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How to Use a Seam Guide on a Sewing Machine

Learn how to use a seam guide on a sewing machine from designer Jennifer Wiese in this Howcast tutorial.


Hi. I'm Jennifer from Workroom Social. Now let's talk about how to use a seam guide on your sewing machine. Whenever you're sewing, the goal is always to sew a straight line, right? You don't want to be kind of wavy and zigzaggy all over the place.

On your sewing machine, on your throat plate, you should have a seam guide. What that is is markings that tell you distance of your stitch, from the needle to wherever you're sewing. Generally, we work with our fabric on the left and then we're going to use the gauges on the right. It's the same, the gauges on the left and right of the needle.

Just to look here: this is 3/8", 4/8" or 1/2", 5/8", and 6/8". If for some reason you don't have a seam guide, I like to take a little bit of artist's tape, which is a low-tack tape. And you can use it to create your own seam guide. If I'm going to do 5/8" seam allowance, I'll just put that right on there. You can use a ruler to measure from your needle point to 5/8" on your ruler and put your tape down.

Now, you'll take your fabric, fabric to the left, seam guide to the right. Lift your presser foot, and put your presser foot back down so that the edge of your fabric is right along that seam guide right there. Then you can just start sewing.

You can see, as I'm sewing, I'm letting the feed dogs, which are the little, tiny teeth that are underneath your presser foot, I'm letting them kind of pull the fabric. But with my hands I'm keeping the fabric straight with that seam guide. Now, we can see we have a nice, straight line that's parallel from our raw edge. That's how you use a seam guide.

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