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I'm attempting to teach myself to sew and it's not going well.

(45 Posts)
PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:06:00

As the title really.
I treated myself to a sewing machine, it was about a £100 entry level one.
But I'm crap. Seriously crap.
I bought some cotton shirts from oxfam to practice just stitching lines on and no matter what I do I get the fabric bundled up in the metal but under the needle, please tell me what I'm doing wrong! I've had to cut lots of bits of fabric out and what I thought would be a nice hobby is getting me stressed!

HeadDreamer Mon 20-Jun-16 21:08:12

Maybe you haven't threaded your machine correctly? Do you have a seeing group around you? Or a friend who can show you how to thread it?

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:09:49

I've threaded and unthreaded it about 50 times 😄 Have got a beginners seeing book and watched umpteen YouTube videos! I went to the haberdashery down the road and the woman in there didn't sew!

Thistly Mon 20-Jun-16 21:10:35

It's not you, it's the machine. Don't write yourself off yet. Try hand sewing first?

simplydivine05 Mon 20-Jun-16 21:11:01

Are you starting with just cotton? Other fabrics of different weights are harder to sew with and require different needles, tension and even feet. Is your machine set up how the manufacturer recommends it for tension?
I would recommend getting just scraps of fabric to practise with for now.

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:12:52

Yeah I've got bog standard cotton. I think I'm just going to have to dismantle it all tomorrow and start from scratch.
I've got a week off work and it will not win me, I will sew two bits of material together!

Katymac Mon 20-Jun-16 21:19:18

OK which sewing machine is it? Are you using a video or a manual?

Which bobbins are you using (I had a total disaster using the wrong shape for my machine)

TeaPleaseLouise Mon 20-Jun-16 21:19:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GingerAndTheBiscuits Mon 20-Jun-16 21:21:28

Best thing I did was book a one day beginners workshop - it went through the various bits of the machine, threading, stitch selection, etc and in the course of the day we made a small bag with a button, so had lots of opportunity for practicing the basics. Our local haberdashery did them but some adult education centres might run similar, or if you're near an Abakhan fabric I think they do too. After that I just played about and then got brave and threw myself at the mercy of a couple of patterns

Acopyofacopy Mon 20-Jun-16 21:21:38

Where did you buy the machine? Thus should not be happening, is it under warranty?

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:21:47

Bobbins are the ones that came with it, I shall take them to the shop and purchase any and every alternative tomorrow.
I was gently, in my eyes, guiding it through.

Katymac Mon 20-Jun-16 21:23:47

If you lift the foot up and start an inch or tow in does it still happen

If it's the bobbins you got with it they should be OK

RatherBeIndoors Mon 20-Jun-16 21:25:25

Is the thread the same in the bobbin and the main reel, and a decent quality thread? Is the needle new? You sound confident in the threading - problems are often caused by mis-threading rather than tension, but hopefully you're avoiding both grin

Your description sounds like the material is getting snagged in the teeth underneath, is that right? When you put the fabric in, lift up your presser foot, and put the fabric underneath. Make sure you are starting with the fabric not too far forward - it should stick out a cm or two behind the presser foot when you put that down. Start sewing forwards, slowly, and see how you get on.

Come back and tell us if that helps, or whether we need to keep thinking!

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:26:13

Yep, it's happened every time apart from two 6 inch lines of stitching I've done. Which I'm very proud of 😄
It's definitely me and not the machine, I was shit at sewing at school. I think the advice about booking myself a beginners class is something I definitely need to do!

bookbook Mon 20-Jun-16 21:26:17

Does the plate underneath the foot have teeth ? If so check your manual as you can change the setting of how much it 'grips' ( helps with different weights/types of material) - it may be you need to alter the setting. If you do have them , they should move up and down. If the material is bunching, it is probably set too high . Does that make sense?

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:27:57

I've not changed the needle it came with, I shall try that! I just assumed that the one was fitted would be sharp.

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:29:29

In going to try all these suggestions tomorrow and let you know, I've had two glasses of wine just now, so if I give it a go now I'll end up sewing myself to the bloody thing!

TeaPleaseLouise Mon 20-Jun-16 21:42:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:44:43

Yeah it was a big decision. I wanted something for beginners that also wasn't shit.
I used various websites and it was unanimously rated as good for beginners/home sewing projects, which is why I think it's me and not the machine!

TeaPleaseLouise Mon 20-Jun-16 21:49:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 21:51:23

No worries, I think I've been clutching at straws by thinking it was the machine and not its operator!

Katymac Mon 20-Jun-16 22:13:38

If you look I had a total nightmare with an overlocker last week - I followed the video religiously but in the end I had threaded it wrong there was a tiny bit I couldn't see until it was pointed out

So don't blame yourself they can make it tricky

elephantoverthehill Mon 20-Jun-16 22:29:14

I'm sorry if this sounds condescending, it is not intended as such. I teach Textiles to secondary school students and the error that comes up time and time again is that the students forget to lower the presser foot. Does the machine sound right or is it making a bad noise? The technician and I can hear it from 50 paces. smile. What type of machine is it?

PeachyStone Mon 20-Jun-16 22:44:21

It's not condescending at all! It's all really helpful!
I've always had the presser foot down, so that its in contact with the top side of the material.
It seems to be making a happy humming noise and then it all gets bunched up and jams it. I have the feeling I'm putting the material through too quickly. It's a singer 2250.

elephantoverthehill Mon 20-Jun-16 22:52:52

As was mentioned up thread, guide the fabric through, don't pull it through the teeth dogs do that. Have you got one hand in front and one to the side? don't pull at the back. The other thing is to make sure the bobbin is facing the right way up. Thread usually needs to go to the left, but all machines are a bit different.

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