This post is part of the Learn to Sew series aimed at beginners.
First time in front of a sewing machine? Stitched before but need a refresher?
This post will walk you through the basic steps to set up your sewing machine.
I've labelled some of the most important parts of the machine in the diagram above. You don't need to learn all the proper names for the different parts of your machine - "that twiddly knob" is fine if you're just talking to yourself - but it's useful to know what all the parts are for at least. Machines vary, so some of the parts on my machine (a Janome J3-18) may be in different positions to yours, but nothing will be that different that you won't be able to work it out.
Ready to sew? Let's go!
1) Plug it in!
Plug the cable into your machine and the power socket. Position the pedal on the floor where you can comfortably reach it with your foot while sitting comfortably. (Note: You don't need to turn your machine on for any of the steps in this post - it's advisable to leave it off so you don't accidentally sew over your hand!)
2) Attach the needle
To remove the needle, twist the little knob to its right a couple of turns - this will loosen the needle so you can pull it out. To insert the needle, just push it up into the hole and tighten the knob again. The top of the needle is rounded on the front side and flat on the back side so you should be able to tell which way to fit it.
3) Attach the presser foot
Now read: How to Thread Your Sewing Machine.
Like this? Read more Learn to Sew posts.