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Janome Week: Out-Of-The-Box Basics: ID the Main Parts of a Sewing Machine

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Sewing is an art. But is does rely on science and technology as well. And there's math with all those fractions and geometry. But most importantly... there's your machine. A good machine makes the difference – not only in the sewing experience but in the professional look of the finished project. Janome America is the exclusive sewing machine sponsor of Sew4Home and we love our studio Janomes. When you have a great machine, you can literally forget about it, and put your full concentration on the art of sewing. To borrow a line from Janome that explains this phenomenon: the easier the tools, the more creative you become. Janome machines are precise and reliable from the top of the line to the most basic entry level model. One of the very first articles we did on Sew4Home explained the parts of a basic sewing machine. We've decided to update that article today as the first day in Janome Week – for the benefit of all the new sewing enthusiasts out there. Plus, it never hurts for any of us to dust off our skills and knowledge. 

We're using one of Janome's brand new Magnolia models to show what you can expect right out of the box. Janome Magnolia is a great, full-featured mid-range line of sewing machines and sergers with incredible stitch quality at very affordable prices. Two new models recently debuted and we're featuring the 7360 today. You'll want to pay particularly close attention to this pretty machine, because coming up in the next few weeks, we will be giving away a Janome Magnolia 7360 to one lucky S4H visitor! More on that later. For now... let's open up our new machine and find out what's inside.

Unpacking

Your machine will come home with you in its shipping box. Make sure, as with anything you get in a shipping carton, there is no damage to the outer box. Most dealers have inspected their shipments previously, but a quick once-over is always a good idea.

Open up the box. Your machine will be packed securely.

Remove the packing materials and carefully lift the machine out of the box. Remember... lift with your knees. The Magnolia 7360 comes standard with a hard cover, which will be in place over the machine when you remove it from the box.

Pull out any separately wrapped items, such as the manual, parts and/or cords.

Remove the cover. There may be additional packing materials within the machine itself. Our foot control was packaged in the center opening and there was an additional styrofoam piece protecting the needle area.

      

Pull out the manual. It will list all the elements that should be included. Your first job is to identify all the presser feet and accessories to make sure everything is there and you know what's what. 

If your machine has a free arm option, this is accessed by pulling away part of the sewing table. Often, as is the case with the Magnolia 7360, there is additional parts storage within this removable section. Our buttonhole foot was stored inside the accessory bin. When setting up your machine, use this bin to hold your most used presser feet and other handy tools.

Setting up the machine

Place the machine on a flat, sturdy surface. 

Most machines have two things to plug in: a power cord (on the right below) and a foot control (on the left below). 

Turn on the machine. The 7360 model we're using is a computerized model so it has a LED screen for stitch selection.

If you are working with a manual model, all your stitches are likely to be printed on the front of the machine and/or on a pull-out guide and/or on buttons or dials. Whichever the method, you'll have a way to navigate to all the included utility and decorative stitches.

The Magnolia 7360 also has a handy plasticized stitch chart you can attach to the top of the machine. It's a great quick reference, and you simply slide it out and fold away the holder when not in use.

Models and makes of sewing machines differ in layout and features, but the basic parts are similar. Your machine's manual should show a detailed diagram of your specific model. If you don't have a manual, check the manufacturer's website. Often, manuals can be found online and downloaded. Consult your machine's manual for specific instructions on use and care. Below, we've called out the main parts to identify:

 

