The first thing you need to do when you start sewing is get to know your machine.
Really get to know your machine…and I’m not talking speed dating here…I’m thinking more like a few late nights, some lazy morning conversations, and of course some lunchtime business meetings.
Seriously! Get to know that thing—-it’s quirks, it’s capabilities, and it’s features. That may sound like a lot of work (and it is) but it’s worth it…just like any other long-term committed relationship is :).
So…how do get to know you machine? Well the first step is:
It’s just a sewing machine so get on in there! Jump in with both feet…push buttons, pull levers, turn knobs…whatever…and find out what everything does. And if you don’t know what something’s function is you can always turn to this:
The Instruction Manual!
Actually the instruction manual should become your best friend. Those things are golden. They will answer questions, explain functions, show diagrams and even provide sewing tips and tricks! I use mine all the time…it’s great for trouble shooting. Plus it will give you information like step by step instructions for how to put in a button hole. Read through it, refer to it, and try out what you read!
Now…as you are getting to know your machine and BEFORE you begin sewing locate a few key parts to your machine…like:
Your pedal. You aren’t going any where without one of these babies.
And they can be finicky…on one of my machines you just tap that thing and your off, on another machine you have to floor it before the needle even thinks about moving. So play around with it before you dive right into a project.
Next I’d look for things like my bobbin winder:
…where to thread my machine…
…where to load the bobbin…
…and the lever to raise and lower my presser foot:
See that white lever hanging down back there??? That is how I can raise and lower my pressure foot.
Not everything is the same on all machines…not all machines have top loading bobbins…not all machines have arrows to guide your threading…you’ll have to find out what your machine does…SO GET TO KNOW IT!
(And use your manual.)
The more you know the more enjoyable your sewing experience will be. So now I’ll leave you to it…get in there and be fearless!
I have to say that the thing I love most about my machine (because I know her quite well) is I don’t have to use the petal at all! She has a button. It is heavenly.
So to make this post even dirtier (LOL at your FB status), I can push my machine’s button to make her purrrrrr.
OK that is all I got.
lol Dirty old man! Great post! It is funny how they all work so differently!
Tammy B says
I wish I would have known how handy straight edge cutters and mats are. They save so much time and make your projects so much neater.
I have ‘acquired’ an old sewing machine, but it doesn’t have an instruction book, and my Google-fu is sadly lacking. It means I can’t find anywhere that has an instruction book available for this particular model (a Singer from the late 70s, it seems), so I am at a loss for what to do, other than to follow your instructions and have a play. I’m afraid of breaking it, though. *sadface* Once hubby’s cleaned it of the 30 or so years of dust, I’m going to try it out… carefully. 😀 (Rather intimidated by just how fast sewing machines are. I’m worried it’ll take a finger off or something…)
I’ve finally had a go on it and it’s absolutely BRILLIANT. Not only does it not try to eat me like my mini-beast of a machine, but it actually goes in a (more or less >.>) straight line. I am so excited to actually use this now, instruction book or not. 😀 (Now how to backspace (or whatever the term is) on it is the next challenge. hehehe)