Sewing a Seam and Needle Types
So let's start sewing and so I've got just my plane sewing fabric parasite that my plane fabric here we're going to do a plane seem and to start out we'll put our fabric underneath the presser foot lower the presser foot and then step on the foot controller to begin stitching we're set for straight stitch because when I turn the machine on it just automatically goes to straight stitch it gives me an optimum stitch length on optimum stitch with I don't need to dial that in as I do on a mechanical machine was with mechanical machine every time you change the stitch you done choose the width and length or whatever you're doing on a computerized machine the optimum length and width for every stitch are selected for you and you can actually change it if you want to but the optimum lengthen with are automatically selected so we're ready to go and here we're going to start sewing all right the needle stops in the up position and here's my here's my seem I want to talk about seems and seem all...
owances and and reverse stitching a little so if you're brand new to sewing some of the terminology might be new for you I'm just going to use this as a little pointer this is your seem and this is called your seem allowance and what I often find new sewers doing is they put the fabric into so and they don't know howto guided through the machine so that there's your needle plate this is the silver piece right here is called your needle plate there are markings on it that you can use for reference where to guide the edge of your fabric as you sow so if I put my fabric in here and I wanted in this case a half inch seam allowance I would so with the edge of my fabric there as I stitch I would guide it along that guide if I wanted a five eighths inch inseam allowance, I would move it over where it says five eighths and so on and so on and how you know what to do is usually garment patterns say five eighths inch seam allowance not always but most of the time whatever project you've downloaded from the internet or many of them on our singer website we've got a lot of projects there's always something in there that tells you what seem allowance to use for that project and that's what they're talking about so you would follow that on your needle plate so that you construct the project correctly um I often find that what beginners do is just stare right at the needle and not pay attention to this and the meander around like this and you don't get a nice even stitch so if it helps you at the beginning if it's if you find it a little more difficult, especially when you're brand new to follow the lines on your needle plate, you can get a piece of masking tape or painter tape, and you can mark those right on here so that you've got a little bit more visible line if that helps you keep your fabric lined up nice and even with the edge of the tape. So when we start sewing a seam here, all I did was I just started sewing my straight stitch, but when you're really constructing a garment, you need to lock those stitches at the beginning and end so they don't start unraveling and your garment starts coming undone, so we're going to use our reverse button to do that. So you put your fab fabric under the presser foot and put the presser foot lifter down and then step on the foot controller so a couple stitches forward and then here at the front of your machine, very conveniently located right here in front is it looks like a little you turn that is your reverse button, so hold that in with your finger for as long as you want to sow in reverse, and then you would continue sewing forward again, and when you come to the end of your seem you backup stitches, and so again forward so that you reverse button and um it's also a locking as I mentioned earlier when you do any of your decorative stitches it's actually a locking stitch so if you were to do one of these pretty stitches for example and you before you even get going press that button it does like force this button would do like four stitches to sew in place and then you would proceed with your decorative stitch and then when you're all done, just touch it your reverse button or touch it again to tack off at the end and so it actually on this machine it has dual purposes, so that is your kind of basic sewing and before I move on then I'd like to talk a little bit about how you know you have your machine threaded properly so there's a little test that you can do to know that you've got your threat in all the right places and right now I have threaded my machine as I showed you and we've been sewing and everything great, eh? So what you can do is with the presser foot lifter up it up like it is now you pull this thread and you should feel it pulling really freely through the machine like it is right now I'm just pulling it and it's moving along it's not fighting me at all it's just I feel a little tiny bit of resistance but basically it's moving freely now when I put the presser foot lifter down, I should feel that really tugging like it shouldn't really move it all I should see even see the needle deflecting a little as I pull this thread that tells me that my threat is in my tension and I'm correctly threaded if I have this presser foot lifter down and when I pull this thread if I was able to just pull this thread freely with the presser foot lifter down that tells me I am not threaded into my tension properly and I should actually come back up here to the top of the machine lift this up to make sure the presser foot lifter is up and just completely re thread the machine because something wasn't right that's a perfect indication to know if that presser foot lifter is down and you can pull that thread really freely you didn't get it threaded right? So that's a great little test for you okay? The bobbin thread tension you shouldn't need to adjust it all that's pre set at the factory so you shouldn't need to just do you don't need to do anything with that the here's what you're looking at is a diagram that I made of what a balance stitch looks like and the top diagram I'm gonna walk over