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beginner needs help operating machine

beccaputman | Posted in General Sewing Info on

i’m trying to sew some robes for the upcoming harry potter book release, but i have no idea how to get my sewing machine to work. it is an old kenmore 12 stitch that my mom has and i would ask her, but shes in london. if someone could tell me how to thread it or at least give me some general advice that would be great. also, the string that comes from the bottom of the machine is gone and im not sure what to do! i know this is a lot to ask, so it is ok if no one can help me.



  1. fabricholic | | #1

    The string that comes from the bottom is called the bobbin thread and you will have to wind more thread into the bobbin, if it is out. We would need to see the machine to help you thread and wind bobbin. Can you take some pictures of the machine and post them?


  2. Pattiann42 | | #2

    If you cannot find the owner's manual for this machine, there is a free threading guide at the site I listed below.  Also, you may be able to order a manual for future referencing - you will need the model number from the plate on the machine.  http://www.sewusa.com

    You need two sources of thread to make a stitch; the upper thread that feeds from a spool and bottom thread which feeds from a bobbin, which you have to fill with the thread from the spool.

    Good luck and have a happy HP party!

    Edited 7/17/2007 5:27 pm ET by spicegirl1

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    There are a lot of helpful "beginning sewing" websites online, and most libraries, bookstores, and fabric stores have sewing instruction books that include the basics you need to get started using a sewing machine.  You can also buy a manual for your exact machine online for as little as $7.95 (for an immediate, downloadable version).  Just do a search for "sewing machine manuals."  The machine manuals usually include some instruction on how to use all the different controls and features.

    Besides threading, you'll need to learn to use the foot pedal and how to guide the fabric.  To practice, take both top and bobbin threads out and "stitch" with the empty needle on lined paper or scrap paper on which you've drawn some lines, curves, and corners.

    Be sure to read any instructions you can about choosing the right size of needle for the fabric you are sewing; the wrong size can cause a lot of problems that can't be solved any other way than by simply choosing the right size needle and inserting it properly.

    But if you're trying to get these robes done by this Saturday, maybe you should try safety pins, staples, doublestick tape, or tacky glue instead!  (Or ask around your neighborhood; maybe someone can show you what you need to know.)

    Edited 7/18/2007 7:47 pm by Teaf5

  4. user-51823 | | #4

    you know, teaf5 might be right, to use glue and pins if you can't find a local person to help. you can easily jam a machine if it's not threaded right, and it might put the timing off and become a big problem needing a pro to fix it. sewing the robes will be easy enough if you can get that part down, though.

    call some schools and see if any of the home ec classes still teach sewing.

    better yet, pack up the machine and take it to a store or repair shop and have them thread it for you, to be safe. they will also show you how to use it.

  5. meg | | #5

    You might also try stopping in at a sewing machine repair shop, or a fabric store for the assistance you need. Or, if the schools in your area teach sewing, perhaps one of the teachers can help.

    Sometimes churches have 'sewing circles', and quilt guilds could be good sources of help.

    Edited 7/19/2007 5:46 am ET by Meg

  6. BernaWeaves | | #6

    You know, there's nothing wrong with sewing the robes by hand. 

    It'll probably be quicker.

    Sometimes it's easier to sew by hand than figure out how to work the machine, and have to rip out mistakes that occur because of threading errors, or shaky seamlines.



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