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Top 5 Beginner’s Sewing Tips : A First-Timer’s Guide

Sew Me! Sewing Basics: by Choly Knight
Sew Me! Sewing Basics: by Choly Knight

So you have already acquired that sewing machine you have always been dreaming about and you are wondering, what next?

At this stage, most probably, you have already carried out all the instructions on the manual, such as threading the needle and winding the bobbin, and you want to proceed to stitch your fabrics to come up with your first design.

It might seem pretty straightforward because sewing is all about attaching fabrics together but it might be very overwhelming if you do not know where to begin.

Below are some of the top tips that will help you get started successfully on your sewing hobby.

Choose your fabric carefully

As a beginner, the first fabric will most likely be for learning purposes. Therefore, you will need a light fabric such as lace to test out your basic skills. Although light, other fabrics such as silk or satin should be avoided because they are quite slippery and might give you a hard time feeding them into the presser foot. Heavy fabrics should also be avoided because they might be tough to work with and require heavy-duty needles for stitching.

Learn how your sewing machine works

Having selected a piece of fabric to learn with, get to understand the workings of your machine. For instance, try out the different stitching options. It has to create decorative, stretch, essential, and buttonhole stitches while adjusting their length and width.

You should also change the feet and try them out on zippers, buttonholes, and the rest. If you have a variable speed option, you should also test out the different speeds to get a good feel for every setting.

Start the first few stitches by hand

Once you feel confident enough to pull out of training, it is good practice to create the first few stitches by rotating the handwheel manually. This enables you to see if you threaded the needle properly so that you create perfect stitches. This way, you can also check if the needle is penetrating the fabric smoothly and also check if the thread is jamming at any point.

Go slow

As a beginner, it is advisable to keep the foot pedal slightly pressed for a constantly slow sewing speed. This is important so that you can have enough time to align and feed the fabric into the presser foot while laid out evenly. In case of any mistakes, it would also be quite easy to undo the small section that would have already been stitched.

Keep the stitches straight

Most beginners make the mistake of focusing on the needle just because of the “magic” it appears to be doing on your fabric. At the end of it, they find their stitches are not parallel to the fabric edge, which makes their work look substandard.

The key to getting straight stitches is to align the fabric edge with one of the parallel lines engraved on the needle plate. For easier referencing when stitching other parts of the fabric, you should mark your chosen line with something like a rubber band or masking tape, and this will create evenness in your work.


As it is with all new machinery, a gradual learning curve is a must to fully master its usage. Sewing machines are no different, but the good thing is that there are loads of video tutorials online as well as sewing blogs to learn from.

These sources are from real users of these machines, which means they give you very informative and relatable content to guide you through every step of the way.

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