How To Use A Sewing Machine For Beginners

Working with sewing machines look really complex especially for naives and amateurs. Many of us don’t know how to use it because the fear always whirls on our head. But if you get grasp over sewing, it is possible to create epic masterpieces using your creativity on the textile. It can do wonders!

This guide on how to use sewing machine for beginners will help you through setting it up, create glorious textiles and craft your own handmade items in a jiffy. All you need is little efforts and patience to get started with. While it is an overwhelming experience, don’t rush into things and keep it all sorted by first knowing how to use a machine. Everything else comes after that and we will keep you posted on sewing dresses and clothes at home. Get started with this new journey and you will be able to find your way around the machine. Let’s begin:

Understand these tools to learn how to use a sewing machine


Needle is an essential part of a sewing machine as it moves in and out of the fabric to sew it. While without a needle, it is just not possible to use a machine, it’s all useless. Almost all the machines are already equipped with a needle, but if not, you can buy your own different sized needles. Usually, the standard needles are 75 or 80 sized which you also can swap for different fabrics. To sew denims or heavy textiles, 110 or 120 number will go whereas for cottons or linens, the standard size is the perfect choice. Read the machine manual to get a better understanding of the needle size your machine needs for various fabrics.


Another important attachment is foot that holds your fabric properly in place and is located beneath the needle. Plus, a lever is there which moves up and down to secure the needle and fabric before sewing. To position the fabric, move the lever up and once done, move it down. Ranging from zipping, quilting to sewing, different speciality feet are available but typically the presser foot is the most used.


Well, bobbin winder is a small spool that sits beneath the outer machine casing. You can find it below the needle and foot in a hidden area underneath the sewing area. This is extremely important as all the sewing is done with the thread loaded in the bobbin and while sewing, the top thread meets with bobbin thread to create a stitch on the fabric.

Tension dial

Hold up tight and read it carefully. Since all the sewing machines have a dial or knob to adjust the tension of thread. To determine the tension, you can adjust how tight or loose the stitches will be. Having too tight tension pulls the needle to the right and with too loose tension, the thread will loop on the fabric’s bottom. Every fabric has a different tension setting which you can check out from the manual.

Thread spool

Thread spool is at the top of the machine that allows a series of loops before it reaches the needle. To avoid any tangling and maintain even thread tension, it is helpful. Plus, to adjust the tension that your fabric needs, the machine will have a numbered dial that you can raise or lower down.

Stitch selector

With this, you can change the stitch types according to the dress or craft you are going to make. With every fabric, the stitch can vary which you can select to create decorative stitches. Typically, basic straight stitch and zig zag pattern is used for most assignments.

Hand wheel

With the hand wheel, the needle is moved up and down to sew the fabric. Sometimes when thread gets tangled, turn the wheel towards you and untangle it. See the manual guide to see how it works for your machine as this is the generic method.

Stitch length

You can change the length of the stitches to create different patterns. To create quick lines, a long stitch is used whereas for regular sewing, a length of 2 or 2.5 is preferred by most sewers.

Reverse stitch

Isn’t it a wonderful option? Sewing machines are featured with reverse stitching button mostly to sew in the reverse direction. To start with sewing, you can really learn from reverse stitching it looks beautiful and also to finish off the sewing, you can move forward and backward.

On/off button or switch

An obvious thing to use the machine is by switching it on first. In the modern sewing machines, you will probably see a light after switching it on. Next, to start sewing, use the foot pedal of the machine which will move the needle on the fabric. Make sure to adjust the fabric securely in place to avoid needle breakage or thread tangling. Put pressure on the foot pedal accordingly i.e. gentle press is for slow stitching while hard press runs the motor faster.

Now it was all about the basic working and tools of the sewing machine, let’s now learn the process to sew clothes step by step.

It’s the time to start sewing whatever you want to. Before you do that, make sure to thread the main needle and check if the bobbin thread is adjusted. When you start, both these threads must be there on the machine.

  • Bring on the fabric and slide it under from where you need to sew it. Raise the presser foot and adjust the fabric properly.
  • Once done, place your foot on the foot pedal and control the speed by applying gentle, medium or hard pressure. If you feel that the fabric is moving here and there, hold it with your hands and make the process easy. To start with, you should support the fabric or else the stitches will look really bad.
  • Now when you reach the edge, turn the corner but do not lift the needle up. First turn it and then raise the lever, move the fabric to a new direction, lower the lever and start sewing again.
  • By completing one side of the fabric, you can go for reverse stitching also to secure the threads properly. If not, finish off the sewing by moving back and forth few stitches over the stitches.

Voila, all done? Now with the needle in up position, pull the lever and slide out the fabric. Cut the extra thread you see there and bring out the fabric. Wasn’t it an easy process though?

When you learn using a sewing machine with this guide, we would love seeing you stitching beautiful and a huge assortment of clothes pretty easily. Since we are here to give you drawn out sewing guides, you will quickly learn how to sew dresses, pillowcases, denims, frocks, curtains and handmade crafts etc. Once you get comfortable, we will write more guides to take your sewing to a next level. What’s more, you will soon be able to make money through your sewing expertise.

Get ready and try out this hidden talent of yours! For any queries, let us know in the comment section below.

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