1-Sewing Machine Basics- Seen One, Seen Them All | Marcy Newman | Skillshare

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1-Sewing Machine Basics- Seen One, Seen Them All

teacher avatar Marcy Newman, SewwwMuchMore!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. What's Where

    • 3. My Discovery

    • 4. Filling Bobbins

    • 5. Maintenance

    • 6. Finally, Tips and Tricks

    • 7. Let's Save 100$

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About This Class

My classes are designed with the absolute beginner in mind, which is why they are a series in order.

1. Sewing Machine Basics - Seen one, you've Seen them all. An experience I had showed me that Sewing Machines have been designed the same way for years. My hope is to diminish anxiety about the Sewing Machine by revealing my Discovery. I compare two machines which I hope will show you how you can use this information in the future. At the end you will find added information about Needles, Tools and How to become A Relaxed and Happy Sewer, followed by the most common issue newbies have with the Sewing machine. This will save you spending $100 for unnecessary Maintenance fees. I welcome any feedback and am always willing to answer questions.  

Other videos:

2.  Understanding Patterns - FREE -Takes the Brand new Sewer through the whole pattern and all the information.  

3- What Sewing Patterns Don't Tell you! Test your Pattern!  I show you how simple it really is. 

4-Sewing Without Reading a Pattern -  The Step by step process the new Sewer will learn what must be done first, and what can be done later by creating samples. I include couture darts, pleats and tucks.  

4b-Sewing Without Reading a Pattern  continued-  3 Basic pockets, Patch, Side Seam pocket and the Front Hip pocket.

5-The Easiest Sleeve Insertion (Couture) is for All Sewers. Perfect for the Beginner who is timid about putting a Sleeve in, this comprehensive coverage should ease your worry. 

General Interest: 

All Sewing Patterns Start like This: (Pattern Drafting Basics Theory)- Background information of the Slash and Spread method showing where pieces may be adapted or changed as learning increases. 


Meet Your Teacher

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Marcy Newman



My mother taught me to sew at an early age followed by high school sewing, but after years I still struggled with certain tasks. When a friend told me about a Fashion Design Program my desire was to become a confident Sewer.  After I graduated I taught for many years at Night School classes where I applied the unique method I learned. The feedback from students was always positive. My philosophy is that Organization is key in life. Because of my broad understanding of the process beginning with the Design, followed by Pattern development, my classes all include parts of these and are organized to help Sewers of all ages and experience. 

