Short introduction to the use of sewing machines

This book is a very short introduction to sewing machines descriptions and use of sewing, starting from zero knowledge about the topic.

The sewing machines that this book works with are made by Japanese manufacture Brother, the models worked with are:

  • XR7700
  • CS70001
  • C55055PRW

Chapter 1: Introduction


This guide will begins with keyword for sewing arts, types of sewing machines and parts of sewing machines.

Section 1: Keywords


The following words are required to be known prior starting the course.

Textile arts: Are arts and crafts that use plant, animal, or synthetic fibers to construct practical or decorative objects.

Sewing: Is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a sewing needle and thread, and currently with the help of sewing machines.

Fabric or textile: It is an umbrella term that includes various fiber-based materials, including fibers, yarns, filaments, threads, different fabric types, etc.

Thread: Is kept at the Bobbin winder and is extended towards the bobbin while it is hold through the needle and when the singer is in motion its sew 2 textiles together.

Stitch (textile arts): It is single turn or loop of thread, or yarn. There are many Types of machine stitches and many Types of hand stitches. The stitches could use one thread, but in sewing machines the stitches use 2 threads, they can be secured at the begining, the end or at any time in the sewing process.

Bobbin (also called spool): It is the part of a sewing machine on which the lower thread is wound.

Section 2: Types of sewing machines


1.- Mechanical sewing machines

2.- Electro-Mechanical sewing machines

3.- Electronic sewing machines

4.- Computerized sewing machines

5.- Sewing and embroidery machine.

6.- Overlockers.[1]

Section 3: Sewing machine Parts


1. Bobbin and bobbin case:

2 Slide plate or bobbin cover

3 Presser foot: Types of feet: Feet and Shanks (High shank, low shank, blant slank)

4 Needle and needle clamp

5 Throat plate

6 Feed dogs

7 Tension regulator.

8 Take up level

9 Bobbin winder tension disk

10 Bobbin winder: Is where the supply of yarn or thread is kept.

11.- Thread Guides

12.- Spool Pin

13.- Flywheel

14.- Stitch Selector

15.- Stitch-Length Selector

16.- Stitch Width-Selector

17.- Menu Screen, if the sewing machine has a menu screen.

18.- Reverse-Stitch Button

19.- Foot Controller[2][3]

Chapter 2: Getting the machine ready


Uncover the machine

Connect the machine to electricity source.

Turn on using the switch.

Connect the pedal.

Section 1.- Choose a thread and use it to load the bobbin with thread


Choose a thread of any type or desired color

Choose any empty bobbin

Put the thread in the spool pin.

Follow the instructions for loading the bobbin described in the diagram at the top of the machine, read the diagram that shows how to put to connect the thread to the bobbin, before pressing the pedal.

Take thread in a straight line and pass it around the circular and metallic hook as indicated.

Pass the extreme of the thread trough one of the holes of the bobbin, and surround the bobbin a few times with it.

Put the bobbin in the bobbin pin and move it to the left towards he bobbin presser to fix the bobbin as indicated in the diagram.

Turn on the machine and press the pedal to wind the bobbin and charge it with the thread, until the amount the thread on the bobbin is enough according the use for the day, practice or work.

Cut the thread, after this section is completed we have a thread and a bobbin charged with thread, both will be used to make one stitch that use both thread sources, these thread sources can be of the same or different color.


Sewing machines use 2 threads to make a stitch...

one upper thread (the thread originally selected), this one will be kept in the thread pin at the top of the machine... and one lower thread (the one that was loaded into the bobbin or spool and will be located in the bobbin case at the base of the sewing machine)... Those 2 threads will make one stitch, after they are put in their place and the pedal is pressed, it will pick up the bottom thread and start to make the stitch in the fabric or paper used.

Now we have an upper thread and also a bobbin charged with thread that will become the lower thread.

Section 2 - Get the upper thread ready


Using the original thread located on the thread pin (not the one in the bobbin)in the top of the machine, follow the diagram

Take the upper thread out of the circular metallic hook and place it in the flat hook that is beside it as instructed in the diagram, this hook has a small metallic filament allowing the thread be in its place and also keeps it in place.

Follow the diagram and pass it through right space in the front of the machine, then pass the thread upwards in the space beside the first space, there is a metallic hook in the middle of that space, pass the thread on the left of that hook all the way to the upper part of the space and then pass it to downwards so it can be hold by the hook as indicated in the diagram, that extreme of the thread will be put later on the needle hole.

This upper thread now will be hold in the small hook besides the needle, and finally thread the needle passing the thread through the needle hole and get around five inches of the thread and place it on the left side.

Section 3 - Get the lower thread ready


Take the bobbin loaded with thread.

Uncover the bobbin case, for this press to the right the grey square beside the cover of the bobbin case.

Take the bobbin cover out

Put the bobbin loaded in its place and follow the instructions of how to put the thread out of the bobbin case this step will kept that extreme out of the bobbin case before it the stitch is started, after it the extreme will be in the stitch itself, when a step is finished it can be cut and put both upper and lower thread at the back of the sewing machine. This step does not need to be clock or anti clock wise as long as the diagram is followed.

put it up in the next hole and hang it in the metal in the upper part then put it down and put the thread on the needle and give 12 inches distance?

The foot should be up to prevent accidentally use the machine if the pedal was pressed by accident. If the foot is up the pedal will not move the needle..

Cover the bobbin case cover.

With this step complete the lower thread is ready to use and be picked up by the needled after it the needle is threaded and ready to use.

Section 4 - Thread the needle


This step will use both the upper thread and lower thread, to start, lift up the presser foot lifting its control, this will prevent the needle to move.

