How To Use A Sewing Machine

Sewing 101: Master How to Use Your Sewing Machine in 7 Steps

how to use a sewing machine

Learn the basics of using a sewing machine with our step-by-step guide. From threading the needle to stitching, you’ll be creating your own projects in no time!

Sewing machines can seem intimidating if you’ve never used one before, but they’re actually very easy to use once you get the hang of it. With a little bit of practice, you can create all sorts of beautiful garments and home decor items.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of how to use a sewing machine. We’ll cover everything from threading the machine to sewing a straight stitch, so you’ll be ready to tackle your first project in no time.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or just need a refresher, our step-by-step guide will help you master the art of sewing with a machine. So grab your machine and let’s get started!

What is a sewing machine?

A sewing machine is a device that is specifically designed to stitch fabrics together with the help of a needle and thread. It consists of various components, including a foot pedal, presser foot, spool of thread, feed dogs, sewing machine needle, straight stitch, thread guide, bobbin winder, bobbin thread, spool pin, reverse button, and more. In this article, we will be discussing how to use a sewing machine in a step-by-step manner, starting from basic components to the different features.

How to use a sewing machine for basic projects

Learning how to use a sewing machine can feel daunting at first, but with a little practice, even beginners can create practical and useful items. Starting small with simple projects is a great way to build your confidence and skills. Here are some basic projects that can be done using a sewing machine:

Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins are an easy and practical beginner project that can be used in daily life. To make them, choose a high-quality fabric, like cotton, and cut it into squares. Fold the edges down and sew a simple straight stitch along each side. You can even add some fun decorative touches, such as embroidery or fabric appliques.

DIY Sleep Masks

A DIY sleep mask is another great beginner project that is both practical and fun to make. Start by cutting two pieces of fabric into the appropriate shape for a sleep mask. With right sides together, stitch along the edges, leaving a small opening to turn the mask right side out. Once turned, fill the mask with batting or another soft material and sew the opening shut. Add an elastic band to each end of the mask to hold it in place while you sleep.

Burp Cloths

Burp cloths are another easy and practical beginner project. Choose a soft, absorbent fabric like flannel or terry cloth and cut it into rectangles. Fold the edges down and sew a straight stitch along each side. You can even add a decorative touch by embroidering a cute design onto the fabric.

It’s important to remember that the quality of the materials used can greatly affect the final outcome of your project. Always choose high-quality fabric and thread to ensure your projects last. Starting small and building skills through practice is key to becoming a confident and skilled seamstress. So, pick a basic project, get your sewing machine out, and start creating!

Types of Sewing Machines

Sewing machines come in a variety of types, each with its own unique features and benefits. From basic mechanical machines to computerized models, there is a sewing machine that is perfect for every skill level and project. In this article, we will explore the different types of sewing machines and help you decide which one is right for you.

Mechanical machines

If you’re just starting out with sewing, or looking to hone your skills, a mechanical sewing machine may be the right choice for you. Compared to electronic and computerized machines, they are powered by hand or foot and have limited stitch options and control. However, they are still commonly used by professionals and hobbyists alike, and offer their own unique advantages.

Mechanical sewing machines are powered by hand or foot, which gives the user complete control over the speed of the machine. While this can be a bit more tiring than using an electric machine, it can also be more precise. Additionally, the limited stitch options available on mechanical machines can help beginners narrow down their focus and learn the basics of sewing techniques.

One of the most well-known brands of mechanical sewing machines is Singer. Singer machines are known for their durability and long-lasting quality. They are also typically priced lower than their electronic or computerized counterparts, making them a popular choice for those just starting out with sewing.

While mechanical sewing machines may not have all the bells and whistles of their electronic or computerized counterparts, they are still an important foundation for learning sewing techniques and skills. By mastering the basics on a mechanical machine, you’ll be better equipped to tackle more complex projects using more advanced machines later on.

If you’re looking for a durable, straightforward sewing machine that won’t break the bank, a mechanical machine like Singer may be the right choice for you. With some practice and patience, you’ll be able to create beautiful projects and develop valuable sewing skills.

