Ready for your first (boring honestly, but ever so necessary) stitching exercise?
Sewing itself is not the most time consuming, the preparing is! Take your time to put everything ready (think about cooking, isn’t it easy when you just have to grab the thing you need and all ingredients are ready).
Part one: “Stitch straight” exercise
Draw or print a page with straight vertical lines (yes paper!). For this exercise your bobbin is empty and you don’t need to use any thread, the idea is to stitch straight, the needle will just put holes in your paper, visualizing for you whether you stitch straight or not.
Put the page under your machine foot and try (best manually) to put the needle at the starting point of the line. Keep with one hand your two threads in your hand (if you don’t they’ll shoot away and you can attach them again!)
Try to stitch straight on the line. Don’t worry if in the beginning you go all over the place, just practice!
Now the same on a paper with these lines, but you have to use your presser foot!
You only get one line, stitch on it. Then put your pressure foot just beside that line (it’ll guide you to stay at the right distance from the already stitched line) and stitch a nice vertical line beside it. Later you use that last stitched line, to stitch another one, again your presser foot is your guide!
Now that was quite easy actually. What about stitching right angles? Go and give this exercise a try and first stitch on the given lines, then using your presser foot stitch a line on the inside and one on the outside of the lines! At each corner you stop, lift up the presser foot, turn the paper, lower the presser foot and continue stitching in the right direction. I know, you’ll hate me by now, but you’ll be stitching straight!
Part two: Gingerbread man
Draw a gingerbread man shape, stitch on the line. Finished? I put the crosses on the drawing where it might get nasty! Put your needle to the right or use the needle foot as a distance measure (you put it just alongside the basic line) and stitch around. Do the same inside the shape.
If you just put your needle on the right or left, you can keep the needle foot where it is. It is just another way of doing it.
Other exercises for stitching curved lines, same procedure as before:
Try to stitch, without drawing lines now, in between these lines. Use your machine foot as a measurement.
Works out ok? Try these exercises on the real thing: some left over cotton fabric (don’t use slippery fabric like nylon!). I know, a lot of work, seemingly for nothing, but once you are able to stitch straight, you’ll be ever so proud of your finished works later! It’s so sad to see people showing off, their first handmade work, when you see immediately where they didn’t stitch straight.
Next lesson will be how to fix your thread when you start stitching, but before we can do that, you’ll have to be able to stitch straight!
Proud of you all! I think that deserves a super chocolate freebie recipe in my next post!