11 Tips on How to Use a Sewing Machine

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How to use a sewing machine? Seems simple, right? Well, the purpose of this site is to guide those from beginners to the expert on all sewing related things. It can be a little confusing with so many brands of sewing machines available today. There are, however, a few basics tips and standards when it comes to sewing with a sewing machine. And remember, once you know how to do a basic straight stitch on your sewing machine, you can move on to more complex machine stitching techniques.

STEP 1: Read the owner’s manual that came with your machine and familiarize yourself with its various parts and capabilities.

STEP 2: Raise needle to its highest position by turning hand-wheel at the right of the machine toward you. Make sure that the needle you are using is the correct size for the fabric you are sewing.

STEP 3: Raise presser foot.

STEP 4: Thread sewing machine and pull top and bottom threads to the right and back of the machine.

STEP 5: Place layers of fabric to be sewn to the left and underneath the raised presser foot.

STEP 6: Position fabric so that the distance between the fabric edges and the needle is equal to the required seam allowance.

STEP 7: Lower presser foot onto positioned fabric and move machine hand-wheel toward you until needle pierces the fabric.

STEP 8: Begin stitching by pressing on machine foot pedal and gently guiding fabric as it is pulled to the back of the machine. Try not to exert any pressure on fabric other than what is needed to evenly guide fabric in as accurate a stitching line as possible.

STEP 9: End stitching by raising needle to its highest position.

STEP 10: Raise presser foot and pull stitched fabric out and to the left.

STEP 11: Cut bottom and top threads in order to release fabric.

Additional Sewing Machine Tips

* Keep a variety of needle sizes among your sewing supplies. This will allow you to quickly adjust the size if necessary.
* Test stitching on sample fabric in order to determine whether stitches are too loose or too tight and to observe stitch length. Adjust stitch length and tension dials as needed.
* Spend some time testing different combinations of stitch length and tension levels on a variety of fabrics. This will help you get a feel for what stitch settings will and won’t work for some fabrics.
* Take care not to let your right hand get under the needle clamp while guiding fabric. The needle clamp goes rapidly up and down along with the needle and can hit your hand if you’re not careful.

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