Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Passing The Sewing Machine Driving Test! Lesson 2

The dashboard!
It is very important having learnt the names of the parts of the sewing machine, that you thread them up in the correct order. Your machine stitching will never be right if you do not get the threading sequence correct.

A machine needs two threads, one at the top and one underneath below the fabric. The top thread is a reel of cotton, the lower thread is a metal spool/bobbin supplied with your machine that needs some of the matching thread putting on it. I will come back to this thread in the next lesson. Let's concentrate on the top thread for now.

If you can, go back to the first "driving lesson" and remind yourself about the parts we named, so that you will understand these instructions easier.

1. Place the reel/spool of cotton on the reel holder at the back of the machine, as you pull the thread off it should allow the reel to turn in an anti-clockwise direction. Pull it along the back of the machine until you locate a back hook to hook it under.

2. Now move towards the front of the machine over the top, towards your eye line. At this point there is usually some "tension discs" that the thread has to be placed between. On my machine they are located in the slot the thread passes through across the top of the machine, but on some they are at the from of the machine as a dial with numbers on. (I will tell you about the numbers this needs to be adjusted to in a later lesson)
3. Having passed around or through the tension discs, or an equivalent thread guide at the lower front you need to head back up to the "take up lever" or "thread take up" this is the thing that moves up and down when you sew, taking the thread up to the top of its cycle and it should be at the top when threading up. We are aiming for a "capital N" shape with the thread.

4. Bring the thread down to the left hand side of the needle where you will find another thread guide close by. Hook the thread behind it and then thread the needle - some machine thread front to back and some thread side to side. It is important you know which way your machine threads so check the handbook as often when a needle is changed after breaking it gets put in the wrong way around and this can lead to missed stitches.

Check you have a 'capital N' shape with the path of your thread - some machine it may be a mirror image 'capital N', but either way the thread will come down and then back up to the take up lever before heading for the needle! Your machine will never sew if you miss the take up lever out altogether!!
Once you have threaded the needle (Fortunately, my machine has a handy needle threader attached to it!!) then place the thread under the metal presser foot and out of the way to the back of the machine.
Next lesson - "Open the bonnet," threading up the spool/bobbin or lower thread! TFLx

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