How To Start Sewing Machine

Tools Needed For Sewing Machine

Learning how to start sewing with a sewing machine can be both exciting and intimidating. To make the learning process easier and straightforward, it’s important to gather all the right tools and materials beforehand. This includes tools such as a pair of scissors, fabric measuring tape, seam ripper, pins, tailor’s chalk, needles, and thread. Having these basic sewing tools helps make sewing easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

How to Set Up Your Sewing Machine

Once you have your tools ready, the next step is to set up your sewing machine. It is important to familiarize yourself with the machine and its built-in features. Generally, all sewing machines come with a user manual, which will provide instructions on how to set the machine up and operate it safely. It is also important to check the tension and stitch length; make sure that the machine is threaded correctly and the bobbin is spooled correctly.

How to Start Sewing

Once the setup is ready and the machine is working, the exciting part begins – learning how to start sewing. It is best to begin with basic stitching on a test piece of fabric, such as an s-curve shape. This will give you a chance to practice and get familiar with how the stiches look and how to change them (e.g. zigzag, straight or reverse). Once you have gotten the hang of basic stitching, you can start experimenting with different fabrics and patterns. You should also make use of the available extra features on the sewing machine that can help make sewing easier.

Advanced Sewing Techniques

Once you have mastered basic stitching and know how to control the machine, you can move on to more advanced techniques. This includes learning how to sew in a zipper, hemming a garment, creating pleats, patchwork, pattern making, and quilting. The most important part when learning any of these techniques is practice. With enough practice, you can master any of these techniques and be able to produce complex pieces of work.

Serger Sewing

Serger sewing is another type of stitching technique that is becoming increasingly popular. This technique is used to produce neat and finished garments. A serger is a specialized sewing machine that can stitch, finish seams, and trim the fabric in one go. The technique requires a specific stitch: the overlock stitch. Learning this technique requires some patience and practice to get the tension and threading correct. For those wishing to sew professionally, a serger machine is essential.

Sewing Machines Maintenance

It is important to remember to maintain the machine by cleaning it regularly. This is so that the machine can run smoothly without any issues. To ensure the sewing machine is in good condition, lubricate the needle and threading area, replace damaged needles, and check the tension. Periodically clean the machine with a lint brush and a soft cloth. If any part of the machine is damaged, have it looked at and replaced by a professional.

Safety Tips

Apart from proper maintenance, it is essential to know the safety guidelines of operating a sewing machine in order to avoid injuries. This includes wearing safety glasses when sewing, making sure that all tools and fabrics are away from the sewing needle, and keeping the machine away from children. It is also essential to be aware of the built-in safety features of the machine, such as the presser foot latch, finger guard and needle guard.

Using Patterns

Using sewing patterns is another important skill to learn when learning how to use a sewing machine. Patternmaking requires both creativity and precision. There are two types of patterns – standard patterns and custom patterns. Standard patterns are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and are suitable for most average-sized garments. Custom patterns require more effort as they need to be tailored to the specific measurements of the wearer.

Designing Your Own Patterns

Designing your own patterns is a fun and creative way of making something unique. To design a pattern, you need to have a basic understanding of anatomy and proportions. Knowing the basic principles of patternmaking and measuring techniques will help in creating something unique. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with basic shapes, such as rectangles and circles, and gradually progress to more complex shapes, such as curved edges and gathers.

Creating Finished Items

After learning all the sewing techniques mentioned above, the next step is to create finished pieces of clothing. To create a finished item, start by choosing fabric that matches the project. It is also important to pre-treat fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Finishing is also crucial when creating a project. This includes adding trimmings or accessories, such as buttons and zippers, to the garment.

Learning from Resources and Courses

Learning how to sew with a sewing machine is a process that takes time. To speed up the learning process, it is advisable to look for various resources, such as sewing books, tutorials, and blogs. You can also enroll in sewing classes or purchase online courses for a more structured and comprehensive approach. By taking a course or two, you will have access to helpful resources and expert advice.


Learning how to sew with a sewing machine is a great way to create unique and intricate garments. Before starting, it is important to have the right tools, materials, and knowledge. With enough practice, you can learn the basics of setting up your machine, as well as more advanced sewing techniques, such as serger sewing, patternmaking, and creating finished items. In addition, you can also find resources and courses to help you further your skills.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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