How to Sew a Straight, Curved, and Corner Line

9:06 AM

Less Cake More Frosting

Welcome to class. New to sewing school?  Get caught up:
lesson 1: welcome and intro first,
lesson 2:  Guide to Buying a Sewing Machine.
lesson 3: Sewing Machine Supplies
lesson 4: Learn About Your Sewing 
lesson 5: How to Thread Your Machine 

Are you finally ready to hop on the machine!  The moment you've been waiting for is here in today's lesson we will first get use to sewing straight, curved, and square lines on paper (using a template) without using any thread.  This should be a quick and easy lesson.  Next lesson we will move onto using fabric scraps and thread and learn how to sew a seam.  I found this template on a site for teaching kids how to sew, and have used this in teaching kids (I worked with kids grades 3-5) and adults.

I found all ages to find this activity as a great bridge to learning how to sew a seam (our next lesson).  This activity should give you a good foundation for learning how to sew a seam, since you will be more comfortable with your machine, what it feels like to sew, and how to sew straight even in difficult seams (sewing two pieces of fabric together) like curved and corner seams, before learning how to sew a seam.
Ready?  Here is what I want you to do:
  1. print out this template via the Sewing Geek, or follow it by drawing similar lines on a sheet of paper if you don't have a printer.  
  2. Make sure there is no thread in your machine (both bobbin and upper).  
  3. Turn on your machine and make sure it is plugged in and the foot pedals are plugged in to your machine and into your outlet.
  4. Sew on the paper trying to follow the lines as closely as possible.  Start with the straight lines on page 1 until you are doing it perfectly.  You should have dots on the black line in a perfectly straight line.
  5. Move onto the curved lines on page 1, once you feel good with your straight stitching abilities.
  6. Once you feel you've mastered the curved lines it's time to try the square and triangle (sewing corners) on page 3.  This is usually pretty hard for students to learn.  The key is to learn how to keep sewing in a continuous line by lifting up your presser foot and moving your paper to allow you to keep sewing without bringing your needle up.  Confused?  Most of my students are by this one, so don't worry your not alone.  It's a hard one to explain, but important to know because you will use this.  Let me try to break it down a little more.
    1. Use the square on page 3 first.  Follow one of the black lines slowing down as you get close to the corner.  Once you are very close to the corner take your foot of the presser foot to stop once your needle is in the down position and very close to the corner.  Then use the hand wheel to make the needle go up and down until the needle is as close to the corner as you can get it.  
    2. Then lift your presser foot up (by the latch behind the presser foot) and move your paper 90 degrees (or until the black line you want to sew on next is parallel with the needle and you) with the needle in the paper still.  Continue sewing and repeat the above for the next corner you find.  After you are down with the square, you can move onto the triangle on page 3, and after that if you still feel like you want more practice you can practice with the shapes on page 2.  Remember you can always print more pages for extra practice too.
    3. If your still confused please watch the video below about sewing corners.  Note at the end of the video she cuts the corner to reduce the bulk, we will get into cutting and trimming more in a future lesson.
How to Sew Corners (2min)
Practice threading your machine again since you will need to know how to for next lesson.If you can't thread your machine properly, you won't be able to sew. 
If you have an problems, questions, or comments don't be shy!  Feel free to ask me via Facebook,comments, or email.  Next lesson we will cover how to sew a seam.  Class dismissed!

Next Lesson: How to Sew a Basic Seam ©Oh You Crafty Gal! All rights reserved.

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  1. Sewn corners can look easy to do but now I realize that much of their beauty comes from the mastery of creating straight lines. That's a detailed guide. Thanks for sharing. :)


  2. where can i find the rest of your sewing lessons? i've been enjoying them so much. thanks so much for thaking the time and teaching us!!

    1. Thanks So much for letting me know you enjoy my lessons Sara. It takes a lot of time to create, so it' s nice to know it's appreciated. My other lessons are linked above under the previous lessons heading or you can go to the start page for our sewing school which has links to all our lessons. I am starting my non virtual class in a few weeks, so I am likely to write some new lessons here so check back soon. Let me know if you ever have any questions via comments, FB, or email. Happy sewing!

  3. I soooooo looove your vid serouislly your a very good teacher (i wish i can come to your classe ) i'm gonna try to do everything you say(in the Vid ) hhh

    Love Nour

  4. Seriously~~ trying to teach my daughter to sew as it is something I have loved (taught by my Grandmother - so special) and always got so much joy out of dressing my three children with things I had made but when you know something it is hard to break it down to teach but clearly you have the knack!! Just reading your lessons it all makes total sense so I will be teaching her myself but along with your wonderful lesson plans so thank you for sharing your abilities as a sewer and your ability to teach as it is a wonderful thing to be able to do and of course to share it with my daughter is priceless. I remember going into Target when this daughter was about 8 and she said - mum how did they get these dresses - did you make them all - I love that till then she didn't realise dresses came from anywhere else but mum's sewing room!!! Thank you again for giving me the assistance I need to share this special gift with my daughter!!! Kindest regards and thankyou for being such a sharing soul!! Lynette

    1. Hi Lynette. Thanks so much for your appreciation of my lessons! I'm glad you are teaching your daughter to sew too. I have taught children to sew before. They are just as capable as adults, but need a little extra guidance with safety (especially putting pins in a pincushion as they sew), and tend to better with shorter projects. They seem to need the gratification of finishing a project sooner then the adults I teach. So start with very easy quick projects first. Pillows, stuffed animals, etc. Also be sure to check out They have a great free sewing class for kids too. Hope this helps Lynette!

  5. Hi, I think that link to print out template is no longer working. So glad I found this site as I just started lessons yesterday and have already acquired knowledge about sewing and that makes me feel happy. I dream of creating lovely things! If you have another template you would link that would be great. Thanks for all you do.

    1. Hi Katie thanks for the catch. The link to the templates was broken. I found another set of templates, so it's fixed now. :


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