How to Start Using Your Sewing Machine

Get to know your sewing machine so you can prep it before your next sewing project. Every machine is different, so it's important to follow your owner's manual alongside this guide.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
May 02, 2019

2019 Mother's Day - Sewing

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Related To:

Using your sewing machine for the first time can be intimidating, but it's just a matter of getting to know it better. The first step — threading — often feels like the hardest. Machines differ, so make sure to read your owner's manual for specific instructions. Over time, you'll get used to the process and won't need to consult the manual every time.

The machine we used in this guide is a Singer Simple, a great entry-level machine.

$120.00

Learning to sew is fun and easy with the Singer Simple 3337 sewing machine, created with sewing beginners in mind. This sewing machine will give you all of the foundational features you need to get off to a great start.

Buy It

Threading the Bobbin

Your machine can thread the bobbin for you. First, place your spool in the spool holder (Image 1). Next, place the empty bobbin on the metal rod. The diagram on your machine should show where it goes (Image 2). Follow the numbered diagram with your thread (Image 3), and wrap the thread around the empty bobbin a few times. Click the metal rod with the bobbin over to lock it. Slowly press your foot pedal and start your machine to thread the bobbin. When the bobbin is full, take your foot off the pedal, remove the bobbin, and cut it loose from the main thread spool.

Threading the Machine

Remove the threaded bobbin (Image 1), and set aside. Unwind some thread from the main spool, and now follow the diagram for threading your machine (Images 2 and 3). Make sure the presser foot is up (Image 4), and, using the wheel on the right side of the machine, make sure to move the thread guide — the vertical piece above the presser foot — to its top position. Hook the thread on top of the needle to hold it in place. Finally, thread the needle, and pull the thread end so it lays behind the presser foot.

Insert Threaded Bobbin

Locate the bobbin housing on your machine. You may have to remove the swing arm located directly below the presser foot like we did. Some machines house the bobbin next to the presser foot instead of underneath. Place the bobbin in its case found in the housing. Pull the thread through the indention and out the lever at the top. Gently pull the thread to make sure it unravels. Place the case in the housing until you hear a click (Image 1). Replace any lids and parts you removed.

2019 Mother's Day - Sewing

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Catch the Top Thread and Bobbin Thread

Now that your top thread and bobbin thread are in place, you'll need to bring the bobbin thread up before you start sewing. Lower the presser foot, then slowly use the wheel on the right side of the machine to raise and lower the needle until it pulls the bobbin thread up. You should have thread coming from above and below now. Place both away from you, behind the presser foot and base of the machine.

You are ready to start sewing! If you're new to sewing, start with something easy like our lavender eye pillow project.

Sewing Machine 101 06:39

Kelly's mom shares tips and tricks on how to master the sewing machine.

Beginner Sewing Projects

How to Sew an Eye Pillow

Fill an eye pillow with flaxseed scented with lavender essential oil and gift to a loved one or enjoy a spa day at home.

5 Must-Have Sewing Skills

We show you the easy way to tackle sewing basics, from hemming jeans to sewing on a button.

Next Up

5 Must-Have Sewing Skills

We show you the easy way to tackle sewing basics, from hemming jeans to sewing on a button.

7 Tips for Hand-Embroidering Designs Onto Clothing

Embroider beautiful, meaningful designs onto your wardrobe with tips from textile artist Christi Johnson's new book, Mystical Stitches: Embroidery for Personal Empowerment and Magical Embellishment.

How to Sew an Eye Pillow

Fill an eye pillow with flaxseed scented with lavender essential oil and gift to a loved one or enjoy a spa day at home.

Easy-Sew Food Plushie Keychains

These healthy 'snacks' smile back. Make adorable keychains with scrap felt and a simple sewing technique.

How to Make Agate Slice Resin Bookends

Customize the color, shape and size to fit your personal design aesthetic.

Preserved Moss Wall Art

New and longtime gardeners alike will love this easy, green wall art project from Hilton Carter's latest book, Wild Creations: Inspiring Projects to Create Plus Plant Care Tips & Styling Ideas for Your Own Wild Interior.

How to Make a Stenciled Tea Towel in Minutes

This easy stenciled tea towel makes a perfect, personalized gift.

Confetti Paper Crafts, 3 Ways

Make every day a party with these colorful confetti decorating projects.

How to Make DIY Beard Balm

Plus, craft up a stenciled pouch and give this grooming kit as the perfect DIY gift for men.

Try a New Crafting Skill With This Floral Resin Bookmark

Whip up this DIY with a two-part resin kit and a handful of crafting supplies — and make really cute tassels while the bookmarks dry.
More from:

HGTV Handmade

What's New in Handmade

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages