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Knowing all the parts of a sewing machine separately and how they work is pretty important in your sewing career!
There’s no doubt that sewing is fun. However, this fun can turn into hatred if you don’t do a periodical maintenance check of your machine.
So, you must understand all the sewing machine accessories and their usage in order to perform a thorough maintenance check.
In my opinion, one single article is not a good option to describe all the accessories. Because all the small details are very important. And there are tons of small accessories that help run your machine.
That’s why I’ve decided to discuss needles and feet of the sewing machine in this article first.
Apart from needles and feet, you’ll find many other accessories in your machine. I will cover them in the bottom portion of this article.
Sewing Machine Needles
I was in an awe when I realized that there are so many kinds of the needle for a sewing machine! And each needle has its specialty. You’ll need each of them to perform particular stitches.
In this article, I’ll discuss about 12 different sewing machine needles! You might have to start memorizing their names and usage. Haha!
These needles are very popular among seamstress for general purpose use. You’ll see that the point of the needle is slightly round. Their specialty? These needles are perfect sewing knitted and woven fabrics. However, you’ll need different sizes of these needles depending on the thickness of your fabric.
They have a more rounded point. They don’t pierce fabrics, rather pass through fabric threads. You should choose these needles if you’re planning to work on materials like knitwear and spandex.
These needles are very powerful, thanks to their strong, thick shank. Their point is extremely sharp as well. As a result, you’ll hardly hear that “my Denim needle broke.” Are you working on canvas or denim fabrics that are tightly woven, or are you working on many fabric layers at a time? Go for Denim needles.
They are capable of working pretty fast on even a dense design. You can work on any kind of fabric with these needles. Rayon and other specialty threads are suitable for use with embroidery needles.
Now, these needles are specially designed for heirloom stitch and hemstitch. They make a pretty decorative hole, thanks to its wing. If you’re working on linen and batiste fabrics that are very tightly woven, Hemstitch needle is the one you need.
Almost all sewing machine needles are metallic. But, these metallic needles means you’ll be able to work with heavier and metallic threads with these needles. The eye of these needles is larger than embroidery needles.
These needles have a narrower shaft and an extremely sharp point. Experts say you should use microtex needles if you need to do topstitch and straight stitch. You should keep in mind that these needles are suitable for light fabrics like silk, microfibers, lightweight suede, etc.
If you’re not new in sewing, you might’ve heard the name of Overlocker machine. Overlock needles are specifically manufactured for these machines. They’re capable of working on several types of fabrics.
The name says it all – they’re particularly designed for quilting. These needles are capable of performing heavy duty jobs. That means you’ll be able to sew on multiple layers at a time with these needles, thanks to its sharp and tapered point.
These needles are perfect to work on fabrics like synthetic suede and spandex that are lightweight. They’re engineered in a way that the needle eye reaches closer to the bobbin hook. This prevents skipped stitches.
They’ve everything extra – large groove, extra-large needle eye, and extra sharp point. The large needle eye will allow you to work with two threads at once. And these needles are the best option if you're planning to use heavy topstitching threads.
They’re just two parallel needles. If you have one with you, you’ll see that two needles are coming out from a crossbar. They come in handy if need to sew two parallel rows.
Before start using a needle in your sewing machine, don't forget to analyze fabric weight and thickness, and needle size. Because you'll need needles of different sizes to work on different fabrics.
Sewing Machine Feet
Now, don’t get surprised to hear that there are more varieties in sewing machine feet that needles. Like the needles, different sewing machine feet are specially designed to perform specific jobs. So, this article will help you to make the right choice before you start sewing.
Adjustable Guide Foot
They’re perfect for accuracy in stitching. You can adjust this foot multiple needle position, say for example zigzag. But, keep in mind that this foot is not suitable for small seam allowance.
This foot is particularly designed for working on appliqué pieces. They’ve open toes allowing you to see whether you're going in the right direction.
If you’re doing free motion embroidery, quilting foot is what you need. They’re pretty big. So, you’ll able to move your fabric comfortably.
Perfect for working on lightweight fabrics, the binder foot will allow you to bind the edges. You’ll be able to do zigzag, straight or decorative stitches with this foot.
They’re specifically designed to make buttonholes. Don’t forget to read the instruction manual before starting to make a buttonhole.
If you want to make beautiful embroideries, this foot will do the job perfectly. The stitch patterns will be consistent, making the finishing very finely tuned.
Primarily, this foot is used for inserting zippers into the fabric. Besides, you can install piping or cording in cushions using this foot.
Invisible Zipper Foot
It also performs the similar job as the zipper foot. Additionally, it conceals the zip teeth.
This foot is an essential thing if you’re working on jeans. You’ll be able to enjoy accuracy and professional look in hem stitches through this foot. You’ll find it perfect to work on heavier materials like denim.
