• Kaine

Sewing 104 - How do I set up my Sewing Machine (Vintage and Industrial)

Updated: Jan 30

In the previous chapter we covered the electrical and computerised sewing machines. Even though all sewing machines share the same core parts, we will briefly go over treadle and industrial sewing machines in this chapter just to cover all the bases.

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 images of the classic vintage style sewing machine and an Industrial Sewing machine, different brands and models may differ.


Vintage Style Sewing Machine

parts of a sewing machine vintage

Industrial Sewing Machine

parts of a sewing machine industrial


Vintage Sewing Machine

Dust the Machine before use.

oiling a sewing machine vintage

Put oil into the the little holes marked for oiling and on the gears underneath the machine.

stopping the needle from moving sewing machine vintage
stop motion clamp screw

Depending on your machine model, you might have the Stop motion clamp screw on the hand wheel. If you hold the hand wheel in place and turn the screw, it stops the needle from moving up and down. This is great for winding your bobbin.

winding a bobbin vintage

Winding the bobbin - Place a thread on the lower thread spool, and insert a bobbin on the bobbin winder. Pull the thread through the thread guide (1) and upwards to the bobbin (2), winding some thread on the bobbin to secure it. Press the bobbin winder down to engage it. Step on the foot pedal to working the machine and fill up the bobbin. When you are done. Unlock the machine by turning the stop motion clamp screw in the opposite direction.

Place the bobbin in the bobbin case with the thread coming down the right-side or clockwise. Pull the thread through the groove on the bobbin case, under the latch, and out through the hole. Insert bobbin case under the machine with the pin facing up.

threading a sewing machine vintage

Threading the machine - Place the thread on the upper thread spool. Pull the thread through the first guide (1), down to the tension screw (2), going under and around the screw, then upwards through the take-up lever (3) and down through the guides on the face plate (4).

Finally, thread the needle going from left to right. Pull the thread under the presser foot and towards the back of the machine.

Industrial Sewing Machine

oiling a sewing machine industrial

Dust the machine before use.

Lift the Machine head with both hands to reveal the oil reservoir. Fill it with Oil up to the High level mark. Note that some models do not have an oil tray, rather they have oil holes as above such as the Singer 20U 109

Winding the bobbin - (Pictured from left to right) Pass the thread through the thread guide then down around the tension disc, then around the bobbin from underneath. Twirl it round the bobbin a few times to secure the thread. Push the Bobbin winder wheel to engage it. Turn on the machine and press the foot pedal. When the bobbin is full, it should spring back into its default position.

adjust bobbin spool size industrial sewing machine

NOTE: You can adjust the bobbin spool by pinching it or spreading it to make it bigger or smaller.

This particular model has the bobbin inserted counterclockwise or with the bobbin thread coming down the left side. Place the Bobbin in the bobbin case and pull the thread through the groove on the bobbin case, under the latch and out through the hole. Insert bobbin case under the machine with the groove or cutout facing up.

  • Thread the machine following the directions of the arrows

  • At point 2, make sure the thread goes between the tension disc plates

  • At point 3, make sure the thread goes through the take-up spring before going around the hook at point 4

  • The needle is threaded from left to the right

Bringing Up the Bobbin Thread

This method applies to both sewing machines

With the machine turned OFF, (Industrial - step on the foot pedal to unlock the hand wheel);

a) hold the thread with one hand and turn the hand wheel towards yourself with the other hand

b) Turn until the needle goes down and comes back up with the bobbin thread attached.

c) Pull both threads out

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.

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