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1. Welcome!: We've looked at hi there. My name is Marcy. I've been sewing since I was ten years old. And I've always really enjoyed sharing with other people what I've learned through all the zeros that are sewn. My videos are done in order with the expectation that you are a brand new solar. And of course, the most important thing is understanding your sewing machine. Many years ago I worked with someone who asked me if I could go over and see if I could figure out why her sewing machine wasn't working. I gladly agreed. And when I got there, I was quite surprised that for some reason I actually knew how to fix her sewing machine. It was on that visit that I realized that sewing machines are almost all the same. Nowadays, of course, we have computers that can run some of these sewing machines. But generally speaking, The sewing machines are all basically the same. It's often a simple problem, like the threading of the bobbin or the upper thread that is causing an issue. So I'm going to show you how you can save a $100 on maintenance fees and solve the problem yourself by comparing an older machine I have and a newer machine I have and showing you how they're slightly different and yet basically the same. So let's get started. 2. What's Where: Hi there. I'm excited that we're about to learn all about sewing machines. If this is the first time you're learning about sewing machines, I hope I will be able to answer all the questions that you might have. This is where I begin to explain what's on the top of machines, the front of the machine, sides of the machines and the platform of the machine. When approaching a machine you've never seen. You want to look for a few dials are buttons. First is to stitch length and stitch width, dial or leader. You will always find a stitch length dial. But will you find a stitch width dial? If there is no zigzag option, you won't. On these two machines we find obvious styles on the front. But what do they tell you? The Pfaff is obvious as its visual. But on the one on the left, my Jane, there is only one die and no width dial because it is a straight stitch only machine. It is a semi industrial straight stitch, which means it goes very fast. The extra features that have or the speed and the extra long stitches up to a seven. Mostly I use this one for sewing my Pfaff if I need a zigzag or fancy stitch. And my third years for clean finishing and my cover stitch surgery for hemming. Next, you want to find a needle position option. If the machine has a zigzag option, you will find a needle position button. If not, it is only a straight stitch machine. The needle has no reason to change position. How would you find the needle position dial? This is a pretty standard visual of what it's going to look like. The needles in the center. And then to one side and the other. Third, you look for the reverse stitch lever or button. How are you going to locate the reverse stitch lever is going to be close to your hands where it's easily accessible for a quick action. And it's going to be on a spring here. On the facts and keener on the Jane. On the side of the machine, you will usually find the power source. And on this one we have the light switch, the on-off button. And on both of them, we have the hand wheel which lifts the needle. You see on the front, on the sewing machine, on the fast, you can see it here. The other one, it's not as visible from the side, but is here. We also loosen the inner wheel of the fat, the metal center to disengage the needle from going up and down during the bob and filling process as a safety measure, sometimes you pull the whole hand wheel out to disengage it. This is a common practice on older machines. On these two machines, the bob and filling wonders are found on the top of the machines, which is quite common. But some of the newer machines, they may be on top but hidden in a well with a lid that pulls up the old singers. They were usually on the front of the machine. But the reason you need to discover this fairly soon is that finding it will eliminate a few possible step in the threading root of your machine. You will look for a little silver spring. It sits on the top of the machine versus the right side, where you'll find the bobbin holder and the stopper. Right now, we're trying to locate the way that we're going to thread the machine. So we've ruled out the bob and filling portion of the machine. The next important part that we need to locate on the sewing machine is attention dial the little flat metal disc. The thread will flied into the tension doll if commonly found right on the front of the machine where it is easily accessible. But on some machines like my fat, it isn't so obvious since you can't see it on the front of the Pfaff, then you have to look somewhere else. If you find the thread holder and the needle lifter may be somewhere close to that. Here it is on the FAP at the side. And you can tell because there are the plate with a dye underneath it. 3. My Discovery: Now that we found that tension dial, I drew a diagram of my discovery showing that the thread will always go down and up and down again, either from right to left or left to right. It'll never go sideways. It goes from the spool holder than right through the tension dial and the two disks. Then you're going to see that there's a spring just to top that is natural for it to go through. And you're going to see that there's a hook naturally beside it that it will go through. Then you're going to apply the up and down motion again. All the steps after that are pretty evident. And there's a hook just above the needle that you hold the thread taught to flip it behind. Now I'll show you on my fav how threading pathway is found, apply the same principle from the spool holder. And then surprisingly, if you searched for the tension dial and found it, you'll figure it out and then it goes through the separation between the top and lower part of the machine, through the middle filter def, def straight over to a place that will then make it fall downwards. So again, it's pretty natural because you now know that it will go up and down. If you never saw this machine before neck, you can look for the needle lifter which is above. It won't go sideways. It'll be up and down and through some pretty standard blood and hook. Then the little hook just above the needle. 