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How to Set Up and Use a Sewing Machine

Are you struggling with your sewing machine? Want to know how to set up and use a sewing machine? Well, it is not rocket science at all. With proper knowledge and technique, you will be able to set up a sewing machine in just 10 minutes. 

If you are new to sewing, have minimal sewing experience, it will teach you how to set up and use a sewing machine.

How to Set Up and Use a Sewing Machine?

A sewing machine

There are so many sewing machines. Therefore, this article aims to provide a framework to help you learn how to set up and use a sewing machine, regardless of the brand or model.

Read the Paperwork

Read the Paperwork

The first thing about knowing how to set up and use a sewing machine is to read the instructions before setting up your sewing machine. The safety instructions, quick start guide, instruction manual, warranty information and registration are among the items you should check.

Safety Instructions

Safety instructions generally are available in the instruction manual, on a separate piece of paper, or both. “Read all instructions before using your domestic sewing machine,” says almost every page of safety instructions we’ve ever seen. We recommend reading all the safety instructions if you’ve never stitched before.

Regardless of brand or model, most safety precautions are pretty standard. In most manuals, there is a piece of common safety advice, “Do not use the sewing machine, where aerosol or oxygen are utilized.

On the other hand, the majority of the safety guidelines are common sense. They include items such as:

  • Use the machine only for its intended use.
  • Don’t start the machine if the cord or plug is corrupted or have been exposed to water.
  • Keep fingers away from running parts, especially the needle.
  • When you are not using it, please unplug it. 

These are, of course, don’t include all the safety advice, these are intended to give you an idea of what it might entail.

Quick Start Guide

How to Quick Start Guide

There may be a Quick Start Guide if your machine is brand new or previously owned and contains all the paperwork. These guides help you further by explaining how to set up and use a sewing machine. It will walk you through the primary stages of getting your sewing machine up and running. It will mostly include:

  • Getting your machine connected to a Power source.
  • Preparing the bobbin for setting up your machine.
  • Threading the sewing machine with different needed threads.

Go through the Quick Start Guide to see what information is available, then continue reading this post to get your machine set up. Later on, you will learn how to prepare the bobbin and thread your machine.

Instruction Manual

If your machine is pre-owned, or you have lost the instruction book, you will probably be able to find it online. To do so, enter the machine’s brand/manufacturer and model into the search box. Then, follow the manufacturer of the sewing machine directly based on the search results, or look online for a third-party distributor of sewing machines.

The manual may be free, or you may have to pay a little cost, depending on the sewing machine. Then, if you have the instruction manual, go through the table of contents to become acquainted with the various sections.

You will need to focus on a few key pieces – the sewing machine parts and the accessories that came with your machine.

Parts of the Sewing Machine

Look for the section that identifies and illustrates the components of your sewing machine. There will probably be more than one page. 

Now, concentrate on learning about the accessory box. Whatever its name, it will be near the machine’s base, near the needle plate. There can also be a portable storage room, an accessories tray or even part of a board. Take out the accessories package.

Connecting Machine with Power

Connecting Machine with Power

In this step, how to set up and use a sewing machine, connect your sewing machine with the power to start it. Nowadays, almost every sewing machine has a foot paddle through which it gets connected with the power.

However, connecting your sewing machine to a power source is simple:

1. Insert the plug into the socket on the side or back of your sewing machine to complete the first step.

2. Then attach the main plug to a power source.

3. Later, make sure your sewing machine is getting power by turning on the main switch. If the light turns on, you’ve got access. 

Needle and sewing kits

There is a recommendation of reviewing your Quick Start Guide or instructions for how your machine receives the electricity if this is your first sewing machine ever. Also, if the foot control and electrical wire are not in one piece, see the handbook.

Some sewing machines allow you to stitch without using a foot pedal. You can use a start/stop button or lever instead. Many of them can even control their speed. Check your sewing machine’s instruction manual to learn if it provides this feature.

Insert Needle

The next step to set up and use a sewing machine is to insert the needle once you’ve linked it to a power supply.

How to Set Up and Use a Sewing Machine infograph

Needles are available in various sizes. They also differ depending on the type of fabric. A standard point or universal needle will probably suffice for light to medium weights of woven cloth unless you’re working with a heavy-weight material or a knit straight away.

It may already have the needle on the machine if your machine is fresh new. However, don’t skip this area. To become comfortable with how to change a needle, remove it and reinsert it.

