• Kaine

Sewing 103 - How do I set up my Sewing Machine (Electrical and Computerised)

Updated: Jan 30

Here is a brief overview of the parts of a sewing machine and how to set it up. If your machine comes with a manual, please read it thoroughly before use and get acquainted with it. If it doesn't have a manual, you can download one off the internet here and here, or ask me for help. Below are examples of the manual/electrical sewing machine and a computerised Sewing machine, different brands and models may differ.


Manual/Electrical Sewing Machine

Parts of a sewing machine

Computerised Sewing Machine

parts of a sewing machine

parts of a sewing machine


These machines shown above are setup almost in the same way although models may differ in a few ways. I will illustrate using the mechanical sewing machine. Once again, I encourage you to read your sewing machine manual as that is the most accurate information you can have

cleaning a sewing machine

Clean / Dust the Machine. I use wet wipes and an old t-shirt

cleaning a sewing machine

Small Brush for removing dust and lint from hard to reach areas. Use brush to clean the Feed dogs and the Bobbin area

oiling a sewing machine

Oil the machine according to the user manual instructions. Some newer models do not require oil.

winding the bobbin of a sewing machine

Thread the bobbin. Place the bobbin on the winder; Loop the thread through it; Push the winder to engage it; Step on the presser foot to wind some thread. When it is finished, push back the winder to unlock; Cut the thread and remove bobbin.

  • With the Bobbin thread coming downwards on the right side, clockwise, Place it into the bobbin case

  • Pull the thread through the groove, under the clasp, and out the hole. The thread should flow freely with little resistance

  • Place the bobbin case back into the bobbin holder by holding the latch open, keeping the pin at the top.

inserting top loading bobbin

Some machines are loaded the opposite way. For example, the machine above has a top loading Bobbin, so with the thread coming downwards on the left side, anti-clockwise, drop the bobbin into the bobbin case and pull the thread through the guides, if any.

  • Place thread onto Thread spool and place spool cover

  • Pull thread through all marked thread guides

  • Make sure your presser foot is UP, so that the tension disks are open and the thread can flow freely.

  • Thread the needle, going from front to back. Pull thread under the Presser foot and to the back of the machine.

pulling up bobbin thread

Hold onto thread, at the same time turn hand wheel towards yourself. Keep turning until the needle goes down and  comes back upwards. The upper thread should bring up the bobbin thread.

That's all for getting your machine ready! Make sure to read the next post on Tension and Stitch settings, then we will tackle basic sewing techniques.

Did you know that you can also watch this lesson?