QUESTION: What should I expect from my FREE lessons, once I have purchased my machine?
ANSWER: Lessons come free (or should come free) with your machine, so make sure you take advantage of these lessons. Have a pen and note paper on hand to write your own notes on how to do the following bullet points. This will then be a handy reference, in your own words; to look at once you get home. If you have an IPad, then take that along and key in the answers or information:
- Book a time which is convenient too you, but also to the demonstrator – pick a time that the store will not be too busy, so the teacher will not be interrupted continually from customers coming into the store.
- Learn how to thread the machine and wind a bobbin; hopefully you have an idea of this from your pre purchase demonstration but ask for another demonstration.
- Most machines are self-threading in some way, so practise this and perfect the threading of the needle. So often I have heard customers tell me that they have a needle threader on their machine, but have never mastered the art of using it. The demonstrator will usually have a fool proof method, so watch what she does, and try it yourself.
- Wind a bobbin yourself.
- How do I lower and raise the feed dogs?
- How do I remove the needle plate to clean the machine and if your machine uses a horizontal drop-in bobbin the plate will have to be removed to replace the bobbin. Ask what direction the thread should come off your bobbin.
- If your machine is not self-threading machine then cut the end of your thread at an angle, place a little ‘spit’ on your finger and put this at the back of the needle eye. The ‘spit’ at the back of the needle helps draw the thread through the needle eye and makes it so easy to thread the needle. A small pair of pointed tweezers is a good accessory to hold the thread as it is placed through the eye of the needle and then grab the thread at the back of the needle and adds to the ease of threading also.
- Check out all the accessories that come with the machine, you probably will not use them all at once, but at least look at them. The explanation on what foot is recommended for what technique should be covered in the direction manual that comes with the machine.
- Ask how to change a foot. I have found clip on feet are the easiest to use, however if this is not an option then make sure you can easily change feet by removing and replacing the shank screw with a screw driver.
This should be enough for your basic lesson, so now go home and practise on your new ‘baby’, nothing will replace the use of a machine. Once you are confident on doing all the above, then it is a good idea to book into a project/technique class – this will increase your skills and knowledge along with your confidence.