How To Sew Larger Projects

Sewing TableWorking on larger projects can be quite tedious and time consuming, especially if you don’t have the proper equipment. Whether you choose to sew by hand or with a machine, larger projects do demand quite a lot of precision, attention, time and effort. To facilitate things, however, it is important to have the necessary equipment and accessories. If you do not invest in the proper equipment, you might find yourself constantly having to fold and refold your fabric during the entire sewing process. Similarly, not having the proper equipment can result in continuous snags and snares.

Invest in the proper machine

If you plan on working with larger pieces of fabrics, it is essential to invest in a sewing machine with a larger working surface. If you have a limited space, you will be glad to learn that some sewing machines come with extension tables that can be opened up during the sewing process and folded up for storage. Additionally, heavy-duty sewing machines also include wider built-in surfaces that are ideal for both embroidery and quilting. However, users should note that such apparatuses are often more expensive than regular ones.

Choose the proper fabric

Larger sewing projects are complicated enough without the added complication of delicate or overly-stretchy fabrics. If you are working on tapestries, for example, it would be best to go for a more responsive piece of fabric such as cotton or linen. Avoid wool, napped fabrics and other types of knits since they can easily lose their shape. If you want, it is possible to work on ticker fabrics like denim or leather but in these cases, it is important to invest in a proper heavy-duty machine with a proper needle that will easily pierce through the fabric.

Iron and pressing surfaces

If you want to benefit from professional results, it is crucial to take the time to iron the fabric before you start working on it. This will ensure that you get rid of all the wrinkles before use. In fact, professional sewers actually iron their fabrics after each stage of the sewing process. For example, it is recommended to iron down the hems after pinning, hence ensuring that your fabric slides more smoothly across the plate. While it’s not a bad idea to keep your ironing surface next to your sewing surface, this is not compulsory- especially if you’ve got limited space. Users can easily purchase a small and inexpensive sleeve board for this purpose.

Sewing Machine Buying Guide

Sewing MachineWhile it is entirely possible to make a wide variety of items by hand, a machine will undoubtedly help you finish the same project in half the time and with minimal effort. Recommended to just about any sewer, sewing machines also have the advantage of being extremely affordable and user-friendly. Contemporary machines even come with instructions printed on the side to guide beginners through the various steps. With a sewing machine, you can even work with different types of seams such as lapped, flat, French, plain, curved or abutted seams.

Sewing machines are also extremely handy when it comes to dress-making and evening wear since these normally include wider work surfaces that enable you to easily manipulate your fabric. As far as the cost is concerned, these apparatuses come in various price ranges and you basically get what you pay for. While some apparatuses are packed with features, basic and inexpensive sewing machines tend to be more straightforward. Purchasing a sewing machine can be something of a dilemma for new users since there are quite a lot of models for you to choose from.

Compare models according to your spending limit

The first thing that you should do before shopping for a sewing machine for beginners is to set a spending limit- and stick to it. This will prevent you from making unnecessary expenses by investing in a machine that will be too complicated or too basic for you to use on a regular basis. Bear in mind that sewing machines can cost anything between $50 and $8000, which once again highlights the importance of setting a strict budget.

Don’t hesitate to compare models before you invest in a machine either: the internet is full of detailed reviews of different apparatuses, hence enabling you to make the very best choice according to your needs, expectations and budget.

Do you plan on using the machine on a regular basis?

It is equally important to consider the number of times you plan on using the machine. All motors are different and overworking a rather feeble motor can have dire consequences. Therefore, if you plan on using your apparatus on a regular basis, it might be best to purchase a more expensive albeit powerful machine that will run smoothly, regardless of how often you use it. By the same token, if you plan on using your sewing machine on an occasional basis, don’t worry about spending a lot: you can easily purchase a relatively inexpensive but basic machine that can sustain some light work.

What will you use the machine for?

This is another urgent point to consider: instead of recklessly launching yourself into any purchase, do take the time to make a list of projects that you plan on making with the machine. Lighter projects only require compact or even mobile sewing machines. On the other hand, bulkier projects such as curtains, evening wear and bedding require far larger apparatuses. These do cost more than smaller machines but they also come with wider work areas to provide you with a comfortable sewing experience. If you have a limited work area to work with, you will be glad to learn that you can purchase a sewing machine with an extension table to save up on space.

What features do you want?

