Sewing is the method or act of something or someone to work with thread and a needle. It is also the material that it is being worked on using the thread and the needle. Sewing is the ancient craft and it has been used for long period starting from the time that people were stitching the cloth, furs, animal skins and fabrics using thread and needle.

The benefits of learning how to sew

Sewing is educational, practical and fun and it will help you save money. You will be able to make the clothes for yourself or for other people. It is economical to sew quality materials on your own. You can make your own alterations when you adjust the clothes that you buy in the store.  You can make it a business of altering the clothes for others. You will be able to sew the items for you, your family  or for other people.  You will be able to design something new and to be creative by choosing your own fabric, style, color or size.

Sewing is a way that you can be empowered. It is a great medium to learn about the problem solving skills, strong motor skills, and improved productivity with attention to the details. Sewing helps the people to know about a new hobby that it is artistic and fun. People are able to practice spatial awareness, critical thinking and math.

The basic sewing tools & accessories

The first step towards learning how to sew is to know how to get the items you need in the first place.  Everything that are in the relationship with sewing like tape measures, needles, pins and other sewing machines are called notions.  If you go to the market to look for the tools to start sewing, look under the Notions sign.

Sewing art had been around for many years and some of the tools that are found at the market are from the technology that it is over 100 years. They are still at the market since they have been tried and they have been found to be true. However, there are the latest items that are new and they are the results of technology like heat sensitive marking pen or levitating iron. The tools you need to start on your sewing project are found in five categories.


You need a ruler which is see-through and which is more than one foot. The transparent ruler helps you see what you measure and it gives accurate vertical and horizontal lines.  You should also get straight and hard edges that have to be used with the rotary cutter. The tape measure is the classic tool in sewing. It is flexible, but not that stretchy. It is used to measure the three dimensional objects, to work with the long cuts and aligning of the patterns. The seam gauge is handy item that it is used like a small ruler with double points and the sliding guide. It is great in marking of the seam allowance together with the hems or in any place where small measurement is needed.

Marking Tools

After measuring the straight line, you should also indicate where the spots are. You should always test the marking tool at the scarp of the fabrics to avoid ruining the fabric.  Pen should be water soluble that allow you to draw on the fabrics and to wash out the ink and to wipe the ink away with damp cloth.  The pencils have lead that can be washed out easily. The white pencils may show up on dark fabrics while dark pencils may be used for light fabrics. Some pencils come with their own brushes and erasers and they eliminate the lines much easier. The sharper is used to keep the top of the pencils sharp. Chalk is not just any type of chalk, but there are the chalks that are designed to be used only with the fabrics.

Cutting Products

You need to have good scissors, precise and sharp to cut the fabrics. The scissors should not be used to cut anything else except the fabric.  Paper cutting can dull the sewing scissors faster.

The shears and scissors are needed to cut the fabric.  You may also consider adding a pair of a bent dressmaker shear. They need to have the bend that it is around 45 degree. Seam ripper is used to remove the sewing mistakes. A good seam ripper is invaluable and it does not cost too much. The best seam ripper has to be super sharp. Rotary cutter is important when it comes to cut the curves with exact and long slices together with the straight edge.

Their working system is like that of the pizza cutter and there are people who like it over the scissors. You should always use the rotary cutter with a cutting mat since you can cut within the fabric into the work surface. Such blades are known to be sharp and they have to be always covered and their blade locked if they are not being used. The cutting mat is a must for someone who is using the rotary cutter.  However, their markings and lines are useful. There are the medium sized for someone who just started out.

Pressing Materials

When you wish to have the project that looks professional, you should apply some pressure. The well pressed seams do have clean edges and wonderful crisps. Steam iron is the best, but you should get the new one if the one you have does not heat well or if it does not dribble water. The best iron should be the one that makes it is easy to control the heat. Iron board is found in different sizes so you have to choose the one that will fit into your workspace with the right height. There are traditional iron boards, portable styles and ironing pads.

The surface should be sturdy and firm, covered with cotton and padded well. The ham is used to press the hem and it is three dimensional. It is used to iron hard to reach places. Pressing cloth is used on the fabrics that shine or melt if the heat is used directly. The pressing cloth is used to prevent this.  The best cloth should be made in the wool or cotton.


