National Sewing Month: Back To Basics

September is National Sewing Machine Month! Here at WeAllSew we’re celebrating all month long with sewing machine inspiration, tips, tutorials, and 4 weeks of fun giveaways. This week we’re getting back to basics, from simple sewing machine tips to basic must-have tools and must-know techniques. Keep reading to the bottom of the post to find out how to enter this week’s fantastic giveaway for your chance to win our fantastic prize package!

Back To Basics: Sewing Machine Tips


The easiest way to improve your sewing, both in precision and speed, is to use the BERNINA Free Hand System. If you haven’t yet used your FHS check out these BERNINA Free Hand System tips! And before you say the FHS bar isn’t easy to reach with your knee, know that it is adjustable, and your local BERNINA store can help you by making sure it is adjusted properly to fit your sewing style.

Multi-directional sewing tips from WeAllSew

Did you know that some sewing machines can sew sideways? Multi-directional sewing is an exciting, creative and often functional tool that is available on select BERNINA machines. It means that you can sew in any direction, with almost any stitch! Find out more about Multi-Directional Sewing here.

Difference between walking foot and dual feed at WeAllSew

The Dual Feed and the Walking foot #50 are both invaluable tools that do similar tasks in different ways. Learn all about the Difference Between Walking Foot #50 and Dual Feed and when to use each in this informative post.

Tips for sewing straight seams

Your BERNINA is equipped with a super-handy tool that makes sewing a straight seam incredibly easy. This Tips for Sewing Straight Seams post will have you digging through your sewing box to give this simple tool a try!


Some sewing machines are smart enough to warn you about what tools you have on your sewing machine before you break a needle! Find out about the BERNINA Needle and Stitch Plate Security Function and how to use it here.

Heavy Duty Sewing - many layers

How many layers can your sewing machine handle? Check out our fun experiment to answer the question, “Will it Sew Through all the Layers?” and find out which sewing machine settings can help the next time you need to sew bulky or thick fabrics.




Back To Basics: Sewing Tool Tips

Best feet for sewing garments

Meet the “Garment Sewing Gang,” the 8 most basic tools for sewing garments! From the Reverse pattern foot #1 to Invisible zipper foot #35, meet the Best Presser Feet for Garment Sewing here.

Ruffler 101 - BERNINA Ruffler on machine

The Ruffler attachment has lots of parts, but don’t let this handy accessory intimidate you. Find Ten Tips for the Ruffler Attachment here, learn all about how to attach this device to your sewing machine, and finally understand how it works to create different sized ruffles.


The Jeans foot #8 is specially engineered to help sew straight stitches on denim. Get top tips to use Jeans foot #8 here. If you’d like to learn how to hem jeans, check out How to Hem Jeans here, and How to Sew a Hollywood Hem on jeans here.

Heavy Duty Sewing - BERNINA Walking foot

If you haven’t taken a close look at all you can do with the Walking foot #50, you may thing this is a tool you can live without. But the Walking foot is for so much more than just quilting! Click here to read 3 reasons to own a Walking foot that have nothing to do with quilting.

These tiny, tailored tucks can be a unique way to add a little texture to your project. It’s a subtle embellishment that is fairly simple to sew. Learn the basic machine settings to sew pintucks with these Pretty Pintuck tips.


Minki Backed Patchwork Baby Quilt tutorial at WeAllSew

Meet the BERNINA Patchwork foot family! All of the BERNINA patchwork feet have been specially engineered to help you sew the most precise 1/4″ or 1/8″ seams for patchwork and accomplish this task with a few slight differences between them. Click here to read about the Best Feet for Patchwork and Quilting.

Back To Basics: Sewing Technique Tips

Securing Seams Three Different Ways

One of the most basic techniques when sewing is securing your seams. Check out these three seam securing alternatives available that offer both simplification and advantages for your seams in the Securing Seams Basics post here.

