Understanding the Sewing Machine Parts & Functions

Have you purchased the sewing machine for the first time? Or upgraded from a conventional sewing machine to electric sewing machine?

If so, you might have confusions regarding the different parts and functions of the sewing machine for sure.

Well, in this article, I will make you understand all the basic sewing machine parts and their functions easily.

Sewing Machine Parts and Functions

Functions of different parts of a sewing machine are described below with pictures.

Understanding the Sewing Machine Parts & Their Functions
Sewing Machine Parts Overview

1.Foot Pedal

The main part of a motorized sewing machine is the pedal without which you won’t be able to run the machine.

You can increase or decrease the sewing speed by accelerating the pedal, just like you do with the pedal (accelerator) of a car.

Note that you’ll have to connect the machine to the power socket in order for the foot pedal to work.

2.Hand Wheel

Using the hand wheel, you can either raise or lower the sewing needle manually in order to provide better grip between the fabric and the needle.

There is a clutch knob placed inside the hand wheel which when pulled out, controls the needle from jabbing up and down while you’re winding the bobbin.

3. Power Switch

Unlike the conventional/manual sewing machines, these motorized stitching machines require electricity to function.

There is also a power on/off switch available on the machine to control the device.

Make sure that the power cord do not come in the middle of the pedal, which disturbs its functionality. Always keep the two cords separate.

4.Bobbin

It is a small round wheel that carries the bottom sewing thread. You need to fix the bobbin onto the bobbin case that is found beneath the needle plate.

5.Bobbin Case

It is a case where you need to fix your bobbin. It can be found under the needle plate.

6.Bobble Winder

Bobbin winder is located either at the top or right side of the sewing machine, depending on the brand. You can wind the bobbin thread on the empty bobbin.

7.Reverse Lever

The reverse lever is located at the front side of the machine. You can use this feature to reverse stitch while sewing at the end of the seam in order to secure the stitch.

8.Spool Pin & Holder

This part simply holds the thread without falling apart.

9.Stitch Length Adjustment Knob

Generally, this length adjustment knob is placed just beside or above the pattern selector knob. You can adjust the length of stitch using this knob, ranging from 0 (shortest) to 4 (longest).

The shorter the stitch length, the shorter the amount of fabric being fed under the presser foot before the needle comes down and vice versa.

Note that the adjustment happens at the feed dog and not at the machine needle.

10.Pattern/Stitch Selector

This functionality is why the automatic sewing machines have become popular. You can select from a wide variety of patterns such as zigzag, straight stitches, embroidery stitches, blind stitch hemming, zip fixing, stretch stitching and many more…

11.Tension Control

It is the thread tension that determines whether the stitch is firm or loose. These tension disks control the pressure applied to the thread thereby resulting in a uniform feed to the needle.

Using the tension control you can – position the thread to needle, regulate the thread flow to the needle, control thread passage and maintain smooth stitching.

There are two types of tension control devices, namely Direct Tension Device and Indirect Tension Device.

Both these tension control devices have different parts, which include:

  • Pressure Disk
  • Tension Spring
  • Tension Mounting Bar
  • Thumb Nut
  • Pressure Releasing Unit

The higher the number on the tension device, the greater the tension and vice versa. You need to adjust this number correctly in order to get straight & even stitch on either side of the fabric.

12.Thread Cutter

You can find these thread cutters behind the needle of your sewing machine to use it when required.

13.Presser Foot

It provides grip to the fabric from the top counter to the feed dog.

14.Presser Foot Lever

You can use this lever to engage or disengage the presser foot up on the fabric gently against the feed dog.

When you put this in downward position, it means the tension disks are engaged and vice versa.

15.Take Up Lever

The take-up lever is used to regulate the tension of the needle thread to perform at optimum level. It generally moves up and down during the stitch formation and provides extra thread with loop formation.

16.Presser Dial

It determines the amount of pressure to put on the fabric through the presser foot. This is mainly useful when you’re stitching lighter weight fabrics as they need higher pressure for better control and vice versa.

17.Needle & Needle Clamp

While the needle fits into the needle bar, a small screw holds it in place. On the other hand, the needle clamp fixes the needle in place.

18.Feed Dog

These are nothing but the teeth-like part you see at the top of the machine where you place your clothes for stitching.

It combines with the presser foot to move the fabric by one stitch.

19.Throat Plate

This plate is a removable part that covers the bobbin as well as the bottom of your sewing machine. It has a hole through which the needle goes to the bobbin casing, a pair of slots for the feed dog to move the fabric and some stitching guidelines.

20.Face Plate

This is nothing but a plastic cover that is used to conceal or hide all the internal parts of the electric sewing machine.

21.Slide Plate

This is another plastic cover that seals the bobbin case and protects it from dirt or dust. You can also access the bobbin zone beneath the sewing machine.

22.Sewing Light

Last but not the least, electrical stitching machines come with a sewing light that allows you to stitch during both day and night times without any visibility issues.

Well, these are all the major parts of a sewing machine and their respective functions. If you’re new to stitching or new to electric sewing machines, I strongly recommend you to first understand these parts before using your machine to avoid any errors..

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