When it comes to thread, pins and needles, you have many choices. You have to make sure that you are choosing quality tools and you should not overbuy especially if you have just started with your sewing project.  For sewing machine; the rule is that you should start each project with its own new needle like sharpening every pencil before you start to write. The universal needles are suitable for most of the fabrics. The needles are found in two different numbers which are 75/11 and 80/12.  The small number is for lightweight fabrics, but for heavy fabrics you should go for a large number.

Hand sewing needles are found in different eye sizes and different styles. The needle threader is not that expensive and it will save you from too much frustration. They have a thin loop at the fob and they can be used for sewing and hand needles. Thread of high quality is from major manufacturers and it runs better at the machine. You do not have to worry about the huge collection when you start.

You should start with all purpose thread on the bobbin and the spool.  The color should coordinate so that it may blend in the fabric or it may contract if you are looking for top stitching result. Pincushion and pins are important. The pins should be in colored ball at their top since they are much easier to be inserted. Using a magnetic pin dish can be great to hold the collection.  A pincushion is used to hold some stitches while working. There are cushions that are worn on the wrist. Thimbles may be made in the metal, leather or wood and they are used to prevent the fingers against being pricked or sore.  You should also get the fabric to sew and the sewing booklet.

Different types of sewing stitches

When you start to use the machine, you have different options of stitches to make.  There are many stitches that you can make as far as you know them. The basic machine stitches may depend on the machine you own.  However, some machines have more options than what the owner uses. Straight is used for top stitching, seaming and stitch for basting.

Zigzag adds the width on the straight line in order to make the zigzag stitch. The zigzag is used to stitch on the applique, on embroidering or sewing the buttons. The stitch is at the same time fun and practical.

Three-step zigzag is used with the widest width. It is an ordinary zigzag stitch that pulls over the fabric in the tunnel while the fabric rolls into the stitch. To eliminate such problem, the sewing is done by making three stitches at one side and three stitches at the other side. The stitch is used to make decorative effects, mending the tears, sewing elastic or making raw edges.

Blind hem with stretch blind hem; a blind hem stitch has been designed for the hem of woven fabrics and the stitch is not visible if it is looked at on the right side of a garment.  The stretch blind hem stitch comes with the extra zigzag with two stretches to hem knit a fabric. The stitches are used for decorative reasons.

Overlock stitch is used to stitch and to finish the seams in a single step. It is the simulating stitches that are seen on the ready made clothes.  Some of the stitches are good for the woven fabrics while others can be good on the knits.

Decorative stitches are found in two types. The satin type and the closed stitched.  The new machines are being programmed in order to combine such stitches with others. They elongate designs for bolder decorative effect and they can be used to stitch the names.

In case the sewing machines used have more options than just the zigzag and the stitch options, it will give you the options that you can use to choose the type of the stitch you like.  The options can be in terms of the buttons, levels or dials.  The length of the stitches is the one that determine the durability of the stitch. Short stitch lasts longer and they are stronger. Longer stitch is temporary and it can be for decorative reasons.  The stitch-width is meant to control the sets of the distance where the needle moves from the side to another side.  There is no need to worry about the stitch width when you are sewing the straight stitches.

How to choose the right sewing thread

Before you start to sew, you should be aware of how to choose the right thread. The popular thread for embroidery has 40wt and it is good for all the embroidery designs. For the designs that have to be dense, it should be at least 50wt. Bobbin thread is normally fine and it weighs 60wt.  The thread is measured by the weight and a high number is used for light thread.  Denier is when the thread is measured by the weight and a larger number shows heavy thread. Tex is the weight in the grams of a thread of 1000m.

To choose a thread, you need to keep the following in mind: the number of your color, fiber content, brand of the thread and if the thread has been mercerized. This is the process of straightening out or swelling of the thread.  This is meant to increase the luster of the thread and it improves dye and water absorption. The threads are made in rayon, polyester, nylon, cotton, plastic or metallic, silk and wool.

