Practical tips on working with a sewing machine for beginners
For those who are just starting to sew, negotiating with your sewing machine is the key to success. Surely it will take some time and practice to properly feel and understand this main helper in sewing and learn to work well on it. The tips below will help you speed up this process and avoid mistakes that beginners often make when beginning their sewing journey. Some of these may seem obvious to experienced cooks, but think back to when you first started out and you’ll see how many little things are already taken care of so automatically that you don’t give it a second thought when you’re doing them.
If you are just starting to sew, take a look at the easy models in our online catalog. For example, there you will find very simple patterns for skirts or very simple patterns for tops.
Raise your foot before threading the machine
Raise the presser foot before inserting the upper thread into the sewing machine. Usually this is done with a special lever. The presser foot lift ensures that the thread is positioned correctly in the machine mechanism. if this is not done, the thread will not be threaded as it should be, and the stitching will then be of poor quality.
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Pull both threads back before starting the stitching
Even advanced needleworkers sometimes make this mistake, not to mention beginners. When you begin stitching and insert the needle into the material, make sure that both threads, upper and lower, are pulled back and spread out. If you miss this point, the consequences can certainly not be disastrous, but quite unpleasant. Thread ends can get under the needle in the seam and create a hard to unravel and ugly knot at the beginning of the stitching on the underside of the work. The beginning will have to be redone.
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Begin stitching by lowering the needle into the fabric
This tip slightly duplicates the previous one, but note this point separately. Only start sewing when the needle is lowered into the fabric. That way you can see exactly where you are going to sew, because the needle will be on that line. You will also be able to lift the presser foot and correct the fabric if the needle is in the wrong place and you won’t have to rip anything because the stitching hasn’t started yet. For a better view, lower your needle into the fabric first, then lower your foot.
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Don’t start sewing without first checking stitch length and width
Study your sewing machine manual and test it on different materials with different stitch settings. So you’ll start to understand when you need a longer stitch length, for example, and when you need a shorter stitch length. Before you sew a finishing stitch, be sure to test it on a scrap of the fabric you are sewing with the exact needle and thread you will use.
Also detailed beginner’s guides can help you determine the length and width of your stitch. they might have some tips like this. If your machine model has a sewing assistant, the following tips may help.
It’s also important to check what stitch length and width are set because we can leave old settings after finishing some previous work and forget about it, thinking that the machine is set, for example, to standard straight stitch with medium stitch length.
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Also check the thread tension
Another thing to check and test before finishing seams is the thread tension. First, try sewing on a scrap piece of your fabric and compare the result with the photos below. If you need to adjust the thread tension, find in your machine’s manual how to do it, and try changing the tension and making different stitches. Look at the stitches above and below: you’ll know the difference and can feel exactly the right tension for the fabric, thread and stitch.
Too much upper thread tension
Balanced tension: you can see that the upper and lower threads are pulled evenly, the stitch is not bent, there are no loops
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Help yourself and the machine to sew straight
For beginners, it can sometimes be difficult to sew straight enough and even stitching. The lines on the plate can help: try walking along one of these lines with the edge of the fabric. You can also use the edge of the presser foot to guide you. Another option: create yourself a guide with your own hands, for example, attach a sheet-sticker to the body, and sew, guided by its edge.
The “Lego” detail on the double-sided tape will also work.
Guide the fabric with confidence, but gently
Another thing to get used to is the feeding. Do not pull the fabric toward you or backwards. Move it gently and carefully, but confidently. just help the sewing machine a little. This skill comes with practice: practice and you will quickly get a feel for the best way to do it. And, of course, make sure that in all manipulation of the material your fingers do not get caught by the needle!
Threading the sewing machine
Using a sewing machine can help you sew things faster and easier, but first you need to learn how to wind the thread onto the bobbin and adjust its tension. The bobbin in the sewing machine is the source of the lower thread feed for the stitch. Before you start sewing, you’ll have to wind the thread onto the bobbin. Although all sewing machines are slightly different, the process of winding the bobbin is basically the same.
Part 1 Winding the bobbin
Open the hook cover. The hook compartment is under the needle. Note the metal plate through which the sewing machine needle is lowered. There should be a hook cover on the side of the machine.
Pull the hook out (if necessary). The hook is behind the hook cover. It normally looks like a metal cylinder and, depending on the sewing machine, may need to be taken out to remove the bobbin.