Leather Eyeglasses Case Materials

Have you ever been curious about sewing leather with your sewing machine? Yes, you CAN sew leather with your BERNINA! Learn the basics of Sewing Leather With a Domestic Machine here.

Turning Triangles Mini Quilt Pattern

Learn the basics of quilt-making, step-by-step, with our basic post about How to Make a Quilt here. We suggest starting small for your first quilting project, like this Turning Triangles Mini Quilt, the Unicorn Mini Quilt, or go seasonal with the Holiday Ornament Mini or the Easter Mini’s!

French seams are simply a two-part seam that encases all the raw edges inside the seam allowance—perfect if you don’t have an overlocker or when you’re working with sheer fabrics or lace. Learn How to Sew a French Seam here.

Best feet for garment sewing

If you’re planning to learn how to sew your own garments, these basic tips, techniques, and projects from the WeAllSew Experts will help you gain confidence and build your skills. Click here to find our Basic Garment Sewing Skill Building Techniques.

National Sewing Month Week 2 Giveaway!

The giveaway is now closed to comments. Congratulations to our Week 2 WeAllSew winner, fan @ebdm61!

One lucky WeAllSew reader will win this fun package featuring sewing tools and accessories! You could win one pair of Tula Pink Large Ring Micro Tip 4″ Scissor, one BERNINA Seam Ripper, one Aurifil thread box, and one Metrosene thread kit!

Tula Pink Large Ring Microtip Snips

Basic Tools for Beginners at WeAllSew

Aurifil Thread Box

Metrosene Thread Kit Giveaway at WeAllSew

All you have to do is post a comment below and answer the question, “What is your favorite sewing tip?” The the giveaway is open for comments through Sunday, September 15.

The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. One comment per fan. Comment must be submitted to the blog by Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to contact to claim the prize.

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159 comments on “National Sewing Month: Back To Basics”

  • My favorite sewing tip has been about how to sew a French seam. I made some beautiful pillowcases for a wedding gift and the French seams took them to a whole new level of sophistication! Thank you BERNINA!

  • Hello, I have a B 570….I am trying to get advice on which is the best foot for making piping, I am getting all different answers ….38 or 12C or 60C……I cannot afford all three…….is there anyone out there who knows?

    thanks for your time

  • My favorite tip is to reduce the stitch length as you get close to a corner where you will be trimming or clipping the seam allowance close to the stitching line.

  • I like to pull up my bobbin thread through the fabric before sewing a seam because it prevents a bird’s nest on the bottom and I can clip both the top thread and the bobbin thread at the same time.

  • My favorite tip is to quit before I’m so tired that I make a stupid mistake. I sew evenings after work and it’s easy to keep saying “one more seam” or “I’ll just do the buttonholes before I go to bed”. Now I save organizing and planning for late evening.

  • Using the correct stitch plate for a project can really help. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I’d used the right stitch plate after my fabric bunched up down inside the bobbin case! Not any more!

  • My favorite tip has been using the free-hand system. Once I starting using it, I can’t imagine not having it. You always have your hands available to stabilize the fabric and movement at the needle.

  • My favorite tip is to use a scrap of folded fabric to begin each sewing project rather than starting the needle on the seam to be sewed. This way the machine easily transitions from the scrap to the item being sewn.

  • My tip is to use the correct foot for the sewing task at hand. I have been on a napkin kick, sewing ½” hems on batik fabric (love that the fabric is the same front and back!). I am using the #10D foot and have moved my needle to 2 clicks to the right (another good tip – don’t be afraid to adjust the needle position). Love the stitch guide on this foot.

  • I feel it’s important to have a very organized sewing room or space. When I’m done with my sewing supplies (sewing machine feet, plates, pins, scissors, fabrics, etc) I put them back in the same place so they can be found easily the next day I can sew. This way I can begin sewing in a clean and happy place!

  • My Best Sewing Tip…Keep your iron close by and use it! Fabric has a way of shifting and moving…by ironing pieces as you sew them, projects begin to take shape or lay flat…whichever effect you are looking for. One of my best purchases was a 18 x 24″ table top ironing pad to keep the iron on without having to put up the ironing board.

