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Sewing Machines - Is it possible to stitch around curves?

(14 Posts)
FlubbaBubba Sat 24-Sep-11 09:55:58

I am fairly new to sewing machines and have a Brother X-5. Just started on some Christmas tree decorations and can hand-sew (hearts), but want to know if it's possible to use the machine to do them instead?

HippyHippopotamus Sat 24-Sep-11 09:59:51

yes! sew slowly, with the needle down

oh and practise on scraps first. you'll start off by doing one stitch, moving fabric a little, doing another stitch etc but with a bit of practise you'll be flying round the corners!

PonceyMcPonce Sat 24-Sep-11 10:00:53

Def possible but unless they are very generous curves you can get a very pinched shape.

Are you using a pattern or making your own? If your own, try one or two, then pDding will give you an idea of how to modify if necessary to get the shape you want.

And turn the fabric for points with needle through the fabric (sorry if teaching to suck eggs)

FlubbaBubba Sat 24-Sep-11 10:13:45

Using my own pattern - the machine only has a pedal so I'll have to learn to be fairy-footed smile

I've got lots of scraps, so will give it a go - would it be best to use a longer or a shorter stitch? I'm assuming the longer ones will give me more time to turn between stitches (and please, Poncey, don't be worried about teaching me to suck eggs with this - basic advice much appreciated!), but the shorter stitches will make 'curves' easier?

pookamoo Sat 24-Sep-11 10:16:25

Even if it just has a pedal you can use the round wheel on the right hand end of the machine to do really slow bits, put the needle up and down etc.

FlubbaBubba Sat 24-Sep-11 10:18:24

If I use the wheel on the right, I presume I'll have to move the fabric along myself? sorry if very stupid questions blush

HippyHippopotamus Sat 24-Sep-11 12:06:43

you'll be moving the fabric yourself anyway ie to ease it round the curve. have a go, but only move the fabric if the needle is down

good luck and report back!

FlubbaBubba Sat 24-Sep-11 12:11:35

Thanks all - will have a go this weekend smile

pookamoo Sat 24-Sep-11 17:54:21

The wheel will make the fabric go along, just really slowly!

FlubbaBubba Tue 27-Sep-11 16:08:55

Hey ladies, just reporting back - first few hearts and snowmen done - and although it's a slow process because of having to do the handwheel thingamy, it's definitely smarter than my hand-stitch. Thanks for the advice. Will post some pics up for you to laugh at blush when I get a mo grin

SP0104 Tue 27-Sep-11 21:41:40

Sew up the edge of the curve, make sure the needle is down in the fabric, lift the foot and turn the fabric a fraction, put the foot down and either sew a few stitches by depressing the pedal or using the manual wheel. The key is to have the needle in the fabric to 'anchor' it while you rotate the fabric.
Practice makes perfect !

Tangle Thu 29-Sep-11 11:19:35

Have you got an old sheet or skirt or shirt - just a reasonably large piece of fabric that you can use for playing around with.

I'm not a fantastic seamstress, but I find the larger the radius of the curve the easier it is to guide the fabric through. So if you can find a bigish bit of scrap fabric, draw a curved line on it (or cut a curved edge) and see if you can sew along it. Do it a few times. Practice adjusting weight on the pedal to control the speed. As you get better, try and follow a tighter curve. Repeat as required...

Unless you're doing really tiny or fiddly things, as long as you can slow the machine down enough with the pedal you shouldn't need to use the wheel for much more than getting the needle in exactly the right place for turning sharp corners.

Re. stitch length, I know it can get all very complicated but the general guide I was given to work too was that the finer/lighter the fabric the thinner the needle and the smaller the stitch. Beyond that, use a few scraps and do a few test runs to make sure you're happy with the result before setting off in earnest.

Alternatively, it sounds like you're getting on fine and making progress so ignore me and keep doing what you're doing grin

FlubbaBubba Thu 29-Sep-11 14:17:15

smile Thanks Tangle - all advice welcome. Ended up using the machine for the hearts (fairly big curves) but the wheel with my little snowmen's arms smile

nickelbabe Sat 01-Oct-11 16:24:31

You know the best thing to do is an exercise we used to have to do in college.

take out the thread and put in an empty bobbin.

draw shapes on pieces of paper.
(we had straight lines, wvy lines, curvy lines, and then spirals)

sew along them.
Because there's no thread in the machine, you're not wasting anything, and you can see exactly what you've done because of the needle holes.

It's a brilliant way of practising different shapes and lines etc.

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