Take the bobbin out of the hook. Take the bobbin out of the hook. If the bobbin is fastened in the hook with an additional cover, first open the cover.
Find the spool pin. The bobbin pin is the part of the sewing machine on which the thread spool is installed. The size of the pin corresponds to the size of the hole in the center of the bobbin itself. Usually the spool pin is either on the top or on the side of the sewing machine.
Unwind some thread from the spool. Unwind some thread from the spool or free the end of the thread from the locking slot, so that the thread can be easily reeled off the spool that is mounted on the spool pin.
Place the spool on the spool pin. The pin should fit easily into the center hole of the spool. If a spool lock is provided for the spool, place it on the spool pin over the spool so that it will not come off. If the spool pin is on top of the sewing machine, it may not have a catch.
Pass the end of the thread from the spool through the thread guide. Most sewing machines have a small hole next to the bobbin to help hold the thread in position when winding the bobbin or sewing a stitch. If your sewing machine does not have a thread guide, skip this step. Locate the thread tension disk. The sewing machine should have a small metal or plastic piece around which to loop the thread to keep it taut. This part is near the thread guide and looks like a small knob.
Wrap the thread once around the tension disk. The thread should bend at an angle with the top on the tensioner itself. Do not let go of the end of the thread yet.
Fasten the bobbin thread to the bobbin. There should be a small hole on one side of the bobbin. Some bobbins have more than one such hole. Pass the end of the thread through the small hole in the bobbin. The thread only needs to pass through one hole on the side of the bobbin. If the bobbin has more than one hole, use any of them. Find the reel. The bobbin winder is a cylindrical pin, similar to the bobbin pin, but matching the size of the center hole in the bobbin. Next to the bobbin pin there will also be a rounded metal or plastic part. a retainer.
Slide the bobbin onto the bobbin winder. Place the bobbin with its center hole on the bobbin winder pin and push to put it on.
Secure the bobbin in the bobbin winder. Depending on the model, slide the pin with the bobbin toward the round lock, or slide the lock toward the bobbin. When the bobbin is securely locked in place, you will hear a click.
Hold the end of the thread sticking out of the bobbin. At the beginning of the winding process of the thread on the bobbin you need to hold the end of it (which you previously threaded through the hole in the side of the bobbin) so the thread does not come off.
Press the foot pedal of the sewing machine (or the bobbin winding button). If you are working with the foot controller, keep it depressed during the entire bobbin winding process. Maintain a machine speed that is comfortable for you. To find the right rhythm for you, you can start by slowly pressing down on the foot pedal. But there is no need to wind the thread slowly onto the bobbin. If the thread is winding unevenly on the bobbin, you may not have hooked it onto the thread tension disk correctly. Check the thread position. If you think the thread is correctly threaded, rethread the thread in the thread drawer anyway to ensure an even thread feed to the bobbin. If the thread is catching on the notch on the bobbin, try reversing the bobbin and winding the thread backwards from where the notch is facing.
Wind the thread onto the bobbin. It is not always possible to guess exactly how much bobbin thread you will need, so it is wise to wind the whole bobbin each time so that the thread doesn’t accidentally run out in the middle of the job. The bobbin is full when the thread is flush with the outer edges of the bobbin. If you continue to wind the bobbin beyond this point, it may not fit or may stop rotating in the hook.
Cut the thread. Take scissors to separate the bobbin and bobbin thread tied together. Hold the end of the bobbin right away so it doesn’t unwind.
Slide the bobbin winder back to its original position (if it is not automatic). When the bobbin winder is in its original position, you will hear a click.
Remove the bobbin from the bobbin winder. The bobbin with the thread already wound on it is now ready for further use.
How to thread the lower thread
In order for the machine to perform its functions, it needs the bobbin thread, which should be wound onto the bobbin and threaded into the appropriate hole on the worktable. How to tuck the bobbin thread into the sewing machine? The process consists of several consecutive steps.
Threading the bobbin
Pull to the left and remove the additional table from the machine. Remove the hook plate and turn the handwheel, positioning the needle in the up position. Pull out the bobbin mechanism by pulling the edge of the bobbin and remove the bobbin from the bobbin case.
Winding the yarn onto the bobbin can be accomplished by securing the bobbin with the thread to the upper pin and connecting it to the nozzle “crosswise,” so that the edge of the thread goes back toward the flywheel. Place the bobbin on the second pin and fasten the thread to it by making a few turns around the body. Press the foot pedal or turn the handwheel to wind the thread onto the bobbin.
