Sewing Machine 101

Learn the ins and outs of your sewing machine!

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In this class, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the home sewing machine with Ellie Lum, the founder and pattern designer at Klum House. Ellie will demystify your sewing machine by going over threading, winding a bobbin, needles, presser feet, tension and timing. Most importantly, she'll cover troubleshooting techniques so you can feel empowered to jump on your machine and tackle your first projects.

Take Sewing Machine 101 by itself, or bundle and save! Sewing Machine 101 is the first class in our three-part Sew Like a Boss online class bundle, which also includes our Portsmith Tote and Woodland Dopp Kit classes. If you’d like to put your new sewing skills into action, sign up for Sew Like a Boss to add on two of our most popular beginner bag projects!


Skills Learned

  • How to thread the sewing machine
  • How to wind a bobbin
  • How tension & timing work
  • How to troubleshoot common thread & tension problems
  • Intro to needles
  • Intro to presser feet
  • How to draft and sew a handmade napkin

Your Instructor

Ellie Lum
Ellie Lum

Ellie Lum is the founder, pattern designer, and head educator at Klum House. With over twenty years of professional bag making experience, she draws on her roots in the industrial sewing industry to make heavy-duty bag making fun and accessible to home stitchers. Ellie has taught hundreds of makers to sew over the years and is known for her fun, casual teaching style and crystal-clear instructions. She believes in the joy, struggle, and triumph that comes from making something from start to finish with your own two hands.


"After finishing the Sewing 101 class, I feel a lot more confident! I've always been afraid to touch a sewing machine--now I feel like I can actually tackle some projects. I really feel like I have a basic understanding of sewing machines now."

- Jayne L.

"Ellie does a fantastic job teaching this class. I'm really looking forward to making the Portsmith Tote and Woodland Dopp Kit next. Ellie's approach makes the information quite accessible and helped me establish a solid foundation such that I feel confident and excited about tackling the next two projects!"

- Simone P.


When does the class start and finish?

The class starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced, online course, so you decide when you start and finish.

How long do I have access to the class?

For life! After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this class for as long as you like, across any and all devices you own.

What if I am unhappy with the class?

We would never want you to be unhappy. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

What materials and tools do I need for this class?

Check out our "Sewing Machine 101" preview in the Course Curriculum section above to see a list of our favorite sewing supplies. You can find all of these and more at, but really all you need for this class is a sewing machine and a few basic supplies, like fabric and thread.

How long does it take to complete the class?

The time it takes to complete the course will vary depending on your sewing skill level, so this is entirely up to you. The total video time is 50 minutes, so you can either watch the whole class in one go, or take your time and watch the lessons over a few days. You can return to the course as many times as you like, so there's no rush to complete.

Do I need a specific sewing machine to watch this video?

No! Although sewing machines can have different capabilities, the basics of how the machines operate are almost always the same. If you know how to troubleshoot one machine, you can troubleshoot them all! We're big believers in using what you've got, but if you're in the market for a new sewing machine, we teach all of our in-person classes on Singer Heavy Duty 4423 sewing machines that generally retail for $130-150. That is to say, you don’t need a fancy, expensive sewing machine to make our bags. If you have doubts about the power of your home sewing machine, test it out! Try sewing through multiple layers of heavy-duty canvas. Sometimes when a project gets especially bulky, we have to use the handwheel to manually sew a few stitches. If your sewing machine breaks a needle, skips stitches, or refuses to feed the fabric, it might not be up for the challenge. But we see lots of different home sewing machines come through our teaching studio that do just fine!

What skill level is this class?

This class is suitable for beginners--no previous experience required. It's also great for folks who have some experience with sewing, but would like to learn more how the machine works or how to troubleshoot common issues. Get ready to sew like a boss!

Get started now!