Intro to Sewing: Basic Feet

But, what's a foot? The foot of a sewing machine is one of the most important pieces of a sewing machine: it's what holds the fabric to the feed dog and actually allows you to sew. There are dozens of types of feet to buy and it can be a little overwhelming when looking at what does what. However, your sewing machine should come with a few staples, which is what we're going to look at today. Don't worry, we'll get to some crazy ones in future posts; but here's something to start you off. All-Purpose Foot This foot has several names, actually: zigzag foot, pressure foot, standard foot, etc. It's pretty much the foot you'll use on the daily during your standard straight or zigzag stitch. It ha

Intro to Sewing: Needles

I don't know how many times I went to Joann's and picked up the first set of universal needles I saw and yolo'ed my sewing. I assumed the numbers meant something but I couldn't be bothered to learn what they meant until I broke a few hundred needles. It's actually not as complicated as you'd think! So with a little foresight on the projects you are planning, it's easy to collect all the needles you need. Needle Size Needle packages will say the type of needle they are along with a fraction. Unlike your blood pressure reading, the two numbers actually mean the same thing. The smaller number is the US needle size while the larger number is European. For the sake of consistency, I'm only going

Intro to Sewing: Thread and Stitch Positioning

Before you even begin to sew, you need thread. Entering a craft store, you'll notice a few brands and several different types within those said brands. Hopefully this list can offer you some insight into what each type is and what it's used for. Types of Thread For brands, most fabric stores will carry Coats & Clark and Gutermann. Joann's also carries a brand called Sulky. Sulky is a rayon-based thread used for machine embroidery, not traditional sewing. You can use it in a standard machine but you'll be very fed up by how easily it unravels and breaks. For this list, I'll be focussing on what C&C and Gutermann sell. All Purpose: This is a polyester-based thread useful for most sewing projec

Intro to Sewing: The Machine

Having been sewing for sixteen years, I often get asked, "How do I start?" That, in itself, is a rather loaded question. Do I assume the questioner is familiar with the basics of the sewing machine? Do they know how to read patterns? Do they understand the difference between a roller foot and a rolled hem foot? Do they even know what a foot is? Simply, there are a lot of factors that go into sewing and even some intermediate crafters don't know what the number on sewing needles mean. So, I figure, let's start from the beginning: the actual sewing machine. This is just the first of several "Intro to Sewing" posts; I'll be covering several topics and eventually moving to more advanced techniqu

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