Super excited today! Of course yes, you are going to learn how to use a sewing machine. If you just got a new one or you already have a sewing machine, it’s the best time to get your hands on it.
The look may frighten you but trust me the process will not, if you follow it step by step. The only thing you have to do is don’t let your fear over power your passion to learn sewing.
You will understand the working better when you will start from basics. Every sewing machine has different design so we will learn all the basics to cover maximum operations.
In This Article
Learn Basic Parts of a Sewing Machine
Locate the on/off switch and spool pin
Find the power switch as depending on the machines, it is located at different places. Usually it is on the right side of the device.
It looks like a small pin made out of metal or plastic that sticks out from the top part of machine. It used for putting a spool of thread.
Thread guide and bobbin wander
The thread guide defines the path from spool that on the top till the bobbin winder. Thread guide is a metal part on the left side which sticks out of top the machine.
To the right side of spool pin, there is another pin located next to small wheel. It is called the bobbin winder and its stopper. It winds the spool of thread on the bobbin before you start sewing.
Stitch adjustment buttons and thread take up level
Find a small screen right next to few buttons on the front side, location may change with sewing machines. You can select the type, length and direction of stitch you want to create with the stitch adjustment buttons.
Once you complete the steps of threading your sewing machine then winding the thread from spool. After that take the thread through thread guide then put it around the take up level.
The take up lever will on the left of sewing machine with numbers and arrows engraved next to it. These printed directions indicates the manner in which you have to thread the machine.
For further details, i recommend you to keep your manual handy to check the function of each button. Complete each step and only then head towards the next step otherwise you get confused.
Tension dial and needle clamp screw
You can see a small numbered wheel near the lever that is the tension dial to control tension of thread while sewing.
The needle will be pulled toward the right direction if the tension is too tight. The thread will make loops on the fabric, if you kept the tension too loose.
The needle clamp holds the needle in place when you are sewing. It is metal part under the arm of the machine that sticks out from the right side of needle.
Presser foot is a metal part attached below the needle clamp screw. Just before starting to sew, put it down the lever and it will hold the fabric. It looks like mini ski that locks the fabric placement and prevents the fabric movement.
There is a lever near needle clamp setup. It may be right of the needle clamp or to its back. To adjust your fabric position, put the lever up or down or down.
Needle plate and feed dog
Find the silver metal plate adjacent to the needle. You can open or close it to put thread on reel.
Again a silver metal feed dog below the presser foot on needle plate that guides the fabric to move while sewing. It looks like two zig zag tracks right under the presser feet.
Bobbin cover and release
Bobbin is a small circular spool that has thread around it. The thread is given from bottom and it delivers thread to needle from support. Bobbin cover is the metal plate under the needle where you put the spool of thread.
When you start to sew, you will put the bobbin under the cover. Bobbin release is the button or pin which helps in opening and closing the cover.
Setup Your Sewing Machine
Select a sturdy platform for the Sewing Machine
Get a table and chair of comfortable height. Besides table and chair, you can also get a counter or cabinet or a desk for your woking area.Place the machine in such a way that the body is on the right and needle setup is on the left side.
Installation of needle
The flat side of the needle will go upwards whereas the groove side will face the direction in which the needle will be threaded. Put the needle in the post and tighten up the screw using your hand only.
You can wind the bobbin either through top thread loader or through bottom thread underneath the needle setup. Put the bobbin on the metal pin and wrap the spool around. Turn on the bobbin winder and wait till the bobbin is full.
Take out the bobbin from the metal pin then insert the bobbin in the slot below the needle setup.
Pass one end of thread through a small hole in the metal case and leave it outside. Put the case back to the position.
Thread the needle
The thread spool will be on the top, take the loose end of thread pull it through the thread path till the take up lever. Check the printed numbers and arrow direction to thread the sewing machine.
The usual pattern is first towards left then down then up again down, put in the hook through the needle. There is another way which you may follow using the manual.
Now take the both threads out, one which you pulled from bottom and the other one you did from top of machine. The threads will be in left side. To check if the thread is good to go,try to rotate the wheel towards you. This motion will let bobbin thread loop over the needle thread.
Switch on the sewing machine
Check the right side or back side of machine to find the power switch. Some machines don’t need power supply to start. They have in built mechanism which is quite easy to handle. Connect the pedal with machine and keep your feet comfortably over it.
Getting Started With Your Sewing Machine
Choose a straight to medium length stitch on a rough cloth
Get any rough and plain cloth. Don’t take thick fabric and new clothes. Till you learn the process well, it would be better if you can avoid knit or woven material. The initial sewing should be very easy and comfortable.
To start with, choose straight stitches. Set the lower knob on right side of the equipment till it stops at the place. When you are setting the knob make sure the needle should be up and out of fabric otherwise it will move the needle.
A simple straight sewing will cover your major learning process. Then you can practice the zigzag stitch. It avoids edges from unravelling and fraying. As you practice you will good to go to next level.
Place the material below needle and put down the presser foot
Take a rough cotton cloth place it under the needle pull down the lever to hold the fabric firmly. While sewing the feed dog will maintain the alignment along the fabric and balances the speed.
Once you are done with sewing never pull the cloth otherwise it will damage the material. Keep the lever up and you can take it out. Using the dial you can adjust the titch length and speed of the sewing machine.
Loose end of fabric and foot pedal
You will need to hold the loose ends for the initial few stitches to prevent it from penetrating into the fabric. After sewing for a decent length, leave the ends and free your hands. Now you can freely use your hands for sewing.
Basically the foot pedal is for controlling the speed. You may start it a little slow but after covering certain distance you may speed up the process.
Note: Some machines have knee bar instead of foot pedal for that you need to push the knee towards right.
Even the balance wheel (right side of machine) to give the rotating motion to the device. This motion itself will move the fabric away from you thus making straight or curve stitches. It will give you the stitch in the design as you will move it.
Don’t tighten or loose up the cloth hold it gently while it is under the needle. To speed up the motion, you need to press the foot pedal faster.
Try some reverse stitching
The reverse button or lever has spring so to sew in reverse direction hold the lever down. In the end of every stitch, sew in backward direction to lock the stitches. It will also allow your fabric to loosen up so that you can pull it out.
Practice, practice and practice
The ultimate to learn something is to practice. You will not be the same person even if you practice regularly for a week. Get all the old fabric lying here and there. There time has come and you do try different styles and designs on them.
Remember the only key to get your hands on anything is only consistent practice. I hope when we meet next time, you will be at least a level up. Take care.