- (small) scrap pieces are good for practice (e.g. stuffed animals)
Also see "haberdashery" for small sewing tools and parts (DE: Kurzwaren).
Things to Consider for all Sewing Machines
Please make sure you know how to use the machine you are sitting in front of. Take a few minutes to understand how the thread is being inserted and have a look at the respective manual.
Unplug the machine when you have a larger break or are done sewing.
When you are done with sewing for the day clean the machine to get rid of lint (DE: Fussel). To do so, use a brush and clean the needle plate. Also take out the bobbin (DE: Spule) of the lower thread and use the brush to get rid of lint.
Depending on the machine you need to clean and oil the machine at different parts more or less regularly. Please have a look at the manual of the sewing machine.
Last but not least put a piece of scrap fabric on the needle plate, insert the needle and put down the pressure foot.
Follow these simple tips and the machine will keep on running as smoothly as it is supposed to!
This talk on how to repair or modify your clothing might give some inspiration.