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Aug 08 2012

Getting Started With Your New Sewing Machine

A Rainbow of threadIn this post we will look at a few simple things you should do when you get a new machine, while the next post will look at a few items that can help you to maintain it once you start using it.

Your Instruction Book

Your machine will come with an instruction book, which, if it is one of the larger brands, will be quite comprehensive. Most of us don’t really like to read these books (certainly, as a male, I don’t), however a few minutes of looking at some pretty important items may save you a lot of time and expense later.

Specifically, in the first few pages, there will be a diagram that points out the main parts of the machine, with their correct names. This can be important for support later, especially if you need to talk to the retailer or technician over the phone. By using the correct names for parts of the machine, you will get faster answers to your questions, so try to familiarise yourself with them.

There will also be a diagram showing threading. With all machines, it is vital to be precise with threading so read through this section and look at any specific instructions. Most machines thread in a similar way, but all will have little idiosyncrasies.

Sewing Needles

Finally, identify the recommended needle for your machine. In most cases on sewing machines it will be a standard domestic needle, however your manufacturer may recommend a specific brand or class. This can be important. It is especially important for overlockers. For more information about needles click here >>

Keep Your Info Together

Right, now that you have read the basics of the book put it somewhere you can find it quickly. I recommend also stapling or taping your purchase receipt and/or warranty card into it, and keeping it in a zip lock bag. In this bag, put any other relevant info on the machine as the years go by, such as service dockets and so forth. This will make it easy to lay your hands on when needed.

Now To The Fun Stuff!

Get some scrap fabric out and play with the machine for a ½ hour or so. Get to know what the stitches you want to use do, and what gives you the best results. Alter stitch lengths & widths, try the buttonhole and generally experiment. Get to know what it feels like, and what it sounds like. Knowing this will alert you later to potential problems before they become serious, as different sounds can be your earliest pointer to a problem. Wind a couple of bobbins and try the different buttons.

Get comfortable with your machine! This is the period when you can be working out what you may need to ask when you have a lesson. Write your queries down to ask your dealer or tutor.

Finally, when you feel like you know how to make it work with ease, get started on your first project. It should start working for you like a dream! After all, any mistakes you might make should happen when you are testing, and therefore your project should be free from errors!

The next article will deal with items you may want to have on hand in your sewing room that will help you to maintain your pride and joy, keeping it running for years of stress free sewing!

Happy Sewing

Stephen