Need to do corded piping? You’re going to need this foot to do your job perfectly. Piping foot to ensure accurate placement.
Most sewing machines have this foot. They mainly prevent the fabric from moving while you’re stitching. You’ll be able to do both zigzag and straight stitch with this foot.
Quarter Inch Foot
This foot will ensure seam allowance perfectly. Moreover, the markers of this foot will tell you where to stop while working on the corner of your fabric.
Now, if you’re working on two layers of fabric at the same time, you should use walking foot. This foot will ensure that both the fabrics are going at the same rate.
You can use this foot for several purposes. They're capable of straight stitch, zigzag stitch, and several other decorative stitches.
Do you want to produce almost invisible hem stitches? Use this foot. You’ll find it pretty efficient.
Open Embroidery Foot
Some seamstresses like to do free motion embroidery. And in that case, you'll need to see where you’re going. This foot will ease your work to a great extent.
Different kinds of fabric require different feet. If you’re working on jeans and heavy fabrics, you should go for jeans foot. This will allow you to enjoy neat and straight seams on fabrics like denim.
Straight Stitch Foot
They’re perfect for making shirts or similar projects where you need neat and plain straight stitches. They work well on cotton fabrics.
Many seamstresses complain that fabrics like leather and faux leather get stuck on the surface while stitching. Use this foot to solve your problem.
You should note that there are several other feet available on the market. I've tried to make you acquainted with the most used feet.
List of Basic Accessories of a Sewing Machine Except the Needle and Foot
By now, you probably have understood why I’ve decided to stick to only two sewing machine accessories in this article.
Apart from needles and feet, embroidery frames, cover and lifting plates, rufflers, tuckmarkers, and many more accessories in a sewing machine.
However, here you get to know the basic tools at a glance;
The first thing you need to approach is a ‘Thread’. It is an obligatory equipment for sewing used for stitching the fabric through the machine.
We can stich a fabric with our hand too. But as we prefer more work in least time, we bring a sewing machine at home and save our time making the quilting journey easier.
Mechanical Tool Pencil
You need to have a pencil to tress your desired pattern or to design on your cloth. You can generally use the tool for marking the edges you want to cut off. Sometimes it helps to draw the design of your cloths too.
A General Ruler
It is necessary to have a general ruler as you are a beginner. You’ll need a general ruler to draw straight lines and measure the inches you want to cut off or tend to stich.
Seam ripper is a handy accessory which is used for ripping stiches. It commonly has a handle, head and shaft.
If you are using a sewing machine, it’s quite obvious to make mistakes. Don’t panic at all. Herein, the seam ripper does the work done.
It is only used for pulling your stiches out without making any harsh line. Though you can re-stich your fabric again.
It is a handy scissor used for snipping out the threads.
A Measure Tape
An equipment which is used to measure length, width of a cloth or human body. Also it is used for measuring the fabric. According to our desired product the sizes of fabrics vary.
A Big Scissor
It is used for snipping in a very short time.
A Mechanical Chalk Pencil
Mechanical chalk pencils come with packages including multiple white chalks. It is used to draw your desired edges as like you drew with a pencil when you were in elementary school.
List of Some Additional Accessories
These are some advanced tools for the expert seamstresses out there.
Rotary Cutter Mat
It is a superfast cutting tool. And the mat is for adjusting the fabric swiftly to different angles. While stitching, you always need to make sure if the fabric is straight, lined up or not.
If there’s any uneven edge or finishing, you need to use the rotary cutter to make it straight, plain, harshness-free lined up end.
It is a very tiny steel rod including a ring on one end. It is needed for pulling out the thread until you have crooked the tube right side out.
Walking foot is an essential tool which is used for pulling out the fabric through the machine. Specially for thick and slippery layers.
Once you have installed your walking foot, you will see while sewing the feed dogs on top are pulling the top layer with the bottom. And that's how you use a walking foot.
It seems like a professional tool for hemming alternatives. It is used for those who doesn’t know how to hem with their hands using a needle and thread need to access a hemming tape.
If you have approached too long clothing item then using hemming tape is the best option. Go for it.
It is prone to fit right to left of the sewing machine needle. Zipper foot is used to control the movement caught in the feed dogs because of pressure from a presser foot.
Thimble and Threader
The thimble is used to protect the machine while trying to drive your needle with your middle fingertip.
It makes the difference between homemade and handmade. This tool is used to press the stiches though. Iron makes the stiches look perfect.
It is used for making your project look clean after using the seam ripper.
Sewing gauge is used for measuring short lengths.
pins are used while cutting and sewing the fabric.
It is used for removing rust from the needle and to sharpen it.
A Sewing Box
A sewing box includes almost all the tools you need. So that is used for organize your tools on place.
To conclude, hopefully, this article will help finding the right sewing accessories artwork. Stay tuned to learn more about other sewing machine accessories!