Learn how to Use a Sewing Machine and SAVE HUNDREDS!


Long, long ago I was given a hand me down, old slightly temperamental sewing machine from my aunt. Back then I never bothered using it or even tried to use it as I felt no need to. I was lucky and had enough money to shop around to only buy clothes that fitted me perfectly, regardless of the price tag.

Then one day this global crisis took a toll on my pockets and I didn’t have the money, or time, to shop around for the perfect fit. I decided to turn to the forgotten, hand me down, sewing machine in the top of my closet.

At first I had no clue of how to use a sewing machine, let alone turn it on, so I scanned the internet for the “ how to” videos on using sewing machines and sewing in general. Youtube was the best, once I learned how to, thread my sewing machine, thread the bobbins, thread the needle, get the tension correct and finally how to actually sew, I placed myself on a path to saving hundreds of euro and gaining perfectly fitted and tailored clothes!

How to use a Sewing Machine Step by Step Videos

Before you begin:

  • Buy good quality thread
  • Buy bobbins if you need any
  • Buy new needles if your own are blunt
  • Have some spare fabric for sewing practice

This video below is a very good for giving the essentials on how to operate a sewing machine for beginners. Things that should be noted is that every sewing machine is different, some will have buttons, some will have knobs, some will be threaded slightly different and one generally difference is with the bobbin compartments.


The video below, at 3:55mins, shows how you can backstitch/tie your stitching when your finished a line of sewing (some machines have a button for this, but not all). I just simply pull the fabric backwards and forwards three times and this ties the thread for me.

Alternate bobbin casing and compartment

An example of a different bobbin compartment can be seen in this video.

Sewing Machine Problems


Problem no.1 - The Needle gets stuck and thread keeps clumping under the fabric

Solution: Nearly every time this occurs it just means you need to adjust tension of the top thread going through your needle (not the bobbin thread). Gradually increase the tension, using the buttons or knob, and sew a small piece of fabric to test.

If it sticks and clumps again then increase the tension further, this should fix the issue.

If this doesn’t work: If increasing the tension using the knobs or buttons doesn’t work, and you know your machine is threaded properly, then there may be an issue with your spool of thread on the top of your machine. Sometimes the spool is too loose and needs to be more secure on your machine. If you have a clip to place above the spool, then put that on and try again, if not, then something I do is to wrap a few lengths of selotape around the compartment of which the spool is inserted onto. This helps to increase the friction with the spool and therefore increases the tension.


Problem no. 2 – Issues with the bobbin, the thread from the bobbin breaks or doesn’t pull out properly

Solution: Issues with the bobbin and bobbin case are common, although solutions to these problems are awkward as some sewing machines have different bobbin cases/compartments.

If it’s an issue with the thread not pulling out properly then remove the bobbin case from your machine and make sure the thread flows through the case. There is normally a screw in the bobbin case that sometimes needs to be loosened to allow the thread through properly.


How to Shop for Clothes (if you have a sewing machine)

Now when I go shopping for, lets say a pair of jeans, I don’t actually look for the correct fit or size, I look for the cheapest price tag and the colour I want, the rest can be sorted out later using my Godsend sewing machine.

I can rummage through the bargain isles in clothing stores, pick a ghastly XXL pair of trousers and make my well fitted 32 waist and 30 length, right when I arrive home.

Other Benefits of having a Sewing Machine

Another benefit to note is that, through word of mouth, friends and family have began “commissioning” me to tailor their clothes, maybe take a top in a few inches or simply shorten a pair of trousers. This can brings in a few euro for me on occasions, not that I easily accept of course.

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Comments 8 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Good for you--great post! Knowing how to sew can have many benefits. Hobby/recreation--great creative outlet, providing your own clothing--as you mention, making items for sale, making items to use as gifts are all ways sewing is beneficial.

Voted up.

Oh! I should add that sewing projects make great hub topics. :)

Iontach profile image

Iontach 5 years ago Author

Hello there RTalloni! Loving that name.

Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. It's always good to have a creative outlet, i used to paint, now i sew! haha. Well I hope to make some sewing project hubs sometime soon, was thinking of making some green cushions so maybe I'll make a hub on that.

Thanks for stopping by!


AlessMiranda profile image

AlessMiranda 5 years ago from Metro Manila, Philippines

Great article. Very informative. I've always wanted to learn how to sew. I think I'll find some time to learn it soon.

Iontach profile image

Iontach 5 years ago Author

Hey AlessMiranda! Thank you for your comment. You should definitely learn how to sew, It's honestly one of the best things I've ever done! I learned from youtube videos and could sew within the day, it's not that hard.

The hardest part is knowing what to do with the sewing machine when it's just not working properly, but I've covered two main problems above so hopefully they help.



Erika Marie profile image

Erika Marie 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

Great hub and very informative. Sewing is a great way to make clothes that fit and you can be creative at the same time! And yes they are less expensive! Voted up and Useful!

Iontach profile image

Iontach 5 years ago Author

Hello there Erika! Thanks for the comment and for voting up :) Yes you can be creative which is good and you can create signature pieces....well i like to think of mine as signature. haha.



art purses profile image

art purses 5 years ago

What a timely hub- I hope it encourages more people to begin sewing. Great job!

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

Very informative. I enjoy using my sewing machine to make repairs and extend the life of my clothing.

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