In an attempt to keep sewing machines and tool kits intact and usable, training and sign-out of machines will be required.
Machines cannot sit idle in studios, and all tools/parts must be kept safe and returned with machine at a predetermined
There will be a list of tools/material kept in the kits (gray plastic boxes) of tools that users are responsible for
keeping with the borrowed machine, and for returning when finished (add photo/list of kit contents)
Fabric is much easier to work with when it's flat - we have an iron/board that can be used in our office for this purpose.
The machine must stay in the white case to keep it clean, whenever it's not in active use. Dust builds up on these and causes
problems very quickly, so always put them back whenever you stop working.
The kit you will sign out with this is a gray box with a black handle. They are all numbered to match the numbered machines.
A stand that will hold the large spools is included in the kit (along with several large spools of polyester thread) - please
use this stand instead of the tiny sticks on the machine.
Spools tend to bind on the little ones. Any spool should fit on the stand, other than tiny ones meant only for hand sewing.
The path for the upper thread (from the spool stand) is numbered on the machine. We can go over installing the upper and
lower threads before a machine is
Pull at least 2 inches of upper thread through the needle to be ready to use.
Bobbins need to be wound with the same type used for the upper thread. The bobbin goes here:
(add photo of bobbin thread path)
Push the spindle to the right to engage so it will spin. The white plastic stop can be rotated to leave more width
on the bobbin. The thread needs to be wrapped around itself on the empty bobbin so it will wind and not drift loosely
when the foot pedal is pressed.
Thread must be wound cleanly with even tension, just like store-bought spools, in order to work properly. Pay
careful attention to how it winds on the bobbin.
There is a tiny diagram on the clear plastic cover showing how the bobbin thread must be wound through the tiny metal
parts on the bobbin case. This is what the case looks like on these machines (with the throat plate removed),
and with the bobbin threaded through -
The above photo shows lint buildup on the bobbin case that users must check and clean - machines stop working pretty quickly when
they're linty, and it builds up quickly under normal use.
The bobbin thread is pulled straight back so its tail end runs through the tiny opening on the back side of the clear plastic
Hold the upper thread down with a finger and manually rotate through a 'stitch' with the needle. As it passes the top/end of
the rotation, the upper thread will have looped around and caught the lower thread.
Pull the upper thread taut, and it should easily pull the lower
thread up through the throat opening. Now you should have this:
Before you install thread, always check for lint and any damage to the machine. This photo shows a bent metal piece under
the throat plate that had to be removed and fixed. Like all parts of these machines, it's small but important to notice.
The foot is raised and lowered on this machine by a white plastic handle directly behind -
These are not always in exactly the same place on different types of portable machines.
To rotate a piece without losing position, make sure needle is down before lifting foot.
Before pulling fabric away to cut loose, make sure the needle has rotated past the top of its rotation (by manually rotating),
then lift the foot
and carefully pull - both threads should be easy to pull a few inches out. If you feel noticeable resistance, don't yank -
double-check the needle position.
This is a tiny spool that comes with a hand sewing kit - they're useful for small repairs, but no good to attempt to use on a machine. We have several
different colors of large polyester thread spools in the kits for you to use.