If you’re new to sewing, or feel like you need a refresher, follow these
guides to learn the basics of sewing.

This sewing guide will help you on your sewing journey. Whether you’re a first time sewist, or you have prior experience with sewing, and feel like you need a refresher sewing course.

Sewing is such a fun hobby, but it can be a little scary if you’re a first time sewer.

Here are some questions that you may have about sewing:

  1. What is the best sewing machine to buy for a beginner?
  2. What are the basic tools and supplies I need to start sewing?
  3. What does ______ mean? (Even the words used in sewing can be confusing!)
  4. How do I start sewing?
  5. What is a good first project for a complete beginner?

I’m going to answer all of these sewing questions, and many more!

This Learn How To Sew guide is a broad overview of the many beginner sewing topics that you’ll find here on my site. In each sewing category below, there are links to more detailed tutorials.

It’s a good idea to go at your own pace when going through this learning process. Let’s get started!


The first step to learning how to sew is choosing the right sewing machine for you, if you don’t have one yet. You may already have a sewing machine, but if you don’t, one of the first things you’ll want to get is a new machine. You might be able to find one at your local fabric store, which can be helpful in a couple of ways. First, you’ll have someone to guide you to the right sewing machine that’s right for you. Second, often local sewing shops will have someone that can help with repairs.

I share what to look for in your first sewing machine

Beginner machines

new machine

different types

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from people that they don’t like their sewing machines and are afraid of them.  Do you fall into this category?

Did you buy or inherit a sewing machine, but it sits in a closet or cabinet because you’re afraid to start sewing on it?  Or, you did try to sew with it, but the bobbin kept getting tangled or the thread kept breaking, and you were so frustrated you gave up.

Sewing can be a wonderful hobby or business.  Overcoming your fears of sewing on a sewing machine will help you grow, and you’ll feel so accomplished after you finish your first project!

Let’s go through some of the reasons why you might be afraid of your sewing machine, and ways to get over those fears!  (Warning:  This post contains some tough love!)

Fear #1 – Afraid of being hurt – Sewing machines can be a little intimidating.  They run fast, and the needle goes up and down very quickly.  It’s almost like it’s just waiting to run over a finger!  Here’s the trick, just take it slow and steady and try not to get your hands too close to the needle.  I know that this is easier said than done, believe me!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a hurry while sewing a client’s project, and got my fingers too close to the needle.  I finally learned that going carelessly fast doesn’t do me any good in the long run if I have to stop sewing because my finger is bleeding!

You need to have your hands are on the fabric to help guide it through the sewing machine.  Just try not to get your fingers too close to the needle, and if you’re sewing something small that requires your fingers to be closer to the needle to guide the fabric, try using some kind of utensil to guide the fabric.  Like a chopstick or a stiff pice of cardboard.

Also, when you’re threading your sewing machine, make sure your sewing machine is turned off!  That way there’s no risk of the needle accidentally hurting your fingers while you thread the needle.

Fear #2 – Afraid of making a mistake – It’s going to happen.  You ARE going to make mistakes when you’re sewing on your sewing machine.  That’s what seam rippers are for!

It happens to everyone, including me (and I’ve been sewing for over 50 years).  That’s how you learn. When you’re first starting to sew on your machine, practice sewing stra