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Tuesday Tips with Lindsey Rae!!

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

You girls have asked some awesome questions the last few weeks, please keep them coming!

This week we have a great one from @leannetracey89, so a FREE PDF pattern of choice will be sent to her shortly! She asked about sewing machine needles/presser feet. Should she stick with what comes in the box with the machine or what should she be adding to her stash??

First things first, you don't need to rush out and buy every accessory you find straight away, it's pretty fun but it's also not so good for your pocket and it can become overwhelming.

Instead I think you need to add:

✂️ Sharp/Microtex needles for woven fabric and knit/ball point needles for stretch fabrics. I typically stick to 80/12 because I tend to use Rasant poly/cotton thread and that is the right size needle shank for that size thread. Also the right size for most of your standard All Purpose Threads. The shank size correlates to the thickness of the thread and the hole that the needle creates for the thread to go through. If you are seeing puckers or skipped stitches it may be because your needle is too thick or thin for the type of thread you are using.

✂️I also like to keep a topstitching needle and a denim needle on hand for those thick garments that use thicker topstitch thread and need a sharper point to pierce through the thickness. I have universal needles but they are in-between sharp and ball point. So I find getting the right needle for the project really helps with the stitch quality.

✂️ Extra Machine Feet I use constantly are:

Edge-stitching foot: Used to get perfect topstitching along edges or hems. Has a guide that allows me to follow an edge and move my needle to be exactly the distance I want to be from any edge.

Invisible zipper foot: This is pretty much the only method I use for inserting my zippers. It makes them absolutely perfect every single time because this foot has a pointed nose that pushes the coils out of the way and a channel underneath to hold everything in place.

Walking (dual feed) foot: This foot is perfect when you are sewing knit fabrics or multiple layers together. It has feed dogs on the foot (similar to the ones on your machine) so this means it grabs and pulls the fabric through evenly as you sew. If you find that your fabric moves or shifts as you sew, then this foot could really help you out!

These three are optional accessories that typically don't come with your machine. Please purchase these feet from a shop that knows your machine and brand. Hopefully they also have classes to help get you familiar with your machine and can show you how to use these amazing notions. Not ALL sewing feet fit ALL machines, and I can't tell you the number of times students were sold a "generic" invisible zipper foot and it didn't work on their machine.

Don't over complicate things to start with. Learning to garment sew is a life-long skill that takes time. Walk, don't run. Remember to have fun with it. And check out my video below!

Anymore questions about this give me a shout below. If not, I'll be back with another Tip post and PDF Pattern to give away next week.


Hey y'all!

Welcome to Sew To Grow!
Our mission is to help you build a perfectly fitted handmade wardrobe, so when someone asks where you got your fabulous frock you can confidently say 'I made it!'. To help you on your sewing journey, here you'll find a range of tutorials about sewing techniques, garment fitting, notions and tools, fabric and more!

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