This video is for you if you have just bought a computerized sewing machine or if you have one sitting in the cupboard because you plain just don’t know where to start with using it!
or watch it here on Youtube
I’ve written out the information that’s in the video so you can get a snapshot of what to expect in the video.
Sometimes taking that first step is the hardest. Face your fears, plug that sewing machine in and get to know it a little bit. Why not give it a name?
The Hand Wheel
You will find the hand wheel on the right hand side of your machine. The hand wheel allows you to manually move the needle up and down. It’s very handy for starting your sewing with the needle in the down position, but most good quality computerized machines will probably have a button that does this for you.
Spool Pin and Thread Guides
The spool pin at the top of your machine in there to hold your spool of thread in place. The thread guides are all there to provide tension for a great result when sewing. It’s important to put your thread through all of the appropriate thread guides, especially the take up lever, as a mis-threaded machine can cause havoc for you. Maybe even enough trouble to make you put that machine back away in the cupboard where it came from and we don’t want that now.
Tension Discs and Tension Dial
The tension discs are an important part of your sewing machine as they apply a certain amount of pressure to the thread while you are sewing to give you good results. The tension dial can be used to adjust the pressure of the tension discs depending on your sewing project. Usually, adjusting the dial to a higher number will increase the tension and turning the dial to a lower number will decrease the tension. If you have an ‘Auto’ function on your machine, it’s probably best to leave it on that for now until you are more comfortable with your machine. If you don’t have an ‘Auto’ function then there may be a neutral position that you could leave it in. You can read a bit more about tension discs here.
The Needle Bar
The needle bar is the part of your sewing machine that holds the needle in place and it moves up and down while the machine is sewing. The needle bar has a screw on the side that you can loosen when changing over needles.
Automatic Needle Threader
This is my best friend on the sewing machine. This helps me to put the thread through the eye of the needle first time every time. Most modern computerized sewing machines will have one. Have a look. You may just be surprised to find one on your machine.
The pressor foot can be lowered and lifted back up again and it’s main purpose is to hold the fabric in place while you are sewing. The attachments, or feet, on the presser foot can be changed depending on what your project is. There’s a whole world of sewing feet out there!
The feed dogs are just below the presser foot and they are there to help pull the fabric through the sewing machine at an even rate. I also like to use a walking foot with most of my sewing as it has built in feed dogs in the top of the walking foot. This helps pull the top layer of fabric through at the same rate as the bottom layer.
As far as I know, most computerized sewing machines have a top loading bobbin. Top loading bobbins are easy to put in as they are pretty much a matter of dropping them into the machine, the right way, of course. The bobbin provides the thread for the bottom of your sewn seam line.
The bobbin spindle is what you use to put your thread onto your bobbin with before you do any other sewing.
If you’re lucky, you may have gotten a machine with adjustable speed. This feature is so handy because you can turn the speed down if you are a beginner or you may just like to sew on a slower speed without having to adjust the speed with the foot pedal. I love it because I’m a slow sewer and I get distracted easily. Best to sew at a slower speed.
You might have one or all of these on your machine. You’ll see in the video of my computerized machine that I have a few of these special buttons. My sewing machine has a needle up/down button, which allows you to start sewing with the needle in the down position. It also has a locking stitch button that you can use instead of reverse stitch. Some machines may also have an automatic thread cutter built into the machine. Unfortunately, I bought my machine when this technology was just coming in so I have to snip my threads the old school way.
You may have a lever or button of some sort on your sewing machine that does a reverse stitch. This is especially good for finishing off the beginning and end of your seams. you will usually see a symbol with a curve and an arrow on one end where your reverse stitch is.
Computerized sewing machines can come with a mega amount of stitches to choose from. Most of the time they are just variations of the main stitches. To select your stitch, you may be about to do it at the press of a button (like my machine in the video) or you may need to key in the number of you stitch using the digital display.
The digital display can be used to chose your desired stitch, but it also allows you to adjust the width or length of your stitches at the press of a button, on most machines.
Your machine may have some other features that aren’t mentioned here, but these are the basic features to get you on your way to building a good relationship with your computerized sewing machine. Hopefully you feel a bit more comfortable with your machine now and you are ready for the task of putting thread onto your sewing machine.