  1. Spool pin: Holds a spool of thread.
  2. Bobbin winder spindle: Bobbin is placed here during winding.
  3. Bobbin winder stopper: Stops winding the bobbin when it reaches capacity.
  4. Stitch width adjustment buttons: Controls the zigzag stitchDepending on your machine model, this may be a dial.
  5. Pattern selection buttons: Allow you to move through the various utility stitches, decorative stitches and buttonholes. Each stitch number will appear on the menu screen. Depending on your machine model, this may be a dial.
  6. Handwheel: The large knob on the right side of your machine. Manually raises and lowers the needle.
  7. Stitch length adjustment buttons: Controls the length of the stitch. Shorter stitches for finer fabrics, longer for heavier fabrics, basting and gathering. Depending on your machine model, this may be a dial.
  8. Reverse stitch button: The machine will sew in reverse while the button is pushed. Depending on your machine model, this may be a lever.
  9. Speed control slider: Slide from left to right to speed up the stitching speed.
  10. Needle up/down button: Push once to drop the needle, push again to raise the needle. This also programs the default action while stitching. Most people prefer "needle down," which means when you stop, the needle stops in the down position.
  11. Lock stitch button: Push to create a neat knot at the beginning or end of your seam. Use this instead of backstitching to lock your seams. Great for topstitching.
  12. Start/Stop control: Unplug the foot control to activate this feature. Start and stop your stitching with the push of a button rather than with your foot.
  13. Power switch:The off-on switch is usually located on the right side of the machine, beneath the handwheel.
  14. Bobbin winder thread guide: A thread guide drawing to make sure you have the bobbin inserted correctly. 
  15. Thread tension dial: Controls the tension on the top thread. If too tight, the bobbin thread appears on the right side of the fabric. If too loose, the needle thread loops on the underside of the fabric.
  16. Thread take-up lever: The top thread passes through the thread take-up lever. It moves up and down with the needle.
  17. Needle clamp screw: This clamp holds the needle in place.
  18. Presser foot: When lowered, using a lever on the back side of the machine, this foot holds fabric in place.
  19. Bobbin cover release button: Releases the cover for access to the bobbin.
  20. Bobbin cover: Covers and protects the bobbin holder while sewing.
  21. Needle: A needle pushes the thread through the fabric to form a stitch.
  22. Feed dog: The feed dog pulls fabric forward while sewing.
  23. Needle plate: The metal plate beneath the needle and presser foot. It has one opening for the needle to pass through as it stitches, and others for the feed dogs to emerge and help move the fabric forward during sewing. Also called a throat plate. Handy guidelines on the needle plate help you keep your seam allowances straight and true.

Threading 

Find that manual again to confirm the threading pattern for your machine. 

Janome models also have handy guide marks embossed in the plastic and/or printed on the machine, making it super easy to follow and remember. 

Thread the top of the machine first. Then drop in and thread the bobbin.

Your machine will likely come with an empty bobbin in place. 

Wind the appropriate thread on the bobbin and drop it back into place or insert a pre-wound bobbin.

Pull up the thread and pop the cover back into place. Again, refer to the manual for more detail. 

Pull both the top and bobbin thread through and cut the tails on the built-in thread cutter.

Test stitching

The next step is to test your stitches. This is not only an important thing to do when you first unpack your machine, it's also a great idea to do before any project or whenever you change your settings. 

I always check my needle, usually changing to a fresh needle, and I test my stitch settings on a scrap of fabric. 

I do some straight stitches, some zig zag stitches, and just make sure everything is running smoothly and I haven't threaded incorrectly. Even if you're an old hand at sewing, you can mis-thread, which will mess up your stitches. You don't want to start off your project with skipped stitches or thread tangles so take the time to test!

Don't ignore the manual

Do pay attention to your manual. I know most people find it the least interesting thing in the world to read, but you'd be amazed at how much work goes into putting one together. One thing we've learned in our work with Janome is the tremendous amount of effort on the part of the factory technicians in Japan as well as the education department at Janome America to make sure the information you need to stitch successfully is included in that trusty manual. Obviously, the more advanced your machine, the more information (and pages) in your manual. Take advantage of it. Any time you are having a problem, the manual is the first place to turn. 

So there you have it. You're ready to go right out of the box to make stitching magic. Make sure you stay tuned for that Great Giveaway we mentioned above. Thank you again to Janome America for providing the machine for today's article, and for being so super generous to provide a brand new Magnolia 7360 for a lucky Sew4Home visitor. We're not letting on exactly when the giveaway will happen quite yet. Guess you'll just have to come back every day! 

