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4 Creative Ways To Use Your Sewing Machine

In photo: mechanical sewing machine Brother J17s

Today, I want to share 4 creative ways how you can use your sewing machine, expanding its possibilities. All techniques you'll be able to create any sewing machine that you have, so let's get creative!

This article is created in partnership with Brother - experts of home sewing, embroidery, quilting, and crafting machines for more than 100 years.

Click image below to watch video version, and scroll down to read 4 creative ways how to use your sewing machine!

4 Creative Ways To Use Your Sewing Machine

Technique No.1: free motion embroidery.

Out of all the techniques I'll share today, free motion embroidery is my favourite one. Knowing how to do free motion embroidery will unlock endless design possibilities and give your garments 'wow' effect.

To do free motion embroidery, you first need to lower feed dogs - usually, at the back of your sewing machine, there's a lever that lowers feed dogs. In some machines, there's no feed dog lowering lever, but you can still do this technique by using a special accessory called darning plate.

Feed dog lowering lever located at the back of sewing machine (model Brother CS10s)

Once the feed dogs are lowered, it won't move fabric and you'll be able to move fabric in any direction, creating any design you want.

Deactivated feed dogs allow to move fabric in any direction

You also want to switch to free motion embroidery foot - this foot presses fabric only when needle goes down, allowing to move fabric any way you want once the needle is up.

Free motion embroidery foot presses fabric only when needle goes down

With the two changes, you have turned your sewing machine into embroidery machine! Using free motion embroidery you can create paintings, greeting cards, add personalization to your creations by adding word or monogram - possibilities are endless!

Writing is created using free motion embroidery
Monogram is created using free motion embroidery (zig zag stitch)

Technique No.2: sewing different materials.

Usually, when we talk about sewing, we talk about woven or knit fabrics. But in reality, you can sew a variety of different materials using your sewing machine!

When I started sewing, I loved making bags from faux-leather jackets I got from thrift shops. Using my standard domestic sewing machine, I was able to turn those jackets into bags I envisioned!

Sewing different materials will require some adjustments (different presser foot, special threads or needle, etc.), but you'll be surprised with what your machine can handle!

Bag from faux leather I made as a beginner

Technique No.3: different presser feet.

 Presser feet are fastest way how you can expand the range of operations your sewing machine is capable of. Some presser feet will help you do a task faster, while some presser feet will allow you to do techniques you wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

One example is using narrow hem foot (a foot that a lot of us have) to sew cord. The cord (or embroidery floss in this sample) is fed through the presser foot funnel. Then, using zigzag stitch, create any shape or design you want - the zigzag stitch will lock in the cord in place, while narrow hem foot will ensure that cord is going in exact spot it needs to. This technique will definitely give 'wow' effect to your garments!

Narrow hem foot used to sew cord
Texture, created using narrow hem foot and embroidery floss

Technique No.4: fabric manipulation.

 Fabric manipulation can turn plain fabric into unrecognizable texture.

One technique I recently tied is fabric bubbling and turned faux leather into bubby texture. Then, using zipper foot, I attached it to my sweater, giving it completely different look.

Knowing how to do fabric manipulation will allow you to explore new design possibilities!

Sweater decorated with fabric bubbling technique
Fabric bubbling elements are installed on sweater using zipper foot

Here are all 4 techniques I wanted to share today and hopefully they sparked creativity how to get more from your sewing machine. Enjoy creating!

Best wishes,



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