  • My tip is to slow down enough to fix mistakes, even if they seem too small to be noticed, and not give up and start over after a mistake. All mistakes can be fixed. If I treat fixing mistakes as part of the process and not signs of failure, I am much happier and I can be proud of my work. And sometimes figuring out how to fix the mistake needs creativity and confidence, and I can do it.

  • My favorite tip is to use “leaders” and “enders” when starting and ending a seam. These little scraps of fabric let you start and end a seam off your project so that the thread doesn’t make a birds nest on the back of the start of your seam.

  • My favorite tip is to learn to set the automatic needle down feature on my Bernina. I love the extra security it gives me to keep my seam accurate as I’m starting and stopping. Now that I’m used to it, I don’t know how I managed without it!

  • One of the greatest tips I have is using (for example the #2 stitch to set up to a stitch I need such as when I am doing the blanket stitch on the straight stitch, I can set up #2 stitch to be a locking stitch with a length of .3 and no width. In doing my machine applique this has helped save me a lot of time in going from the blanket stitch to a locking stitch.

  • My favorite tip is to easily gather fabric by bringing up the bobbin thread and then zigzagging over the bobbin thread. You then pull on the bobbin thread to gather the fabric.

  • Best tip: on HST (half-square triangles fold the sewn corner on top of the original square’s corner, aligning edges, before pressing so that the size of the pieces square is accurate.

  • My best tip is to enjoy the hobby of sewing! It is such a wonderful way to be creative and use your talent to make something unique and be treasured. Whenever you feel frustrated or confused, take a break and come back to your project when you’re refreshed. There are so many resources to go to for advice and videos to help you out of a problem area. Enjoy all the moments!
    duchick at gmail dot com

  • Oh my! Well, I learned so much, about so many things.! However, learning how to use the 2A foot I found to be quite enlightening. Little did I know that I needed to use a zig-zag stitch. I’m a quilter, not a garment sewest, but tried the 2A foot for the first time last week. Suffice to say I didn’t use a zig-zag stitch and surprise, it needed to be “ripped out.”

  • I found the tip about the difference between the walking foot #50 and dual feed and when to use either very helpful. I also liked all the other tips as well!

  • i had not thought of using 97D foot and guide with french seams! i am stoked to try it! and my second favorite is the reminder to try to use the FHS, I am just not used to using it 😉 I am sure that if i get into the habit i will find it useful.

  • My favorite tip is to use a walking foot with multiple layers! It is worth it. I sew bags and burp cloths and the walking foot has helped tremendously! Thank you Bernina!

  • My favorite is the “learn to quilt” tips and tutorials. I’m so going to make the mini ornaments. All your tips provide great information both new and in review.

  • Using the 57D foot for patchwork has been a game changer for 1/4” seam accuracy. No more pieced blocks that are too big or too small! Next project I’ll try the 97D foot with the seam guide to compare and see which foot works best for me.

  • My favorite tip: Don’t sew like you’re trying to win a race. You may be on a time crunch to finish a project however speed sewing often leads to crooked seams and mistakes. Sew at a relaxed, steady pace and pay attention to what you are doing now instead of what still needs to be done. You would rather spend your time sewing instead of ripping out seams.

  • I guess I’d have to say that my favorite tip is always the tip I just read that I’d never heard before. Learning something new (and there is always something new) and giving it a try is always a rush.

  • My favorite tip is the reminder to use the seam guide. I think after many years of sewing we forget we may need extra assistance staying on track, especially on very long seams.

  • Baste gaps with a longer stitch length leaving long threads to be used to hand sew this opening closed after turning the fabrics right side out. This makes detecting this area almost invisible.

  • I clicked through and found a wonderful video on how to use the invisible zipper foot to install a zip in a pillow. I just got that foot last month on the 3 for the price of 2 feet deal and plan to use that soon for some Christmas projects.