to the monitor and show you what you're looking for looking at here so this is what your fabric would look like if you were to blow this up really big, I can't really show you here because I don't think you'd see it well enough it's so small in real life, so this is the top of your fabric and this is the bottom of your fabric, and if you do this at home, if you want to try this at home, it's kind of neat to try it with one color in the needle in another color in the bob, and so you can really see how they relate to one another that helps you understand it a little better. So what you want to see for a nice balance stitch is that the needle thread looks like this on the top. The bob and thread looks like this on the bottom it's nice and even nice, and even the stitches air kind of locking right here in between the fabrics that's a nice balance stitch if they're needle thread tension is too tight what you'll probably see is your needle thread looking like a straight line on the top side of the fabric looks pretty normal on the bottom side, but actually the needle thread is really tighten its pulling the bobbin thread up to the top side too much, and it'll almost feel like little beads under your finger when you run your finger of it and the needle thread will be like, almost like a straight line. You could probably even take the needle thread and pull it right out if it's too tight. So in that case, you gonna turn your attention to a lower number? Um, here is an example of your needle thread tension being too loose looks pretty normal on the top side when you go to the bottom side, the needle threat is even just showing too much on the underside for a balance stitch for garment construction. This would not be a good stitch because you you could go on the underside and probably pull that bob and threat out. These aren't balanced. So you what you want your stitches to look like? Is this the tension settings will vary from machine excuse me from fabric to fabric and thread to thread, depending on what thread you're using, what needle you're using and what fabric you're sowing and your tension. Your attention dial is up here, a the top of the machine, and you can increase your tension or decrease your tension by just turning this dial usually doesn't need a big turn. You just have to try it a little bit to see a big difference. There's a little setting range in here called auto and for most of your sewing, nearly all you're selling, you can just leave it in that range, you change it for maybe really thick threads you're working on in the case of, like I want to do machine basting. Well, I want to deliberately lose thread so that I can pull it to do gathering like for the top of an apron or something, then I might loosen the tension, but generally you just leave it said it auto for most of your sewing. So then let's talk a little bit about needles since we mentioned needle thread, tension, let's talk about needles. So here I have some examples I'm just gonna grab this over here the side of my table, and I'm going to show you some examples of why you would used there that there are actually different types of needles for different types of fabric, and when you know to use which so we have, they're generally here's a case where we were just talking about how you would adjust this for decorative machine stitching you actually do want the upper thread a little looser. You can see how that needle thread is kind of showing a little bit on the bottom side because I'm using a decorative zigzag in this case. I don't want the bobbin thread showing at all in the top side, so you might loosen your upper thread tension just a little bit so that it relaxes at upper thread to go to the bottom side, but when you want them locking perfectly is for, like, your construction straight stitch so like, again, it depends on what you're doing. What you see here is where my top thread actually looks great, but the bottom threat is really, really, really loopy, and at one point or another, we've all had that happen to us, and that is, as I mentioned earlier, an example of not threading the upper thread correctly. Um, when you that often happens when you've left the presser foot lifter down, you've done everything you followed, all your thread guides, you swear you did it correctly, but if you had this down, it didn't go in the tension. And as crazy as it sounds, you think that that means the top side would look weird, but what happens is the the thread nesting actually happens on the underside of the fabric. So you want to clip your thread, lift the presser foot lifter, and if you're seeing that happen, you want to re thread the machine, and that will almost in every case. Go away and there are a lot of different needles out there there's you know, twin needles and him stitching needles and sharp needles and ballpoint needles and so on and we're going to just start off by talking about the most basic styles and if we have time today I will take you through some of the more specialty needles so because some of them worked with some of the stitches that aaron your machine to give you really need decorative effects will get us far as we can today with the time that we have to start out with I have here some woven fabrics and what you would use for your woven fabric are your regular point needles regular point needles our style twenty twenty and they're for woven fabric you can also use a style two thousand which is a chromium needle both of these are meant for woven fabrics and what we mean by woven fabric are things like here have just cut some squares of some different examples but I think you'll understand the trend here is it has a warp in a weft thread in the we've of the fabric so this is a cotton velvet this's a cotton silk this is a dress wait uh wool nice lightweight wool I know it's kind of hard to tell what he's really are because they're solids but this is a lightweight wool here's a couple of different silk ese this is a flannel metallic this is a marbled print on a quilting cotton here's a doobie oniy silk our love working with silk love silk and this