Sewing machines come with a wide variety of features which you can choose according to your needs. For example, some apparatuses come with several types of built-in stitches, specialty feet, digital features or programmable stitches. Be sure to select these features according to your level of expertise.

Hand Sewing: An Overview

hand sewingEven experienced machine sewers occasionally need to resort to . Indeed, this type of sewing has been used for centuries to make a wide variety of items such as clothing, tapestries, bedsheets, towels, couch covers and the likes. It would be true to say that sewing machines are undeniably faster and provide more even stitches, there are some kind of sewing that demand manual work. For example, it is always recommended to sew more delicate items like sleeves, cuffs, hems and other such projects. Hand sewing is also far less expensive than investing in a sewing machine. Hand sewing doesn’t require a lot of experience but you do need to familiarize yourself with a few basic steps before you start.

Threading the needle

This is the one step that everyone seems to have issues with, regardless of how experienced they are. While sewing machines have automatic needle threaders, anyone who sews by hand is faced with this tedious task. A particularly handy tip when hand sewing is to cut your thread at a diagonal angle. It is also advisable to hold up the needle against a white background for a better visual. You can also buy a hand needle threader to render this task far easier for you.

Tangle free sewing

It is admittedly harder to avoid tangles when you’re hand-sewing. However, there are some steps that you can adopt to render your sewing far smoother. For example, it is recommended to keep your thread at around 45.5cm or lower to ensure that your thread doesn’t tangle up. It’s also not a bad idea to smear a tiny amount of beeswax across the thread, hence rendering it far slicker and smoother.

Carefully choose your stitch type

It is also important to carefully consider the type of the stitch that you want to adopt when sewing by hand. For example, the most common type of hand stitch is the blind stitch. Ideal or bulky fabrics like denim or stretchy fabrics like knit, this type of stitch is entirely invisible from the outside. Hence, you can be sure that you’ll benefit from quite a smooth fabric with very little to no puckering. If you’re a beginner, it is best to practice blind stitches on cotton fabrics. Another popular type of stitch for hand sewing is the catch-stitch. Ideal for hemming this type of stitch works best when used on softer fabrics.

Best Juki Sewing Machines

First established in December 1983 in Tokyo, Juki is now known as one of the best sewing manufacturers. With a firm international presence on the home appliance market, Juki is also reputed for the exceptional quality of its sewing machines. From industrial to residential sewing machines, this company is committed to quality as well as efficiency. Since this company provides such an extended array of machines, making the right choice can be hard. So, to assist you in your choice, here are some of the best Juki sewing machines on the market.

JUKI TL-2000QiJUKI TL-2000Qi

The JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine is a professional grade machine that costs between $700 and $800. While it may be on the more expensive side, this particular piece of equipment is ideal for users of various levels of expertise. In fact, this sewing machine is reputed for its exceptionally solid build which means that you can use it on an everyday basis. The aluminum surface is very resistant to scratches, as is the heavy-duty motor. Users will be glad to learn that the machine also includes LED lights to help you work at night. Ideal for heavier and larger expanses of fabrics, the machine also comes with a far wider extension work table, thanks to which you can avoid continuously folding and refolding the fabrics. The 1500 SPM is ideal for home decoration as well as quilting apparel.

Juki HZL-K65Juki HZL-K65

The Juki HZL-K65 costs between $200 and $300 and has an impressive 4.5 star rating on most major sites. This particular machine is ideal for beginners since it is so exceptionally easy to manipulate. For example, it comes with a color-indicted Start/Stop button to guide beginners through the initial sewing steps. Thanks to its Free Arm feature, sewers will be able to work on more delicate work such as collars, cuffs, hems, sleeves and the likes. The sewing machine can also easily sew a lock stitch both at the end and the beginning of your sewing. It also comes with automatic buttonholes that sew the buttonholes according to the size of each individual button. Users will also be able to make the most out of the Drop-In Bobbin system as well as a handy Drop Feed system for Free Motion Quilting.

Juki TL-2010Q

Juki TL-2010QWith a five-star rating on most sites, the Juki TL-2010Q Long-Arm Sewing & Quilting Machine costs between $1000 and $2000. Ideal for larger project such as quilting and embroidery, this machine also has a powerful motor that enables you to work for longer hours with virtually no wear and tear. This machine has a throat area of 8.5 x 5.9 inches. With this apparatus, users can even benefit from a sliding speed control as well as a One Pedal foot control which will certainly come in handy to users who have no prior experience with sewing before. The boxed packaging also includes an auxiliary table that measures 590mm x 277mm. With an impressive stitch speed of 1500 per minute, the apparatus also includes an LED light for users who want to sew at night.

