How To Set Up A Sewing Machine

Whether you just bought a new sewing machine, or inherited an old one, for the most part, they all have the same general construction. This means that if you have experience with one sewing machine, you can work with the majority of them.

In this article, we're going to lay out the basics of how to set up a sewing machine to start sewing. We're going to go over everything you need, as well as breaking down all of the steps.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Loading Your Bobbin With Thread

Once you've picked out the thread you want to use, you need to load it onto your bobbin. To do this, look for a tiny hole in your bobbin.

If you see one, thread a small amount of thread through this hole and place it on your bobbin winder.

If you don't see a hole on your bobbin, you likely have a machine with a self-winding bobbin. In this case, simply wrap the thread around your bobbin a few times and load it onto the winder. The machine will take care of the rest.

Once your bobbin is prepped, and on the winder, you need to lock it in. In most cases, this involves just locking it to the right, but it may vary by machine.

The thread between the spool and the bobbin needs to go around the bobbin tension disc. You'll need to locate this on your particular machine, but in most cases, it's fairly obvious.

After the thread is locked in, press the foot pedal to begin loading it. Don't overload your bobbin; try to gauge how much thread you're going to need for your project and load accordingly.

Step 2: Loading Your Bobbin In The Machine

On most machines, there is a small transparent plate below the arm of the machine where the bobbin should go. Slip off this plate, and load in your bobbin. Make sure your bobbin is in a "P" position, with the wheel of the bobbin representing the circle of the "P," with the excess thread coming down to create the line of the "P."

Once you get your bobbin loaded, there should be a diagram on your machine that shows you how to load your thread. Typically, this is pulling the thread up to the left, but it could vary from machine to machine.

Step 3: Loading The Top Thread

Leaving the bobbin where it is, for now, load in your top thread into the machine. The front of your machine arm should pop off, revealing your take up lever.

Make sure the take-up lever is in its fully raised position, then lead the thread around the level, then back down. Once the thread is back down, there's typically one more hook you'll have to lead the thread through before you thread the needle. Once you get through that, lead your thread through the needle eye, pull out between 4-6 inches of thread and feed it under the presser foot.

Step 4: Put The Needle In The Starting Position

Once you've got both threads in the correct position up to this point, lower the needle, and the bobbin thread should come up if you've done it correctly.

If everything looks good, congratulations, you're ready to get sewing!

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