In this video, I’ll share three tips that I have for sewing straight and curved lines.
First Tip: Practice seam widths using your presser foot and needle plate as a guide.
A presser foot is a very useful tool for sewing a straight line. The foot I have on my machine in this video has two marked lines in the clear middle section that indicate 1/8″ and 1/4″. If I keep the edge of my fabric following the line then I will have an even seam width. The edge of my foot is 1/2″.
When I am sewing a seam or hem that is bigger than 1/2″, such as 5/8″ or 1″, then I will use the needle plate as a guide. The needle plate has markings to show different widths. Bonus: you can extend the line with a piece of painters tape or a rubber band around the base. Admittedly, I have never done this and haven’t needed to, but it is a good option.
Second Tip: Draw straight and curved lines on paper and stitch along the lines.
This tip may sound so weird. Paper!? Yes, paper. Paper has no flex and you can practice manipulating it without worrying about the movement of fabric.
Draw a few lines and curves. Don’t forget angles too. That helps you practice pivoting for corners. Place the paper under the presser foot and stitch. Follow the lines and adjust as needed. If the curves are tight you can lift the presser foot with the needle down in the paper and pivot the paper slightly to keep it on track.
Third Tip: Practice on plain woven cotton.
Woven cotton is generally very stable and that makes it a good beginner-friendly fabric to learn with. You can make practice hems, organic curved lines, or try writing your name. Practice and experimentation is one of the keys to sewing.
These three tips are a good place to start when you are just beginning. If you have a favorite technique for keeping a straight line or sewing a smooth curve, share your tips in the comments below! It is so fun to learn together.