Online Sewing Class

Free online sewing training for beginning sewers.

Online Sewing Class – Lesson #1: Choosing a Sewing Machine

Choosing a Machine
Updated August 14, 2014

Having the top notch most expensive sewing machine is not important when you are a beginning sewer. However, to complete any projects you will need a machine of some sort to complete the exercises.

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You really just need a decent machine that does a few basic stitches, can go in reverse (yes you’ll need to go in reverse!) and is easy to operate. Even if you have money to burn, we recommend that you get a modest machine in the $100 range, run it into the ground, and then upgrade when you are more experienced. Video Review of Machines

If you do have to buy a machine, look for the following characteristics:

  • Make sure that you get a “real” machine. To complete even the basic projects in this course you’ll need a machine that has a variety of stitches and is sturdy and well built.
  • You need a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch, and a buttonhole.
  • You don’t need a machine with a screen or one that interfaces with a computer.
  • It is preferable to get a machine with metal parts inside and where the bobin sits in a metal case. However, as a beginner it is okay to get a machine with plastic parts. Plastic bobbin can lead to tension problems later.
  • Avoid machines where the thread spool sits on its side. Get one where the thread sits upright on top of the machine.
  • It is better to have a machine with an upright foot pedal rather than an angled one.

Our favorite machine can be purchased on Amazon with Free Shipping!

Joann Fabrics has an awesome tool to determine the best machine for you based on your price range, your skill level and the projects you would like to complete. However, based on what we know about beginning sewing and what kind of machine you need to complete these lessons, we can also give you the quick and dirty list here.

Machines Recommended for Beginning Sewers

Machine Cost Pros Cons
Brother XL2610 $95 – $120 Easy to use and has tons of stitches. Worth the upgrade from the lower model with fewer stitches and functions. Has plastic bobbin encasing.(This is a positive con though because it is easier to use for beginners) Reviews
Singer 1507 8-Stitch Machine $65-$80 Inexpensive, compact. May not have a wide enough range of functionality to really get you started in a fun way. Reviews
Kenmore brand from Sears $90 – $100 Easy to use. Metal bobin case. Sears has a good service plan. May have tension problems later on. Reviews
Used machine from local fabric store $30 – $75 Make sure that the motor is not about to blow out and that it was originally a quality machine. Reviews

Check out this video review for more information

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About Sewing and Fitting

Copyright ©2013 All Rights Reserved. 8/17/2013. Click here to see the lesson plan.

Online Sewing Class – Welcome: Learning the Basics

Updated August 14, 2014
Welcome to the Online Sewing Classes site! If you want to learn how to sew, this is the site for you! This choosing a machine to creating your first skirt, and more. Take this free course to learn all you need to know. This site is your one stop shop for sewing tips, sewing instruction, advice and video instruction on sewing.

The objective of this site is to break sewing down into simple steps so that you can learn foundation techniques one at a time. Several tutorials walk you through simple steps toward learning all of the basics that you need to start creating wonderful projects.

Sewing training of this type can help you to get started if you can not take an in person class, or if you want to just get started and give it a try. Maybe you have your mother’s old machine and you have no idea how to thread the needle or the bobbin. We will show you here!

Of course it is always nice to be shown by a real person, however this class can be a great starting point for you to learn the basics without leaving your home and without paying an instructor.

The main goal of these lessons is to help you to become confident using a machine and to obtain the skills to complete simple projects. After completing all of the lessons you should have the confidence and skill to teach yourself from other instructional sites, books or videos showing more advanced projects or techniques. With these courses, your sewing should become very proficient in a short amount of time.

Sewing 101
A Step By Step Guide To the Basics

Sewing And Fitting Course

Sewing and fitting techniques that will take your technique to a professional level in no time!

Follow the lesson plan to be straight on your way to becoming a master seamstress!





Tips and Tricks

  • Pillowcases – Purchase good quality, fancy pillowcases from second hand stores then cut and shape them to use as a machine cover. You can also use these for doll clothes, children’s clothes, cute purses and bags, or whatever you can think of!
  • Pattern Storage – Use the plastic bag from new pillowcases to store your patterns. This provides a great container that is big enough for the patterns and you can also see through to see the contents.
  • Buttons – Before tossing out old clothes, snip off the buttons, zippers, and other viable pieces and store to use in your projects.
  • Empty Pill Bottles – Use empty pill bottles to store pins, needles, buttons and other supplies.
  • Pattern Templates – You can use old x-ray films for pattern templates. You can easily sew through them.
  • Crepe Paper- You can use crepe paper to put on top of fleece or other textured material to keep the fabric from getting caught in the feed dog or presser foot on the machine. Just sew through it then tear it off when finished. The paper helps keeps fibers from getting caught in the feed.
  • Hardware Parts – Use a mechanics magnet for picking up needles and pins. Use large washers to use as pattern weights.
  • Table – Tape a cloth tape measure to the edge of your table. Tape one to the top and the side for an even more useful measurement guide while you are sewing.
  • Baby Food Containers – Use plastic or glass baby food containers to store your supplies. These jars also stack very neatly and can look really great when stored away.

Posture, breaks, stretching and taking care of yourself while sewing

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When you are working on projects or any crafts, really, it is important that you are mindful of how your body feels as you are working. It is easy to get really caught up and involved in a project and the next thing you know, your arms and neck are killing you, you are dehydrated and you’re starving. Keep the following in mind as you are working to ensure that you aren’t doing yourself harm while crating fabulous projects!

  • Take lots of breaks – I will often set a timer in the kitchen or another room… one that won’t stop going off until I actually walk in there and turn it off. This helps me to force myself into breaks.
  • During your breaks, stretch! – Its also good to have a timer to ensure that you stretch for at least 5 minutes. Also, hold your stretches for 5 – 20 second intervals for the best results. There are so many great places on youtube to see excellent neck and shoulder stretches, but I have included my favorites below.
  • Drink your water – Keep a large container nearby and make sure that you drink frequently. Its so easy to forget that our bodies are made mostly of water, and its so important to keep hydrated throughout the day.
  • Stop and Eat! – This one seems so obvious, but if you have done much sewing or general crafting you are probably chuckling right now thinking of how easy it is to forget to take a break for lunch.
  • Work in a comfortable well lit space – There is no need to strain your eyes working in the dark. Also make sure you have a comfortable chair and that it is high enough so that your neck isn’t straining to work on your project.
  • Here are a couple of helpful stretching videos:

    Related Websites

    Copyright ©2013 All Rights Reserved. 8/16/2013. Click here to see the lesson plan.

Hems and Seams

Online Sewing Class – Hems and Seams
“Measure Twice, Cut Once”
Updated August 14, 2014
Learn how to sew two pieces of fabric together at a seam
Learn how to create a finished hem
Learn how to create a finished seam with decorative or zig-zag stitching

Scrap fabric
contrasting thread

Key Tips:
Most of the time you will sew fabric together with “right sides facing”.
Iron your fabric after each step. Keep it nice and flat to make it easier to sew.
After sewing the seam together, cut off your seam allowance for a more finished seam
Use decorative or zig zag stitching along the edge of seams to complete the look.