Sewing Machine Basics 101

About a year ago one of my friends asked my advice when she was thinking of purchasing a sewing machine. She also asked me if I would teach her to use it and my response was, of course, YES! We finally made plans for lessons and were joined by a few more friends.

sewing lessons 4

First, a word about these ladies. We first met at our water aerobics classes. Swimming together every day makes strangers into friends. We talk daily about pretty much everything, our family, friends, hobbies and even books! From there we formed a book club known as the “Book Club Babes”. We have all enjoyed reading and discussing our books, along with a glass of wine or two each month. We have a lot in common and now even more with sewing lessons.

Book Club Babes

Book Club Babes

I based my lessons on three projects that would acquaint them with their sewing machine. The first lesson was an introduction to the machine – threading, filling bobbins, stitches and more. Secondly, an overview of types of fabric, thread and needles. Then it was time to start sewing beginning with practicing sewing a straight line. After that was mastered, we moved on to our projects. Each project focused on a different skill.

Project #1 – Pillowcases, the Hot Dog Method

sewing lessons 9

I have previously posted a video of the Hot Dog Method of constructing a pillowcase. After making the “hot dog”, the focus of the lesson is finishing the seams with a zigzag or overcast stitch.

Project #2 – Travel Bag

travel bag

The focus of this lesson is zipper construction. The travel bag can be made in a few different sizes but all use a 14″ zipper. Putting the zipper in was easy and a good way to learn to use the zipper foot.

Project #3 – The 10-Minute Table Runner

sewing lessons 2


sewing lessons 3


The last project was actually the easiest. The ladies LOVED making this, quick results make for happy students.

sewing lessons 7

Hopefully my friends learned a lot about using their sewing machines. Now they can choose to move on to quilting if they want. I’ll be happy to get them started!



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