A Beginner's Guide to Sewing Machine Parts and Functions
Don't be frazzled with parts of a sewing machine. Here is a straightforward guide that illustrates and explains sewing machine parts and functions.
sewing machine parts and functions
Having trouble fitting all the parts of a sewing machine together?
There is a lot to keep track of! Don't fret, we've built this handy guide to help you keep all these pesky parts in their proper spot.
Let's check out the different sewing machine parts and functions!
Sections of the Sewing Machine
The sections of sewing machine parts and functions splits into two halves. One is the upper part containing the arm, bed, and head, each with several parts. The other half is the lower piece containing the rest of the parts for sewing.
Let's take a look at the different components that make up the sewing machine.
Main Components of the Upper Half: Part 1
1. Arm: the arm is the curved part of the head containing mechanisms for controlling the needle.
2. Bed: the bed is the flat section of the machine. Beneath the bed is where the feed dog mounts, as well as where the shuttle and lower thread get placed. The bed functions to stabilize the machine as it rests in storage.
3. Head: the head is what refers to the complete sewing machine, minus a cabinet or carrying case.
Bits and Bobs of the Upper Half: Part 2
4. Balance Wheel: also known as the handwheel, this allows the user to set the sewing mechanism in motion. The balance wheel gets power from a motor but can adjust manually to raise or lower the height of the sewing needle.
5. Bobbin Case: the bobbin case is where the bobbin gets stored. While holding the bobbin, the case also provides tension to the lower thread. The needle thread gets pulled around the bobbin case, and then it needs to wrap around the bobbin thread and pull it through the needle plate opening.
6. Bobbin Cover: this part functions to cover the bobbin and bobbin case in the sewing machine while stored.
7. Bobbin Winder: the bobbin winder is a simple mechanism that controls the bobbin so that thread can be wound around it. Keep the speed at a medium while winding the bobbin, or else the threat can stretch and snap.
8. Bobbin: the bobbin is the low spool that feeds the lower thread. This is how the machine forms a stitch, by looping the needle thread and the bobbin thread together.
9. Face Plate: this is the cover that gives access to the oiling points on the needle bar, take-up lever, and presser bar.
10. Feed Dogs: the feed dogs are small pieces of grooved metal that move the fabric along while the sewing machine operates.
Even More Pieces of the Upper Half: Part 3
11. Needle Bar: the needle bar is a steel rod with a clamp that keeps the needle at one end. It functions to give motion to the needle during operation.
12. Needle Clamp: this holds the needle in place on the needle bar.
13. Needle: the needle is a slender piece of metal with a point at one end and a hole ("eye") for thread at the other. It functions to form a stitch in the fabric.
14. Pattern Selector: this part determines the stitch type that will be used, such as straight stitches or a zig-zag stitch.
15. Presser Foot: the presser foot keeps the fabric in place while sewing. It attaches to the machine shank. This needs to be set to High, Low, or Slant, depending on the stitching pattern selected.
16. Presser Foot Lever: this part functions to lift or lower the presser foot. The more the foot gets lowered the greater the tension will be on the thread.
17. Reverse Lever: the reverse lever functions to depress the presser foot lever, enabling the machine to move in reverse.
Completing the Upper Half: Part 4
18. Slide Plate: the slide plate is a rectangle cover for the bobbin case. It allows the bobbin case to be removed without needing to lift the entire machine.
19. Spool Pin: this pin is stuck into a spool of thread at the time of bobbin winding to hold thread packages.
20. Stitch regulator: the stitch regulator can adjust the length and width of the stitches on the fabric.
21. Take-up Lever: the take-up lever functions to aid during the threading the sewing machine. It moves up and down with the needle to keep the proper tension in place.
22. Tension Disc: these are the two discs put together with the convex sides facing each other. As the thread passes between these discs, the tension of the thread can get adjusted to tighten or loosen the stitch.
23. Thread Cutter: this is a small blade attached to the sewing machine to cut thread tails.
24. Thread Guide: the thread guide holds the thread in position and guides the thread from the spool to the needle.
25. Throat Plate: also known as the needle plate, this is a semi-circular disc that covers the feed dogs and bobbin casing. It usually has markings that can be used to guide the fabric through at a specific seam allowance to help keep seams straight.
Lower Half Sewing Machine Parts and Functions
1. Band Wheel: the band wheel guides the balance wheel through the belt connection.
2. Band Wheel Crank: this controls the movement of the band wheel.
3. Belt Guide: the belt guide keeps the belt in its proper place.
4. Belt Shifter: the belt shifter removes the belt from the wheel.
5. Dress Guard: this is a guard to protect larger garments from the wheel.
6. Foot Pedal: also known as the treadle, this device functions to move the band wheel through the pitman rod. This allows the user to start, keep running, and stop the operation of the sewing machine. This one can get lost easily, so keep some spare parts of the sewing machine under the bed!
7. Pitman Rod: these rods hold the treadle to the band wheel crank.
8. Legs: these support the cabinet of the sewing machine.
Putting It All Together
That's the main breakdown of the sewing machine and its parts!
There are definitely a lot of sewing machine parts and functions to keep track of, but once you know the in's and out's of each one you'll be a master sewer in no time at all.
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