Beginners’ guide to Sewing

There are three primary stages to learning to sew. They include: 

  1. The beginning (beginners’ guide to sewing), 
  2. Garment repairs and construction skills and
  3. Sewing for profit and fun. 

When you enter the third stage, you will relish sewing and find that you are qualified to achieve most of the sewing goals you seek, even if you are not a licensed tailor or designer.

This article will focus on the first stage, learning necessary skills- the beginners’ guide.

Learning fundamental skills on a sewing machine is not rocket science but does require patience and time. Many creative artists have a goal of learning to sew on a machine and have to begin at the basics. You, too, can learn to stitch and mend with a machine just as many others have before you.

What are the necessary skills needed to stitch on a machine?

  1. Understand how to thread the sewing machine.
  2. Understand how to backstitch at the start and edge of the seam.
  3. Understand how to sew in a straight line.

Yes, with these three certain skills, you will be ready to step up to the next level of repairs and garment construction. Let’s get started on learning these necessary skills.

Thread your machine:

  1. Read the machine manual. It may sound boring and dry, but you’ll save yourself lots of frustration and time if you read what the folks who made your device ask you to do.
  2. Practice threading your machine until you can do it in 30 seconds. If the directions aren’t clear, google search and look for videos and images to help you follow the guidance.
  3. Practice winding your bobbin. Anyway, it’s nice to have a couple of bobbins all wound and ultimately ready to go.
  4. Practice threading the bobbin once your machine is threaded. Again, there are videos and images available on the internet to help you understand your user’s manual.


The machine manual and videos have helped you understand your machine and threading it nicely. Now comes the main lesson of backstitching. The points below will help you.

  1. Put the needle down through the cloth and bring it up 6mm (1/4 inch) away.
  2. Carefully the thread through up to the knot at the opposite end. This is the same as sewing a running stitch.
  3. Take a tiny backstitch in the fabric, inserting the needle in the same place you began.
  4. Pull the needle through to reveal your very first backstitch!

Sew in a straight line

Get a fabric piece ready to practice this point with. Just a scrap or a leftover of some cloth will do. Preferably just a simple cotton-not anything stretchy or knit. It’s going to be most comfortable if you fold it to sewing through a couple of fabric layers while you are practicing. Next, adjust your sewing for the desired stitch length. After putting your fabric inside the machine, and adjusting the tool, slowly press your foot pedal down to start to sew. Stitch forward for 1/2 an inch. Then carefully push the reverse or lever button to backstitch for 1/2 an inch (sew backward over what you just sewed). After you have back stitched over that 1/2 inch, continue with a forward stitch again. Proceed to sew forward gradually. As you do this, try to keep the end of the fabric lined up with the edge of your presser foot so that it comes in a straight line. Once you reach the edge of your cloth, carefully knot it again. Raise your presser foot slowly and tenderly remove your cloth. You’ve accomplished your beginners’ lesson of sewing in a straight line.  

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