Your bobbin is wound and loaded. Your machine is threaded. Let’s. Do. This.
Use the stitch selector to choose who will compete in the Hunger Games...jk, it’s just to choose your stitch. The stitches you’ll use most often are straight and zigzag, and the length of each stitch can be adjusted with the stitch length knob.
Use the hand wheel to raise the needle and lift the presser foot lever. Slide your fabric onto the needle plate and lower the presser foot lever.
When you step on the foot pedal to start the machine, two things will happen; the needle will go up and down, and the feed dogs underneath will act like a conveyor belt to move the fabric forward. The feed dogs are little metal teeth under the needle that advance the fabric forward, so you don’t need to push or pull the fabric through. With your hands on either side of the needle gently guide the fabric through the machine.
When you’re ready to stop stitching, just use the reverse control to go backwards for 2-3 stitches; this acts as a little knot to secure your thread. Look at the front and back of your fabric to check that the stitches are even on both sides. If they aren’t, this means the tension is off; the same amount of thread needs to flow from the bobbin and spool simultaneously. This problem can be easily solved by rethreading your machine.
Start off slow, and don’t worry...you can use your seam ripper (I call mine, Jack...serial killer references make sewing so subversive!) to undo any mistakes. The journey of a thousand projects starts with a single stitch, so congrats! Time to put your knowledge to the test with our easy-sew tote bag tutorial...
The last seam ripper you'll ever need -
I’ve made everything from quilts to clothes on this cheap fella. If you’re not ready to make a big investment, a computerized Brother is an easy machine to start with. It’s also extremely light and portable, you know...for all that traveling you’ll be doing with your new sewing machine!
If you decide your sewing machine is going to live out and about in your home instead of squirreled away in a closet, might I suggest this minty gal…Janome Arctic Crystal Sewing Machine
These Ginghers make the cut….see what we did there? Be sure to only use these on fabric if you want them to last a lifetime. The angled handle allows you to easily cut your fabric without your pesky hands getting in the way.
This lil birdie is perfect for snipping thread, or just looking like a fancy Downton Abbey extra as you practice your stitches.