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Free Sewing Lessons for Beginners

I am an author, publisher, business coach, cosmetologist, and writing coach. I'm also passionate about crafting and DIY.

Are you new to sewing? Get some easy-to-follow advice in this article.

Are you new to sewing? Get some easy-to-follow advice in this article.

Anyone Can Learn to Sew

If you would like beginner sewing lessons, you've come to the right place. Learning to sew has many great benefits. Paying someone to alter and hem garments can be very expensive. Maybe you're someone who enjoys the idea of wearing customized outfits. You could be like me—a person who is passionate about crafting and working on do-it-yourself projects. Knowing how to sew can even help you earn some extra income.

Are you one of those people who purchased a sewing machine but never learned how to use it or couldn't get past the idea of wanting to sew? If this is you, hopefully after you read the free lessons here, you'll do more than just stare at your machine. I've heard some say that they don't even know how to thread their machine. With these easy-to-follow steps and videos, almost anyone can learn how to sew.

What You'll Learn in This Beginner's Guide

  1. How to Thread a Bobbin
  2. How to Thread a Machine
  3. How to Choose Fabric
  4. How to Choose and Use Patterns
  5. What Tools You Need for Sewing
Threading bobbins

Threading bobbins

1. How to Thread a Bobbin

Most machines will come with a manual (unless the machine is purchased used), but learning how to thread a bobbin is one of the first things a seamstress will need to do.

  1. The bobbin thread will need to be the same color as the thread used on the machine, so make sure you have enough thread.
  2. On the top of a machine, there is a place on the far right to thread the bobbin. Place the bobbin in that area, then wrap the bobbin a few times with the thread.
  3. Place the spool of thread on the thread pin or stick.
  4. Now that everything is in place, turn your machine on and start threading the bobbin by pressing the foot of the machine.
  5. When the bobbin is almost full, stop threading.

2. How to Thread a Machine

Once a person has threaded one machine, most of them are pretty much the same, with the exception of a few minor differences.

  1. Start threading your machine at the top of your machine. Place your thread on top of your machine in the same place you threaded the bobbin.
  2. Start by looping your thread with a loop provided on the top of your machine. This loop sits just on the top of your machine, straight above the tension area of your machine.
  3. Once this is done, pull the thread straight down and loop it around the tension, then take it straight back up and loop it into the other loop provided. (There are two loops on the top area of the machine that thread should be looped in.) Thread should take the effect of the capital letter "N" when threaded correctly.
  4. After the thread is taken back up again, then it should come all the way back down near the foot where the needle should be threaded. There is a loop where the thread should go in. Then proceed to thread your needle.
  5. Get your bobbin and put it in the bobbin case. Make sure to hook the thread inside the groove on your bobbin case. If this is not done correctly, your machine will not sew.
  6. Put your bobbin in the machine, but first, pull about three to four inches of the thread outside of the bobbin. This is done so that you can pull the thread up through the needle area.
  7. Then turn the machine, but not with the foot of the machine; instead, do it manually with your hand. This will pull your bobbin thread up through the machine.
  8. Then simply take the two threads and pull them backward to begin sewing.
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Choosing the right fabric

Choosing the right fabric

3. How to Choose Fabric

The project you're working on will determine which fabrics to use. For example, if you are working on a quilt, you wouldn't want to use a denim fabric that is too stiff. Here are some other tips:

  • When choosing a fabric, keep in mind that some fabrics can only be dry cleaned.
  • When using fabrics for infants, you would want to choose fabrics that are very soft.
  • Another important thing to consider is what size a person is or the size of the project you may be working on. The back of the pattern will let seamstresses know how much and the best recommendations for fabrics.
Many patterns to choose from

Many patterns to choose from

4. How to Choose and Use Patterns

When choosing a pattern, there are a few things to consider.

  • Size: The size of a person means a lot. There are some patterns that can only be purchased in certain sizes. For example, adults would not purchase a children's pattern.
  • Shape: The shape of a person should always be considered. If a person is shaped a certain way, some styles of a pattern would just not fit them as comfortably as they would like.
  • Cost: How much a pattern costs may be an issue. Some patterns are very expensive. Some even purchase patterns that have been marked down or patterns from yard sales or thrift shops.
  • Difficulty: If you are a beginner, I wouldn't recommend that you use Vogue patterns because they are much harder to use because they usually have more detail and pattern pieces. If you are just beginning to sew, look for patterns that say 'easy' or ask the clerk in the sewing area to help you.
Sewing tools

Sewing tools

5. Tools Needed for Sewing

To sew, very few things are needed for someone beginning.

  • Scissors: I can't think of anyone able to sew without scissors to cut with.
  • Thread: Always carefully choose a durable matching thread.
  • Buttons: If your project needs buttons, choose buttons that complement the fabric you choose to work with.
  • Sewing Machine Needles: Sewing machine needles will be needed. Be careful not to put too much tension on your thread because this will cause sewing machine needles to pop or break. Make sure that you purchase needles that will work on your machine. There are standard needles that work on most machines.
  • Hand Sewing Needles: When hemming pants or other garments, you will need hand needles. Hand sewing needles are not the same as sewing machine needles.
  • Pins: Pins are needed to secure or hold in place your pattern pieces.
  • Thimble: If you are someone concerned about sticking yourself, you may want to purchase a thimble.
  • Interfacing: Some patterns may require the use of interfacing. This is a fabric used in conjunction with fabric, for example, to make the collar of a shirt stiffer. Many people that make purses use this to make them more sturdy.

You Are Ready to Sew!

Once you go through the steps above a few times and get in some practice, you can start straight stitching. When you get to the point where you can neatly straight stitch, you will be able to sew just about anything. Straight stitching is the basics. If you are still filling like you don't know enough, remember that practice makes perfect. Start by working on simple projects like pillows and pants and skirts with rubber in the waste. You can also work on altering garments.

I really hope this free sewing lesson for beginners has helped you on your sewing journey. Just imagine decorating your own home by making your own curtains, pillowcases, and other simple decorative items. Can you imagine creating your own Christmas decorations like stockings, placemats, and even hand-sewn gifts? Sewing opens up a whole new creative world of endless possibilities. Go over the lessons as many times as you want—learning how to sew will be well worth your efforts.