Make sure that the thread is threaded from the inside to the outside of the bobbin case.
Installing the bobbin
Insert the bobbin into the bobbin mechanism. Make sure that the thread is unwound clockwise, and pass it through a special hole on the body of the mechanism. Return the bobbin mechanism to the hook and lower the tab to its original position.
Be sure to lower the tongue of the machine once the bobbin is in place. This will fix it in a fixed position.
Adjusting screw on the bobbin case
The sewing bobbin with thread is inserted into the bobbin case, the thread is tucked under the spring plate. Do not forget that the thread in the bobbin case must have a certain tension. To adjust the tension of the lower thread on the cap, where the spring is installed, there is a small screw, screwing which you increase the tension of the thread, and vice versa. Remember that the screw should not be unscrewed more than half a turn, it could pop out and be lost. The thread tension in the bobbin case is selected according to the thickness of the upper thread and the thickness of the fabric, as well as the tension of the upper thread.
Recommendations for lower thread tension adjustment.
The importance of the pedal
In machines with electric drive, the normal functioning of the device may be impaired by deficiencies in the drive. In the pedal is the speed regulator. if it is broken, it may behave abnormally, for example, tearing from the place even with light pressure.
You can fix the problem yourself: graphite “tablets” are pressed together through the spring by the pressure lever, the resistance is reduced, and the rotation speed increases. In this case it is enough to disassemble, clean and reassemble.
However, if even then the machine does not restore normal operation of the speed regulator, it must be replaced (probably oxidized contacts).
Technology of threading the upper thread
This is the part of the job that shouldn’t cause any problems. The thread can be inserted correctly just by intuition. In addition, most machines have a schematic representation of this process on the body.
To properly tuck the sewing machine, it is recommended that you follow these instructions:
- The thread from the spool must be passed through the fastener on the body.
- Then comes tucking in a special regulator, which performs thread tension, and then the thread should be entered into the compensating spring similar to a hook.
- The next step is threading the thread guide, and then the end must be threaded through several fasteners before it is threaded into the eye of the needle.
- The thread should be guided from the side where there is a notch or groove running along the needle (any of these elements can easily be felt with the fingers).
To understand how to fill a sewing machine, you need to know that some models are equipped with a fork, acting as a thread guide. In this case, you just need to put the thread on it, without passing through the hole. However, this type of machine can be found quite rarely.
Sewing with thread on the sewing machine and overlock: 4 handy tricks
If you work with a sewing machine and an overlock, these tips can come in handy whether you’re sewing a dress, pants, skirt, or top. Patterns of different models and other products for women, men and children you will find in our electronic catalog.
Crafting a holder for a second bobbin
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A word of caution: not all overlock bobbin threads are appropriate for overlock sewing. Thread in bobbins may not be very strong. this would make the stitches they make just as unstable. Also, the thread in the bobbin may not be of the best quality: knots, thickening, and so on. Such threads can negatively influence the mechanism of the machine. But if you’re confident in the quality of the thread on the bobbin, try using it on the sewing machine.
For using large bobbins, similar stand holders are handy, but if you don’t have one handy, try this or the following tip.
Simply place the bobbin in a cylindrical cup large enough for it next to the machine.
Pull thread through the top and thread it as usual. Can be sewn.
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This method is appropriate for machines with a vertical spool pin.
Pick up a regular bobbin of sufficient diameter to fit into the hole in the bobbin’s base. Use the bobbin as a bobbin liner, and sew as usual.
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How to split a bobbin to work on an overlock machine: Option 1
Sometimes there are only one or two bobbins of thread on an overlock machine for a three- or four-strand seam. Here’s a tip for that.
Prepare an empty spool of thread similar to the spool in the photo above, plastic, with a flat end. You will also need an unwanted bobbin and a hot glue gun.
Lubricate the top of the bobbin with hot glue.
Glue the bobbin on top and add more glue for strength.
Wait for the glue to dry. Then mount the resulting construction on the bobbin winder on the sewing machine.
Make another similar “bobbin” if necessary.
And use these when working on the overlock.
How to split a bobbin to work on an overlock machine: option 2
If you’re not ready to sacrifice the bobbin, here’s the second version of the above tiphack.
Use the same empty spool and bobbin, but use double-sided tape to connect them.
While winding, gently hold the thread so that the bobbin and spool do not separate.