Hand versus Machine Sewing

If you’re an experienced sewer, you will certainly alternate between hand versus machine sewing at some point in your sewing. While both types of sewing have their own sets of pros and cons, some users do tend to find a technique that the like and stick with it. Traditional sewers, for example, will often choose to go for hand sewing. While this provide more precise stitches, it is also undeniably time consuming. On the other hand, machine sewing is faster but can be more expensive and complicated for anyone without any prior sewing experience.

To help you easily decide which technique is best for you, here is an overview of both hand and sewing machine.

Hand Sewing

Hand sewing is recommended to more delicate projects such as and kerchiefs, basic embroidery, sleeves, collars and the likes. While it is undoubtedly time consuming, sewing by hand will provide you with far more precise stitches- something that can be quite advantageous for projects such as monogramming. Since it is quite easy to master, hand sewing is also recommended to beginners. On the other hand, it can be extremely tedious, which means that beginners risk leaving their projects incomplete. To indulge in hand sewing, you will also require pins, thread, needles and other similar accessories.

Machine sewing

If you can afford to splurge, it’s always a good idea to invest in a good quality sewing machine. If you’re on a limited budget, you will be glad to learn that the market does offer quite a few basic accessories which you can afford on a budget. Sewing machines do provide you with a wide variety of options for different types of projects such as quilting, embroidery, regular sewing, monograming and the likes. The main advantage with sewing machines is that they enable you to finish your project in just a few days instead of weeks. Sewing machines often come with wide work tables or extension tables to help you work with larger projects. Most apparatuses also include different accessories like presser or zipper feet spare needles and the likes. Readily available in both online and offline shops, sewing machines also come in different sizes, from compact to extra-large industrial ones.

On the other hand, sewing machines can be on the expensive side, especially if you’re an experienced sewer looking for something more sophisticated. Computerized sewing machines can be harder to master, particularly for beginners.

Sewing machines: What are the best brands?

Investing in a sewing machine is always something of a challenge if you’ve never owned one before. However, while it may initially appear rather complicated to the untrained eye, a sewing machine is actually quite a useful and straightforward tool. With this apparatus, you can make a plethora of items from home decorating accents to clothes and other similar items. In fact, several people even use sewing machines to launch their own home-based business. Thankfully, the market is brimming with a wide plethora of brand names, which means that you will be able to make an educated choice based on your personal preferences, budget and features.

Before choosing a sewing machine, though, it’s important to remember that you need to take your needs into consideration. For example, if you plan on using the machine on a daily basis for heavy-duty use, you will be glad to learn that the majority of brand names do cater to everyday use. Most of these brands also enable you to shop both online and offline, hence allowing you to purchase your apparatus without even stepping out of your front door.

Here are three of the best brands on the market.

Janome

JanomeOften hailed as the first company to develop a computerized apparatus for home use, Janome is among the better-known brands on the market. This company was also the first to add an option for embroidery in home-based sewing machines. Janome apparatuses are also reputed for their extended range of features that also include machines such as the Horizon Memory Craft 8900Q: this particular piece of equipment includes no less than 11 inches of arm space, high resolution touch screen as well as a jog dial control. With this company, customers can even benefit from solid warranties.

Brother

brotherEstablished I948, Brother Machines is known for its solid customer support as well as the excellent quality of their machines. Indeed, these machines have been known to easily last for several decades- if not for live- as long as you take proper care of it. The Brother LX25 Sewing Machine, for example, is packed with a wide plethora of features such as 4 step buttonholes, 25 built-in stitches as well as a top load bobbin. Perfect for home use, this apparatus has a solid metal casing for everyday use. Brother machines are also quite easy to set up, regardless of your level of experience.

Singer

singerFounded in 1851, Singer machines have manufactured the world’s very firs electronic as well as zig-zag sewing machines. Extremely easy to clean, Singer sewing machines are ideal for quilting, embroidery as well as clothing construction. The brand new EM200, for example, includes a variety of options such as a larger-than-average sewing area as well as 6 alphabet options. With this machine, sewers can also benefit from 200 embroidery designs as well as a handy LCD touch screen to help you move between the different options. Best of all, you can even benefit from a USB stick embroidery design transfer option.