Sewing can be daunting when you're unfamiliar with how the machine works. I remember the first time I used my sewing machine it took me a good 45 minutes to thread it properly. I was fit to fling it out a window by the time I got it working! The good news is that the way sewing machines work hasn't changed hugely since they were invented so most problems are easy to troubleshoot!
I'll start with a list of the most common problems you'll encounter which are relatively easy to fix.
1. Bobbin not threaded properly.
It's very easy to thread your bobbin incorrectly. You need to insert it into the casing so that it pulls anti-clockwise, or to the left if thats easier to remember. Just think of Beyonce, to the left, to the left.
2. Why are there huge mountains of bunched up thread on the bottom of my fabric??
This is so common (and annoying) and it's all down to incorrect tension. Either your tension setting is too high or too low. Change the tension setting and re-thread the machine.
3. Why does my thread keep breaking?
This could be down to the quality of the thread you're using. Cotton thread breaks very easily, so does cheap, low quality thread.
4. Skipping stitches.
This is due to having a bent, broken or damaged needle. Change the needle and it should help. If you continue having problems forcing the fabric through the machine can also cause it to skip stitches.
5. Help, my needles keep breaking!
Needles come in different sizes (between an 8-18) for use on different fabrics. The lower the number the lighter the fabric you use it on , e.g silk & chiffon, the higher the number the heavier the fabric, e.g denim. If you're using the wrong needle with the wrong fabric the chances are you'll break it.
Hope these little tips are helpful! :)