Sewing School Day 2 ~ Before you Sew

Wildflowers and Whimsy
Welcome to Day 2!

Yesterday, we talked about how to choose the right machine for you.  So, if you are like I was, I bet you are thinking, “Okay, I’ve got a machine.  Now what?”  Well, I’ll tell you, and listen up because it’s maybe one of the most important things I am going to say throughout this entire series:


You will never accomplish anything if you are afraid of your machine!  Just about everyone I know, myself included, was terrified of their machine once they got it home.  How do you overcome that?  Simple.  Familiarize yourself with your machine!  Before you ever start your first sewing project, you need to go over your operation manual.

I’m not saying read it from cover to cover.  You would probably never remember all of that info anyway, but once you get your machine out of the box, you should first check to be sure all of the included accessories are there.  Your manual should have a list that looks something like this.
Next, familiarize yourself with your machine features. This is a page from my manual.  It lists my machine’s features and has a short explanation of their purpose.  There is also a page number that I can go to get more info.

Next, you will need to go over the names of the machine’s parts and it’s functions.  Once again, this page gives a short description and a page number to where I can get more info.  You should also read the section on care and maintenance of your machine.

Once, you have looked over these pages, you should practice threading your upper thread, winding and installing the bobbin, and changing the needle and presser foot.  You should also be familiar with the utility stitches on your machine (my manual has a chart that shows all the stitches and lists it’s application.  You don’t need to have this memorized.  Just look over this section so that you know what you have available to you) , know how to select  the different stitches, change the stitch length and width, and adjust the thread tension.Once you are familiar with your machine, practice your stitching on fabric scraps until you feel comfortable straight stitching.  Draw circles on scraps of fabric, and practice sewing curves.  Once you’ve gotten a feel for it, you are ready to start sewing!!
Be sure to come back Thursday, when we will discuss thread tension in more detail!


  1. says

    I gotta say, I was pretty scared of mine the first few times I used it! But you’re right, knowing which parts go where and what they do really helped!

  2. says

    Hi April

    You are a breath of fresh air, if I may so…I have not received my sewing machine as yet, but its on its way, and just by reading your words of encouragement about getting to know your machine and not being afraid of it, made me feel relieved…No lie I am afraid of my machine and I did not even see it as yet..always wanted to learn how to sew, but simply did not have the courage…you have given me courage

    • April says

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am so glad to hear that this helped you. I struggled for so long, and it makes me so happy to hear that are feeling better about it! Hope you’ll let me know how it goes for you, and feel free to email or comment anytime you need help!

  3. says

    Hi April

    So I finally got my machine its the One plus singer…for the first few days it work fine, until suddenly it jammed, broke 2 needles and started giving me an error message. The message basically as stated in the manual could mean the needle is not threaded properly, or the thread is bundled up or the thread broke. I have tried every suggestions to find a solution, but simply cannot get the machine to start working again. It will start off sewing, but then the bobbin will just jam. Can you help?
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    • April says

      Hmmm. They only thing I can think of is that the bobbin is not installed correctly. I’m assuming that you have checked to be sure it’s threaded correctly. Double check that you are installing the bobbin, needle, and threading everything correctly. If that is all correct and the problem persists, I would search for an authorized repair shop and bring it in and have them check it out. It should still be under warranty so if there is a problem they can fix.

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