Sewing Patterns

If you are just learning how to sew, you will need to use sewing patterns for better result, but even professional people still use a template because they save them much time and effort when working on new project, they trace onto fabric, then they cut it out and assemble it. Generally, sturdier materials and paper are the main composition of sewing patterns if you are looking for robust patterns or you plan to use them again and again.

How to thread a needle

For some people when it comes to threading the needle, they are going to hold over an inch or so in order to thread the needle and they may try to guide the needle into the eye, but without any success. This is because the thread may be flimsy or floppy.  When entering the thread in the needle fails, it will fray or deflect and this is going to force the user to put it into the mouth so that it can reform the fibers and to make a new attempt.

The simple method of threading the needle is to hold the thread within your index fingers and the thumb and make sure that you pinched the needle to the level you can barely see it.  Push the eye of a needle in the tip of the needle and not another way around even if it is the most common method.

When you are threading a needle on the sewing machine, you should use the same method, but now you should push the thread since the needle has already been fixed in one place. Pinching the tip of the needle will be able to work for any type of the threads including Teflon, nylon, Kevlar, polyester, cotton, unbounded and bonded.  This method is faster and it reduces the frustration that accompanies threading the thread into the needle.

How to choose the right sewing machine

When you go to the market to look for the best sewing machine, you will find that there are many choices to make at the market.  There are simple ones, expensive and computerized machines which may be used to embroider big designs on the fabrics without the need of reversing or forwarding. Before you decide to buy one, you should consider the reasons why you should get this sewing machine or the other one. You should choose the machine depending if you want to make crafts, drapery, alteration, mending, quilting or embroidery.

You should also decide about how much time you are going to spend on it. When you have all these information, you should base yourself on them when it comes to deciding on the quality and the type of the machine to buy.  You can go for a simple sewing machine if you want to use it just to mend your clothes or you can go for a high quality machine if you want to use it for multiple layers of fabrics or for upholstery materials. There are also the machines that may embroider anything that you are able to imagine.   Before you buy any sewing machine, you should try first to get the idea of what it is available at the market and the price. If you go to the local shop; you may be asked to buy something expensive compared to what you need.

The cheapest machines are disposable machines that have plastic parts. Cheaper machine can be good for an occasional seamstress, but it does not hold for long or with regular sewing. Average priced machine may last for a long period and they are made using good materials and they have better technology.  Their replacement parts are readily available at the market.  The high-end machines; are good for the seamstresses, upholsters and tailors who need to use their machines on regular basis.

These machines are specialty machines and they have long arm quilting. The overlock or serger is special machines and they use multiple threads and needles to make the stitches that are suited better to the stretching fabrics. However, this is not needed for general purpose. Decide on the machines you like most.  You can go for the local sewing machines to get the idea of how the machines you like works.  Make the comparison about the machine you want and the budget before you decide on adjustment or compromises. If you do not know how to use it you may have to pay extra for a local shop to teach you how to use the machine. Or just check our sewing machine reviews topics that will help you choose the best one in the market based on customers reviews and recommendation. You will find also some sewing projects to help you follow a step-by-step plan to create your first piece of art.

Tips to follow while using a sewing machine

Always check your sewing machines before you start with a new project. When you use a slightly bent or a dull needle can lead to poor stitch quality while the needle may break. Always clean the lint and the dust away from the bobbin case before you start every project. Get rid of the nicks within a throat plate when you gently rub the Crocus cloth. This will prevent the abrasion and it reduces the thread breakage.  Use a surge power protector so that you can avoid the cases of having your machine spoilt because of the power surge.  Make sure that your machine is serviced and also cleaned every year.

How to thread a sewing machine

If you have a sewing project at hand and you find a sewing machine for it, then you should know how to thread it. The first step is to wind the bobbin.  You can disengage your needle, get your bobbin out, put on the thread, pull a thread out and start winding your bobbin.  You should then put a bobbin on its bobbin pin, start with a bobbin winder, and finish with winding a bobbin and remove a bobbin.

The second step is to thread the sewing machine. Start by re-engaging a needle, remove some inches of the thread away of a bobbin, put the bobbin in its place and start winding a thread.  You should then pull the thread out, wrap a thread on the take up lever, thread a needle and expose a bobbin thread.

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