Sewing Machine Basics

Read all about sewing machines, from sewing machine basics for beginners and machine sewing techniques, to new ways to use sewing machine features.

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Advice From Middle School That Applies to Sewing

Last weekend while working on a sewing project for my home, I remembered a good lesson I learned from a teacher. It wasn't a sewing lesson, but thinking of it helped my sewing process. My elephant wall hanging, in progress. I'm working an elephant wall hanging, and am nearing the point where I'll add a…

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Whats the Difference Between an Industrial and Home Sewing Machine?

In the workrooms where I take my patternmaking classes, there are lines of industrial machines, and provided that I bring along my bobbin and sewing machine foot, they are mine for the using. Life in the fast lane: I just can't get comfortable with industrial machines.  This might seem like a very cool thing to some…

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How to Use a Sewing Machine

Sewing machines come with lots of gadgets. You don't need to learn all of them at once. Manuals can get you started–and keepyou going. No need to learn everythingat once. In the past six months I've had the fun of helping two 30-somethings take their new sewing machines out of their boxes for the first…

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Admission of Ignorance Leads to Enlightenment in Sewing Techniques

I've always had an admiration for the Japanese sewing market, which started when I fell madly in love with a pair of scissors at a Japanese notions company booth at a sewing expo. I still kick myself for not buying them. The "faux-shiko" stitching on the skirt Modified sashiko stitching. But recently I fell in…

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The Walking Foot–Optional or Necessary?

On many of the supply lists for projects in Stitch, you'll find the following: "Optional: Walking foot for your sewing machine."   The walking foot helps keep thick, slippery, or sticky fabric layers from shifting as you sew. This raglan knit was topstitchedwithout the benefit of a walking foot. Look what a difference usinga walking foot…

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Strong, Versatile, and Trustworthy … It's the Backstitch!

Looking for a handsewing stitch that you'll find yourself returning to time and time again? Look no further than the humble backstitch. Thread the needle and knot the end. Bring the needle up from back to front. Take the first stitch 1/4" to theright of where the needle came up. Bring the needle up 1/4"…

Sewing Machine Tip

The Best Kept Secret on Your Sewing Machine

Have you ever had silk charmeuse and chiffon slither away from you, oblivious of the feed dog traction, or struggled to sew a bulky denim or wool seam? I know a sewing machine technique tip that will change your life.   There is a little known option for the sewing machine’s presser foot that will…

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A Private Sewing Lesson with Liesl Gibson!

Join Liesl in her Brooklyn studio. Learn about sewing seams, corners, curves, gathers, and more! Click to watch a preview! Learning to Sew One of the most common questions I'm asked by readers and in interviews is "When did you learn to sew?" I always wish I had a touching story to answer this question…

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7 Tips on Combining Machine + Hand Stitching

Creating with Needle and Thread  I think thread has multiple personalities. Whether it's structured and organized straight stitching, organic, hand-drawn effects with freehand machine embroidery, or the rich textured look of hand embroidery and appliqué, the tiny strands of fiber we take for granted are full of possibilities! While I love exploring the different possibilities…