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?
Using my own pattern - the machine only has a pedal so I'll have to learn to be fairy-footed
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?
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 when I get a mo
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 !
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