I have to start at the very beginning, (according to Julie Andrews, or ‘Maria’ as she was known in The Sound of Music), ‘it’s a very good place to start when we read we begin with A-B-C’ but when we sew, we begin with the needle and thread.
For some reason, I wrongly assumed everyone reading this post, has watched ‘The Sound Of Music’ if you haven’t, please do so, it is a classic.
Back to the issue at hand. I often hear people say to me, “Ota, you are so creative, I wish I could sew”. I have said this before and I will say it again, ‘You do not have to be creative to be able to use a sewing machine’. Knowing how to sew with a sewing machine is a SKILL; one which will grow with constant and dedicated practice.
Creativity, on the other hand, is a different kettle of tilapia.
Here, you are going to learn the art of setting up your sewing machine, the foundation required to kick-start your sewing journey. The sewing machine can be seen as a tool, with the right teacher and proper guidance, you can master the use of this tool, AKA ‘the sewing machine’.
If you have decided to start your sewing journey, know this; there will be problems along the way, some of them will definitely be your fault, some will be the machines’ fault others might be a deficit in your knowledge bank. If you follow some of my tutorials, tips, tricks and techniques, you and your sewing machine will have a very loving and fruitful relationship.
GETTING READY TO USE YOUR SEWING MACHINE
TAKE IT OUT OF THE BOX
Take it out of the box. I can’t recount the number of conversations I have had, where the sewing machine has been sitting in the box for longer than one can care to remember. I can guarantee you this; your sewing machine will not start sewing in the box, neither will it come out of that box itself…TAKE IT OUT OF THE BOX.
YOUR MACHINE SHOULD BE SWITCHED OFF
Think of your sewing machine like a car; if you can drive one car, you can pretty much drive any other car. You always have to default to the user manual for operator instructions.
Similarly, with sewing machines, the threading might be slightly different, but the basic path thread is the same. Always refer to your operator manual for instructions.
To thread your sewing machine, the two most important things are (1) The upper threading (2) The lower threading.
TIP Get out a pair of trousers, skirt, dress or blouse. Now take a look a the stitching on the hem; if you flip it over you will see stitches on the reverse side (stay with me). When your sewing machine sews, the thread, at the top of the machine; called the upper thread is responsible for sewing the top and the thread in the bobbin called the lower thread is responsible for sewing the reverse side.
SETTING UP YOUR SEWING MACHINE
What sort of sewing machine do you have? Does it have a vertical or horizontal spool holder? See picture below.
WINDING THE BOBBIN – HORIZONTAL SPOOL CAP
- place the of thread on the spool pin, secure spool with the spool pin cap
- follow your thread guide using the broken lines only
- ensure that your thread is sitting snugly under the bobbin winding tension disc
- guide the thread through the tiny hole at the top of the bobbin. to make this easier to understand; the bobbin has a shaft, a top cap and a bottom cap. In most bobbins there is no right or wrong way, so you decide which is the top and the bottom. Focus on the top cap. slide the thread through the bottom of the top cap till it comes out on top.
NOTE: DO NOT SLIDE THE THREAD THROUGH ANY OF THE HOLES ON THE BOTTOM CAP.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO TO COMPLETE THIS EXERCISE.. This video will show you how to setup a sewing machine using a Vertical Spool Holder.
Part 2..Coming soon. This will show you how to set up using a Horizontal Spool Holder