Find the power switch. It may seem silly, but locating the power switch is the most important step! This is located in different places depending on the sewing machine you have, but is normally on the right side of the body.
Locate the spool pin. This is a small plastic or metal pin that sticks out of the top of the sewing machine, and holds your spool of thread.
Look for the thread guide. The thread guide directs thread from the spool on the top of the machine to the bobbin winder. It is a geometric metal piece that sticks out of the top of the sewing machine on the left side.
Find the bobbin-winder. To the right of the spool pin on top of the sewing machine is another smaller plastic or metal pin, next to a small horizontal wheel. This is the bobbin winder and the bobbin winder stopper. These work together (with the spool of thread) to wind thread onto your bobbin prior to starting sewing.
Look for the stitch adjustment buttons. These are in different locations depending on the specific sewing machine you have, but there is typically a small screen next to a few physical buttons on the front side of the sewing machine. These buttons select the type of stitch you create, the length of the stitch, and the direction of the stitch (forward or in reverse). Check the manual for your specific machine to determine the functions for each of the buttons.
Locate the thread take-up lever. When you’re ready to thread your sewing machine, you will wind the thread from the spool on top, through the thread guide, and then around the takeup lever. This is the lever (with two cut-in grooves) located on the front left side of the sewing machine. There are typically numbers and arrows printed next to it to clearly direct you the way in which to thread the machine.
Look for the tension dial. The tension dial is a small numbered wheel near the takeup lever. It controls the tension of the thread as you sew; if the tension is too tight, the needle will be pulled to the right. If the tension is too loose, the thread will loop on the bottom of the fabric you are sewing.
Find the needle clamp screw. This is a metal piece that holds the needle in place while sewing. It is located under the arm of the sewing machine, looks similar to a large nail, and sticks out to the right side of the needle.
Look for the presser foot. This is a metal attachment under the needle clamp screw that looks like a small ski. When engaged, this holds the fabric in places and guides it through the sewing machine as you sew.
Find the presser foot lever and practice raising and lowering the presser foot. It will be a lever to the right or back of the needle assembly. To adjust the presser foot, move it all the way down and all the way up.
Look for the needle plate. the needle plate is the silver plate just below the needle. Simple enough, huh?
Find the feed dog. The feed dog (silly name, right?) is a small metal guide under the presser foot on the needle plate that moves the fabric through the machine as you sew. You can find it by looking for the two small metal rows underneath the presser foot.