How To Set Up A Sewing Machine- As Simple As 1, 2, 3 With Tips From Experts

In today’s post, we want to look at how to set up a sewing machine . If you’ve just bought a brand new machine, you may wonder at the relevance of this post as your machine will most likely have come with a user manual.

However, there are folks who may have inherited a sewing machine or gotten one second hand and have no user manual to refer to. On the other hand, there are others who are ‘allergic’ to reading user manuals (insert emoji).

Whatever class you fall into, this post is just a guide that would give you simple instructions in everyday English on setting up your sewing machine.

 Sewing with a machine can be an exciting experience. It can equally be very overwhelming particularly if you are new to the sewing machine and know nothing about the various gadgets. In your quest at learning how to sew with a sewing machine, it’s only logical to acquaint yourself with how to set the machine up for sewing. This will lead you to study the different components of the machine, their functions and how these functions relate in the stitching process.

Whatever the type or make of the sewing machine you have, there are basic steps to take before you can start sewing with it. In this article therefore we intend looking at the important steps you are to take in the process of getting your sewing machine ready for sewing.

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First Steps To Take In Setting Up Your Sewing Machine

Here are some of the first things to take into consideration as you set up your sewing machine for sewing

Get familiar with your sewing machine

The first obvious thing to do when you acquire a sewing machine is to take a good look at it. Take particular note of the threading route and all the little hooks you are to deal with when you start threading the machine. Your ability to take proper note of these hooks will determine how easily you will thread the sewing machine the first time.

Peruse the machine’s paperwork

Your sewing machine will definitely come with some paperwork if it’s a new one. The paperwork would include the instruction manual, safety instructions and a start guide. You will also find papers that provide you with information relating to warranty and registration for your sewing machine.

Note the safety Instructions

It’s important that the sewing machine be used strictly for and in line with the instructions for its use. Make sure that the plug or cord of the machine is in good condition and has no damage. There is need to guard your finger when setting up the sewing machine as you might get injured by the needle and other moving parts of the machine. The machine should not be plugged when you are not using it.

Connect the machine to your power source

Connecting the machine to the power source is the first main step to setting up your machine. You do this by plugging the machine cable to the socket at the back or side of the sewing machine. Then plug the machine cable to the power source and switch it on.

The light on the sewing machine will turn on if the machine is properly connected. Some machines can sew without using foot pedal while some can combine it. In the absence of the foot pedal, the start and stop button can be used.

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How To Thread The Upper Part Of The Sewing Machine

In threading the upper part of the sewing machine, the following procedure has to be adhered to very carefully:

Insert needle to the machine clamp

When your machine is connected to its power point, the next line of action is to set your machine up to attach the needle to its clamp. Needles are made in different types of sizes and they are also for different fabric. So if you are working immediately using a knit or a fabric that is heavy, you will need a universal or regular point needle to sew both the light and heavy woven fabric.

Your machine may come with an already made needle if it is brand new. If this is so, you will need to remove the needle and get it reinserted to get used to how the needle is changed. Also, the needle will be raised very high through turning the hand wheel near you.

It is very important to note that the machine gets jammed as you are about to sew if the hand wheel is turned off from you. You will have to hold the needle in the sewing machine as you get the screw which keeps the needle in proper position loosened.

To do this, you will have to remove this needle very carefully from its clamp. Also to thrust through the needle, be sure the needle’s level side is faced towards the machine’s back. Then get it pushed up for it to get into the clamp of the needle.

Make sure the  screw is tightened for the needle to be in place

Are you not sure of getting the needle inserted properly or is this the very first machine you are using for sewing? All you have to do is to glance over the listed contents of the direction manual. You will then have to check the section of the manual on changing or inserting the needle. Make sure that your needle is firmly attached to the machine’s clamp before you start sewing.  

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Attach the machine’s presser foot

As soon as you insert the needle, another step to set up your machine is to know the procedure for attaching the machine’s presser foot. As was done while inserting the needle to the sewing machine clamp, turning off the machine as you link your presser foot is a very good idea.

Your machine comes with several diverse sewing feet. With the help of the accessory manual, the foot used for the general sewing can be located. This may be referred to as average sewing foot, unbent stitch foot, ideal presser foot, an all-purpose foot or similar prefixes of the sort. Most presser feet come with a name which describes their purpose. These include button hole, zipper foot and one for button sewing.

Fixing the machine presser foot could necessitate the use of a screwdriver, snap on, lever or the three of them combined. The type of machine in issue will determine how the machine’s presser foot will be connected. It’s equally good to switch off your machine before changing another presser foot. If the machine’s needle has been attached, the handwheel should be turned high enough as to avoid injury.

Start threading your machine from the front

It’s best starting the threading of your machine from the top and then all round the hooks of the machine. You will first twist the thread across a hook at the top of the machine to adjust the thread direction downward passing it through the tension assembly location.

It is this tension assembly that determines the extent of tension exerted on the thread and needle in the process of sewing. The extent of tension adjustment while sewing would depend on the material that is being sewn. 