4. Filling Bobbins: Hi there, time to learn how to fail a bobbin. They never seem to last long enough, especially if you're really into your selling. You may have noticed that on every machine you find the spool holder has to prompt. Why do you think that might be? It's because when you want to fill a bobbin while your machine is threaded, you can use the far right prom to fill a bobbin without having to unthreaded your machine. If you were wise enough to have purchased two small schools instead of one large one of the required color. A helpful hint, be sure to fill a couple of Bob. And before you start your project, these machines are different in some ways, but they're the same when it comes to the fact that they both have a bobbin case and a bomb and that you hold to put in the bottom. This is because the bobbin case is removable. Whereas some machine, the bobbin case is inset. The filling of the bobbin is done on these machines on the top, the thread goes from the spool holder through the bobbin winding guide to the bobbin holder. What's important first is to leave the thread from the underside of the bob and through the small opening upward. Then you sit the bob and onto the holder and lock it in place. You'll hold the thread tight when the winding begins until it breaks off. You don't want it to get caught over the edge in, into where the thread is windy. Before you begin the process, you must unlock my hand wheel to prevent the needle from going up and down for safety. If there are two wheels, one inside the other, such as the FAFSA, hold the outer wheel and pulled her small one towards you. The other way you may find it done is to pull the whole wheel itself outward ticket after you do it to make sure the needle lifter is disengaged. Now there's a couple of things you need to know about the bombing itself. Some of the time, the thread should go clockwise when you put the bob and into the bobbin case. Then the opening of the bobbin case is at the top. And you sit the bomb and into the case. The thread will naturally be at the place where the little angled opening it. You lead the threads through it till it sit under the little curved hook. You'll see that it is a metal plate with a small wheel on it. This is a bob intention and you should never have to touch it. Pull the thread out. So you have a good few inches before you put it in the bottom to begin sewing. Putting the bobbin case in the machine is facilitated by holding the little handle on the bottom in case with your finger and your thumb because it locks the bobbin in place. Now what's the difference between a metal and a plastic bobbin? I remember about 25 years ago or Excel, you could go to a small store and find bomb and for sale that claim to fit a few different company. Maybe at that time they were pretty standard or the companies are manufacturing machines under different names or were related. But nowadays, the manufacturer provides their own Bob and maybe it depends on the type of machine. My fast uses plastic, my Jane uses metal. But surely the manufacturer wants you to go with their store to get there, Bob, and the way to draw you in, I have a good hold of the bob and cape held by my thumb and finger. So the bomb and is locked in place. And I'm just going to place it into the middle. You'll notice that it doesn't sit exactly straight across at the three o'clock position, but sits lower than that. Next, your upper threading must be complete. And you hold your finger on the upper thread while you turn the hand wheel, one full rotation towards you, Starting at the top and ending at the top, weren't you might or might not see the bobbin thread appear as the needle lifts it up. But if not, pull the upper thread until you see it, pull it up and put both threads behind the presser foot. You're ready to sell. How exciting is that? I loved to go for? I think at the very exciting. See you in the next video. 5. Maintenance: Hi again. We're going to talk about all the removable parts of the machine so that we can go in and do maintenance. I called this the platform. And in particular this one is called a free arm. It's made to be small so that you can place a sleeve or a pant leg onto it while you so usually a machine will also come with a table, a piece that can be added on to give you more room to. So first thing to do for safety before doing any maintenance is to unplug the machine and remove the needle. Your machine will come with at least one screwdriver, which will help to undo the knob above the needle, or it will just loosen or tighten without the need. The needle has a flat side and whichever way your machine was manufactured will tell you whether it goes to the back or the side. These two machines are different. The FAFSA is front-to-back, whereas the jane is left to