g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Cooking for Kids
Women's Fashion
Small Office/Home Office

All times in EST

Low Carb: 8:00 PM

Full Schedule
g Sewing Site

BellaOnline's Sewing Editor


How to Use a Sewing Machine

Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick

In order to proceed with these lessons on learning to sew, you will need access to a sewing machine. If you do not yet have a sewing machine, see if you can borrow one from a friend or family member.

Different brands and makes of sewing machines can have features that make them look different from each other, but all machines have some basic features in common. It is important to become familiar with the basic aspects of your machine so that you will be able to confidently thread your machine and operate it. I have pictures of two different machines below to illustrate the various components that make them work.

Basic sewing machine components:

In addition to the machine itself, there will be a power cord and presser foot. I have not pictured these because they are fairly standard. They will plug into the back or side of the sewing machine. The power cord provides power between the electrical outlet and the machine. The presser foot engages the sewing machine motor and makes it go. Typically, the harder that you press on the foot, the faster the machine will sew.

Top of the machine:

  1. Spool pin - this holds the spool of thread in place while sewing. Some spool pins are vertical while others are horizontal. Horizontal thread spools typically also have a plastic plate that keeps the spool from coming off the pin.

  2. Bobbin winder spindle - The bobbin is held here when thread is being wound on the bobbin.

  3. Bobbin winder stopper - This is a mechanism that lets the machine know when the bobbin is full and stops the thread from continuing to wind around the bobbin.

  4. Thread guides - The thread guides hold the thread and keep it moving smoothly from the spool through the machine. The location and arrangement of the thread guide components can vary somewhat, so it is important to understand where the thread needs to go (many sewing machines have an illustration on the machine itself showing the thread path like the Brother machine shown on the left). There are two sets of thread guides; the main one takes the thread from the spool through a take-up lever and tension discs to the needle below. The other one guides the thread from the spool through tension discs to the bobbin for winding.

How to Use a Sewing Machine - Top View

Right side (not pictured):

Handwheel - This is a round wheel on the right side of your machine. It can be turned forward or backwards to manually raise or lower the needle.

Power switch - This switch turns the machine on and off. It is usually located on the right side of the machine under the handwheel, but I have seen it on the lower front or lower back of the machine.

Click to see the front and sewing surface of the machine

To learn more about your sewing machine, take a look at these books!

Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to Twitter Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to Facebook Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to MySpace Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to Del.icio.us Digg How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to Yahoo My Web Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to Google Bookmarks Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to Stumbleupon Add How+to+Use+a+Sewing+Machine to Reddit

How to Use a Sewing Machine - Page Two
Ruching, Ruffles, and More
Sewing Terms and Their Meanings
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Sewing Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.


g features
Easy Sewing Projects for Beginning Sewers

Sewing Classic Modest Clothing

Upcycle Classic Women's Shirts

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor