Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 3 - Tuesday: Technique Challenge #2 - Sewing on Paper

For today's technique challenge, we're sharing a few of our top tips for using your sewing machine to stitch on paper. If you love the look of sewing but don't have the patience of hand sewing, this post is for you.

Emily's Tips and Tricks:
  • Unplug your machine! My sewing machine's electrical plug and foot pedal are long-lost, so I do all of my machine sewing with the hand crank. You do have to practice a bit to get better at maintaining control of your paper with just one hand, since the other is working the crank, but you're also way less likely to sew across something you didn't mean to.
  • Move the needle around! Many machines have an option to change the position of the needle. I like to sew around my pages to add a border, and I have my needle in the left-most position to allow me to easily sew closer to the edges of my layouts. Different positions work better for different techniques, so this is something to experiment with.
  • Keep your machine set up and close by! Keeping your machine near you as you work and ready to go at a moment's notice will simply help you to use it more often.

Katie's Tips and Tricks:
  • Stitch around your paper! I like to stitch around paper, especially on my cards. I think it gives the paper more texture and it acts like a border if you go around the edges.
  • Use small amounts of adhesive. If you're going to be gluing a few layers together and then stitching through them, use as little glue as possible. The glue will stick to your needle and make sewing a bit tougher.
  • Be careful! Like the glue, you also need to be careful if you're stitching through something thick. I'm pretty much the queen of broken needles. Go slowly over thick objects like chipboard.
  • Try different stitches or feet! If you've pretty much mastered straight stitches, try doing something different- Most machine can do zigzag stitches, and some machines have other stitches like a blanket stitch or even fancier things. You can also try using other feet. I used a Free Motion foot in the layout below. It allows you to stitch in whatever direction you want, not just forward and back.

Make a project using machine stitching and link it below by July 4th!


  1. Hi there! I wanted to share your sewing tutorial on my blog since I've had lots of questions coming to me lately. I've used this post as a reference a few times. I linked your blog post on my blog today! Thanks so much!! http://spiegelmomscraps.com/more-sewing-on-your-layoutseasy/