Electronic machines

While mechanical sewing machines have their benefits, electronic machines have emerged as a popular choice for those who prioritize speed and convenience in their sewing projects. Electronic sewing machines incorporate advanced components such as circuit boards and computer chips to enhance their functionality.

One of the main advantages of electronic machines is their speed. These machines can often sew at a faster pace than their mechanical counterparts, thanks to their advanced control systems. Additionally, electronic machines offer a wider range of stitch options, with some machines capable of producing several hundred different stitch patterns.

Electronic machines also come with a range of features that are simply not possible with mechanical machines. For example, electronic machines often have automated thread cutters that trim the thread at the end of a seam. This saves time and eliminates the need for manual thread trimming with scissors.

Another notable feature of electronic machines is the ability to digitize stitch patterns. With electronic machines, you can easily select your desired stitch pattern from a menu on the machine’s display and the machine will automatically adjust its settings to create the selected stitch.

Overall, electronic sewing machines offer a host of advantages over mechanical machines, including increased speed, a wider range of stitch options, and advanced features like automated thread cutters and digitized stitch patterns. These machines are ideal for those who want to create complex and intricate sewing projects with greater ease and efficiency.

Computerized machines

Computerized sewing machines are advanced machines that are operated through electronics or software. Unlike mechanical machines that are manually operated and electronic machines that use a combination of manual and electronic controls, computerized machines rely solely on software to control their functions.

The benefits of using a computerized sewing machine are numerous. One of the main advantages is the ability to customize stitch patterns easily. Computerized machines come with a wide range of built-in stitch patterns, and some even allow users to upload their own designs. This makes it possible to create unique designs for a wide variety of sewing projects.

Another benefit of using a computerized machine is the convenience of automatic features. Many computerized machines come with automatic needle threading, which saves time and frustration. Some also have automatic thread cutting and bobbin winding features, which make sewing even more efficient.

Popular brands of computerized sewing machines include Brother, Janome, and Singer. Each brand has unique features that set them apart. Brother machines, for example, come with a wide range of built-in stitch patterns and advanced features like automatic tension control and stitch editing capabilities. Janome machines are known for their high-quality performance and user-friendly designs. Singer machines are popular for their affordability and reliable performance.

On a computerized sewing machine, stitch settings can be adjusted easily with the touch of a button. Users can select from basic stitch types like straight, zigzag, and satin, and adjust stitch length and width to create custom designs. Some machines allow users to save frequently used stitch settings for quick access during future sewing projects.

Computerized sewing machines offer a wide range of benefits and conveniences that make them a popular choice for both beginner and advanced sewers. With their advanced features and stitch customization capabilities, these machines make sewing easier and more enjoyable than ever before.

Parts of the Machine

A sewing machine is a useful tool for all sewing enthusiasts. It works by stitching fabric together to create a variety of clothing, accessories, and household items. To effectively use a sewing machine, it’s essential to have a good understanding of its different parts and how they work together. In this article, we’ll cover the various parts of a sewing machine and their functions in detail.

Foot pedal

The foot pedal is an essential tool to operate a sewing machine. It provides the power to make the machine sew and allows you to control the speed at which the machine stitches.

To use the foot pedal properly, you must first connect it to the machine and place it on the floor in a comfortable position for you. Once it is properly set up, put your foot on the pedal and slowly apply pressure to start the machine.

It’s important to start slowly when using the foot pedal to get a feel for the machine’s speed. Once you’re comfortable, increase or decrease the speed as needed by adjusting the pressure you apply to the pedal.

One of the most important things to remember when using the foot pedal is to keep your foot steady for consistent stitching. Fluctuations in pressure can cause uneven stitching and make your project look unprofessional.

Using the foot pedal is a great way to control the power and speed of your sewing machine. Remember to start slowly, apply consistent pressure, and keep your foot steady for the best results.

Presser foot

A presser foot is an essential part of a sewing machine that plays an important role in keeping the fabric in place while it is being sewn. The presser foot, as its name suggests, presses the fabric down against the sewing machine bed and helps to prevent the material from shifting or slipping while being sewn.

