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When you first learn how to sew, the various terms, tools and variety of sewing machines can be overwhelming. Luckily, when you begin to sew, you also join a vibrant community of experts who are full of experience. Each sewer has his or her own tips and tricks to help you sew more effectively. While sewing advice can range from how to use your first sewing machine to picking the right needle for your project, we compiled a list of some of the best sewing tips for beginners.

Buy a Quality Sewing Machine
One of the most important things you can do when you begin sewing is invest in a high-quality sewing machine. The best sewing machines for beginners have automatic features that help you with common tasks, such as needle threading, cutting or winding the bobbin. Adjustable speeds and the ability to sew using a button or the foot controller also impact a beginner s experience.

While it is tempting to buy a cheap sewing machine until you know if you want to invest in the hobby, you will not have an accurate perception of your skills or how fun sewing can be. If you want to wait to purchase an expensive machine, practice sewing on a family member or friend s machine until you re ready to invest in a high-quality sewing machine.

While the features significantly influence what you can accomplish, you want to find a sewing machine that will last. The best sewing machines have a metal chassis and metal parts, as well as a long warranty that covers the parts of the machine. You will want to find a combination of the features you want with a durable design.

Maintain the Quality of your Machine
You can have a high-quality machine with all the bells and whistles, but if you don t take care of it, the machine will malfunction. You need to clean and oil your machine occasionally. Depending on how much you use it will determine how often you need to clean it. Your sewing machine manual should have instructions for cleaning your machine. As long as the machine is clean and oiled, it will stay in top working order.

Change Needles
You need to change your needles often. Experienced sewers recommend starting each new sewing project with a new needle. By doing so, you ensure that your needle is sharp, and it reduces the risk of damaging your fabric with a dull needle.

While most fabrics work well with a universal needle, occasionally you will want to change the needle to fit the type of fabric you are using. Needles display both the American and European size on them. Delicate fabrics, such as silk or chiffon, require a smaller needle like an American size nine. For medium weight fabrics like flannel or wool, you will want the American size 14 needle. Heavy fabrics, such as denim, require an American size 18 needle. The larger the number on the needle, the more heavy-duty it is. If your needle becomes damaged at any time, you will need to replace it or risk damaging your fabrics.

Use High-Quality Thread
The better quality of the sewing machine, needles, fabric and thread will not only determine how long they will last, but also how well the machine will work. If you use cheap thread, it will likely break often or jam the sewing machine. Not only will cheap thread hurt the machine, but it will also deteriorate the quality of your project.

When choosing which thread to use for your project, use thread that is either the same color or slightly darker than the fabric you are sewing. In the cases where you are sewing two different colored fabrics, use one color for the top thread and another color for the bobbin thread. By doing so, it will give your project a more cohesive look. While most projects simply require quality all-purpose thread, heavy fabrics will need heavy-duty thread.

Wash Your Fabric
Always wash and dry all fabric before sewing with it. By doing so, it preshrinks the fabric, which is important if you are sewing clothing from two or more different materials. Different fabrics shrink at different rates. By washing your fabrics, you will avoid puckering.

You also should learn more about the fabric you are working with before you start sewing. Fabrics behave differently, so if you are working with a type of fabric you have never used before, spend a little time researching tips about how others sewed with it. By doing so, you will learn what needle will work best, how fast you can sew with it, and adjust the machine to fit it.

Press Your Fabric
Always press your fabrics before you begin a sewing project. Pressed fabric ensures that your cuts are accurate when you lay them down on the patterns to cut your fabric. Likewise, it creates a smooth canvas, which is easier to sew on.

Use Your Space
If you have space to spread out, use it. If you have an area to spread out your fabric to cut it, the process will run smoothly. Both a cutting mat and rotary cutter require a large area; however, they make cutting patterns easy. The more space you have for your sewing projects, the better it will go.

Sew Quality Items
If you are going to purchase a quality machine, thread and fabrics, take the time to make quality projects. Always backstitch at the start and finish of every seam. Create beautiful hemlines and double them if necessary. Add decorative topstitches to your garments. Cut the corners of your fabric so that they will lay better, and finish any raw edges with a zigzag stitch.

Sew Tricky Seams
Sewing curved seams can be tricky for a beginner, and most sewing projects have at least some curved edges. The best trick for navigating curved seams is to slow down. It helps to stop after so many stitches and pivot the material. By doing so, you will navigate curves with ease.

Find Your Sewing Style
When you are first learning to sew, try to find simple projects to learn the basics and then you can progress to the more intricate projects. Starting with something that is complicated will only lead to frustration. Also, try to find your own style. While some people insist on using patterns, straight pins and straight edges, others find sewing more enjoyable by creating their own patterns or making it up as they go along. Don t limit yourself to what sewing books say is the correct form. Experiment and most importantly, have fun.

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