I've done some form or another of crafting my entire life. It wasn't until last year though that I got an interest in sewing. For Christmas I got a lovely sewing machine, some patterns and a "how to sew" book. I love it! While I haven't really gotten to use it nearly as much as I'd like, and I haven't gotten up the nerve to use any of the patterns yet, I have gotten to play with it enough to be comfortable using the machine. I've done a few little projects on my own, but nothing fancy or complicated.
Now, here is where you come in. I cannot cut a straight line into the fabric to save my life... Help! How do I do this? My current project is pattern-less, so it's not like I can just cut the pattern straight and then cut the fabric off of that. However, it has long straight edges (or at least, it's supposed to) and I'm not sure how to go about that in a way that they will be straight! Even using a seam gauge, it still doesn't come out straight. So my crafty friends, what tips and techniques do you use to cut your fabric in a straight line?
My second cry for help is this. After figuring out how to cut my fabric in that straight line, I'm going to need to hem it in an equally straight line. Short sections are fine, but somehow I manage to get into an angle or a bubble or funky section that ends up not making the edge straight. What are your best tips for doing a straight hem? I have learned that faster is not better when it comes to sewing, it's a lot easier to make a tiny mistake huge! However working at Disney in locations that embroider the ear hats (all computerized) all you hear is the machines sewing at 500 miles an hour, so it's hard not to try to run my machine equally as fast. I am much better at not "lead footing" it now though :)
Thanks in advance for any tips and tricks that you think of! I can't wait to read them :)