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How To Use a Sewing Machine

Even if you never took home ec, you can create simple projects by learning the basics of sewing machine use.


  • Step 1: Plug in and set up the machine Plug in your machine and set it on a sturdy table. Connect the foot control to the machine and place it on the floor where your foot can easily reach it.
  • TIP: For more comfortable sewing, use an adjustable table or chair to raise or lower the machine and your hands to the same level.
  • Step 2: Thread the machine Place a spool of thread on your machine and secure it with a cap. Wind your thread through the various guides of your machine, as described in your machine's user manual.
  • Step 3: Thread and place bobbin Wind thread on your bobbin, according to the instructions in your machine's user manual.
  • Step 4: Set stitch type and length Choose a stitch type, such as straight stitch or zigzag, and adjust the stitch length. Refer to your machine's user manual for guidelines regarding specific stitches.
  • Step 5: Set fabric under presser foot Set two layers of fabric under the needle and lower the presser foot to the stitch plate. Press down on the foot control slowly, while you guide the fabric underneath the presser foot. Stitch for a few inches, stop, lift the presser foot, pull the fabric away from the needle, and clip the threads.
  • Step 6: Adjust tension Check the stitching on your fabric: if your tension is too tight, the bobbin thread will loop to the top layer of fabric; if your tension is too loose, the top thread will loop to the bottom layer of fabric. Adjust the tension setting if necessary.
  • Step 7: Start sewing Prepare your project for stitching and start sewing. You and your machine are now ready for any project you can dream up, from baby bonnets to king-sized quilts!
  • FACT: The sewing machine was patented on July 17, 1790.

You Will Need

  • A sewing machine
  • A sturdy table
  • Thread
  • Your machineu2019s instruction manual
  • A bobbin
  • Fabric
  • An adjustable chair or table (optional)

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