A Beginners Guide to Using a Sewing Machine

Brother-HC1850-3aA lot of the sewing machines that we have listed here on StitchEasy.com are ideal for the beginner sewist. But for some, even using a basic machine can be a bit intimidating at first, so we wanted to give you a very basic guide to using a sewing machine to help you make that initial step and start creating some wonderful stitches and garments yourself.

Although there is a wide variety of sewing machines you can get, they all work around the same principles. When you get to the more advanced machines then you will find a lot of additional features, but the basic machines all tend to use the same fundamental setup and operational features. So do not worry what machine you have, or you are planning to get, as these methods will work on all of them.

Setting your sewing machine up

Before you start any sewing, you need to get your machine set up correctly and ready to use. This will mean doing things like winding the bobbin, selecting and adding the right needle and then threading the needle. These are all fairly simple processes, but they can appear a little confusing the first time you attempt them.

Winding the bobbin

The bobbin holds the thread in one place and allows for easy release of the thread. The bobbin sits in the bobbin holder, and should be kept clean and free of any debris and offcuts at all times to ensure the smooth release of the thread at all times. Pretty much all new sewing machines have automatic bobbin winders these days, which makes this process very easy for you.

Even the basic sewing machines such as the Brother XL-3750 will have an automated bobbin winder, so you can get the thread onto the bobbin quickly and easily. It will also be put on evenly, so it will also come off the bobbin that much easier.

Threading the needle

The second important part of the setup process is the threading of the needle. But again, with modern day machines that aspect has almost exclusively been automated too. So no more fiddling around trying to get the thread through the tiny eye of the needle, the machine will do all of that for you. The Singer 2259 is a great example of a basic machine with automated needle threading.

Stitch selection

Most modern sewing machines will provide you with a variety of stitch patterns for you to follow. These stitch patterns are built into the machine, so all you need to do is make the right stitch selection and the machine will then make this stitch for you perfectly. Computerized machines can have 100+ stitch patterns built into them, but even the more basic machines will offer 20 to 50 different stitches for you to use.

A non-computerized sewing machine such as the Brother XL2610, which has 25 built in stitch patterns, will use a simple dial to make the stitch selection. So you need to determine which stitch you want to use on your garment and then select this stitch on the dial. If you are using a computerized machine, such as the Singer 7258 then you will just need to go through the menus and select the appropriate stitch from there, and the machine will do the rest for you.

Using Your Machine – Sewing a Bling Hem Stitch

So now your machine is set up, you are ready to go. One of the most popular stitches is the blind hem stitch, so we are going to give you a quick tutorial to show you how to do it.

Pretty much all modern sewing machines will come with a blind hem foot as part of the accessories, and a built-in blind hem stitch. But you still need to take the appropriate action to ensure the stitch is done correctly.

The blind hem foot is essential to this process, as it is made with a blade that runs down the middle of the foot to guide the stitch accurately. So the first thing to do is fit this foot onto your machine. You then need to select the correct blind hem stitch on your machine.

To get your material or garment set up correctly you need to make a fold in the right place. First of all, you will have the material folded at the hem. But then you need to create an extra fold at the point where the end of the folded material is. You do this by pinching between your fingers and thumb, then pin the material into place. This will hold it form when you run it through the machine.

When you line the material up in the machine, you will use the blade at the bottom of the presser foot and run this up to the fold of the material. You then just need to start stitching, and the machine being set to the correct blind hem stitch will ensure that it is implemented correctly. Run the stitch through slowly to begin with, until you get more confidence with the control of the machine.



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