You are currently viewing Insider 5 Sewing Secrets Every Beginner Needs to Know

Sewing is an incredibly rewarding hobby that allows you to create unique pieces, save money, and express your creativity. However, for beginners, it can also be a frustrating experience filled with unexpected challenges and setbacks. From unthreading needles to fabric getting stuck, these seemingly minor issues can quickly dampen your enthusiasm and make you want to throw in the towel.

But fear not, fellow sewists! There are a few insider sewing hacks that can save you time, fabric, and a whole lot of frustration. These tips are often overlooked in manufacturer’s instructions or beginner’s guides, but they can truly transform your sewing experience.

1: Preventing Unthreaded Needles

How to fix a sewing machine unthreading constantly

One of the most common frustrations for new sewists is dealing with the needle constantly unthreading itself. Just as you’re getting into a rhythm, the thread slips out, and you have to stop and rethread the needle. This can be incredibly annoying and disrupt your flow.

The secret to preventing this issue lies in the positioning of the take-up lever. Before you begin stitching, hand-crank the flywheel until the take-up lever is at the top of the machine. This ensures that the lever won’t pull the slack out of the thread and unthread your needle as you start sewing.

2: Avoiding Fabric Getting Stuck

A simple trick to keep your fabric from getting stuck in your needle plate

Another common problem, especially when working with stretch fabrics like knits, is having the fabric get stuck in the needle plate or throat plate area. This can lead to a tangled mess under the presser foot, which can be incredibly frustrating to untangle.

The solution? Hold the threads towards the back as you begin stitching. This simple trick prevents the fabric from getting caught on the needle or feed dogs, ensuring a smooth start to your seam.

3: The Thread Spool Secret Compartment

Hide Your Needles

Did you know that many thread spools have a hidden compartment? It’s true! On certain types of spools, you can pop out the top part to reveal a tiny compartment designed to store hand-sewing needles.

This ingenious feature not only keeps your needles conveniently stored with your thread but also serves another purpose. The cap is designed to help prevent the thread from unwinding and tangling, saving you time and frustration.

4: Mastering the Seam Ripper

The Reason to Have a Ball

Every sewist, no matter their skill level, will eventually encounter the need for a seam ripper. This essential tool is used to undo stitches, whether you’ve made a mistake or need to adjust a seam.

While many beginners assume that you must painstakingly rip out each stitch one by one with the pointed end of the seam ripper, there’s a faster and more efficient method. Flip the seam ripper over and use the ball tip to push through the stitches, quickly cutting them.

This technique works best with heavyweight fabrics and is a game-changer when it comes to quickly and easily removing stitches.

5: The Self-Leveling Presser Foot

Push Me, I’m A Button

Have you ever encountered a thick seam allowance that caused your presser foot to struggle and create an uneven stitch? If so, you’ll be delighted to learn about the self-leveling presser foot feature.

That small button on the side of your presser foot isn’t just for decoration. It’s actually a mechanism that allows the foot to self-level, helping it glide over bumps and thick seams without you having to pull or manipulate the fabric.

By engaging this feature, you can achieve smoother stitches and avoid fabric bunching or distortion, even when sewing over multiple layers or thick seam allowances.


These five insider sewing hacks may seem like small details, but they can make a world of difference for beginners navigating the sometimes frustrating world of sewing. By preventing common issues like unthreaded needles, fabric getting stuck, tangled threads, and uneven stitches, these tips can help you maintain your momentum and enthusiasm for your new hobby.

Remember, sewing is a skill that takes time and practice to master. With patience, perseverance, and a few insider tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be creating beautiful, professional-looking projects in no time.

So, embrace these hacks, experiment with your machine, and most importantly, have fun on your sewing journey! Who knows, you might just discover a few ingenious tricks of your own along the way.

Allen Miller

Allen Miller is the main author of Stitching Elite. He’s a whiz with a needle and thread. He spends his time reading, playing football, and writing. You can find more about him here.

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