How to Sew?

"Do you have any sewing machines?" I asked the voice on the other end of the phone. "Yes, we do." said the voice. "Great!" and I hung up and hopped on my bike, out the door before they even heard the click. Minutes later, I was home with my new $30 White sewing machine. It had electrical problems, but that's okay 'cause I'm an electrical engineer! So I fixed the wiring and set to work. The trouble is.. I'm not a sewing-engineer. In fact, I've barely ever sewn before. There are all these knobs and buttons. I played around with them to see if I could figure out what they do, but there are still mysteries. Maybe you can help me out. How do I throw it into reverse? As far as I can tell, there are two possible selector knobs for stitches. What's going on there? What should R-C-L-TN do? What am I choosing, when I turn the knob more towards SS or M? Why does the bobbin thread bunch up underneath like Gandalf's beard? The pink button in the middle of the stitch length wheel?? Anything else I should know? Muchos gracias! PS - who wants to be the first to post a "How to Sew" instructable?

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caitlinsdad9 years ago
Look at for possible source of a manual. It looks like they charge $10 for an old manual. Or try to see if the manufacturer will send you a manual. SS is probably stretch stitch. 0-1-2-3-4-5 is probably to set the zig-zag stitch width. I don't know what the other stuff is for since it doesn't really correspond to my modern Brother sewing machine. Everything has to be threaded right through the machine path. The thread in the moving needle should pull up the thread from a properly tensioned and correctly mounted bobbin in its holder on the bottom. So, don't stick your fingers near the needle, don't wear a tie while sewing which can get dragged into the machine with you along and try not to rev it up like you are driving a Ferrari...leave that to the professionals. Good luck.