Getting to know your sewing machine

Have you got the machine out of the box? Have you had a go and become confused as to which dial/button changes the length or width of the stitch? The best thing you can do with your sewing machine is to play. Take your instruction book, thread the machine as it suggests ensuring the thread is going through all of the tension reels and stitch something. Don’t be precious with fabric. Cut yourself a few squares of fabric and get to know how the stitches work. Give yourself an hour or so to get really comfortable with your machine. Try the different stitches, make a note on your fabric or in a notebook to say which stitch type / length/width it is so that you can then go back to refer in the future. Allow yourself to play. Most machines will thread in the same way. Some of the modern machines will also have an arrow or number system to help you get the thread order right. Give yourself time.

I’m not going to do much of a video on the sewing machine because they are all a little different in what they offer but if you’re just starting out, look for :

  • a straight stitch with stitch length adjustment
  • zigzag
  • buttonhole
  • lightening stitch or three step zigzag

These are your most used stitches. You’ll also need a zip foot and buttonhole foot alongside your normal stitching foot. There are other feet and stitches but these are your essentials.