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Hello, I am VERY new to sewing and have purchased a second-hand sewing machine. My friend has shown me the basics, but I don’t know where to start to practice. Does anyone have any advice on what to practice to get to know how to work the machine better? Thanks in advance.


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  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Feb 5, 2012, 08.46 PMby sewingfan1

    If it’s just getting to know your machine and trying out the different stitches and settings etc, you could practice on different pieces of scrap fabric to see how it varies between heavy and fine materials, stretch or non stretch etc.

    If you want to actually make something I’d look for a beginner’s pattern (there’s quite a few free ones on this site in the patterns section). Something without too many seams, darts or fastenings (maybe a t-shirt?) might be a good place to start.

    I literally only used my machine for years with just the straight stitches and zigzag stitches and learning about which size needle to use with which fabric. It’s only relatively recently I started using some of the extras on there and some of the different feet that are available.

    If you have a manual that came with it (or look up a copy of it on the internet) they really are worth reading through as it tells you how to care for and oil your machine and what to/how to use the different stitches for.

    I’m sure some others will post some more exciting suggestions for you too.

  • Patti_12-28-2011_large

    Feb 5, 2012, 09.38 PMby patti-r

    Great tips from “sewingfan1” my niece and great niece started last summer with these free projects:


    They used recycled items for fabric like sheets, pillowcases, cotton curtains, men’s shirts and denim jeans just to start out.

  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Feb 6, 2012, 01.05 PMby katexxxxxx

    Make seams.

    Just seams… Cut gash old fabric into 4" wide strips and sew together. Practice getting even stitches and nice curves. Practice even and acurate seam allowances… learn to steer!

    Go through the machine manual and try all the stitch types and processes…

    And then try a simple project like a bag or a cushion cover. :)

  • Missing

    Feb 6, 2012, 03.37 PMby mickeygirl

    I remember in school that we had to first sew on paper over lines and shapes with just a needle and no thread. Then we used some fabric to make small pillows. A good beginner project is pj pants.

  • Missing

    Feb 6, 2012, 04.03 PMby ieltayib

    Hi! I’m new to sewing too. But I did take a month of lessons at home to learn how to draft patterns. My teacher had me start with a simple straight skirt, or an A Line skirt which is even easier. Make it with an elastic waist band instead of a zipper until you’re comfortable doing that, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it will be! I’ll look around for an easy ready printed pattern for you ( I make my own according to my size) but I’m sure there are some on this site. I’ll see what I could find. If you’re interested in how to draft simple patterns let me know, maybe I can help

    • This is a question
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