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Preparing your fabric before you stitch does take a little time but it’s well worth it in the long run. It saves you from having to unpick mistakes and you’ll also get a neater finish. Pin, then tack, then stitch is the golden rule – particularly if you are a beginner. Although a sewing machine can be used for a lot of projects, some hand stitches are also necessary so it’s important to understand these and practice them first.