Sometimes I wish for the simplest things in life – like sewing a line with your sewing machine and expecting it to be straight. That shouldn’t be too much to ask, right?… wrong. – But fear not! – For today I am going to share with you my tricks to sewing straight seams!
When it doesn’t happen the way you want it to, you have to find ways to make it happen.
Sewing straight and even lines when you’re piecing a quilt or following a sewing pattern is kind of… how can I put it nicely?
Absolutely positively non-negotiable… yeah. Exactly that.
Even the slightest waver of your stitches and you’re suddenly the queen of fudging it to make things right and hoping no-one notices.
Or you just have to come to terms with the fact that this beautiful piece that you dreamed of in the planning stages just isn’t going to perfect. You either have to learn to live with it, or dramatically crumple it up and put it in the corner to collect dust until you have the patience to pull it out again.
I mean, maybe its because I am a mom and therefore I sometimes have the defiant mentality of a toddler, but I am the boss of my quilts… not the other way around. Sometimes there are tantrums too, but that’s a whole different post.
Anyways, today I am going to share with you a few different tricks to sewing straight seams so you won’t have to throw a tantrum yourself!
You’re welcome 🙂
It is worth mentioning that if your fabric cuts are not straight and even… you might as well quit reading now.
How can you judge the straightness of your seams if your fabric is all wonky?
Being able to have a clear guide for your fabric is one of the biggest keys in sewing straight lines.
Here is a fact: Your needle sews a straight line… Always.
It only goes up and down… so the real culprit in your wonky sewing lines is your fabric.
If your fabric is moving around, your lines are going to be off and not straight.
You need to find a way to tame your fabric so you can feed it into your sewing machine correctly.
I have a few helpful suggestions for you!
HOW TO SEW STRAIGHT SEAMS
The first one I’m going to share with you is an invention of my own creation because I got fed up with following the faded and almost nonexistent lines on my sewing machine.
The Straight Sewing Guide
In a quick moment of inspiration, my designer background served me well and I created this Straight Sewing Guide. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this so I made it available to us all!
It is a vinyl sticker that you adhere to your sewing machine. It gives you longer guidelines, allowing you to keep your fabric straight while sewing.
[Notice the front, middle and back guidelines!] –Yes! I love them too!
You can grab your very own Straight Sewing Guide in my shop! Also, I am offering worldwide free shipping for my sewing friends around the globe! 🙂
Another trick that I used for a long time was simple line of Washi-tape.
It may not be fancy, but hey… it did its job. If you’re not yet a fan of washi-tape… it is an amazing low-tack decorative tape that is super popular in the craft circles… just… imagine the possibilities of pretty tape!
I used the washi-tape to to make my 1/4″ seam guide on my sewing machine. This gives you a guideline to keep your fabric aligned to.
Provided your cuts are accurate, your seams will also be straight.
As you can see in the image above, I had to take the tape off every single time I wanted to change out my bobbin thread, but you could just use a craft knife and make a few slits in the tape to make it easier on yourself.
Quarter Inch Machine Foot
This is a little more focused than just a straight seam, but if you’ll notice on the quarter inch foot, there is a little guide that keeps your fabric in check.
As long as your fabric stays nicely aligned with the little guide, you should have beautiful quarter inch seams!
I wrote another post on Mastering the Quarter Inch Seam. It goes into more detail about why you should and also shares some other tips for how you can really be the master of your quarter inch seams!
I hope these Tricks to Sewing Straight Seams help you master it.
You are the boss of your quilt… not the other way around! 🙂