Learn how to Use a Sewing Machine and SAVE HUNDREDS!
Long, long ago I was given a hand me down, old slightly temperamental sewing machine from my aunt. Back then I never bothered using it or even tried to use it as I felt no need to. I was lucky and had enough money to shop around to only buy clothes that fitted me perfectly, regardless of the price tag.
Then one day this global crisis took a toll on my pockets and I didn’t have the money, or time, to shop around for the perfect fit. I decided to turn to the forgotten, hand me down, sewing machine in the top of my closet.
At first I had no clue of how to use a sewing machine, let alone turn it on, so I scanned the internet for the “ how to” videos on using sewing machines and sewing in general. Youtube was the best, once I learned how to, thread my sewing machine, thread the bobbins, thread the needle, get the tension correct and finally how to actually sew, I placed myself on a path to saving hundreds of euro and gaining perfectly fitted and tailored clothes!
How to use a Sewing Machine Step by Step Videos
Before you begin:
- Buy good quality thread
- Buy bobbins if you need any
- Buy new needles if your own are blunt
- Have some spare fabric for sewing practice
This video below is a very good for giving the essentials on how to operate a sewing machine for beginners. Things that should be noted is that every sewing machine is different, some will have buttons, some will have knobs, some will be threaded slightly different and one generally difference is with the bobbin compartments.
Bestseller Sewing Machines
The video below, at 3:55mins, shows how you can backstitch/tie your stitching when your finished a line of sewing (some machines have a button for this, but not all). I just simply pull the fabric backwards and forwards three times and this ties the thread for me.
Alternate bobbin casing and compartment
An example of a different bobbin compartment can be seen in this video.
Sewing Machine Problems
Problem no.1 - The Needle gets stuck and thread keeps clumping under the fabric
Solution: Nearly every time this occurs it just means you need to adjust tension of the top thread going through your needle (not the bobbin thread). Gradually increase the tension, using the buttons or knob, and sew a small piece of fabric to test.
If it sticks and clumps again then increase the tension further, this should fix the issue.
If this doesn’t work: If increasing the tension using the knobs or buttons doesn’t work, and you know your machine is threaded properly, then there may be an issue with your spool of thread on the top of your machine. Sometimes the spool is too loose and needs to be more secure on your machine. If you have a clip to place above the spool, then put that on and try again, if not, then something I do is to wrap a few lengths of selotape around the compartment of which the spool is inserted onto. This helps to increase the friction with the spool and therefore increases the tension.
Problem no. 2 – Issues with the bobbin, the thread from the bobbin breaks or doesn’t pull out properly
Solution: Issues with the bobbin and bobbin case are common, although solutions to these problems are awkward as some sewing machines have different bobbin cases/compartments.
If it’s an issue with the thread not pulling out properly then remove the bobbin case from your machine and make sure the thread flows through the case. There is normally a screw in the bobbin case that sometimes needs to be loosened to allow the thread through properly.
How to Shop for Clothes (if you have a sewing machine)
Now when I go shopping for, lets say a pair of jeans, I don’t actually look for the correct fit or size, I look for the cheapest price tag and the colour I want, the rest can be sorted out later using my Godsend sewing machine.
I can rummage through the bargain isles in clothing stores, pick a ghastly XXL pair of trousers and make my well fitted 32 waist and 30 length, right when I arrive home.
Other Benefits of having a Sewing Machine
Another benefit to note is that, through word of mouth, friends and family have began “commissioning” me to tailor their clothes, maybe take a top in a few inches or simply shorten a pair of trousers. This can brings in a few euro for me on occasions, not that I easily accept of course.
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