Breaking in the Sewing Machine


Skill Level: None yet! Get this done to move on to Level One.

Badges Earned: Sewing Basics

NOTE: Before you wonder why sewing is part of an engineering class, take a look at this article on Forbes about how the founder of GoPro started his invention on a sewing machine.

He recounts many hours sitting at his desk, switching from a sewing machine for the wrist straps to his drill to carve out bits and pieces of raw plastic to develop the model he wanted.

Description: Wearable tech is much cooler than you think it’s going to be. For this project, we’re going to make some basic sewing steps- then create a cool looking drawstring bag. Read through everything before getting started. Learn about the sewing machine, get it set up and start sewing. Note: be gentle and careful, go slow with the sewing machine — it’s delicate.

As Always, Fill Out a Challenge Proposal How will this change the world?

Part 1: Getting Started with Sewing- The basics. 

Description:  Learn about the sewing machine, get it set up and start sewing. Note: be gentle and careful, go slow with the sewing machine — it’s delicate.


  1. Access the print or online instruction manual for Singer 2277 Tradition
  2. Watch demos from the Singer site:

Watch this intro: 


Steps 1:  Learn how to set up the machine: 

  1. read through p. 2, 4 & 9 and locate the parts of the machine and accessories
  2. read the instructions and practice winding the bobbin p. 11 and inserting the bobbin p. 13
  3. read the instructions p.17 and  practice threading the upper thread
  4. read and practice raising the bobbin thread p. 21

Step 2:  Practice sewing

  1. Make a “sampler”: take a long strip of scrap felt, about 4” by 10” and practice sewing a straight stitch
  2. after you can sew a straight line, try different widths and lengths of stitches, try jigjag
  3. sew about 10 – 12 sample stitches
  4. extra: try sewing a seam: fold over or cut a match the edge of two pieces. Sew the edges together using a straight stitch. Watch the guide to make the seam allowance ⅝”

Part II: Create The Easy Reusable Gift Bag

Here are some great step by steps on how to create your own drawstring pouch. It should put you through your paces. How will you make it your own? Before you create anything, fill out a Challenge Proposal. Could this thing change the world? How?

Option 1: Go here:   (A little simpler)

Option 2:  (this is a little more challenging).

Always ask questions if you’re stuck. Some of us have more experience with the sewing machine, so let someone know if you need help.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your project, and get an instructor to visually check out your project along the way, if you can. We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!



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