Move the machine dial (hand-wheel) located in the left side of the machine towards, until the central reach the upper part of the dial, this will lift the needle to the upper area, allowing to easily threading the thread trough it.

Use enough upper thread to allow pass it through the metallic hook located beside the needle as indicated (but not in excess)

Pass the thread trough the needle hole and take the thread to the left of the machine a few inches.

Tricks: Use a small piece of white paper behind the needle to see clearly the needle and its hole, also lift the needle with the dial, if desired, the foot presser can also be removed to allow extra focus.

Notes: The foot should be up to prevent accidentally use the machine if the pedal was pressed by accident. If the foot is up the pedal will not move the needle..

Take a practice sheet and put it under the presser foot, press the foot down pressing the "pressing foot level" upwards, assuring that the practice sheet or fabric is aligned with the desired line to thread through.

Turn on the sewing machine and press the pedal, this will allow the upper thread to pick up the lower thread and will start the stitch on the fabric.

For safety reasons the machine can be switched off when not used to prevent accidents for example, pressing by mistake the pedal.

With this step completed the needle is threaded and stitches can be made in a practice sheet or to unite two different textiles to make a piece.

Use practice sheets for improving speed and precision and testing new options.[4]

Section 5 - Securing the thread


Using the reverse button will secure the sewing process at the beginning, at the end or at any part of the sewing, after it, put the machine in normal mode.

Section 6 - Completing a piece and cutting a thread


When a sewing step is completed, lift feed dog, move needle up, and pull the paper or fabrics towards oneself and cut the thread (composed by upper and lower threads) and put them in the back of the machine to continue using in the next steps if needed.

Section 7 - Starting a new section or piece


Hold the threads at the back of the machine allow up to 4 inches, to prevent the threads to be pulled into the bobbins, preventing machine damage.

Put the textile or practice sheet paper in place and align it properly,

Start the material not passing 5/8 sign, can also switch the side of the material or sheets,

Push down the presser foot control to allow the feed dog to be in place.

Only hold the threads at the beginning of sewing... then hold the fabrics with both hands all the time.

Turn the machine on.

Press the pedal, this will make the upper thread pick up the thread in the bobbin and create the stitch.

Chapter 3 - Changing the presser foots and type of stitches


Presser foots are attachments used with sewing machines to hold fabric flat as it is fed through the machine and stitched, three principal types of presser feet are the high-shank foot, the low-shank foot, and the slant-shank foot.

Feed dogs are a movable plates that pulls fabric through a sewing machine in discrete steps between stitches, different feed dogs allow to create different stitches patterns.

Some sewing machines allow to use more feed dogs and create more stitch patters.

Section 1 - Feed dogs


Feed dogs names use letters of the alphabet, some examples are J, N, among others.

Each feed dog allow to use a limited amount of stitch patterns.

Section 2 - Stitch patterns


In order to be able to use a specific stitch pattern, first has to be used the proper feed dog.

Each sewing machine has a limited number of stitch patters to select, in some the number goes form 00 to 69, in others machines this number or options is higher.

Section 3 - Changing the feed dog


Move the handwheel upwards to allow the needle go up.

Push the "pressing foot level" up.

Move the feed dog towards oneself put back button to reach Put new foot on

Now the new stitch options can be selected if allowed to be use by the new feed dog choosen.

And reverse the previous steps: Put the pressing foot down.

Section 4 - Selecting stitches patterns in the screen menu


Screen menu: In some sewing machines the menu has 2 controls in others 4 controls:

T, this option allows to choose tens numbers, for example, 2, if the stitch is 28. N, this option allow to choose the units or first digits, for example, 8 if the stitch is the number 28.

Length of stitch Wide of stitch

The stitches can be changed changing the stitch number, but the proper feed dog has to be chosen first.

Some sewing machines have 00 to 49 stitches, others 00 to 79 different stitches options.

Chapter 4 - Tension control and its use


Tension in the stitches can be higher, middle or lower, numerated 1, 2 and 3. If the material is strong the tension can be higher.

Chapter 5 - Speed control and its use


The speed can be controlled in three level of speeds, slower, medium and faster, in some machines this is included as part of the menu control, in others it has three controls for it )> >> >>>) and in other machines this option is controlled by the pressure on the foot pedal.

When the tension is higher is recommended to leave more than 4 inches of threads to the back of the machine, this will prevent it to be pulled into the bobbin.

Chapter 6 - Working with Textiles or fabrics


After practicing enough to sew in paper sheets start practicing with one or more pieces of fabrics.

Choose two pieces of textiles and use a pins kept in the pins holders and hold both pieces together with a one or more pins.

Start sewing, and take out the first pin before the needle reach to it, continue sewing and take the other pins before are reached by the needle to prevent damage in the needles or the sewing machine.

Chapter 7 - Thread jam


The thread can be jammed in the machine because of the following reasons:

Because there is not enough tread and it goes into the bobbin case at the beginning of the process.

Because there is too much tension, etc.

When this happen, If the thread is jammed into the bobbins, stop pressing the bobbin stop pedaling and take the thread and bobbin out and thread the needle again.

When the thread is jammed into the bobbin, just take out the needle in the bobbin an put it in its original position, the upper thread does not need to be adjusted or thread into the needled hole, then press the pedal, it will thread both threads together and the sewing process can be continued.

If the thread is jammed into the fabric, cut the thread, take the thread out of the fabric and start the process one more time.

Final steps


Clean the space

Turn off the machine

Unplug the machine electric cable

Put cover over the machine

Clean the rest of materials.

See also