Sew Straight Seams without Making a Mark

Welcome to Nifty Notions from SewVeryEasy,
my name is Laura. There’s a lot of times we need to draw stitching lines on our fabric, most times going from one corner to another. There is a nifty notion that is called Sew Straight that eliminates the need to draw those lines and it makes our seams straight. Sew Straight is very similar to the template plastic that we would use in quilting, but the lines have already been put on for us. It’s these lines that make the sewing very easy. We get to take this, we put it right on top of the bed of our sewing machine. It comes with four little reusable adhesive pads. We’re going to be able to put them on the back and that’s going to adhere this onto the sewing machine bed without ruining the bed. It’s removable. We’re going to be able to keep these all together so we can use it whenever we need to and store it when we don’t. On one end you’re going to see a little arrow. It’s telling you to align the edge up towards the feed dogs. The larger end where the words are is going to go facing you. The edge of this plastic is going to fit the edge of your plate or right up to the edge of your feed dogs. You’ll be able to use that marking to line up that plastic. I’ve taken the foot off of my machine and I’ve also lowered the feed dogs. That’s going to give me a chance to line it up without the feed dogs being in the way. Put the needle in the down position. The center of that needle will line up with this center line of this plate. I’ll put my ruler in the center of that needle and then my ruler is going to be able to follow that center line, so I know that this is going to be straight. We’re going to put those little adhesive pads on the four corners. Keep the little plastic covers. That way we are going to be able to cover them so they don’t stick on things when we go to store them. In order not to lose, these I just have them stick onto the corner of the pads. That way I always know where they’re at. Once you put those little pads on, you’re going to be able to secure this right on the machine bed. Once it’s stuck on we’re going to be able to use this. I’m going to leave the foot off just to show you how easy it is for this to work. It works great if we’re going to sew long strips together. We want that diagonal seam. In order to do it there are a couple of ways. We need to cut it on the diagonal, match up the edges, and either have that ¼” dog ear come out or trim off the dog ear and then stitch down. Another common way is drawing the line from corner to corner, and then stitch along that line. But, we can do this with no lines drawn at all. The one piece is going to be rightside up. The second long strip is going to go rightside down so the right sides are going to touch. I don’t even trim off the selvages. I overlap so I have a little bit on the one fabric and a little bit on the other fabric hanging out to the edge. I don’t measure it. I can use my eye to see that that’s nice and straight. You can also use the plastic to make sure you’re straight. Take the one edge of the fabric and have it match along the top of the plastic. The next piece I’m going to have the strip following one of these straight lines. Now I know that both of these edges are going to be straight. We would normally have to draw a line from this intersection coming right down through this intersection. That is going to be the stitching line. We’re going to be able to stitch it without drawing it. You can put a couple of pins if you’d like. Twist the long strip so it’s going towards the back of the machine. The bottom piece will be able to line up to one of these straight edges, but even without using those lines you’re boing to be able to stitch. You need to start your needle right in that corner where those two pieces match. Next, this intersection is going to line up with that long center line. Then you’re going to be able to just stitch all the way down. You won’t be looking at that needle going up and down; you’re going to be following this edge. As you stitch you’re just going to have that little V follow that line in the center. You’re going to be able to stitch all the way off, coming to that corner. That is the exact line that you would have drawn; right from one intersection all the way to the next intersection. From here I can just trim it off and give myself a seam allowance. When you’ve trimmed off that seam allowance and you open it up, you have a perfectly straight seam. And we didn’t have to draw any lines. Another seam we often have to draw is when we do snowball blocks. We have the big snowball block with these corner squares, so we need to take time and draw the lines on all of our center blocks so we can stitch from one corner all the way down to the next. But we can do it without having to draw the lines. Start with the needle down so it’s going to be right in that corner. The point of that top square is going to follow that line in the center. As you’re stitching you’re just going to be able to watch this corner and guide it all the way up as the machine is stitching. That will give us that nice straight line without having to draw it. When that’s folded back, the corner is set. The lines also work great for half-square triangles. When we do half-square triangles we need to draw a line from corner to corner and then we’re going to stitch on one side of the line and stitch on the other side of the line, then we cut them apart. Or, we can draw our stitching lines ¼” from the center and follow the stitching lines. But we can stitch both of these lines without having to mark them. We’re going to be able to use those three lines in the center. To stitch one side, we’re going to use the one line. To stitch the other side, we will use the opposite side line. That corner is going to be our point, our guiding line. That point is going to follow one edge. As it follows the one edge, the needle is going to sew ¼” from that center. Following that line all the way up, it’s going to stitch ¼” from that side. Now you can turn it over and use the same line to stitch the other side, or use the other line to stitch. I’m still going to use this corner as a guide. I’m going to follow the second side and i’m going to follow the other line. I’m not looking at the needle at all; I’m just looking at this corner. As I stitch I’m going to be able to follow that point along that line and it’s going to stitch that other seam. From there I’m going to be able to cut it in half because the seams will be ½” apart; each is ¼” from the center. Those lines will help us eliminate having to draw all the lines, and we’re still going to get a nice straight seam. It’s durable, it’s reusable, and it really does help us speed up our sewing and keep those lines straight. 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in the sewing room. Bye for now!