Any interest in showing me/teaching a class on basic sewing machine use/simple alterations?

I have a few basic cotton/blend tank tops that I need to take in but I don’t know even the basics of using a sewing machine. I know there’s a whole area in the Hackerspace with a sewing machine and I wondered if there was anyone who had even moderate skills who would be willing to guide me (obviously I would compensate for your time and expertise) or lead a short class on how to use/common issues with a sewing machine.


I am a complete newbie to sewing and have no clue what I’m doing as far as alterations and/or common issues, but I did try to play with the Juki sewing machine we have a couple of months ago. I can show you the VERY basics like how to thread the thread, change the needle, wind and load the bobbin, and change the stitch size, but that’s about it. Someone with more experience would definitely be preferable but if there are none I can show you the ropes to get you started playing around with it. (I’m not just being humble or anything, the only thing I’ve ever sewed were some bad looking masks earlier last year haha)

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Here’s the manual for our particular machine, if you’re interested in flipping through. Its the LU-562 Model

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Thank you! I’ll check that out. Even learning the basics would be helpful, I don’t think I’ve come in physical contact with a sewing machine in the last 10+ years. Let me know when is convenient if the offer stands.

Hi Ela and Adam,

If you’re able to wait a few days, I can give a quick introductory class. There are definitely members far more knowledgeable than I am, but I can at least get you started with first principles and basic fashion/alteration sewing.


That would be great!

I’d certainly be interested in knowing more. I’m not too interested in fashion specifically, but I’ve wanted to try using it to sew some leather recently, (wanted to make some bags and potentially leather upholstered cushions) if you know anything about that specifically. Even if not, I’m always up for more knowledge and I’m sure it would help

I would also be very interested in learning more about the sewing machine, if that would be alright

I know quite a lot about sewing on a machine, but have never used the Juki we have at the space. @eladarling - have you done clothing alterations by hand in the past? Or are you looking to learn from scratch?

I’ve done some very amateur alterations in the past, but nothing fancy.

I’m going to go play around with the machine here in a bit. I’ll check in afterwards, and we can probably sort something out.

My understanding is that you really want to use a triple feed walking foot style machine for leather and upholstery, not the particular juki mentioned. I haven’t looked up in the loft, so I don’t know if there’s a walking foot machine up there or not.

I’d imagine it’s worth learning about any sewing techniques, even if you are more interested in a particular use, because some of the finishing is generally applicable. The Sailright company has some amazing tutorials on youtube that are 100% worth checking out, plus they sell all types of heavy duty fabrics and even offer kits to make your own backpack etc. The kits have corresponding videos to show you how to sew them up.

I haven’t tried a kit, mainly just disassemble old scrap stuff to practice on. I have a sailrite LSZ 1 that I use. it’s a small walking foot, not technically triple feed though.

I’m not familiar with those terms, especially triple feed, but I do think it’s a walking foot machine. Does that just mean that the machines walks the material forward rather than you having to do it?

I saw this thread on a different forum about the same machine we have, maybe it can tell you some information?

Regarding your other point, I totally agree. Regardless of the use, I’m interested, especially because my interests change so much and who knows maybe I’ll get inspired. I’ll check out the Sailright company you mentioned, thanks!

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After reading that thread on I see someone mentioned this:

The LU-562 is a nice flatbed machine–a walking foot, compound “triple feed” machine for upholstery to medium leather. It is identical to the LU-563 except for its smaller G bobbin…the smaller bobbins don’t hold much of the thicker threads. On the plus side, its super easy to check how much thread remains in your bobbin on the vertical-axis bobbin machines.

So it seems like it could be triple-feed, walking foot style, correct?

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Ah, good question. I was just skimming the link to the manual when I replied the first time, so I’m not fully sure. Check out this video explanation of the triple feed walking foot, I really like this guy’s videos, and you’ll be as up to speed as I am :wink:

And here’s a link to the sailrite youtube channel. I really like a company that puts as much effort into education as they do selling products. They aren’t necessarily the cheapest but I do try to support them if I can afford to because it’s such a great business model. Doesn’t hurt that the videos are great and they totally make it easy for you to maintain your own machine.

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Sorry, looks like you’re correct. The manual didn’t mention the walking foot in the title and I was on my phone at the time, so I assumed. Here’s a video of Alexander Dyer explaining the LU 562:

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That’s great, thanks! What got me interested in the first place was Adam Savage’s video of him sewing his EDC 2 bag for his channel Tested. They use sailcloth, so if would be awesome to purchase some and try something out with it. The leather bag that I’m making is actually the same bag, using the pattern he sells. I’m used to hand stitching, but for a larger project I’d rather utilize a machine as much as possible and save my hands…Sorry to hijack the thread talking about leatherworking haha


Are there a couple machines up in the loft? This unison feed “walking foot” machine might be a little rough on thinner materials that you may want to sew, like cotton shirts.

I didn’t realize the sewing loft was even open. Kind of stoked to be able to use a proper industrial walking foot machine, actually! I’m also really new to sewing. Made some box cushion covers, a dog bed, and am currently working on a dog sling so I can trim her nails. As a bonus, the lasers can cut fabric very precisely and leave a nice edge.

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Yeah, it opened pretty recently in the past month or so! All it needed were some basic COVID sanitation procedures. There’s only one sewing machine up there, and some basic leatherworking tools like various tooling and letter-punches and strap cutters and stuff like that. Actually, I think the sewing machine will be moving soon, perhaps to the classroom? I know that there are plans to use that loft for storage, and tbh when I went up there last everything was covered in about 1/16" of dust so another home would probably be nice.

@eladarling I just went and tried out the Juki. I would suggest a few things.

First, you might consider waiting until the machine gets moved out of the loft. In that location the dust is an inevitability, and might be distressing when working on clothing.

Secondly, the machine works well, but might be a challenging option to learn on for someone newer to machine sewing. For learning basics, a less powerful domestic might be less frustrating. The underlying concepts perfectly translate. However, I don’t believe we have a domestic machine at the space.