How to Sew Large Pieces of Fabric

Ready to take your sewing skills to new heights with large scale projects? Working with small fabrics is already a complicated task. How about with large pieces of fabric? The amount of pressure clearly heightens. Their unique characteristics make cutting and sewing pretty intimidating to many hobbyists. You may deal with materials that double or clumps. The machine also tends to get stuck in a single area, particularly for thick fabrics like flannel.

For this, you need the right tools, machine, and understanding of how to sew large fabric pieces. And, this article has everything you should know to handle such a tricky situation better.

How to Sew Large Pieces of Fabric?

The process is just straightforward. Smoothen and line up your pieces of fabric. Make some adjustments if necessary, then sew all together. You can hand sew or machine sew. You will have to trim off excess materials, especially for side seams. Feed foot and a walking presser are usually recommended when working with several layers.

Necessary Steps to Sew Large Pieces of Fabric

Whether it is sewing a blanket, curtain, or other bulky items, you have tons of sewing options. Sewing by hand and with a heavy-duty machine are the two traditional methods. As anyone knows, a sewing machine can tackle the job with complete ease. However, when it comes to sewing techniques and finishes, hand sew still holds the crown. Though, any method will provide you with a highly rewarding project for home or office.

1. Hand Sewing

Step 1: Double thread the needle. Also, create a knot in the end.

Step 2: The stitch you will be using must be sturdy enough to hold the type of fabric you’re working on.

Step 3: Leave at least 1/4 inches seam allowance. Adjust according to how big enough the fabrics are.

Step 4: Remove each pin as you sew.

Step 5: Secure the final stitch once you have sewn the whole material.

2. Machine Sewing

Step 1: Thread the sewing machine if required and lock the stitch for extra security.

Step 2: Also, choose a speed and stitch. It should perfectly match the fabrics you are sewing.

Step 3: Leave 1/4 inches seam allowance or more. It depends on the bulkiness of your fabrics.

Step 4: Feed the fabric pieces through the machine.

Step 5: Remove each pin while you continue sewing across fabrics, then lock the stitch.

Yes, it is also possible to combine different fabrics and sew layers with different lengths. These may seem a challenging project to start. But they’re not. If you love the vivacity, bouncy nature, and looks of varied fabrics, then explore different materials. They can be a lovely addition to your existing decoration or perk up an old design.

When choosing a color, opt for a dominant one along with a neutral and accent color. Let’s say a combination of classic white, navy blue, and coral orange. They complement each other perfectly. Vary the type of pattern. For instance, mix tribal, floral, damask, and stripes.

3. Sewing Two Pieces of Long Fabrics

Now, how about sewing two pieces of fabric with varying lengths? No biggie! Here’s how you should do it.

Step 1: First, place the longer material on the bottom. Follow by the shorter fabric above it.

Step 2: Match both ends on a single side. Ready to pin! Do the same process on the other side.

Step 3: Pin in the middle of the two pins. The spare fabric on the bottom piece must dispense squarely alongside the length.

Step 4: Your seam’s length is the core basis of how close the pins should be. For instance, a long seam may require around three to four inches of seam. While for a short seam, you may need more or less 1/2 inches.

Step 5: It’s time to sew the seam. Lift the foot quite a bit and remove the pin. Don’t do that as fast as you can. Having lots of pins will require slow work, and that’s relatively normal. It also avoids tucked finished seam.

Essential Tips for Sewing Large Pieces of Fabric

  • The kind of materials you use is very crucial. Pieces of the same fabric are usually simpler than those with various types. Fabrics with a thicker or slick style will make your project extra challenging. That’s because their thickness and textures may plow into, leaving you more frustrated than adoring the final output.
  • Use a yardstick, measuring tape, and colored tape when settling your material’s measure and marking it. It will keep the lines straight. Also, roll it evenly on the seam’s either side before you sew.
  • And since you’ll be tackling layers of fabrics, durable pins are your best allies. They will help your materials maintain a seamlessly ranged position all the way. That means minimizing the likelihood of costly mistakes as a result of correcting and re-doing the project. Though, pinning may not apply to most materials, especially to delicate ones. They tend to show off the holes and, worse, damage the pins, machine, and fabric.
  • The needle you will use is also essential. A rigid needle is excellent for multiple fabrics. Ensure to choose one designed for topstitching or quilting. A 90 or 100 denim needle size may be appropriate.
  • When sewing large thick fabrics, you may find them not moving efficiently under the presser foot. The solution is to adjust the pressure in your presser foot. Decrease it as much as possible.
  • And when it comes to rigid materials, a freehand system (FHS) is your best friend. Its aid is more than just allowing sewers to keep their hand onto fabric. It can also elevate the presser foot a bit higher while lowering the feed dog. Thus, providing you spare room to move large items underneath the foot.
  • For an added level of security and stability, why not invest in a straight stitch plate? Having it means disabling the fabrics to move downhill. It is useful if you frequently deal with fabric’s intricate field end.
  • Some unique feet are beneficial, as well. The roller foot is used for sewing the faux leather, vinyl, and many other sticky fabrics. The walking foot allows you to move the material’s bottom and top layer all at once.

3 Methods to Link Fabric Pieces

Why settle for simple designs if you can transform it in any way you can? Try any of these methods below and be the judge!

1. Chain Piecing

It is the most common way of joining fabric pieces with a straight stitch. Either machine or hand sew the straight edges. Running stitch and backstitch are mostly used. Using this method will help you save thread, time, and a lot of headaches. Well, who wouldn’t say no to that!

2. Stash and Stitch

Now, if you have multiple fabric pieces with different colors, this method may work for you. You need to cut large square pieces and then stack them above each other. They should be all right-side up. Also, pair each section with a different fabric material.

3. Strip Piecing

This popular technique can be cut from bulk pieces of fabric or leftovers from your past projects. Here, you don’t need to be a perfectionist when it comes to balancing sizes. It’s composed of varying widths to create a patchwork piece worth savoring.

What Tension Should I Set on the Sewing Machine?

Low thread tension is the sewer’s enemy. It can cause creasing, uneven seam, or nasty straight stitches. The tension adjustment regulates how slack or tight the thread is. Medium to medium-heavy fabric is typically alright with a four or five. Lighter materials require a littler tension setting, while thick fabrics need a higher tension setting.

How to Deal With Slippery Fabrics?

Putting some layers of tissue can help prevent the slippery material from slipping out. These will also avoid hitches that could likely wreck its smooth surface. Otherwise, you can also apply a little spray to stiffen the material. That will make cutting it extremely easy and convenient. Lastly, tack by hand basting to prevent distortion and fully prepare the seams and hems before sewing.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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