  • I heard it just this week and it cleared away the clouds. I never knew if I needed to raise or lower the tension which action would resolve the problem when quilting. I heard it on the quilt show. “when quilting, if colored dots show (bobbin thread is coming to the too) lower the top tension. If top thread is going to the bottom of the quilt Raise the top tension. So simple but finally said in a way I understood.

  • I just learned that you can thread a hand needle with friction rubbing it back and forth while the thread is resting on your hand. (If the thread is on a firmer part of your hand – like under the joint of your pointer finger it works best. ) A loop starts to come out of the eye of the needle. It saves a bunch of time especially if your eyesight isn’t ideal. 🙂

  • I use 2 layers of fabric similar to what plan to sew to test my stitch any time I rethread the machine, change the bobbin, change stitch patterns or have had the power turned off. This saves the headache of a bird’s nest on the back of my project.

  • I don’t have a table large enough to lay out my quilts for pinning. I use painters tape to secure my backing on my hardwood floor and it comes off clean, not damaging the floor.

  • My favorite tip is about storage of small pieces of fabric. I wrap my pieces than are less than one yard around a six in ruler. Then I wrap the folded bundle around the six in ruler in the opposite direction so I have a neat square. I store these pieces in a clear plastic container. When I need a piece for an applique I have all the neat stacks of fabric to look at quickly.

  • My favorite tip is to use my Bernina accessory book to determine what foot to use when beginning a sewing project. It saves me both time and set-up. And my project ends up looking great.

  • Clean out the lint in the bobbin area of your sewing machine each and every time you sit down to sew. Takes only a few seconds to do. A clean machine is a happy machine.

  • I love the helpful hints and tutorials. For example, a better result when using the 2A overlock foot can be obtained with the 5.5mm stitch plate. Very helpful hints that I can use. Thanks!

  • I love the French Seam. I had learned this a while ago but did not know what it was called. Now I know and I can remember all the steps. Thank you for posting about this.

  • Loved the review regarding locking seams how-tos, pros, cons- but got me thinking with automation options, perhaps I should get serious exploring the positive changes in newer models. Hmmmmm.

  • Clean and oil weekly to keep you machine sewing efficiently. Love the freehand system! Love the dual feed but sometimes a walking foot is better! Love the variety of feet to making sewing easier!

  • One of my favorite tips is “don’t hold your breath”

    When I’m sewing something tricky I find that I sometimes do this and it makes me more stressed about what I’m doing – which means I’m more likely to make a mistake. I try for relaxed, even breathing and things go smoothly.

  • My favorite tip came from my mother in law many years ago – change your needle with every project. We spend lots of money on expensive fabric, and time creating a fabulous garment or quilt and then use a worn out needle that skips stitches.

  • My tip is to keep a positive attitude when approaching the idea of sewing something that you have never done before. For instance, if you are a garment sewer and have never done upholstery work, don’t shut out the idea of doing that. It could be another fun project for you!

  • My favorite tip is on the needle in the down position. When finished sewing all you have to do is to push in the needle up position for 2 seconds and the needle will go up. When resuming sewing, the needle will remain in the down position until you either hit it once to place in needle up position or hold for two seconds which will raise the needle

  • My current favorite tip is using the folded piece of scrap fabric to start my seams. I can’t tell you how many seams I’ve sewn that were either bunched up, had a rats nest of thread on the back or even eaten by the feed dog. This tip is a heaven sent tip for sure!!

  • My best tip is to read your Bernina’s Machine’s instruction manual. Don’t miss out on all the features of these fantastic machines. Then just use your machine often.

  • Did you mean what is my favorite tip to GIVE to other sewists?? Cause if so, my tip is… don’t give up! Don’t despair when you end up having to patiently rip up a seam you just did cause something was not right! Keep going, you WILL master things.. and even so, I sew a lot but STILL have made mistakes and my seam ripper is a friend!

