follow us on Pinterest like us on Facebook follow us on Twitter    
  home  >  sewing center   >  sewing lessons   >  sewing book  >  chapter 5

beginning sewing

pinterest tell a friend

Table of Contents

Chapter Five: Setting Up Your Sewing Machine

Chapter 5 Page 2  Continue to Chapter 5 page 3


Ready to purchase a new machine? Read our article: Choose A Sewing Machine  for a review of sewing machine features before purchasing a machine.

satin stitch machine embroidery Stitch Length And Width
Stitch length refers to how long each individual stitch is. 

Regular   11 - 12 stitches per inch

Basting    6 stitches per inch (a longer stitch means fewer stiches per inch)

Gathering  6 - 8 stitches per inch 

Generally, heavier fabrics work best with a longer stitch length, and finer fabrics are best with a shorter stitch length. Proper stitch length is important and is a first place to start if you do not like the look of your stitching. For example, a slightly puckered seam in the fine fabric could be caused from too long of a stitch length - the feed dogs are feeding too much fabric through each stitch, making a puckered look. To correct this, a shorter stitch length should be used (also check tension - more on this later). 

Remember that the higher number of stitches per inch translates to a short, tighter stitch. High number - short stitch; low number - long stitch.

sewing machine stitches Stitch width refers to how wide the stitch is; width is created by a back and forth movement of the needle as the feed dogs feed the fabric through. A regular straight stitch has no width, but a zig-zag or decorative stitch can be set to any number of widths.

Choice Of Needle
There are many different sizes of needles available. Also, needles are either sharp, or ball point. Ball point needles are used when sewing knits and sharp needles are for other non-stretch fabrics (sharp needles can tear a knit). 

Refer to the following table for a general idea, and the Refer to the Thread and Needle chart for more detail.

Small Ball Point: single knit or tricot (stretch fabric)

Heavy or medium Ball Point: double knit (stretch fabric)

Sharp Needles: woven, non-stretch fabrics, such as calicos, muslin, percales, broadcloth, linen

Wedge Point: very heavy fabrics – has a tiny blade that cuts its way through the fabric.

Continue to Chapter 5 page 3

I rely on advertising to keep this site free, so please "share" pages with friends. Use Pinterest, Facebook, and email buttons at top of page.

Pattern featured on this page: Christmas Wall Hanging Using Machine Satin Stitch

Thank you! Relax, get ready, SEW! - Christina Sherrod

Index & Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Fabric, Notions, Pattern & Thread
Chapter 3: Pattern Instructions
Chapter 4: Tools, Layout & Cutting
Chapter 5: Set Up Sewing Machine
Chapter 6: Now We're Sewing - Terms & Techniques
Chapter 7: Pockets
Chapter 8: Zippers & Buttonholes
Chapter 9: Sleeve Installation
Chapter 10: Darts & Pleats
Needle & Thread Chart

All Patterns, images and instructions are copyright protected.
Please read our Terms & Conditions before using our patterns.

craft patterns
craft accessory patterns
Stitch Glossary
free sewing lessons
Sewing Lessons