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First Steps to Successful Sewing

Now that you've spent time reading your manual and practicing the utility stitches, let's start sewing! Success in any project depends on proper preparation. Follow these essential steps to develop good sewing technique.

1. A dedicated workspace
No matter the size, a workspace just for sewing will help you focus. It will also save time setting up and finding tools.

2. Good lighting
Natural light and various other lights are essential for accurate work. They also help avoid eyestrain and fatigue. A combination of overhead lighting and task lights is ideal. Full spectrum lights can be helpful in allowing you to see the true color of fabrics.

3. Seating at the correct height
Today's portable machines raise the bed of the machine 4"-6" above the worktable. This can result in a cramped posture and shoulder strain while sewing. Your position of your chair should allow your forearms to sit level with the machine bed. An adjustable office chair can help in achieving a comfortable height.

4. Use the correct size and type of needle
The correct choice of needle influences the quality of the stitch formation. If you're unsure of needle size, consult your manual. The ultimate guide for matching needle (and thread) to fabric is Sandra Betzina's book Fabric Savvy. It's worth every penny.

The way we use our hands at the machine is so important to a successful project. Developing correct hand position requires some practice, like any new skill, but will soon become second nature. Working smoothly with the power of the machine is the goal. Place your fabric under the presser foot and SINK THE NEEDLE FIRST. This approach secures the fabric in place with the needle. Then, lower the presser foot. The presser foot has a powerful spring that can push the fabric out of place when lowered. With the needle down first, the fabric remains in place

Hand Position

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