    My fav tip I learned from this site??? That I WANT a walking foot SO bad! Wow, must get one.

  • My tip, as a severely visually handicapped stitcher, is that I have learned that a large lighted magnifying glass lamp and a quick threading needle (thanks to a Bernina dealer for the introduction!), my Bernina can still provide me with many happy hours and great results. Bernina’s beautiful feet to do any job expertly can be trusted even when one’s eyes are no longer so trustworthy. I trust my wonderful Bernina, and it has never let me down in over 30 years, and I look forward to many more.

  • My most used and needed sewing tip, which I keep readily handy, is what needle and thread type to use in different types of sewing, quilting and embroidery projects.

  • My favorite tip is to keep the machine free of lint after 8 hours of use with the use the brush that came with the machine so it can keep you sewing without any problems.

  • My favorite sewing tip is to test my seam’s size before beginning a project! It’s amazing how much difference an accurate 1/4″ seam makes in a quilt!

  • My favorite sewing tip is “ All about machine needles”. It really helped me to sew smoothly and to remember to change my needle to match the fabric. Thx!

  • My mother-in-law gave me the best tip ever for sewing: “No matter how clean you think your hands are, always take time to wash your hands before starting any sewing project.”

  • I have learned so many tips from so many people through the years and have absorbed so many of them into my sewing that I never even think about them any more. One thing that my mother used to say as she sewed most of the clothes that she and her four daughters (and many more) wore was in regards to small imperfections. She would say, “You can’t tell the difference on a galloping horse.” I have used that so many times when I have been frustrated with less than perfect results in garment, home décor and whatever else I have been sewing. Somethings are worth trying to get as perfect as possible, but it is not a school dress for a little girl who will be running whenever possible.

  • One of my favorite sewing tips is to have magnetic pin holder near my machine, and also one on my cutting table. Same thing with snips. One on the cutting table or near it, and the other by my machine.

  • My favorite tip is the article written on the different types of presser feet. I’ve always wondered why there are so many and what are they all used for? Thanks Bernina for explaining a few.

  • My favorite tip is to use a sticky lint roller to pick up the little “chibbles” before I open a charm pack, layer cake or jelly roll, the ones with pinked edges. Saves a lot of aggravation later, trying to get light-colored chibbles off black pants or vice versa!

  • I would have to say my favorite tip is the Bernina We All Sew email that comes packed with a variety of tips on many different techniques. There is a project to follow to practice the technique or a video to see how it is done.

  • When I start getting tired, I should call it a night. If I try to push on and finish “just this one more bit” I guarantee I will mess something up. The key is knowing when to quit.

  • I took the basics class to learn features on my new 570QE and loved the secure end feature instead of always using the reverse button. By the time I got my new machine home and able to play with it, I forgot how to get that secure end feature. These tips help so much in refreshing my memory. It is difficult to search for if I don’t know what I am searching for. This is only one the best tips I viewed from this back to basics. Thank you.

  • My favorite tip is when you get frustrated, walk away. When you come back to the project, it can be perfectly clear. Also if a mistake bugs you, do it over because you will never be happy with the project.

  • My favorite tip: buy and USE a stiletto. Mine is double-ended with the middle section working as a case for the unused end (stiletto point or seam ripper). I never heard of them until a couple of years ago – and I’ve been sewing for way longer than I care to admit.

  • I always remember to hold the thread tails as I begin a seam so that the machine doesn’t swallow them. When piecing a quilt, I use a header – or a small 2×2” piece of fabric to start my piecing run. Less aggravation and stop/starts!!!

  • My favorite tip is that the seam ripper is not to be feared. If you use it correctly with the little ball in the right place, seams zip out quickly and the ones with the rubber tips like erasers easily pull away the loose threads so you can get back to your project

  • My favorite sewing tip was on the “Difference Between Walking Foot #50 and Dual Feed”. I have both and have been wondering how to decide which to use. The tip was very helpful. Thank you!

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