Guide for sewing machine starters at home

Getting a sewing machine for the first time could be easy. Getting it to work for the first time could be scary most times. I know, because this was how I felt when I first got my sewing machine. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how you could ease yourself to using your sewing machine at home.

The first step is easy: relax, and allow yourself to be excited for this. Think of all the projects that you want to do. Take that sewing machine out, and prepare!


Acquiring guides/manuals

Next, and this is very important, get the guide that comes with it and keep it by your side. If possible, it’s more helpful to open video guides specifically for the machine that you have. Different sewing machine have different structures and mechanisms. I could go on and on here and talk about how to operate my machine, but we can’t be quite sure if it work for you, or if you will understand which parts I’m actually referring to. That, considering that this is your first time to put this machine to use.

Knowing your sewing machine’s anatomy

After getting the manual and compiling some tutorial videos, get ready now to dissect your sewing machine’s anatomy. No, we are not necessarily going to take each pieces out, but it is important to know your sewing machine’s parts, what they do, and where they are. For starters, look for these on your sewing machine: bed, bobbin, bobbin case, backstitch pedal, feed dogs, foot pedal, buttonholes. Buttonhole lever, hand wheel, free arm, presser foot, presser foot lever, needle plate, and the stitch selector, if there’s any. Now wasn’t that quite overwhelming? Allow yourself to do this carefully and really get to know each. This will determine how much easy the next steps will be for you.


Knowing the basic functions

After getting to know the parts, this is where your videos come in handy. Know how to operate the basic functions on your sewing machine. Learn how to turn it on and off, where to place the needle when you’re about to start and end, how to put the thread in, how to select stitches, how to adjust stitch width and gap, how to switch stitches, and other functions that you have in mind that would come in handy for your first project!

Always test!

Once you’re done determining the parts and functions, do not forget this step: always test the stitches on a scrap piece of cloth before you start. To avoid frustration, never start a project right away. Always allow yourself to make mistakes and learn, by running your ideas on test fabric. This may not totally save you from making mistakes in the future, that’s inevitable, but it could still save you from frustration if you are prepared. This could be made into a habit every time you start sewing, or you could simply drop this habit off once you get the hang of how your sewing machine works!


Get ready now for all the home improvement projects that you have in mind. Projects at home vary in difficulty, so it is best to test or search first if your machine is capable of doing the job. Be cautious on using thick or multi-layer fabric, as not all sewing machines for domestic use could withstand this.