i’ve been sewing since i was 12 and first started taking classes, so a lot of sewing basics are old news to me. recently my sons roommate was handed down a sewing machine and asked if i’d help them learn how to use it.
this prompted me to ‘go back to the basics’ and begin posting tutorial, tips and techniques for those just learning to sew.
many of the stitches we’ll talk about today can be made with a standard sewing machine, some settings shown are specific to the baby lock melody.
there are many, many ways to finished seams, today i’ll talk about 7 of them. basic straight seam, pinked, triple stretch stitch, blind hem, french seam and two overcast/overlock seams.
this is your basic straight stitched seam that any sewing machine can perform, no matter how old it is. you simply line up your fabric with the seam allowance guide, most garments require a 5/8 seam, but always refer to your pattern for instructions.
this is your finished seam pressed open.
next is your pinked seam, which is just like your straight stitch, but you will use your pinking shears to cut along the finished seam before pressing open, this helps to prevent fraying.
triple stretch seam.
the electronic sewing machines have a wondrous function, once you have chosen a stitch, they show you exactly what presser foot you should be using. in this case i have chosen stitch #9 [triple stretch stitch] and presser foot “J”, which is the standard presser foot that comes with your baby lock melody.
the machine automatically sets the needle to the ‘needle left’ position, be sure to align your fabric according to your patterns instructions. [i.e. 5/8 seam, 3/8 seam, etc]
i use this stitch all the time, when i want a heavy duty seam. it’s great for denim and stretch fabrics because this stitch will give. i use this stitch often for mending jeans with blown out seams.
begin by using a straight basting stitch.
choose stitch #7 and presser foot “R”.
then fold your fabric as shown in the above photo.
position your fabric with the folded edge against the presser foot guide [in the center, kind of looks like a shark fin]. stitch your seam.
your finished blind hem seam.
press open and you have a beautiful blind hem. you can see that using this stitch and presser foot gives you a small stitch that can hardly be seen, thus the ‘blind’ hem.
with WRONG sides of fabric together, stitch a 3/8″ straight seam.
next trim your seam to 1/8″.
next you will fold your fabric over the seam with RIGHT sides of fabric together, press, straight stitch a 2/8″ seam, basically as close as you can to the previously stitched seam. the first seam of 3/8″ + 2/8″ will give you a total of a 5/8″ seam allowance.
this is your finished french seam pressed to one side. this seam is used in several of the pillowcase tutorials all around pinterest. it’s a great option for a beautiful finished seam with no raw edges.
the overcast/overlock seam can replace the need for a serger and it works so well in the newer sewing machines.
i chose stitch #6 and presser foot “G”.
position your fabric against the presser foot guide and begin stitching.
your finished seam. press your seam to one side.
next is the overcast/overlock stitch #14, presser foot “J” [standard]. this is a great overcast seam for stretch fabrics to prevent fraying.
you will need to be sure to align your fabric correctly so that the needle which has been automatically set to the ‘needle left’ position will stitch just over the edge of the fabric [see photo]
your finished overcast/overlock seam. press to one side.