There are some common steps you can follow for inserting a needle. These are:

  • Turn the machine off.
  • Pull down presser foot.
  • Pull up the needle to the highest position.
  • If the needle is in the machine, hold it while you loosen the screw that holds it in place.
  • Remove the needle from the needle clamp.
  • When you add the needle, pay attention to what position the flat side of the needle is standing in.
  • For some engines, the flat side of the needle faces the back, but for most of them, the flat side faces to the side.
  • Refer to the handbook manual for your machine to make sure you have the flat side facing accurately.
  • After the needle is attached correctly, pull it up as high as it will go in the needle clamp.
  • Tighten the screw to hold the needle for preventing any disruption.

If you’re unsure how to insert the needle or if this is your first sewing machine, look through the table of contents in the instruction manual for the section on inserting/changing the needle. Before you start sewing, double-check that the needle is correctly attached to the machine.

Safety Issue:

Before changing the press foot, it’s a good idea to switch the sewing machine off. Also, if the needle is in the machine, move the handwheel towards you and make sure that it is at its maximum point. The needle is quite sharp, so proceed with caution.

How to Use a Sewing Machine?

How to Use a Sewing Machine

We are halfway through our quest to know how to set up and use a sewing machine. Here, keep in mind that though each machine is unique, many of these components will be available on yours. Also, keep your user’s guide or manual nearby, so you can refer to it if necessary, as your machine is likely to be slightly different.

Find Your Power Cord and Your On/Off Switch

Find Your Power Cord and Your On-Off Switch

The foot pedal is connected to the power cord. The foot pedal is placed on the floor where your foot can reach it easily.

Maintain Stitch Switch and Length

Maintain Stitch Switch and Length

There are various knobs on the front of the machine. There is a lettered knob on this machine that you spin to change the type of stitch you’re doing, like a straight stitch, zigzag, and so on. Below there is another knob that controls the length of the stitch. For instance, This knob determines if they are small, close-together stitches or large or spaced out ones. 

A stitch guide is located to the right of each of them, and displays which stitch possibilities are available on this machine (and again, you would select which stitch you want to use by turning the knob at the top)

There is also a little wheel that moves on the side of the machine. That’s the handwheel and makes you go up and down with your needle.

All right, here’s a significant portion of your machine. This is the heel of the reverse point. You will pull it down when you wish to stitch it backwards.

A dial that regulates the width of a stitch is located towards the top of the machine. This doesn’t include anything essential for a straight stitch, but a zigzag would decide whether the stitch is enormous, fat, zigzag, or tiny. 

A knob that regulates the pressing foot tension appears on the far side of the machine. However, not that much you need to do, but it is there. You know what it does now. 

The presser foot is the metal element of your machine. You’ll lower it to stitch and then raise it to remove the fabric (there’s a lever close to the right and above it).

How to Thread a Sewing Machine?

How to Thread a Sewing Machine

Threading your sewing machine is the process of incorporating your machine with an upper and lower thread. In order to generate stitches in your material, the engine will weave these two threads together. 

Each sewing machine is slightly different when it comes to threading, but there are a few standard processes that most machines follow. Moreover, when threading your sewing machine for the first time, check your instruction manual.

This threading process can be done through some procedures. These are:

1. Wind a Bobbin

The bobbin is your machine’s lowest spool of thread. Firstly, you’ll need to wind your bobbins from an existing spool of yarn if you don’t already have them wounded with thread. Next, put a sewing thread on the threaded pin of your machine. Wind the yarn counter-clockwise around the pre-tension disc to the left of your machine. 

Filter the thread through your empty coil via the two small holes, then loop it over the centre of the coil repeatedly. Put the bobbin on the winder pin of your machine. Now just hit the start button of your machine, and wound the bobbin should start. Wind it to fullness, then remove the thread from your more giant spool. Wind it to complete.

2. Load your Wound Bobbin

Once you’ve wound your bobbin, please place it in the bobbin case (a small compartment beneath your needle) to supply the lower thread when your machine sews. Remove the bobbin cover and raise your needle and presser foot to the highest setting (your machine will either have a hand wheel or a button for this). In the circular slot, place your bobbin. 

An arrow on your machine will indicate which way the bobbin should be put to ensure proper spooling. Then, run the bobbin thread through the tension spring on your machine and replace the bobbin cover.

3. Place the Spool

Then, place a spool of thread on your machine’s thread pin to begin setting up the upper thread (also called a spool pin or spool holder).

