How I Practice Sewing Straw Braid
The image to your left gives you a glimpse into how I practice sewing straw braid. Yes I practice, still I practice. As a matter of fact, I practice (play) more than I actually produce anything. I call it meditation.
So how does this meditative process start. I start from scratch. What I mean is that I screw up the tension (there are two), the presser foot adjustment, the position of the thread (small or large spools); type of thread, and just about everything else I can destroy. The result, I always wonder why I would do such a thing. But I learn so much. A funny thing about learning is that we are always rewarded by the amount of effort we put into learning something.
Since braid is expensive, I make small hats. I use a thread color that enables me to see and study the stitching. You know what, sometimes I don't remember what I did to achieve a result, except for that time my finger wanted to incorporate itself into the design, OOOOOSH! But not really forget because practice is imprinted on our brain, not another person's practice but our own individual practice and exploration. No matter how much public domain (free information) we come across, nothing will impact us more than our own efforts.
If you enlarge the image above, top left, it's easy to see the results of my play. Notice the spacing of the braid. What you may not see is the skipped stitches from over/under adjusting the tension and/or varying the pressure foot adjustments. In the end, things always work out.
Oh, finally, how do you find techniques to practice, by observing others' work, especially the work you like. If you can't do something, practice until you can. But remember, when you design your own hat, design your own and don't copy another person's design.