The thread journeys through a number of hooks to the machine’s uptake lever and down to the direction of the needle. Once the thread has gone through all three hooks and passed through the eye of the needle, the upper threading is set.

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How To Thread The Lower Part Of Your Sewing Machine

To thread the lower part of your sewing machine, there’s need to adhere to the following procedure very carefully:

Winding the bobbin

The machine bobbin houses a small quantity of thread which is usually loaded underneath the needle location in most sewing machines. Its function is to supply the lower thread in the sewing process from under the sewing machine. The needle supplies the thread from the upper part of the machine and these two combine to produce sewing stitches.

The process of winding the bobbin begins by passing the thread into the opening in the spool and twisting the thread round the bobbin for a number of times. The bobbin is then placed to the pin of a small spool which is then fastened into place.

The thread is now placed on another spool which is larger and begins to wind on the bobbin with some pressure applied to the machine pedal. The pedaling is stopped as soon as the bobbin is fully threaded. This process would not be necessary if a pre-threaded bobbin is available for use.

Placing the bobbin in its casing

The first thing to do in setting up the lower thread of a sewing machine is to have the bobbin housed in the bobbin case. Before doing this however, the bobbin must have been threaded to the full. When this has been done, the bobbin is now inserted into the bobbin case.

For some sewing machine models, the bobbin is put into a bobbin apartment. The location for placing the bobbin differs from machine models but most are located under the needle panel area. 

The next important step in this bobbin setting process is to make sure the bobbin is threaded out in a counter clockwise direction in the casing. By the time a small part of the thread is brought out from the bobbin and inserted into the bobbin casing, it is set for placement in the machine location.

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Placing the bobbin in the machine

Once the bobbin is inside its casing, it is ready to be placed in the casement location of the sewing machine. There should be a snap sound to confirm that the bobbin with its casing are securely fitted into the machine. It’s important that the bobbin case is properly placed inside the machine apartment for the bobbin to function well.

For the thread in the bobbin to be pulled up to the outside of the machine, a simple process is employed. The thread from the machine’s needle is held up while the machine’s handwheel is gently to enable the needle do a full stitch. As soon as this is done and if the bobbin is properly fixed, the bobbin thread will gently surface as you pull out the upper thread attached to the needle.

Final Checklist Before First Use

If you are using your sewing machine for the first time, you need to give close attention to the following details:

Check the setting of your stitch

It’s very important to check the setting of your stitch if you are a beginner in the sewing vocation. You can verify the stitch setting on your sewing machine by carefully looking at either the knob of the machine or the digital display on the machine. You can adjust or change the stitch setting by either turning its knob to your desired stitch setting or press the digital display accordingly.

The straight stich is the most basic and common stitch used for most sewing patterns so it is advisable to commence sewing with it. It is equally the number one setting on most sewing machines because of its constant use. It is however necessary to consult your manual to confirm if this setting specification tallies with your own sewing machine model.

Some more modern machine models would automatically determine and accordingly adjust the thread tension of your machine to suit the fabric you are sewing. This would automatically affect the stitch setting as well. In such a case, you are saved the trouble of adjusting your machine’s sewing tension.

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Place the material you are stitching beneath the needle

After setting up your machine properly, raise the machine’s presser foot and place your fabric underneath it. With the lever on the underside at the back of the machine you can quickly toss the presser foot to insert the fabric you are sewing. You can thereafter bring down the machine presser foot so as to hold the fabric firmly in place. It is recommended you begin your initial stitching with scrap fabric pieces before using materials for your project.

Apply pressure gently on the sewing  pedal

Once you are set to commence sewing, gently apply pressure to the machine’s pedal using your foot. With this the machine needle will move so that the machine teeth below the presser foot will move your fabric forward in the sewing process.

You may employ your fingers in guiding the fabric you are sewing as you gently apply pressure on the pedal. Take care not to have your finger too close to the needle as this may cause you injury. The position of the pedal from where you are sitting should be such that you can pedal comfortably.

There might be need for some form of adjustment if the material you are sewing is moving either sloppily or too fast. This will show in the way the stitching comes out so check the machine tension as well as your stitch setting for necessary adjustments. The process of threading is another area that need to be cross checked if your stitching is not coming out well.

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It doesn’t really matter if your sewing machine is brand new or brought from places where previously-owned ones are sold.  Whatever the type or make of your sewing machine, there’s need for you to be acquainted with certain steps before you can begin sewing. This is what we have attempted to do in this article

Since there are a whole variety of sewing machines, we may not have shared information on the specific details of your particular make or model. This article’s aim is to lay down the basic framework for setting up every machine. You can then go ahead to make the necessary adjustments to suit your own sewing machine.

We hope you have learnt a lot from our explanations and descriptions of the important steps you are to take in setting up your machine for sewing. For further information, read our article on how to use a sewing machine.

 This knowledge, we believe, is important both for persons that are new to the sewing art and also to persons with limited knowledge on the subject. With the knowledge you’ve acquired here, you are prepared for a very successful sewing adventure.

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