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Outstanding Tips for Sewing Machine Beginners

Outstanding Tips for Sewing Machine Beginners
Credit: Sewing Machine Gallery / Shanta Roy

So, you are a newbie sewer. How is the sewing coming along? Generally, most people find it a bit challenging to get into sewing, but this is because they did not have a proper guide to this learning craft.

Therefore, if you are genuinely interested in learning how to sew, we have put together a list of the most outstanding tips that can help you get started. 

Start with the right machine

The first and most obvious thing is to begin by using the proper sewing machine. Considering that there are many varieties out there, you might be wondering which is the right one.

Well, there are those that are specifically suited for beginners, in which they are slightly cheaper, have reduced functionality, and are easier to use.

Basically, they are designed to help you learn quickly by avoiding most of the complexities that make up some of the pro sewing machines.

Have the right tools

Apart from a sewing machine, there are certain tools that you must have before jumping head on to create your first project.

Sewing pins

Sewing pins might seem like small, dispensable items but trust me, you will need them. Handling fabric can be tricky at first, and the purpose of these pins is to help you hold the fabric together before feeding it into the sewing machine, or when cutting and attaching patterns.


These are basically safe storage places for your sewing pins, and they consist of small cushions in which the pins are pressed for organized keeping and easy retrieval.

Right thread

You also need to know about the different thread weights so that you can pick the best size for your sewing projects. For instance, when working on denim, you need a thicker thread, but on lighter fabrics, a thinner thread will do.


Of course, these are not enough. There are many other things that you will need, such as a pair of scissors, different kinds of needles, etc., but most of these are usually included in the sewing machine kit as accessories. 

Flatten your fabrics beforehand

To make it easier to stitch, always straighten your fabric before stitching using an iron box. You may opt to do this by simply using your hands, but if the fabric does not cooperate, iron it out. It may seem like a lot of work but trust me, it will simplify your stitching work later on.

Go slow

Another thing that most beginners get wrong is the speed. We all love doing certain activities quickly so as to move on to the next one, but in sewing, you must be patient at first.

Basically, operating a sewing machine is more or less the same as driving a car. If you go too fast, you have higher chance of crashing. When it comes to sewing, crashing basically means producing misaligned stitches that look unprofessional and very untidy.

This happens because as you put a lot of pressure on the foot pedal, you will most likely lose control of the stitching process as everything will be moving too fast to handle for your beginner self.

With time you might find yourself capable of handling these high stitching speeds but as a beginner, keep it slow.

One important thing that you may want to consider to help you with this is to pick a sewing machine that has speed control settings, in which you can cap the top speed, then increase it with time as you get better. This way, even if you step fully into the throttle, the top speed will not be as high.

Learn to produce neat work

Try to maintain professionalism in your stitching from this early beginner stage, and you can do so by always creating straight stitches and keeping your curved ones neat.

Basically, when doing a straight stitch, always place the edge of your fabric along one of the needle plate lines so as to use it as a guide going forward.

When working on curves, always use both hands (one before and the other after the needle) to guide the fabric steadily. On the other hand, if you want to make a sharp curve for instance along a 90 corner, stop your machine with the needle pinned to the fabric, then turn it while pivoting around the needle.

Match the threads

Sometimes it is not really necessary to match the thread color to the fabric you are working on. For instance, the black thread can be used to stitch on white leather so as to bring in some contrast.

However, you must always ensure that the spool thread matches the bobbin thread so that the stitch can be in one uniform color.

If you need to use multiple thread colors in your project, then it is recommended to fill out different bobbins using your differently colored threads so as to avoid rethreading every time.

Maintain cleanliness

For optimal performance, always clean your machine regularly. By doing this, you will get rid of the fluff, which may even be the cause of certain unbearable noises that your machine may start producing the more you use it. After use, it is advised to keep the machine covered so as to protect it from dust.

Rethread when things go wrong

Apart from cleaning, another major cause of sewing machine glitches is improper threading. Basically, if you have problems with thread tensioning, jamming or breaking, just rethread the machine. You might be surprised at how effective this is at solving your problems.


In conclusion, these tips will help you get down to business as quickly as possible, but for you to become a pro, you must practice continuously and consistently.

Basically, you should try out the stitching on different types of fabrics using different threads, and also play around with the machine’s settings so that you get to master exactly how it works.

If you do not have scraps of fabric to practice on, such as the very fresh beginners, then you can download free patterns online, print them, then stitch on this paper instead. All in all, practice makes perfect, so get busy with your machine. 

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