How to Care and Use a Sewing Machine

By Visitor tara99

When redecorating a home, sometimes it’s not easy to find the right window curtain or the right blanket. With a sewing machine, you can make your dream design in the comfort of your home. This way, the hassle of looking for the right style will be no more. Not only can curtains be done, but also clothes or any kind of material can be created. However, with modern-day shopping, most people have forgotten how to use a sewing machine.


An important part of having any tool or machine is taking care of it. An enemy of machinery is dust. Dust absorbs moisture in the air and will cause corrosion, so store the machine under a dust cover or in a hard case. Lint can also build up inside so it is recommended to use new and quality thread when sewing, this will minimize interior lint build up. Unplug the machine regularly and dust inside the bobbin case with a cosmetic brush. Another method of removing lint is by using compressed air around the feed dogs and tension discs, however, keep a safe distance to prevent any moisture on the machine. For further instructions on cleaning, refer to the user’s manual.


It is recommended for the needles to be changed every eight hours or every time a project is completed. Over time, needles will become dull and cause looped threads, skipped stitches, and pull on the fabric, which can damage the machine. Needles will also tend to break or bend because of inadequate oil, poor quality, or by the user pulling on the fabric out of the back. This is a huge mistake, only pull the fabric as fast as the machine will track it; otherwise, the machine can be severely damaged. There are several needles for different purposes. For example, when sewing on lightweight fabrics such as polyester or silk, it is best to use a 70-weight needle.


Like any other machine, sewing machines need oil to keep running smoothly for longer periods. Quality sewing machine oil should not stain your clothes and be clear. Be sure to clean out the machine before oiling, especially the bobbin case and use only a few drops to keep the machine well-oiled. Do not use any other type of oil in your machine, only sewing machine oil. More instructions will be in the user manual, but some machines are self-lubricating and do not need to be oiled. Some might say that a sewing machine is like a car, so at some point in time, a sewing machine will need repairs, especially if it is used often. Be sure to find an experienced professional to do the repairs.


Finally, after caring and prepping the machine, it is time to put it to use. There are four main types of sewing machines. There is mechanical, electronic, computerized, and over locker. The basic mechanical machines are fading out quickly and over lockers are very specific pieces of kit, meaning that most consumers choose between an electronic machine and a more advanced computerized machine. It is best to research and figure out what works best personally. Another recommendation is to read the machine manual and become familiar with the contents.


Start by placing the machine on a flat surface and making sure that the chair chosen is of appropriate height. Set up the machine with the end of the needle to your left and the body to your right, do not plug the machine in yet. Check the needle to make sure it is secure and correctly in place, the flat side should be facing the back. There will be a groove along one side which goes in the same direction of the threaded needle. 

As it goes up and down through the material, the needle travels in the groove. Place the needle into its post and make sure to tighten up the thumbscrew. Now, wind the bobbin and insert it into the machine, the machine is equipped with two sources of thread. Simply place the spool on the winder. Using the guides, pull the spool’s thread round the guide to the bobbin itself, then turn the winder on. It will stop by itself when full and then place the bobbin in the cage under the needle.


The machine should be set to be threaded. Find the spool at the top of the machine; it will need to be unwound and attached to the needle. Thread it through the guide, down, and around the take-up lever. Now both threads will be needed. With the thread and needle taut, hold it was facing you with one hand and use the other to turn the operating wheel towards you. This will have the needle to make a complete revolution. Pull the thread up as the threaded needle travels down and then up, catching the bobbin thread to loop and position over the needle thread. Then simply pull the loop on one of the sides to bring up the thread tail, ending with a pair of threads coming from the bobbin and the needle itself. Now that the machine is set up plug it in and get comfy. Make sure the pedal is in too.


When beginning to sew, refer to the instructions in the machines manual. Start with choosing two stitch length, straight and medium. Grab some scrap fabric, light and woven to make it easier. Line the material up with the better part to your left to prevent crowding on the right side. Release the presser foot down, keeping the loose ends in check by holding them firmly. Regulate the speed with your foot on the pedal, but be cautious at first. See how the machine operates in reverse; there will be a lever or button to do so. Try doing a seam, refer to your manual for precise instructions. After some time, the machine will become familiar and eventually you will be able to do projects and create great things.  

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