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Parts of a Sewing Machine & Their Functions

By Louise Harding

According to The Independent, after waning years, sewing machines are making a come back among sewers. The parts of the sewing machine should be recognizable for easy usage.

Parts on Top

The bobbin winder is on top the machine. It winds thread around the bobbin. The spool pin holds spools. The stitch length knob controls stitch length and the stitch width knob controls the stitch width. Thread guides guide the thread. The thread take up lever has a slot or eye and controls the thread. The upper tension control determines thread tightness.

Parts on the Front or Sides

The hand wheel is found on the side and adjusts needle height. The reverse sewing button is a lever or button allowing reverse stitching.

Beneath Machine Arm

Beneath the arm is the needle. Under the foot is the needle plate. Within the plate is the feed dog, which determines fabric motion. Above is the presser foot, which grips fabric for movement.

Internal Lower Parts

Inside the machine is the bobbin case. It holds the bobbin controlling lower tension. Thread is fed into the bobbin from the shuttle hook.

External Parts

Except the pedal, mechanisms are protected within the case. The pedal, powered by the sewer’s foot, controls the machine’s speed.

About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.