4. Thread Through the Thread Guide

4. Thread Through the Thread Guide

Now it is time to insert the thread through the thread guide to the left of your machine.

5. Pull the Thread Through the U-shaped Guide

Next, drive the thread out of the thread guide and bring the thread back into a deep groove on the front of the machine to the left.

6. Wrap the Thread around the Thread Take-up Lever

A metal hook called the take-up lever, located at the top of the second groove of the machine. Now wrap the thread around the lever.

7. Thread the Needle

The next step is to tighten up your thread and thread the eye from front to back to the sewing machine needle. Continue drawing the thread end until the needle has more than one inch of thread. (Some machines include an automated needle threader; for additional information, consult your sewing machine handbook.)

8. Catch the Thread

After you’ve set up your top thread and bobbin, you’ll need to link the two threads before you can stitch. Lower the needle down and back up using your needle position knob or button- the needle will capture the bobbin thread and draw it back out in a loop. Pass a flat item beneath the needle like a rule to pull both strands and place them away from the sewing point.

How to Sew on Buttons with a Sewing Machine?

How to Sew on Buttons with a Sewing Machine

Buttons are the ideal final focus for many designs. They are also a handy closure, not to mention. But, you could think again about utilising them if you have to sew several buttons by hand. Hand-sewing is time-consuming, and it is often challenging to keep them even.

An easy method is available for machine sewing buttons. You can be assured that these are adequately attached, precisely aligned and that your machine can make several buttons of the same size using similar settings when you have done one. 

You can choose the Janome Horizon Quilt Memory Craft 15000 machine with impressive automated stitching capabilities for this demonstration. However, these general instructions should work with any machine making a zigzag point with a little error.

Choose a thread that is the same colour as your button if your stitches are to blend in. If you want a good contrast, use a colour thread that is the same as your material but other than the button. Or you may select the one you would want to bring out if your cloth has several colours.

Use Button Sewing Foot

Use Button Sewing Foot

A Button Sewing Foot is made to keep your button in place as your machine stitches it down. The rubber layer of Janome’s Button Sewing foot helps protect the button from moving. Furthermore, the foot is attached to it in two locations to keep the machine from rocking back and forth. Similar products should be available from most manufacturers.

You may remove the presser foot on your machine and only use your machine’s ankle to keep the button down to sew on a button without a sewing foot. But, to keep the foot from rocking, tuck some cloth beneath the back of the foot.

Process of Sewing Buttons

Process of Sewing Buttons

We have already covered how to set up and use a sewing machine. Now,  let us see how we can sew buttons whenever we want to with a sewing machine. Here are the steps:

Step 1:

Firstly, mark your cloth where you want the button using a fabric pencil. Then, tape your button to the fabric using transparent tape after it has been placed. You may sew on the tape straight away, and after you finish, it is easy to peel off.

Step 2:

Secondly, take off your feed dogs. “Feed dogs” may be a problematic word depending on your sewing level. These are the “teeth” that move the cloth across the needle plate. They are right below the needle.

Step 3:

Thirdly, lower the feed dogs. So that the machine doesn’t try to feed the button across the plate, and the needle may stitch in the same spot repeatedly. Check your machine’s handbook for instructions on how to lower it.

Step 4:

Now, insert a button sewing foot. Select a button sewing stitch. Your machine may have a special stitch for sewing on buttons. If so, choose this one. If not, a zig-zag stitch can be used. Simply set the stitch length to 0, and you’re done.

Step 5:

Place your button under the foot so that the needle falls into the button’s left hole. To keep the button in place, lower your foot. For optimal alignment, you may need to move the presser foot and adjust the button slightly.

Step 6:

You’re ready to sew when your needle reaches the centre of each hole on the button. Next, you need to sew 8 or 9 stitches slowly.

Step 7:

Now, pull the presser foot and remove the fabric and button. Then, using a hand sewing needle, thread the tails together.

Step 8:

Afterwards, enter the needle directly next to the stitching and tie both threads into a knot. For additional security, double or triple the knot.

Step 9:

You have learned how to sew a button right now. The procedure will go significantly faster when you repeat it.

Concluding Notes

Setting up a sewing machine is not an easy task until you know the right process. But, everything becomes easier when you learn the correct procedures. Therefore, if you want to enhance your knowledge of different sewing methods, you could look at our course –  Essential Sewing Patterns Course. This course is designed to provide in-depth knowledge of sewing.

August 5, 2021

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