How To Set Up A Sewing Machine?

You might have brought a brand new sewing machine home or have borrowed it from a friend or neighborhood. Or, you could have bought one from a local seller who deals in second-hand sewing machines. It does not matter where you have brought the sewing machine from as you have to do a little bit of set-up for every machine before you start sewing. There is no doubt that sewing machines have different models, designs, and manufacturers, but specific set-up steps are almost for every kind. As there are multiple machine kinds, in this article, we will be mentioning only general steps that are essential to set up a sewing machine. 

Here is the step by step guide for the sewing machine set up:

Step 1: Take a look at the papers:

The foremost step in sewing machine set up is to look at the given papers, manual, and instructions. If you have bought a new piece at home, you will need to look at the safety instructions, manual, quick start guide, warranty information, etc. These documents will help you get an overview of your product and its working. Mostly the safety instructions are the same for every machine irrespective of its model or brand. The general safety instructions include things like:

  • Keep your fingers, hands away from the moving parts. 
  • Do not let children play with the sewing machine.
  • Do not operate the device if you find the cord is broken or damaged. 
  • Unplug the machine when not in use, and so on. 

You must take care of all these safety instructions during the initial set-up and the later on sewing process. 

Step 2: Connect the machine to power

Though it may sound effortless, it is one of the things that you need to do with ultimate precision. To power your machine, you get an electrical cord attached to a foot pedal, and you have to plug the cable into an electrical outlet. 

To connect your sewing machine to power:

  • Insert the plug onto the socket that is at the back or side of your device. 
  • Attach the main plug from the cord of the machine to an electrical socket. 
  • Turn on the switch and check if the light comes on. If yes, you have successfully powered your machine. 

Step 3: Inserting the needle

When your machine receives power, it is prepared halfway to sew. However, to start sewing, there are certain things that you have to complete yet. Now, you have to insert the needle into the machine. Needles come in different sizes and shapes depending on the fabric type. Unless you have to work on heavy fabric, a universal needle will do fine with the most variety of materials. To insert or change the needle, follow these steps: 

  • Turn the power off. 
  • Move the presser foot to the lowest. 
  • Loose the screw that holds the needle in place.
  • Hold the flat side of the needle facing the backside of the machine. Next, push it up as high it can go in the needle clamp.
  • Tighten the screw for the needle to get in place. 
  • Try turning the handwheel to check if the needle has fit in the right place. 

Step 4: Affixing the presser foot:

The next thing to do after inserting the needle in its place is to attach the presser foot. To stick the presser foot, you may need a lever, a screwdriver, be a snap-on, or all of them. What you will need mainly depends on the design and the model of your device. You have to keep the presser foot in the right position and tighten it with any of the above-said tools. Now, you have done the machine’s initial set-up steps, and it is the time to get started with the succeeding steps. The following steps are all the same to set up a manual sewing machine and an automatic one.

Wind the bobbin

A bobbin is a small spool of thread that supplies thread from underneath to the fabric. The thread from the bobbin and the upper thread connect and form stitches. Here’s how you can wind the bobbin:

  • You will have to insert the thread through the hole in your spool and manually twist it around the bobbin for a few turns. Now place the bobbin onto the small bobbin spool and lock the bobbin into place.
  • Now, your thread is to be placed on the larger spool, generally used for placing the thread. Press on your pedal slowly and see the bobbin turn. With each turn, your bobbin will wind with thread.  
  • You can also use pre-threaded bobbins for your sewing machine.

Insert the bobbin case with bobbin

As you are done with the threading, you will need to load the bobbin into the bobbin case. You can find it below your needle by opening the case cover. Simply take off the lid, take out the bobbin case from under the needle, and insert the bobbin into it as directed by your machine instructions. There generally is an arrow to show which way the thread should be pointing or going. 

  • Always make sure that you pay attention to your machine’s specific instructions and go through the manual to understand your bobbin’s loading process. 
  • Some machines have a built-in bobbin case, which can not be removed. Hence, you will have to insert the bobbin in the in-built case itself. 
  • Place the case cover again once you finish loading the bobbin.

Thread your machine

The next step towards starting your machine is to thread the top of the machine. Place the thread onto the thread spool of your machine (it is the larger one). Now there will be arrows to guide you where your thread needs to go. You can also check your manual for a complete picture of how to thread your machine and from which parts the thread needs to pass.  

  • You can also pull some thread from the spool and pass it along the first thread slot marked with arrows. Here you will need to take the thread downwards and then again back up the other space.
  • The process can be made more accessible by clearly following the marked arrows. 

Threading the needle

As you have to thread the top half of the machine, you will next insert the thread through the needle. After you finish inserting the thread in the slot, somewhat up to your needle, pull the thread down towards the needle, insert it in the eye of the needle and pull onto it. You should pull your thread until you feel a little strain. 

  • Always leave a couple of inches of thread out so that it can connect with the bobbin thread.
  • It is ideal for replacing your needle after going through two to three bobbins for the perfect stitches. 

Catch the bobbin thread

Just turn your machine knob once or twice for the bobbin thread to come up. Catch both the upper thread and bobbin thread together, pull out a few inches, and you are ready to stitch!

Now all you need to do is set the machine at the right stitch settings, place your fabric under the needle and gently press the foot pedal. Always keep your foot pedal within accessible reach. Apply pressure and begin sewing right away!