For those who haven’t touched a sewing machine before, the functionality is sure to seem confusing. However don’t let the machine baffle you as once you have mastered how to use it, you will have the ability to create numerous textile projects with ease and efficiency. Like any machine, it takes some getting used to and it requires a certain amount of cleaning and servicing to check it is in good working order. So once you are ready to start work, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to use a sewing machine.

Image of Small sewing basket with red pincushions print

Thread Your Bobbin
This is the first step for preparing your sewing machine and one that you need to do correctly. It involves the thread holder, the thread spindle and the bobbin spindle and requires you to slide your thread into place. Once you have positioned it through the bobbin, you should press the foot pedal until the desired amount of thread is released.

Thread The Machine
Once you have threaded the bobbin and placed it in the bobbin holder, it is time to thread your machine. To do this, you should drop your needle by turning the handle then when the needle comes back up, pull the thread through and you are ready to sew. If you’re stuck, your machine may have a diagram on the front showing which direction the thread should go, or you can follow the instructions that came with the manual for your sewing machine.

Start Sewing
To ensure that you have threaded everything correctly, it may be a good idea to test sew onto a spare piece of fabric first. Sewing patterns come with their own guidelines for the seam width and measurements so you can start sewing by placing your material underneath the foot. Next, lower the foot onto the fabric and press the pedal to start sewing.


When you’re just starting off, it is better to get to grips with a more basic machine rather than attempting to master a more complicated one. If later on you find that your sewing pattern requires a more complex machine, then look for one that will fit those specific needs. In addition, small frustrations such as thread jams or uneven stitch lines can be fixed by checking the bobbin, thread needle and smaller parts of the machine’s operation.

To start off your project, browse our range of first sewing kits and sewing patterns.

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