Steal-Worthy Sewing Tips for Beginners of the Craft
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  • Dresses, Sewing Tips, Sewing Tutorials
  • Posted January 27, 2016
Steal-Worthy Sewing Tips for Beginners of the Craft

Steal-Worthy Sewing Tips for Beginners

Steal-Worthy Sewing Tips for Beginners

Let's face it, probably almost all of us have things to work and learn about sewing. That's why I have here some tips, techniques and some sort of important matters about sewing for those who are just getting started like basic steps in operating the sewing machine. These tips could be helpful for beginners because it can serve as a guide for them. Make sure you also secure your manuals for better learning and understanding.

Girl sewing using a machine.

Let's get started. I assume some of us already have an idea on how to operate our sewing machines. But in case there are some that need some help, here are some information about getting to know your sewing machines.

Meet and Know Your Machine

I believe it will be more realistic if we will assume that there is a sewing machine in front of us that we can use for the demonstration. It will be better if you have your machine with you while reading this.

A woman using a sewing machine.

First off, find your power cord and the on/off switch: The power cord is attached on the foot pedal. The foot pedal goes on the floor where your foot can comfortably reach it. On the front of your machine, you will find several knobs. On a common sewing machine like the brand Janome, there is a knob with letters-when you turn that knob you change what type of stitch you are doing- straight stitch, zig zag, etc. Below that, you find another knob which changes the length of the stitch-are them tiny, close together stitches or long, farther apart ones? That knob determines this. To the right of both of these you find a stitch guide, which shows what stitch options this machine has (and again, you would select which stitch you want to use by turning the knob at the top).

On the side of the machine is little wheel that turns. That’s called the hand wheel and will make your needle go up and down. Another important part of your sewing machine is the reverse stitch lever. It is the one you will pull down if you want to sew backwards or in reverse. Usually, up near the top of the machine is a dial that adjusts the width of a stitch.

When Stitching

Hand stitching.

For a straight stitch this wouldn’t matter, but for a zigzag this would determine if it’s a big, fat zigzag stitch or a small narrow one. On the far side of the machine is a knob that adjusts the tension of the presser foot. It is not necessary to use this knob but there it is, so now you know what it does. The metal part on your machine is called the presser foot. You will lower it (there’s a lever just to the right and above it) to sew and then raise it to remove the fabric. And did you know that the front part of the machine comes right off (and usually has storage inside). This will be handy when you are sewing things like hems on pants and other areas.

When Threading

So, how do you thread this thing? That’s going to be very important. You start off by putting your spool of thread on the spindle at the top of the machine. Make sure you have the spool holder in place to keep your thread from flying off (usually it is the plastic thing you see on the left of the thread up there). Take the end of your thread and somewhere on the top of your machine will be a few nooks and crannies for you to put it through. Now you’ll go down to the right part with your thread, loop it at the bottom and then go up the left side. Then through the little "thread take-up lever" at the top and back down one more time toward your needle.

Threading in sewing machine.

You are now going to thread it through a few things. First, through the little metal piece right below the white part of the machine. Then, through another little piece of metal right at the top of the needle. And finally, thread the needle.

Now, you also need to thread your bobbin. Before you sew you will need to wind your bobbin. You actually need to do this before you thread your machine for a project. What you need to do is take one of your empty bobbin cartridges and the thread in the color you need. On your bobbin cartridge there will be a little hole to stick the end of your thread through. You’re going to need to look at your own manual again to see how to do this for sure on your machine. It will involve putting your thread on your spindle and wrapping it around. And then through the hole in the bobbin cartridge. Place the whole cartridge on. Keeping hanging onto the end of that thread even while your bobbin cartridge is on that bobbin winder. Slide the bobbin winder to the right. It is now ready to wind.

Threading in sewing machine.

Keep hanging onto that thread and push down on your foot pedal. It should start to wind. As it starts, grab a pair of scissors and snip the thread you are holding and then let the bobbin keep winding until it is full. Slide it back to the left and remove it.

To insert the bobbin into your machine you will need to take off your bobbin cover and place your bobbin into the slot for it. Refer to your manual in order for you to make sure that you are on the right track. Your manual will tell you which direction your bobbin spool should turn. For this machine, it should turn clockwise. Place it down into that little hole for your bobbin and pull the thread through the little slot to get it secured into place. Give the end of the thread a gentle pull and your bobbin should turn in the direction indicated.

Now, thread your machine. Using the hand wheel (or down/up button if you have one), lower your threaded needle all the way down and back up again and it should catch the bobbin thread and pull it up with the needle thread. Pull both threads to the side and close your bobbin case.


Alvin is a fashion and lifestyle writer who has recently earned interest in sewing his own clothes. Writing for Sewing Ideas gives him another avenue to express his experiences and learning in his sewing journey.

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