There are a few different types of presser feet available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. The standard presser foot is typically included with most machines and is suitable for most basic sewing projects. However, for more specialized tasks, there are other presser feet available, such as the zipper foot, which makes it easier to sew zippers, and the buttonhole foot, which helps to create neat and even buttonholes.

To change the presser foot, locate the small black release lever that is typically located at the back of the presser foot holder. Depress this lever, and the current presser foot should pop off. Then, gently lower the new presser foot into place and release the lever to secure it in position.

It’s important to select the right presser foot for the material and the type of stitch you’re using. For example, using the wrong presser foot can cause the fabric to bunch or stretch, leading to uneven and unsightly stitching. Take the time to consult your machine’s manual to ensure you’re selecting the right presser foot for the job at hand.

A presser foot is a crucial component of a sewing machine that helps to hold fabric in place while it is being sewn. There are various types of presser feet available, and changing them is a relatively simple process. Choose the right presser foot for the job at hand to ensure professional-looking stitching.

Thread guide

The thread guide is an essential part of any sewing machine, as it helps to guide the thread from the spool to the needle. It is typically located at the top of the machine, near the spool pin.

To properly use the thread guide, first, make sure the thread is mounted on the spool pin. Then, thread the end of the thread through the guide, ensuring that it passes through any necessary tension mechanisms or thread paths. It is important to make sure the thread is not tangled and is feeding smoothly through the guide before proceeding.

Depending on your machine, you may need to wind the thread around the guide in a specific direction to maintain proper tension. This can usually be found in your user manual, which will provide specific instructions for your machine’s thread guide.

The purpose of the thread guide is to ensure that the thread feeds smoothly and evenly through the needle. Using the thread guide helps to prevent tangles or other issues that can lead to uneven stitching or broken threads.

The thread guide is an essential part of any sewing machine. By properly using the thread guide and following your user manual’s instructions, you can ensure that your machine is functioning correctly and producing high-quality stitches.

Bobbin winder

The bobbin winder is an essential component of any sewing machine and a crucial step before you start sewing. Its primary function is to wind thread onto the bobbin, which is then loaded into the machine’s bobbin case. Here’s how to use the bobbin winder:

  1. Step 1: Place the thread spool on the spool pin – To use the bobbin winder, you first need to place the thread spool on the spool pin, which is usually located on the top of the machine. Make sure the spool of thread is secure and in the correct position before continuing.
  2. Step 2: Thread the bobbin winder – The next step is to guide the thread to the bobbin winder. Consult your machine’s manual for directions on how to thread the bobbin winder specifically designed for your sewing machine. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid any issues with the thread.
  3. Step 3: Thread the bobbin – Once the thread is ready, take the bobbin and slide the end of the thread through the small hole in the bobbin. Keep holding onto the thread end as you proceed.
  4. Step 4: Place the bobbin in the winder – After threading the bobbin, place it on the bobbin winder spindle. Ensure that the bobbin is securely in position.
  5. Step 5: Slide the bobbin winder into the winding position – The next step is to slide or click the bobbin winder into the winding position. This is usually located on top of the machine near the bobbin winder spindle. Once the bobbin winder is in position, you can begin winding the thread onto the bobbin.
  6. Step 6: Press the foot pedal – To start winding the thread onto the bobbin, press the foot pedal. This will activate the bobbin winder, and the bobbin will start spinning while the machine winds the thread.
  7. Step 7: Stop winding – Stop winding once the bobbin is full. At this point, the machine will automatically stop, or you can manually stop it by releasing the foot pedal and sliding the bobbin winder back to its original position.

That’s it! You’ve successfully wound the bobbin. The bobbin winder is an essential tool in sewing, making it easier to wind your bobbin and to get ready to start sewing. Always remember to refer to your sewing machine manual for specific instructions on how to use the bobbin winder on your machine.

Bobbin cover

The bobbin cover on your sewing machine is a detachable plastic or metal plate that covers the bobbin and bobbin case. It is usually located on the front of the machine and provides easy access to the bobbin. Here’s how you can effectively use the bobbin cover on your sewing machine.