right. Because of the flat side of a needle. You can't put the needle in the wrong way, push it right to the top and tighten it when you're replacing it. In the next video, tips and tricks. I speak a lot more about needles. Also, remove the presser feet and anything else that may inhibit your space. Use the screwdriver to undo the screw or screws on the throat plate. So you can lift it off to expose all the dust and possible thread that can collect there. If there is threat stuck that jams your machine, you'll need to do this and open the bottom where the bob and fits to see what is visible. The little brush that comes with the machine is very good at getting the dust out. If you get thread caught in there because the tension was too loose and it got jams. Just told the thread in the bottom and turn the hand wheel back and forth, pulling the thread and it will eventually come out. Sometimes you don't know why your machine is skipping stitches. This is where to look. Most manuals will tell you a number of troubleshooting tip. Make sure you see Section 7 where I talk about how you save a $100. We'll talk about the tension there. Another thing to do while I'm here is plug your machine back in and run it for a moment to listen for knowing one of the places you can oil your machine is the bobbin holder. I was told years ago to listen for noise. And the indicator that this is when you need to oil it, drop one drop of oil on any moving part purchase here. Here on my fast or wherever your machine tells you to. Man. James manual indicates about four spots on top to oil it. And I put a small black dots beside each one so I wouldn't have to pull up the manual. In order to update this video. I pulled out my FAFSA and the hand wheel wouldn't move at all. I knew it had been sitting for a number of months and just needed oily because I can take the top off. I did that and put a couple more drops of oil in the spots, I thought could use it. It's running like a charm again. 6. Finally, Tips and Tricks: way, come to the end of this lesson. I hope that if you're a beginner, that I have instilled a little bit of confidence in you and shown you that generally all sewing machines are basically the same. I hope that, like myself, who was able to help my friend with her sewing machine that you now have the confidence to understand what I've taught and that if your friends feel challenged about their son machine that you will also be able to help them. Because often the only thing that's wrong with sewing machine is that it's not threaded correctly. Or there's thread caught in the bottom part of the sewing machine, which you can get out. Or it's possible that your tension is too loose and creating large loops on the bottom of your fabric, which can be very alarming but is actually not really a very big deal. So if you continue to so that way, though you can, the threats can get jammed out. So so basically you've seen one. You've seen them all. Theme. Welcome back. The first tip I would like to teach you about is how to become relaxed with your sewing machine I remember when I first started to drive and the driving instructor noticed that my hands were very tight on the wheel and he reminded me that that happened in the beginning and that, you know, if I adjusted my peripheral vision that in time I would stop holding on so tight. So when I teach people sewing, I've also discovered that sometimes they pull the fabric and they're very intense with their hands right up close to the feet and the needle. And what I teach them is to let go Take a large piece of fabric if you have a scrap. If you don't have a scrap, you can use maybe just a old sheet that you cut up or something and just quit your needle in the fabric. Put your presser foot down, and then just hold the very bottom of the fabric and mile yourself to Seoul. Let it go. No, your eyes yourself with me. See if you can turn it way over here. Draw circles acid. Just do some free soloing to familiarize yourself, even let your hands go so that you can see that machine does the work. If you want to change direction. You keep your needle in, lift up your presser foot. Turn it where you want to go. Put the pressure foot down. And so again, when you're gonna back stitch, you're gonna back stitch just with three stitches. Pressing your crack stitch button three or fours. All you need letting it go. Lifting up your needle to the heights position with the hand wheel and looking up the presser foot and pulling the fabric out behind the sewing machine, Cutting it off. There's often a little place on the sewing machine where it's a little razor that cuts the thread for you. Hello, Welcome back. I also thought it would be a really good idea to talk about needles because I sold for many years before I realized that the needles are specific to certain fabrics that you're sewing . I mean, I think I really understood that when I was sewing the blue Jean, um, that I needed a blue Jean needle. It was heavier and stronger to go through all of the layers, but it was when I was sewing a metallic fiber gold, you know, with gold threads in it and the threads kept pulling that I was really I didn't understand why that was happening. So I took my needle to to the Pfaff Sewing Machine store, where I bought the sewing machine and they said, Oh, you need a metallic needle And I just was kind of floored because I had sewn for many years , but I never knew how specific needles would be to the fabric that you are sowing. So I wanted to just say that when I went to the store recently, it gave me a little booklet that explains the new color