A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing – Part 3

Practice Stitching for Perfection

Hey y’all! Now that we are comfortable with Part 1, winding the bobbin and lower threading, and Part 2, upper threading the sewing machine, the next step is to become familiar with the different stitches that the machine is equipped with. This will also serve as practice for sewing in a straight line.

For this tutorial, we will be using a Brother SQ9050 sewing machine. Although the concepts are similar for most machines, please refer to your user guide for machine specific questions. I believe the Brother SQ9050 has been discontinued, but this model is very similar.

Brother XR9500PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine with 100 Built-in Stitches and Quilting Table
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Practice Stitching

In this section, you will need around a 1/4 of a yard of lightweight cotton fabric with stripes. This machine has 100 different stitch patterns so depending how far apart you want your stitches will determine if you need additional fabric. A two color stripe pattern is preferable for this, but I had this scrap fabric lying around so I made due.

1. Cut your fabric to the desired length and put the additional fabric away.

2. Select stitch pattern 1 from the digital display (the goal is to get a sample of each one of the stitches so it’s best to go in order so you can reference the stitch pattern later).

3. Wind the bobbin and thread the lower part of the machine (see Part 1 of the Beginner’s Guide to Sewing if you are unable to do this).

4. Now thread the upper part of the machine (see Part 2 of the Beginner’s Guide to Sewing if you are unable to do this).

5. Lift the presser foot and place the fabric underneath. Put down the presser foot and select the back-stitch button located on the front of the machine (see the user guide if you are unsure where this is located). After a few stitches are set, let go of the back-stitch.

6. Set the seed to slow and feed the fabric through the machine by gently pressing the foot pedal. One you reach the end of the fabric, trip off the loose ends and try the next stitch. Adjust the speed from slow, medium, and fast until you find what is most comfortable for you.

7. As you can see, sometimes faster is not always better.

8. After you complete all of the stitches, you should begin to feel more at ease with your machine. You will also have a nifty stitch guide which will serve you well on your future sewing endeavors.

Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

*For straight lines, try to focus on the feeder guide rather than on the needle.

*Don’t hold the fabric too tight.

*Feed the fabric at the speed that makes sense for the stitch type (more intricate stitches will require that you feed the fabric at a slower speed).

*If your thread breaks, don’t get discouraged. Lift up the presser foot. Remove the fabric, trimming off the excess thread. Re-thread the machine and start again. It’s annoying, but it happens.

Do you have any tips for sewing in a straight line? Feel free to share below in the comments section. For more sewing tutorials, visit our Sewing Basics page!



  1. Shirley says:

    When my grand kids want to sew, i give them theme lined paper (. School paper) try to stay on the lines. Easy to sew on paper

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