To start, you need to slide or snap off the bobbin cover to access the bobbin and its case. Make sure you follow your sewing machine’s specific instructions for removing the bobbin cover to avoid any damage to your machine.

Once you’ve removed the cover, insert a full bobbin, following your machine’s instructions carefully. Now that the bobbin is properly inserted, you can replace the bobbin cover. It’s important that you make sure the bobbin cover is securely in place and closed properly before sewing. A loose or improperly closed bobbin cover can cause the machine to jam or malfunction. Make sure to double-check this before starting to sew.

Using the bobbin cover on your sewing machine is essential to ensure smooth and safe operation. Remember to correctly remove and replace the cover, including securely fastening it in place and ensuring it is closed properly. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your sewing machine operates effectively and without any issues caused by improper use of the bobbin cover.

Needle plate

The needle plate, also known as the throat plate, is a crucial component of a sewing machine located beneath the needle and presser foot. As its name suggests, the needle plate contains a small opening for the needle to pass through as it stitches. In addition to the needle opening, it also has another opening for the feed dogs to emerge and help move the fabric steadily forward while you sew.

It’s important to note that the needle plate can be changed as per your needs. For example, if you’re quilting, you may require a plate with a smaller opening to prevent your fabric from being pulled down, ensuring a smooth and even stitch. It’s necessary to know what type of needle plate you’re working with to avoid any potential issues or machine damage. Therefore, it’s advisable to check your instruction manual or consult with a professional to ensure you’re using the correct plate for your sewing project.

The needle plate is a small metal plate with an opening for the needle and another for the feed dogs. It’s also commonly referred to as the throat plate and can be changed as per your sewing needs. By understanding the importance and function of the needle plate, you can ensure a smooth and successful sewing experience.

Throat plate

The throat plate is an essential component of your sewing machine. It is the metal plate that sits below the presser foot and has an opening for the needle to pass through. The throat plate often has seam allowance markings, providing guidance for your seams.

When beginning a sewing project, it’s essential to consult the throat plate markings to ensure you’re stitching at the correct distance from the fabric’s edge, following the desired seam allowance. Seam allowance markings can come in varying widths and are critical for ensuring that your project’s stitching follows the desired guidelines.

Occasionally, it may be necessary to remove the throat plate to clean any lint that has accumulated beneath it. Your machine manual will indicate the exact procedure for removing the throat plate, which should be followed carefully to avoid damaging your machine or any of its components.

The throat plate is an essential component of your sewing machine, serving as a guidance system for your seam allowance and stitching. Regularly consult your throat plate markings to ensure that you’re stitching at the correct distance from the fabric’s edge to achieve the desired results in your project.

Metal plate

The metal plate of a sewing machine is also known as the throat plate and is a crucial component of the machine. It is located just below the presser foot and has an opening for the needle to pass through. The throat plate is an essential part of the sewing process as it provides a solid base for the fabric to rest on while being stitched.

As the needle passes through the opening of the throat plate, the fabric is held in place by the feed dogs, which move the fabric under the needle. Occasionally, the throat plate will need to be removed and cleaned of any accumulated lint to ensure the smooth operation of the machine.

The throat plate also typically contains seam allowance markings that serve as a guide for sewing seams of varying widths. The width of the seam allowance can usually be adjusted, allowing for customized stitching to accommodate the specific needs of a project.

When selecting a throat plate, it’s essential to ensure that it’s compatible with your machine’s model and that the seam allowance markings are visible and easy to read. Proper alignment of the fabric with the seam allowance markings on the throat plate is essential to ensure accurate and consistent stitching.

The metal plate or throat plate of a sewing machine is a vital component that provides a solid foundation for the fabric to rest on while being stitched. It contains seam allowance markings that serve as a guide for stitching seams of varying widths and should be carefully selected to ensure compatibility and easy visibility of the markings.


Learning how to use a sewing machine may seem daunting at first, but it is a valuable skill that can save you money and provide a creative outlet. By following these steps and practicing, you’ll soon be able to create your own clothing and home decor. Remember to always be patient and take your time, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. With a little bit of practice and determination, you’ll be a sewing machine pro in no time.

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