on from our earlier article on getting the right sewing machine. We now look at what you should do with it.
Having bought a new sewing machine, the next challenge is to actually set it up and use it. This sounds easy, but the reality is that modern sewing machines are complex and if you have very little experience with them then they can in fact be quite daunting. You have taken the big step of purchasing one, but now you have to take the next step and actually use it. For more on getting a great sewing machine go here.
How To Avoid Most Problems With Your New Sewing Machine
The problem that most people with new sewing machines face is that they want to do high quality sewing on their new machine, when in fact their first efforts are actually likely to be fairly poor with many mistakes. This is not something that should worry you. No-one gets to professional standards without lots of trial and error along the way and it will be the same for you too.
The key is to pick an easy first sewing project. What does easy mean? Well, basically you want to do something that is not too important, something that does not use expensive material and if it all goes terribly wrong then you won’t be too concerned.
Pick The Right First Project
The first thing you should think about is the type of material you use. Not all material works the same on a sewing machine. So you want to make sure that you learn with an easy material. Our recommendation is for that choice to be cotton. Cotton is relatively easy to get hold of and not too expensive.
It is available in lots of colors and patterns. It takes stitching well and perhaps best of all it does not stretch when being run through the sewing machine. This is an important point as you will have your concentration fully on other areas and with your first sewing project you want to keep the number of controllable variables down to a minimum.
You should try to pick a project that has lots of straight seams. This is an extension of the controllable items point above. Straight seams allow you to get used to using your new sewing machine without having to concentrate on curves and angles when stitching.
The final aspect of your first sewing project is to make it small. Not necessary small in size, but make sure that the project is easy to finish in a relatively short period of time. This will boost your confidence and ensure that you do not get too frustrated as there are lots of areas relating to setting up the machine and getting the stitching right which will cause you some concern at first.
One suggestion for an ideal first project is to try doing pillow covers.
Not necessarily the external pillowcase, but a cover for the pillow which would sit over the pillow but inside the pillowcase. This is relatively easy, lots of straight seams and the finished product would be out of sight, if everything is not quite right, at least it wouldn’t be in full view. If you are feeling a little more ambitious, then a simple skirt is also a good starter project.