coding on the top of the needles. So these tiny little needles used to have numbers on them, and you need a magnifying glass to figure out what was the size of the needle that you're using. So you can see I have pieces of paper here where now I still have some older needles that are not color coded specifically, So I write it down a little note for myself. You know what the size of it is and what I used it for and how many times I used it. You can get a little ball in the end, it gets dull and you'll hear as it punctures the fabric. That's something that's really important to know that it's you probably need a new needle. Also, it's really important to not freak out when you break a needle because it happens all the time and you just need to have a good supply off needles that on hand. So if you go to, um, you know, a sewing machine store, they will help you with some needles that you might use for most of your projects. So but now they're color coded. They got smart because I knew nobody could read the little numbers so they have a book now that they might give you. They might not, But you can actually find it, even if you google it all about Needles tells you what they're what they're good for, what they're used for and that kind of thing. So just remember that needles can be specific for the fabric that you're using. For example, you're not going to use a blue jean needle if you're sewing on silk. And if you're using polyester, it's different than if you're using cotton. So just learn a little bit about needles. And don't wait 20 years through your selling to realize what I did. You can also buy a stretch needle, so we have a lot of like, er in our fabric nowadays, and so you might want to have a good supply of stretch needles on hand. So again, happy sewing. Now, I'd like to talk a little bit about some of the equipment. If you do any other hobby, you'll know that there's a tool for everything and that using the proper tool is not only beneficial, but also it's probably best practice. So it's really difficult if you begin to so you don't know if you're going to be a lifetime . So where or if you're going to just have a hobby and do it, you know, in between your full time jobs, that's difficult, right? If you have Children, you might not really be able to have time to to. So So I know you don't want to spend a lot of money on like a very good Paris ISMs, but I say that the hankel scissor is a very good heavy duty scissors. I think that these scissors that have a long arm for cutting up lies flat against the table so it doesn't lift the fabric up while you're cutting it, and they're very sharp. It's a good investment to purchase good equipment. So without breaking the bank, there are some things that you really should invest in that no one else uses except you for fabric you never use. You never cut paper with the more you never let your Children play with them, so they're just used for sewing and a good pair off small scissors that really have the tiniest point that you could get on the end are my favorite scissors, because sometimes liken, use a seam ripper to remove a stitch. But sometimes I can also with these scissors, because they're so small at the end, I can actually put it right underneath a stitch and lifted out, which is great marking tools. So there are wonderful marking tools. This is a powdered chalk marking to it with a wheel. It's a really fine line, and it just, you know, it's just like dust. So these air, that's a wonderful thing to invest in. And then there's another marking tool that that disappears. So it has that skinny and and a thicker INGE, and you could write on you can write on your shirt. It's white. It's not a problem. If it doesn't come out right away, it will come out when you read it, so those are really good to. And then I found a piece of wood, and instead of buying a new instrument that pushes the corners out off your caller or whatever, when you turn something inside out and you have toe pull, push out the try angle to make it really sharp. I just found a piece of wood and sanded it, and I've had this for years. It's got two different shapes on the end, and I use it again and again so you can save money, too. Be creative, and last, I would just like to leave you with this little bit of encouragement. If you use a seam ripper, you cut a hole in your fabric. How creatively can you fix that? It can be done. There's such a thing as invisible mending. And if you lose two pieces of fabric together, so they've come up with this method because you're not the only person that's ever done that. There are so many people who have sold for years that still make these mistakes. It can happen to anyone. So don't be hard on yourself and think about stop for a little while. That's what I do. So I stopped and I think about it for a day. Just put it away. Don't let your mood make it worse. Go away and contemplate it, visualize it and see if you can't figure out how to do it. Now we have Google. You can find anything but use the resources that are there in the community. Asks experience. People, I think, like myself that everybody wants you to succeed. See you in another video. 