Family Life

Sewing 101: Getting to Know Your Machine

Here she is- my Pink Beauty! She is very special to me, as my mom gave her to me. She has been the inspiration of many projects that I have done and want to do. She is awesome!

When I first started using my sewing machine, I thought I could figure it out on my own. How to thread the machine, how set it to a strait stitch, etc… no problem!

Boy, was I wrong. I was so confused! I realized there’s a lot more to working a sewing machine than just plugging it in and pushing the foot pedal. So, I thought I would write a post on how to get to know your machine so you can run it with ease and to be in tune with it’s every sound, hum and action.

Getting to know your Machine

  • My first piece of advice when you’re getting to know your machine is to READ THE MANUAL.

I will be the first to admit that I HATE reading manuals. I am the type of person that would rather figure things out on my own than spend an extra 10 minutes to read the instructions. I am impatient.

But, when it comes to sewing, I HAD to read the manual because I was so lost on how to make the blasted thing work right.

**If you purchased your machine second hand or if you misplaced your manual (it happens, folks), there’s a great website called that you can go to and get just about every manual that has ever existed- FOR FREE! I had to do this with my Pink Beauty. All I had to do was search for the name and model of my machine and download the manual to my computer. Easy Peasy!

  • Know how to thread the machine properly.

If this isn’t done right, there are all kinds of problems that can occur. Thankfully, my machine has numbers and pictures on it that show me the order and way to thread my machine. A lot of machines don’t have this and even if you think you have it right, you may not and your stitches will be all crazy looking when you start to sew.

  • Get to know all the dials and buttons on the machine and what they do.

When I first started sewing, I had no idea how important it was to set your machine to the right tension, right stitch length, etc (I was completely clueless, trust me!).

Get that manual out and figure out what dials and buttons do what and do some practice runs with scrap fabric. Do not start a project until you know your machine is set right! It will save you a ton of blood, sweat, and tears. And I mean that- it is possible to do all three when it comes to using your sewing machine. ­čÖé

  • Practice, Practice, Practice!

Once you feel that you’ve gotten to know your machine a little better, make some trial runs! Start a project with the expectation that it may completely mess up! I do not suggest starting a super-complicated project for your very first one.

Pick a project that uses mostly straight lines, straight stitching and that doesn’t require a lot of ruffling or fancy embellishments. Make something like a small pillow or like I said before, practice your sewing on an old t-shirt or something like that. The more you sew, the more you’ll know!

I hope this post has been helpful to you. I wanted to share some points of beginner sewing that were very important for me. These points have helped me tremendously and I hope they will help you too. Good luck!

Hey! Meet Vanessa

A foodie, crafty, homeschooling mom of 3, who loves her Happy Planner and all things Mid Century Modern!


A foodie, crafty, homeschooling mom of 3, who loves her Happy Planner and all things Mid Century Modern!

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  1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

    She is lovely!

  2. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of Sewing 101: Getting to Know Your Machine . Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      Thank you so much! Please come back any time!

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