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Learn about your sewing machine

In this blog, we will be showing the terminology, of your sewing machine. The machine in our photos is a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116. Most machine are the same so pull out your sewing machine, lets learn how to use it properly.

All machines come with a foot control, your machine might come with a separate plug for your foot petal and a cord for the power. This model is a all in one plug, with gets plugged into the side of the machine. Some machines plugging into the back of the system. Place your foot control on the floor.

When plugging your machine into a wall outlet, please be careful. Word of advice, please turn your machine off if you will not be using it right away. New students have a tendency to step on the pedal as they stand up from their chairs.

Your power switch might be on the side like this one, your machines may have it in the front or the back. Some even have it on the face plate.

Every machine comes with a user guide; sometimes we get really excited about our new toy and we forget to read the instructions. It is very important that you take the time to read and get to know your machine.

We will be breaking down the various dials and gears.

Bobbin spindle and stop are what help you create you bobbins.

Most machines first thread guide will have a place to wrap your thread around to guide to the bobbin spindle.

Most machines come with an extra spool pin and there will be an extra hole for that pin.

All machines come with a spool holder, most will come with a spoon pin to hold your thread in place.

Machines have a face plate and a pressure foot, some pressure foot dials are at the top of your machine. This one is one the side.

The lever or what I call the fish eye is one of the places your thread will be placed to help the stitches in your fabrics.

Your machines also has a needle plate, some machines have the bobbin on the underside of your needle plate, if you have this, you will not have a bobbin cover plate or a bobbin clip release button. This machine has its bobbin on the top and has a plastic cover plate. Just follow the instructions on how to place your bobbin and with direction you need to use to unlock your bobbin plate.

All machines have a thread tension dial, you want to keep it in the middle between 1 to 9. Most machines will have a number specifically marked like this one with a box around it. Other machine, especially computerized machines will place your tension automatically.

Machines will have a reverse stitch lever or button.

Some machines come with a ruler and a sewing guide. This sewing guide, gives you ideas on which sewing foot you need to use for various fabrics and/or button or zipper foot applications.

All machines will have a dial or button for the stitch lengths. Some machines only have one dial with everything, please make sure that you read your manual on how to pick your stitches.

  1. Most stitches range from very tight to very loose. Be careful when you start your projects to make sure that you are not starting on a very tight or very loose stitch.

  2. A loose stitch is used for making gathers in your fabric.

  3. A tight stitch is used in buttonholes or if you have are wanting to keep your fabrics together tightly.

  4. Keeping the dial in the middle is usually the best stitch of all.

  5. Sometime the dial will read 0 to 4 or 5 for your stitch. Remember 0 is your tightest stitch and 4 or 5 will be your loosest stitch.

Some machines offer other stitches for you to use. This machine has 16 stitches to choose from along with the width of the other stitches. This machine also has a style stitch for buttonholes, most other machines do as well. If yours does not, please read your manual to see how your machine makes buttonholes.

New machines come with a needle threader, they tend to break rather easily so be careful using them. If you have an older machine, you will be threading it the old fashion way or they do have fancy new gadgets you can purchase to help add a new sewing machine needle and help you thread your needle.

Your thumbscrew can be unscrewed only if you need to change out your foot anchor. Most foot anchors will have a leaver that will release your sewing pressure foot.

Your needle clamp screw can also be unscrewed when your needle breaks or you need to change a needle for the correct fabric.

Your machine comes with various pressure feet, I plan on creating a blog to go over each foot and what their purpose it. Keep an eye out for this.

All machines come with a cover and a handle so that you can carefully transport. Always do your best to keep your cover on so that when you are not using your machine, it will not collect too much dust.

Machines have hand wheels so that if we need to help our needle a bit or if our needles stops into our fabric. We just need to hand move the wheel to help us.

Modern machines are electrically powered with a power switch so that when you plug in your foot control and power control into your machine socket, you are ready to go.

Your machine should also come with accessories and can be stored in your accessory drawer. It usually comes with different utility fee, needles, bobbins, spool holders and screwdrivers. We will host another blog to discuss how to use those particular items. It is sometimes stored in your extension table. The extension table can be taken off if you are doing small areas of stitching such as sleeve cuffs or hems.

Your foot pedal may come separately from your power cord or they can come together just like what is in the picture.

Presser foot lifts are either on the back, side or on the interior of the throat of your machine. Make sure you know where yours is because if it is not down when sewing your fabric will not go anywhere.

How to wind your bobbin.

If you like this blog/vblog, please let us know by emailing me at or sending us a message on this website.

Love to all, and thanks for letting me be me!

Do a good turn daily!

Marisol Deluna Foundation

418 Villita Street, Building 22

San Antonio, TX 78205



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