7. Let's Save 100$: Now, let's learn how to save some money on unnecessary sewing machine maintenance charges by learning what the most common and alarming problem that will arise for you as a beginner is, and I'll show you how to fix it. Let's get started. This is a regular stitch. This is the way it's supposed to look that shows the blue thread which is upper threat, and the white which is the bobbin thread, we are evenly the same. And now I'm going to show you what it's like when it's going to make you crazy. Here you can see the tension is around just over a three and I'm going to loosen it to all the way to hopefully create the issue for you. So I'm I'm loosening the tension, taking it to a very low number of Lois. I can, I've tried it a few times before this video, and it still didn't create the big loops that I wanted to create on the bottom. So I'm actually going as low as I possibly can and we'll try it again. All right. Let's try it this time. I hear it. Oh, something's wrong. Alright. Let's see. Oh my goodness, you see that? Look at this. Something majors wrong with the sewing machine. But you know what I did, I just loosened the tension. So when that happens, now we're going to tighten attention backup and watch it go back to normal. You see how crazy that looks. It's very stressful, quite stressful when you get to look like that, you have no idea what it is and you think I have to take it in for them to fix it. Before I go to fix it, what I will do is I'm just going to double-check under the bottom to make sure that some of those loops didn't get caught in the bottom and cause any thread to get stuck in there. I'm going to pull the bottom case out. Double-check. It seems okay, I'm just gonna put it back in here, the little click. And then do the one rotation towards you to lift up the needle lifter and pull up the white thread, the bobbin thread. Now, I did get a little bit of blue thread in there. A couple of pieces did break off. So that's another thing that may happen. I even see another one. You can see this. I'm not sure if you can see dot but no remotes foot for a second. This is a really good experience because I did remove the foot, should also remove the needle if I'm going to be sticking my fingers in there. But I do see that there are some threats seriously that got caught with the loops, right. And this one's not stuck. It's easy to just pull it out. And I can see one more little piece in here, which just right here through the whole, i'm going to pull those two out as well. Fortunately, they're not stuck either. The white one is the one I just pulled up though, so that's good. But the other three pieces so I had a few little pieces in here that got stuck and broken off when I made the big loops. It's not a really big deal. They came out quite well. If they were tight, you could just hold the hand wheel up and down and kind of easily give them a little tug, pull them out. And they'll come up quite nicely. And of course, you can just remove the plate with by removing the two little screws and taking it off in order to be able to clearly see if there are threads stuck under there. And by turning the hand we'll towards you back and forth, removing the needle, of course. And the presser feet. In order to have full access. You'll be able to have a good view. Then. I'll just put the foot back in. And then I will retry those sewing to see that the loops are gone. Now let's try that line of sewing again and double-check what the loops look like. I can kind of hear that it's sewing. Okay. And let's just double-check. Okay, look at that completely back to normal. Ok. So that is the only thing that will kinda stress you out when you're a beginner because you don't understand why it's happening, but it's really quite simple. And I'm telling you this because recently on my skill share class, one of my students was she took my sewing machine Basics class, and then this happened. She had two new sewing machine she was working with at work. And the same thing happened where she had she said, oh, it's making all these loops on the bottom. And so I'm going to have to take it in and I said No, no, don't take it in. Just looking at the video again and double-check. And so I wasn't sure that I had actually clarified it well enough on my class, what I was thinking was I should have shown an example of how it looks on the bottom because it is alarming when you see the loops, but I don't think I actually showed you that in I should. So I hope that prevents you from having any stress in the future. If that happens, you don't really have to take your sewing machine in for maintenance to a place where they fix them. It's a very rare thing that, that will ever be necessary. It's usually just the tension, so happy solely. Sewing machine mechanics are the same as they were from the time they were created. When something seems to be going wrong, most likely you can figure it out. But let's see what's inside micro snot usual to have too little screws like this. This is a very old sewing machine. It's not the way that they're made nowadays. But it made it easy and fun for me to be able to say what's inside this thing? What does it look like? Is there anything in there I need to deal with or change or whatever? And oh my goodness, look at how wonderful is that. I think this is so amazing. See, it's kinda cool element inside of that. But not going to usually have this kind of fun with your sewing machine. You won't be able to find a place where you can take it apart. But I was very lucky since I'd love to take things apart. I think we all love to take things apart. Sometimes I like to fix things and not have to take them to somebody else to do. If you take good care of your sewing machine, you won't have to do that because most likely the only thing that you're going to find wrong is the tension that will make big loops and scare you and make noise, which you should practice listening for. Who make you think I have to take my sewing machine in, but you don't. And that's proof. Hi.