How to Set Up & Maintain Your Sewing Machine
Getting Started with Your Sewing Machine
Whether we aim to express ourselves creatively, darn an old shirt or alter a dress to perfection, there is nothing better than sitting down with a new sewing machine! If you’ve recently started - or you’re getting back into it after a break - follow our handy guide to setting up and maintaining your sewing machine.
We’ve got great news! Domestic sewing machines have become so user-friendly that almost anyone can use them and with practice become an expert at various stitches, dishing out beautiful designs and patterns. If you have a liking for stitching, dress designing, quilting, or simply like to add a special touch to your linen, it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby!
In this guide, we show you how to set up a sewing machine and detail all the basic steps involved. We also look into how you can maintain your sewing machine in top condition so that it delivers the results year after year. So, let’s get started already!
How to Set Up a Sewing Machine
If you are reading this, it is most likely that you have already bought a sewing machine and are staring at the contents just out of the box and wondering where to get started. No worries, let’s take it one step at a time.
Go through the Paperwork
In the box, you will find a number of papers that come along with your purchase. Most importantly, you will find a user’s manual, detailing the various parts of the machine and giving you instructions on how to use it. Make sure that you are sitting at the machine when you read this manual.
You will also find the registration and warranty forms. Do not forget to log in to the website mentioned in this form and register for the manufacturer’s warranty. We know it’s not exciting, but keep these in a safe place so you have all the information about your machine together.
If you have a second hand machine and do not find a user’s manual, you can always apply for it online by going to the manufacturer’s website and requesting it. You will need to feed in the name of your machine and the model number. That done, let’s move on to the next step.
Attach the Foot Pedal to the Machine
Once you are plugged in and switched on, it’s time for the fun to start! Next to the power output, you will find the socket for the foot pedal cord. Look for this cord in the box, and connect one end of it to the machine and the other to the foot pedal. You can then go ahead and press the pedal to see how well it works.
Insert the Needle
Moving on, we will learn how to insert a needle in the machine. You can choose a regular point or universal needle which works well on light and medium weight fabrics.
So how do we go about it? Start by lowering the presser foot and hold the needle with the flat side facing the back of the sewing machine. Then go ahead and push the needle up the needle clamp and tighten the needle clamp. Once the needle clamp is properly tightened, we can proceed to wind the bobbin and thread the machine.
How to Wind and Insert the Bobbin in the Sewing Machine?
To wind the bobbin, open the user’s manual and look into the procedure detail. You will have to place a spool of thread on the spool pin, pull the thread through the thread guides and wrap it around the tension disk.
You can then insert the end of the thread into the bobbin,
set the bobbin on the winding spindle, and lock it into place. Then go ahead and step on the foot pedal to get the bobbin spinning. In this way, the thread will evenly wind on the bobbin. Once wound, the bobbin can be removed and inserted into the sewing machine.
Most machines come with a top-loading bobbin. To insert the bobbin, raise the presser foot and make sure that the needle is in the highest position by using the handwheel. You can then go ahead and remove the bobbin cover plate on the top side of the machine and place the bobbin in the bobbin case.
You can then follow the steps on the user’s manual for pulling the thread through the various thread channels. Make sure you leave a tail of 4-5 inches and then shut the bobbin cover plate.
How to Thread a Sewing Machine?
Most sewing machines have two threads that work together to form the stitches. One thread comes from the bobbin and the other from the spool on the top of the machine and goes through the eye of the needle.
Start by turning off the machine and raising the presser foot. Then go ahead and raise the needle to its highest position by turning the handwheel. Place the thread on the spool pin and draw it through the thread guides as mentioned on the user’s manual, bringing it down to the needle. You can then pass the thread through the eye of the needle.
Once that is done, draw the thread from the bobbin through the needle plate and under the presser foot. You can then lower your presser foot and your threading is complete.
How to Maintain a Sewing Machine
How to Clean a Sewing Machine?
If you’ve been using the machine for a while, it’s time to think about cleaning. To start out cleaning your sewing machine, unplug it and remove the throat plate. Check on your manual how to get the throat plate off as some machines require it to be unscrewed by using a screwdriver while others simply slide off.
Once you have opened the throat plate, you will find dust and fabric fibres that have gathered inside. You can take a nylon brush and dust these parts slowly to remove all dirt gathered in the nooks and corners. You can also dust the bobbin case and inside and in-between the feed dogs.
How to Oil a Sewing Machine?
With the cleaning thoroughly done, you can go ahead and oil the machine. Make sure that you use sewing machine oil as it is specially formulated to keep your machine in good order.
Move the handwheel up and down and see which parts of the machine are touching each other, creating friction or making a creaking sound. These are the parts that need oiling. Make sure that you put only a few drops of oil in each place.
Then go ahead and move the handwheel a couple of times to work the oil in. Use a piece of muslin cloth to wipe off any additional oil and give your machine a nice final wipe with a clean soft cloth.
Sewing Machine Service & Repair
No matter how well you set up and maintain your machine, we understand that things do go wrong. That’s why we offer servicing and repair for domestic and industrial sewing machines.
We’re based in Auckland and have over 30 years of experience selling and servicing machines around NZ. No matter what issue you’re facing, we can get you the help you need.
Please contact us today and we’ll be in touch to help: