Start with the right machine
The first and most obvious thing is to begin by using the proper sewing machine. Considering that there are many varieties out there, you might be wondering which is the right one. Well, there are those that are specifically suited for beginners, in which they are slightly cheaper, have reduced functionality, and are easier to use.
Basically, they are designed to help you learn quickly by avoiding most of the complexities that make up some of the pro sewing machines.
Have the right tools
Apart from a sewing machine, there are certain tools that you must have before jumping head on to create your first project.
Flatten your fabrics beforehand
To make it easier to stitch, always straighten your fabric before stitching using an iron box. You may opt to do this by simply using your hands, but if the fabric does not cooperate, iron it out. It may seem like a lot of work but trust me, it will simplify your stitching work later on.
Another thing that most beginners get wrong is the speed. We all love doing certain activities quickly so as to move onto the next one, but in sewing, you must be patient at first.
Basically, operating a sewing machine is more or less the same as driving a car. If you go too fast, you have higher chances of crashing. When it comes to sewing, crashing basically means producing misaligned stitches that look unprofessional and very untidy.
This happens because as you put a lot of pressure on the foot pedal, you will most likely lose control of the stitching process as everything will be moving too fast to handle for your beginner self.
With time you might find yourself capable of handling these high stitching speeds but as a beginner, keep it slow.
One important thing that you may want to consider to help you with this is to pick a sewing machine that has speed control settings, in which you can cap the top speed, then increase it with time as you get better. This way, even if you step fully into the throttle, the top speed will not be as high.
Learn to produce neat work
Try to maintain professionalism in your stitching from this early beginner stage, and you can do so by always creating straight stitches and keeping your curved ones neat.
Basically, when doing a straight stitch, always place the edge of your fabric along one of the needle plate lines so as to use it as a guide going forward.
When working on curves, always use both hands (one before and the other after the needle) to guide the fabric steadily. On the other hand, if you want to make a sharp curve for instance along a 90 corner, stop your machine with the needle pinned to the fabric, then turn it while pivoting around the needle.
Match the threads
Sometimes it not really necessary to match the thread color to the fabric you are working on. For instance, black thread can be used to stitch on white leather so as to bring in some contrast.
However, you must always ensure that the spool thread matches with the bobbin thread so that the stitch can be in one uniform color.
If you need to use multiple thread colors in your project, then it is recommended to fill out different bobbins using your differently colored threads so as to avoid rethreading every time.
For optimal performance, always clean your machine regularly. By doing this, you will get rid of the fluff, which may even be the cause of certain unbearable noises that your machine may start producing the more you use it. After use, it is advised to keep the machine covered so as to protect it from dust.
Rethread when things go wrong
Apart from cleaning, another major cause of sewing machine glitches is improper threading. Basically, if you have problems with thread tensioning, jamming or breaking, just rethread the machine. You might be surprised at how effective this is at solving your problems.