is a patio furniture kind of fabric and outdoor outdoor type of fabric this is burlap and here's denham so these are examples of it's not an exhaustive list but it's examples of woven fabrics for which you would use a style twenty twenty or start two thousand needle. Now the point if you look at the diagram that we had just put up the point of the needle on the left is a little sharper then the ballpoint needle which is in the center the center picture s o the appointed needle pierces through the weave of the woven fabrics now what's different about the ballpoint needle which is the one that's in the middle there the ballpoint needle is a ballpoint kind like you think like a ballpoint pen of course it's not that big but it's got a ball a little tiny tiny tiny bold point and what you use those for is on your stretchy or knit fabrics that would be a style twenty forty five which says on the package knit fabrics the packages for needles look different different you know, maybe this is kind of fairly new style packaging some places you shop it might look a little different but basically what you want to look for us twenty twenty or two thousand for the woman's and then the twenty, forty five or two thousand one for the chromium version of this for your knit fabrics and so you're knit. Fabrics would be things like here I have a stretch velvet this is a heather dh sort of ah sort of t shirt fabric you can see the stretch and that this is a ponti knit very popular in the fall for it so it's a very nice, stable knit that you see charles there's skirts, dresses even made out of that it's, beautiful and it's nice and firm. This is a very popular fabric that baby blankets are made from those air available. It fabric stores pretty much everywhere. Here's a spandex excuse me, swimsuit fabric has four ways stretched definitely want a ballpoint needle for that. Here is a type of rib and here's, a polar fleece or sweatshirt fleece. So any of these are examples of what you would use a ball point needle for what I have down below. Here. This is one of those specialty needles I was talking about, and that would be the leather needle. Here isn't a package that gives you an example of leather needle and leather needles here I've got a this is actually a really skin that I have, and this is a vinyl and oilcloth very popular for, like, lunch bionic to make cosmetic bags out of these but lunch bags for back to school, and so on. Um, here's a pleather and other vinyls, these are all examples of what you'd use a leather needle for the leather needle has a larger I in it to accommodate the thicker threads that you would so these with probably but it's got a wedge point needle, so there are a wedge point on the needle so that it makes a nice, clean slice into the weather, as opposed to the hole that a regular needle make. And to that point, I guess no pun intended. Um, I also want to talk about the sizes of needles because here we just talked about how the styles are different, but there are actually different sizes of needles, and so what you'll see here is it says eighty eleven, ninety, fourteen, one hundred and then slash sixteen and as you go from smaller toe larger, the smaller need smaller number is a smaller needle. The as you go higher, the needles get bigger or thicker, so what they're what it is is they're stronger to accommodate the different weights of fabric if you're stitching something like a cotton batiste. Or a silky of some kind, you might use a size eleven it's going to make a much smaller hole in the fabric. You wouldn't want a big size sixteen that I use for jeans on a silky because it'll leave holes in the fabric, so if you think about it, it just kind of makes sense and it's pretty easy to remember, because it's it seems to be following a basic rule of thumb that the smaller needles there for the finer fabrics, the medium needles air for your medium weight fabrics and the bigger needles are for your thicker fabrics so you can get the various sizes for the style of the needle that you are looking for. So the reason I bring that up to is because you also want to marry your threads with the correct needle, and what I mean by that is when you so, um, let's say you're sewing with a very fine needle and you have a very thick thread and I'll talk about threads in just a moment. It probably won't even feed through the eye of the needle, or if it's, your your threads should flow freely through the eye if it resists you and all your thread is not going to so it's not going to feed properly through the needles, so you'll want to change to a bigger needle. Or if that's the right needle for your fabric, you're going to want to bring you the weight of your threat down a little bit um, when you have a really large needle in here and you'll want to use a heavier thread that accommodates that if you put a very, very fine wait thread like let's, say a lingerie wait thread or are fine cotton thread and you have a heavy duty needle in here, you might find that you're getting skipped stitches. So again, it's just kind of a general rule of thumb that the lighter weight threads, lighter weight needles, lighter weight fabrics and it just kind of fits together. So you want to just pay attention to that as as you're making your selections when you so ok, I have one quick question that had come in from a user. What is the difference in a chromium needle? Did you yeah, there there they're a special kind of coded needle that they're able to withstand higher speeds, and they last a little longer, so you could probably go without changing those as often there just a little bit stronger than the regular twenty twenty. Both work. Finding your machine. Great, yeah, but that's basically the difference. We use those a lot, particularly that's, pretty much the needle we recommend for machine embroidery. If you having a greater in machine because it was run constantly at, like, a high speed, and they're doing a big embroidery project and chromium neil's are really good for those, but you can use them on your machine as well. You just don't have to change them is often.