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At HowToSew.com you’ll learn how to start (and finish) basic sewing projects. Check out our free sewing patterns and tips for sewing, and get started!

machine how-to

Learn how to stitch a seam that doesn’t require backstitching

There are special needles you'll need when sewing knits. Check our guide to four stitches that are perfect for hemming your next knit project!

There are two common machine throat plates. Find out which one you need for the stitches you're using.

Use this chart to figure out what machine needle size you need for your current project!

Do you know the difference between a serger and a sewing machine? They are very different in purpose and functionality, but when paired together, they make an excellent team! 

  Threading a sewing machine may seem easy enough. You simply open the machine manual and follow the thread path described, right? Some machines even are marked with a series of numbers indicating the order and direction the thread should run.   There are, however, a couple of pitfalls that can prevent success if you don’t know two simple things: how to keep your thread properly situated in the tension discs and how to turn the handwheel to more easily access the take-up lever.  

Whether you’ve purchased a new sewing machine, inherited a machine from a friend, or found one at a yard sale, understanding a few key points can make a difference when threading it. For the precise threading path for your machine, refer to the machine’s manual or looking up the specifics online. To learn more about threading a machine in general or to refresh your memory, watch this video!

When you’re standing at the great wall of notions in the store, how do you know which needle and thread to pick for your project? Here are four of the most common combinations, plus a few tips to help you decipher the product labels.

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