How to Use a Sewing Machine

A sewing machine is a textile mechanism that uses thread, a needle, and various fabrics/materials that are stitched together to create clothing.

The sewing machine was introduced to clothing companies during the Industrial Revolution and has changed the way and the rate at which clothes are made. ž

Sewing machines are also found in many households, where people buy their fabric and sew them together to make their clothes.

Things you will need

  • A sewing machine
  • Sewing machine needle
  • Thread
  • Material/Fabric (including sample)
  • Scissors


  1. Read the owner’s manual that comes with the sewing machine and take out the material, the sewing needle, and the thread you want to test or use.
  2. Turn the hand wheel located on the right side of the sewing machine towards you to raise the needle to the highest position. Check the needle to make sure it is the right size for the fabric you are sewing. Then raise the presser foot.
  3. Thread the sewing machine and pull the top and bottom threads to the right and back of the sewing machine. Use the scissors and cut out the size material you want to sew, then place the layers of fabric underneath the raised presser foot, to the left.
  4. The material should be positioned so that the distance between its edges and the needle s equal to the required length of seam you want to achieve. Then place the lower presser foot onto the material and move the machine hand wheel towards you until the needle pierces the material.
  5. Start stitching the material by pressing down on the sewing machine’s foot pedal and gently guiding the material as it is pulled toward the back of the machine. Be careful not to place too much pressure onto the material; guide the material evenly so that the line is stitched as accurately as possible.
  6. If you would like to turn the corner while sewing, use the hand wheel to lower the needle down to the fabric. Raise the presser foot and leave the needle down in the fabric. Rotate the fabric into the new position while the needle is in the fabric and then lower the presser foot with the fabric in the new position and start sewing the material in a new direction.
  7. Repeat this process until you have completed sewing all the materials you want.
  8. Whenever you are sewing and wish to end the use of the machine, raise the needle to the highest point. Then raise the presser foot and pull the stitched material out to the left. Then cut the top and bottom threads with the scissors to release the fabric.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Always test the stitching on a sample fabric before you start on the material you want to sew. This will tell you the stitch length and whether the stitches are too loose or tight. So test the different combinations of stitching to tell what will work versus what won’t. When you feel comfortable with your result then you can start.
  • Always have various color threads and sets of needle sizes with you when you are sewing so adjustments can be made quickly.
  • When you are threading the machine, you need to unplug it.
  • Do not let your hand get under the needle clamp when you are guiding the material under the sewing machine. This can damage you if you are not careful, especially because the needle clamp moves very rapidly when in motion.
  • A needle should not be used to sew more than two outfits. Find out which needles work best with each different type of fabric.