How to Use a Sewing Machine - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. The first thing that you want to remember is when you put your fabric down on the bed of the machine, you want your presser foot, which is this little guy, to be down so that it is holding tension against the fabric while you sew. A lot beginning sewers make the mistake of leaving that up, if you leave that up, your fabric does not have any tension against it. It does not have any pressure so it wont go anywhere. Once we put the presser foot down, what I am going to do is start by engaging my foot peddle. I will take a couple of stitches forward. Then I am going to put the machine in to reverse, this works just like a car. You put the machine into reverse and you take a couple of stitches in reverse. Once you have taken those reverse stitches, you are going to put it back to its regular stitch, then you sew whatever seam you are working on. At the end of the seam, you are going to go back into reverse and lock that down with a couple final stitches. Pull the work off, cut your thread and there is our seam.