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How to Sew a Straight Seam

You can learn to confidently and accurately sew a straight seam.


  • Step 1: Align the fabric to be hemmed and pin it in place. Align any notches, dots, or other pattern markings when pinning the pieces together.
  • TIP: Placing pins perpendicular to the fabric edge about two inches apart will help to keep your fabric in place when sewing.
  • Step 2: To determine seam allowance, measure the distance on the needle plate from the needle to the right of the presser foot. Mark the distance with a piece of masking tape on the needle plate.
  • Step 3: Put the fabric under the presser foot and line up the edge with the masking tape seam guide.
  • Step 4: Lower the presser foot and check that the fabric has not shifted.
  • Step 5: Sew the fabric together, keeping the fabric lined up with the seam guide. Remove pins when they are two inches from the presser foot.
  • FACT: A sewing machine made for the German Royal Family around 1865 sold at auction for $41,000 in 1997.

You Will Need

  • Straight pins
  • A measuring tape
  • A sewing machine
  • Masking tape

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