09 Mar 2015

A question about : sewing machine help needed

I have just treated myself to a sewing machine title=Jumping

Spotted it in a charity shop for Ј30 it's a toyota classic, no idea if that is a good price but I am happy as the money went to a good cause and I have always wanted to learn how to use one.

Can anyone recommend any good websites/books for complete beginners and I mean a complete beginner title=Embarrassment I have no idea where to start don't even know how to thread it. It did come with the original instructions but I suspect these would be written for someone who knows what they are doing!

Also any suggestions on the first (ie easiest) projects to try.


Best answers:

  • Hi I would go to You Tube there are loads of "how to" videos there. You do need the instructions to see how to thread the machine and wind the bobbin but that should be pretty simple.
  • thank you I have looked at you tube and think I might just be able to thread it now
    Next question is can anyone recommend what brands of threads are good to buy and where from? (told you I was a complete beginner ). I don't want cheap ones as its going to be hard enough to learn without having to worrying about the thread keep breaking.
    Can't wait to give it a try now. Any other tips that would help a beginner ie how do I sew straight, is it just practice?
  • Probably one of the easiest things to sew - an envelope cushion cover. There's a video as well as the written instructions.
    This site may be of help http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/p/learn-to-sew.html I've never used it myself, just one of the first I googled!
  • Second vote for Guttermann, try fleabay for the best deals
  • I would go for Guttermann as well. Good for you giving sewing a go.
    Here is my latest make. Harry Hare, made from vintage cotton and then handpainted.
  • Buy some spare thread under-bobbins in the right size for your machine and fill them with black, white and any other colour thread you use a lot. Saves so much time just to pop in the right bobbin rather than having to load it before starting to sew.
    As for sewing straight, get some old material and practice, practice, practice. Keep your speed down until you get the feel for the sensitivity of the foot control. If you're really struggling, use striped material, or rule lines onto plain fabric to follow, or practise without thread "sewing" along the lines of writing paper.
  • Old sheeting is ideal for practising- ask your friends if anyone has any to spare!
    You can use the width of the foot as a guide for sewing straight, or stick a strip of masking tape on the base plate to the right of the needle as a line guide.
    Always use at least 2 layers of fabric for practice
    Have fun!
    If you have a craft / sewing/ knitting shop locally ask if any of their customers sew. It is often much easier when you start a craft to have someone to help you out.
    I ca't get it to work I am not sure if it is me or if it is faulty, maybe this is why someone donated it to the charity shop.
    Everytime I use it the top thread reel becomes tangled and I have to re-thread, I am fairly sure I am threading it correctly. I can sew very slowly for about 5-10cm before it happens. The thread that comes up from the bobbin also becomes tangled.
    I dont know if it is to do with the bobbin winding, it winds unevenly with more thread at the bottom than top in a cone shape, this is not just me it did this to the last owner as well as all the bobbins it comes with are like this.
    I am not sure whether it is worth taking it to someone to look at? It will probably cost more than I paid for it and I don't know if I want to spend anymore on it.
  • I have been sewing very slowing and watching what happens.
    After a few seconds the thread reel seems to spin making the thread untangle, if I stop straight way the machine stays threaded but the reel has started to unwind. Anyone any ideas?
  • You can take it into a shop and have it serviced , they will get it working for you and set all the tensions correctly , not sure how much it will cost but if it works could be worth it..
  • Can you see your machine here -
    If so, download the instruction manual and work through that.
    It sounds as if the tension isn't set right.
    Also: http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingmac...roubleshot.htm
    Don't give up if you can't sort it out - ask around people you know and see if any of them are experienced sewers who will look at the machine for you.
  • Thanks
    I have the original manual, that came with it. Hence why I am sure I am threading it correctly.
    Unfortunately I don't know anyone who sews who could help.
    You might be right about tension, to me the way it sews looks about right the stitches are even on both sides, however I am not an expert so this could be it. The needle is the correct size and I put a new one in, the tension dial is set in the middle.
    I will ask at the shop for a servicing quote and see what they say. I am happy to pay for it to be serviced for the tension to be put right if I could be sure this will fix the problem. I don't want to be paying for a service if I find out it needs parts/has more issues as it could end up costing me more than another second hand machine which has no issues.
  • It sounds like a tension problem to me, I would get someone in to service your machine asap. There are plenty of ones on the internet who will come to you and service your machine at home.
  • I have thirty year old Toyota machine. I have to keep my top tension dial set between three and four.
    Make sure when you thread it that you have the foot raised, if it's down the tension discs close and the thread does not between them easily.
    Also check that your bobbin is not popping out of its place. Mine has a little tab you hold to keep the bobbin in the case as you pop it into place, that can be a bit tricky.
    Keep on trying, it doesn't sound like a major fault.
    Report back as to how you are getting on?
  • Is there a craft/sewing class you can join locally? If so, you may be able to get support from someone there. I too think that it may be a tension problem. And if that is the case, then that is not a serious problem and could be resolved with a little expertise. Good luck and let us know how you get on.