Then remove the bobbin and tape. and the thread can be used to work on the overlock.
Setting the needle thread tension
The needle thread regulator is a cylindrical rotating mechanism, which can be located either on the top or on the side of the body.
Details on the location of this mechanism can be found in the sewing machine instruction manual.
If you notice when sewing a trial stitch that the machine is pulling the weave points with the lower thread to the outside of the fabric, it means that the tension balance is biased toward the upper yarn and should be loosened. The situation with too little tension is the same. the weave spots will be visible, but on the underside of the fabric.
Depending on which of the above options characterizes your stitches, you should:
Do not turn the adjuster wheel too sharply. Gradually increase or decrease the degree of tension until the appearance of the stitching is standard. If for some reason you can not adjust the tension of the upper thread in the sewing machine, go to the next point.
How to correctly thread a standard sewing machine
It is not difficult to figure out how to insert the thread into the sewing machine, if the work will be carried out on a modern device of electric or electromechanical model.
Example of threading on a Minerva model
The most popular nowadays firm is Minerva. There are many models, which differ in complexity of arrangement, functional moments, the number of operations. But they have one thing in common. the principle of threading.
Please note! Another popular company is Veritas. The principle of threading is completely identical to the Minerva.
The advantage of modern sewing devices is the presence of the electrical principle of action, so the procedure of winding the bobbin and further. Standard threading pattern can be used in other similar models of modern production.
Install the bobbin
The most important step is exactly the charging of the bobbin. The principle of winding the thread and securing the element (using the Minerva as an example) is as follows:
Structure of the mechanism for securing the bobbin
- Remove the removable work table. To do this, the plastic plate must be moved to the left and completely remove. On a particular model, the principle of removing the table may vary.
- There is a plastic door in the housing. Open compartment. Behind it you can see the bobbin mechanism, which must be removed. Raise the needle beforehand using the thumbwheel. To do this, simply pull the “set pin” toward you.
- Pull the bobbin out of the mechanism. Place it on the top pin. Pull the “yarn” from the bobbin to the bobbin, using special windings to hold it. Insert the thread through the hole in the bobbin to lock it in place.
- Press the pedal, setting the idle mode beforehand. The bobbin will automatically wind the thread. You can use a flywheel, but this principle of winding will be long, because it is done manually.
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Fixing and filling the bobbin
The bobbin must be properly installed in the mechanism and the machine. Insert the device into the mechanism so that the thread is located in a clockwise direction relative to the slot. Then place the bobbin element in place while holding the “work finger. On most machines, the principle of installation of the bobbin is made according to this mechanism.
Threading the upper thread
The sewing mechanism of any model of device is designed so that the work involves 2 threads. the upper and lower. It is easiest to place the upper thread. Algorithm of arrangement:
- Fix the bobbin on the special pin.
- Pull the thread through the fasteners on the fixture body, using the cues.
- Be sure to pass the thread through the fasteners that are responsible for the strength of the thread tension and the hole responsible for the compensation spring.
- Insert yarn at the left side of the foot into the needle threader.
- Then pass it through the guide hook and only then pass it through the eye of the needle.
Principle of upper threading At this stage, the arrangement of the upper mechanism is complete. Yarn can be inserted into the needle by hand, aiming at the ear or use automatic needle threader. a special mechanism for introducing the sewing material into the eye of the needle. Located on the left side of the foot and can be adjusted with a lever.
Threading the bobbin thread
After installing the bobbin mechanism, the yarn is inserted into the work. The main thing is to insert the bobbin correctly and place the sewing mechanism in it. Next, pull the thread up under the presser foot.
Threading the lower thread
Turn the device off and use the side wheel to lower the needle. When doing this, it is worth holding the tip of the thread, threaded in the eye of the needle. By doing one spinning, the upper yarn catches the lower yarn. By pulling up the upper tip, you can pull the material that comes out of the bobbin.
Check that the thread is correctly threaded
The correct version of the yarn piecing is checked in several steps. First the thread placement. The bottom one should lie under the paddle, and the top one should lie between the teeth of the paddle.
threading to check the quality of the stitch. Take a small piece of fabric. Sew several types of stitching textiles. If the thread breaks or goes hard, then you need to adjust the fastener, which is responsible for the tension of the material.
Checking the quality of the threading
It is easy enough to check, the procedure does not take long and will give full information about the settings of the device.
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