Sew Images - Located at 4172 Piedmont Ave in Oakland, CA

Learn Sewing Techniques - Tips and Tricks

There hasn’t been a time in history when sewing was more exciting than it is today. There are more tools, accessories, thread, stabilizers, needles and other related sewing information to use than ever before and the list is growing. In this section, Sew Images will help give you tips and some tricks to make your sewing easier, fun, and less complicated. Visiting this page will give you ideas, motivation, and knowledge to make your creation a success.


Wondering about which needle to use? Wonder no more because there's an App for That! That's right . . . and it's free! My favorite feature is the section called Needles by Fabric Type. Just click one of over 80 fabrics and a SCHMETZ needle type will be suggested. Get an overview of the SCHMETZ App by viewing Sara's Heirloom Creations video on my November 12, 2013 blog post. CLICK HERE



SCHMETZ Hemstitch Needles

The Hemstitch needle is an odd looking needle. It has two little wings on each side of the needle. This needle is commonly used on light to medium weight loosely woven fabrics found in heirloom sewing and decorative cutwork. Multi-media quilters also like the unique stitch. This needle is wide, so make sure to switch out the single hole foot. By the way, the Hemstitch needle is also known as a Wing needle. Available in sizes 100/16 (#1772), 120/19 (#1787) and a Twin (#1773).

The Twin version is actually a combination of two different needles mounted on a cross-bar on a single shank: a Universal needle and a Hemstitch with a 2.5mm separation between the two needles.


The 10-Step Guide to Get Rid of Back Pain While Sewing

  1. Sit up straight.
  2. Don't bend your wrists.
  3. Relax your shoulders.
  4. Sit in front of the needle while sewing.
  5. Sit in a multi-adjustable chair.
  6. Position the foot control at a comfortable angle (do not extend your knee).
  7. Have plenty of light at and around your sewing machine.
  8. Use a table designed to hold your sewing machine. The kitchen table, or desk is too high for sewing.

Walking or even feed foot

Walking Even Feed Foot Sewing Oakland(Pictured above: Left - Bernina Dual Feed Walking Foot, Right - Baby Lock Even feed/Walking Foot)

No matter what you call this accessory for your sewing machine, it’s more valuable than gold. Try sewing Velvet, Corduroy, or slippery fabrics without it. You will get excellent performance with quilt sandwiches, matching stripes and plaids. This foot keeps your top and bottom fabric together while sewing. No self respecting sewing room should be without one.


Effects of Using Canned Air for Machine Cleaning

When using compressed/canned air to clean your sewing machine, where does all the lint go? The hook area might be free of lint, but most debris ends up deep inside the machine. The lint accumulation over time could negatively impact the performance of the machine.

As you can see in the photo below, the hook area is perfectly clean and on the right side with the covers removed the lint is packed in.


An alternative to a lint brush or compressed air is a vacuum cleaner attachment kit that is used for cleaning computer keyboards


Using the cleaning brush provided by the manufacturer, or the vacuum attachment is effective for the consumer to use between annual service visits.


Fabric flagging


· Flagging of the fabric especially light weight and elastic type fabrics can cause a disturbance of the needle loop.

· A standard needle plate with a large stitch hole might not be able to support the light weight fabric.

· If a wrong foot, such as an applique foot is used, flagging cannot be prevented.



· Use the appropriate needle for the fabric (usually smaller, use a coated needle to reduce the friction between needle and the fabric)

· If possible select a needle plate with a smaller opening i.e. straight stitch plate if the sewing tasks permits

· Use a standard presser foot or even a straight stitch foot

· Stabilize the fabric with wash away stabilizer

· Adjust the presser foot pressure to hold down the fabric sufficiently

In summary, quality sewing machines are designed to stay in timing and balance, and only in rare instances do we see that machines are out of timing. If a machine skips stitches, frays and breaks thread, has a bad tension etc. remember 80% of the time the issues is not caused by the machine. Most sewing and embroidery issues can be resolved by simply consider the three points: TNT Threading, Needle and Tensions.




Sew Images is located at 4172 Piedmont Ave in Oakland, CA. TEL: (510) 601-8739