So you’ve decided to learn to sew. Here’s everything you need to know, from buying your first sewing machine to sewing your first project.
Where to start?
The first step on your sewing journey is choosing a sewing machine. Heading into the sewing store can be an overwhelming experience – there are so many different machines and different features.
There are two questions your should ask yourself before you buy your first sewing machine:
- What is my budget?
- What do I want to sew (now and in the future)?
For more info, check out the Threadistry guide for how to choose a sewing machine here!
After you’ve chosen your sewing machine, you’ll need a few other supplies. Here is the essential list of sewing supplies for beginners.
How to set up your first sewing machine
Every sewing machine is different in how to set it up. Check your manual to ensure you set it up correctly. If you can’t find your manual google “Your sewing machine model + manual” to find it online.
Here are the basic steps to set up your first sewing machine:
- Set up your sewing machine on a sturdy table or desk
- Plug in the power cord and foot pedal
- Wind a bobbin
- Insert your bobbin
- Thread your sewing machine
Quick Tip: Make sure you thread your sewing machine with the presser foot up. This opens up the tension disks and makes it easier to thread.
Sew a Test Stitch
After you’ve threaded you sewing machine, it’s important to always sew a test stitch to check that everything is threaded correctly.
Grab a scrap of fabric (the same fabric type as your project) that is at least 2 inches (5cm) square. Fold it in half and sew a row of stitches.
Check the stitches and adjust the tension or threading if required.
Quick Tip: A general rule of thumb is if the stitching looks wrong on the bottom, there’s a problem with the threadof the top thread. If the stitching on the top looks wrong, the problem is likely with the bobbin.
First Sewing Project Ideas
Not sure what to sew first? I believe the best way to learn to sew is by sewing projects you enjoy (no making a pencil case or apron because you’re told to!). Here are the best beginner sewing projects you’ll want to sew.