One of the main things I was intimidated by when I started sewing was the machine. How on earth do I use the thing? Where does the thread go? What the heck is a bobbin? What happens if I get all the threads tangled? ARGGHH! I mean I could go on and on with these questions. But, we beginners at stuff laugh in the face of intimidation; so take a deep breath and I’ll walk you through sewing machine basics so that you can get on and put that pedal to the floor (well not quite, it does go rather fast 😀 )
Whilst there are hundreds of machines on the market to choose from, the basic principles of how to use them appear to be the same. I haven’t used many machines, in fact I’ve only ever had a go on 2: a mechanical sewing machine and a computerised sewing machine. The mechanical is the one I use most of the time and have at home. I have a treat when I go to my Dad’s as he has a computerised one in the house. Whilst the 2 have a few differences, for the most part setting up is the same.
Mechanical Sewing Machine
A basic machine that uses dials to select the settings required to sew. There are either none or very few embroidery stitches. Not as precise as computerised machines.
Computerised Sewing Machine
Have many varieties of different stitches which are very easy to select. More precise and can speed up your sewing. More expensive.
I’ve put together a couple of infographics to show you all the different components of a sewing machine that you’ll need to get familiar with. It’s using my own mechanical sewing machine that is fairly basic, but gives you an idea of what is where. If you like the infographics and want to save them – click on the image to pin it and save it on Pinterest.
Now that you’re familiar with your machine, let’s get to grips with using it. If you don’t have any thread and fabric yet, don’t worry. Get practising with just your machine with a needle in place, a piece of paper, pen and ruler. In just a few steps you can be practising using your sewing machine.
With your paper, pen and ruler draw some lines, pivot mazes and curves to follow.Once you’ve got that sorted, I’ll show you how to wind the bobbin up, thread the machine and set up to sew.
There’s not much more to it than that! Grab an old tea towel and try out all those stitching settings. Don’t worry about what they do for now, just enjoy the wonder that is sewing technology and marvel at how on earth it does it.
I promised last time I’d share my first makes so here they are. I won’t go into too much detail, save your brain! Unfortunately I didn’t keep my stitched tea towel, but now I wish I had!
And that’s it for now. I’ve loved piecing all this together for you and I’m enjoying documenting all I’ve learned so far. I’d also really love to see your stitched tea towels / first makes. Get commenting and if there’s anything you’d like to see more of, let me know.