Learn to Sew: How to Easily Sew a Straight Line
Learn to sew: How to easily sew a straight line. Believe it or not there are a great many projects that only require you to sew in a straight line to complete the entire project. In fact a great many crafting and DIY projects are created from the use of straight line sewing. In this post we will learn just how easy it is to sew in a straight line. If you have been following this series of posts you may have read my previous posts on how to purchase your first sewing machine and how to easily thread your sewing machine. If not just click on the links to view those posts.
Believe me that sewing in a straight line is an easy process with the variety of tips and tricks I am going to show you in this post. Just make sure that you have threaded your machine properly and this next step is a snap. Take it slow and easy to start and you will realize just how easy this is. Once you have your foot pedal attached to your machine and the machine turned on just press slowly until you get the hang of it and you will be flying in no time.
Sew on Lined Paper
For the beginner sewer, the first thing I recommend that you do is to place a piece of lined paper in your machine and simply follow the lines until you are comfortable sewing in a straight line. Lift the presser foot and place your piece of paper underneath. Drop your needle onto the line then drop down the presser foot. Press your foot pedal or start stop button. This is the simplest process for learning to sew in a straight line. Just keep in mind that you are looking at the paper and following the line and not the needle and take it slow when you are starting out. Keep sewing the lines until you are comfortable that your lines are straight.
Width of Presser Feet
The next easiest way to learn to sew in a straight line is to use the width of your presser foot as your guide. I have a 1/4″ presser foot that I use for almost everything that I sew except for garments. It is the perfect width for craft and handbag (my favorite) projects. It is a perfect 1/4″ wide and you simply have to line it up against your raw edges and it will sew the perfect 1/4″ seam. If you are or plan to be a quilter this foot is invaluable to your success. Similarly, if you are going to make crafts and handbags it is a good idea to invest in one of these 1/4″ feet if you don’t have one already.
Using an adjustable Edge Guide
A machine edge guide is an “L” shaped metal object that fits into a hole behind your presser foot and can be adjusted to any size seam that you will likely need by sliding it in and out. Most sewing machines come with this option. You simply need to place the guide into the hole and measure what seam allowance you would like and place the guide at that width from the needle. Line up the guide with your raw edges and sew. The guide will keep your seam allowance the same distance throughout the seam.
Sole Plate Markings
All newer machines have markings on the sole or stitch plate of the machine that have measurements already etched onto them. These lines are there for the purpose of lining up the raw edges of your fabric so that you can sew in a uniform distance from the needle. You simply need to line up your raw edges with the line that matches the width of your seam allowance and sew. Make sure that when you are sewing you are watching the line and the fabric and not the needle or you will not be sewing in a straight line.
Using a Magnetic Guide
Most sewing machines have a metal sole plate that you can attach a magnetic guide too. I use my magnetic guide all the time because my machine sole plate does not have a 1/2″ seam allowance marking. You need to simply measure 1/2″ or whatever seam allowance you want from the needle and place the magnetic guide. Line up the raw edges against the magnetic guide and sew away. You could also use a piece of masking tape to serve the same purpose if you like or if you have a computerized machine where you do not want the magnet nearby.
Many newer, high-end machines come with lasers to line up your sewing but you can also retrofit your own machine with a laser with Slice of Pi’s tutorial.
Any of these methods will help you to learn to sew a straight line with ease. Just pick the one that is easiest for you and get started on your sewing journey.
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