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Comments (42)

bankerlady said:
bankerlady's picture

I would love to have this new machine.  My old sewing machine just died.  My husband had given it to me for my 24th birthday.  After 38 years of marriage, two kids and four grandchildren, I have earned a new machine! 

Tiny Comments said:
Tiny Comments's picture

I don't have a Jamone machine but are there any tips you can share to help me?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

Tiny Comments - the parts are the same on most machines - they may just be in slightly different positions. For additional sewing tips and techniques, take a look through our Project Index.

beth daniels said:
beth daniels's picture

This machine iw wonderful for me to use to go to my  quilting club meetings, classes, and quilting retreat which I go to once a year.  It has an enomous amount of stitches.  All that I can use.  I make quilts and sew garments so I can definitely use the buttonholes.  I love to have a choice on what stitch to use for my creative works of art.

Karen Rogers said:
Karen Rogers's picture

I love Janome....I teach kids sewing classes and this looks like a great machine even for children to work!  I have been reading reviews on the Magnolia, and it looks like it comes very highly recommended!  Would love to add it to my machines!

Bamagirl40 said:
Bamagirl40's picture

This looks like a BEAUTIFUL WELL MADE MACHINE! It has tons of Different Stitches, and what makes it Great is that it Computerized, so it takes all the Guess Work out of trying to figure things out. Just a touch of a button. LOL. It doesn't look to Bulky or Heavy either!!! I Would LOVE to update my Old Janome for this BEAUTY!!!!!

sri haryanti said:
sri haryanti's picture

im a beginner on sewing, thanks to janome, you make me enjoy my first project, i love janome machine.

Elaine Sharp said:
Elaine Sharp's picture

I own a retired Janome 9500.  It would be so awesome to own this new machine.  The quality of Janome is outstanding and very fun to sew with.

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aurelie higgins said:
aurelie higgins's picture

I sew burial clothes for new born babies and chem hats for cancer victims.  My machine is old and I would love to have a new one.

Gay Revel said:
Gay Revel's picture

I bought my granddaughter a Janome for Christmas and she loves it.  I sewed with it before I gave it to her and loved it too.  I would love to have this wonderful new Janome model. 

sshebby1 said:
sshebby1's picture

  I have a Janome 9500 and I just love it!!  To win this would be Awesome!!

Banderson said:
Banderson's picture

The first machine my mom bought for me was a Janome and I love it!  Thanks for this great tutorial - always nice to have a refresher on the in's and out's of the machine - the little things you tend to forget or overlook.

Paula Collins said:
Paula Collins's picture

 I have a old sewing machine.  I have joined a sewing hop in Maine hoping to win one.  Thaks for all the info on it.

JoannaD said:
JoannaD's picture

I love this blog-I am currently making the Wee Wovens apron in another fabric as can't find that group of plaids anymore. I sew with a Janome DC2160 and it's a beautiful machine. This blog is amazing. Of all the sewing blogs I read, I keep coming back here with pleasure.

Patricia Di Prospero said:
Patricia Di  Prospero's picture

Ihave the Janome 9000., & it's still going strong.I also Have the Sewist 521 for my traveling machine to take when I need to sew with friends as well as the elderly.

learningwithdonna said:
learningwithdonna's picture

When I retired last June, I bought myself the basic MyStyle Jenome, and fell in love with sewing again! Now that I realize how much sewing I am doing with a new grandchild, and time on my hands, I wish I had upgraded to one with a few more stitches--like the model you are demonstrating here. However, there is nothing I haven't tackled that this basic machine hasn't handled well. It is good advice to test your stitches. Sometimes I just have to rethread, or change my needle if the tension isn't quite right. I check this website for projects and advice every week. Thank you!

eshadoll said:
eshadoll's picture

i have 7330 and love it...would like to have this one in my collection also...

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

i have the 7330 and i love it...and will love this machine...thanks janome for making the best machines ever...

Mary Cal said:
Mary Cal's picture

I have a Janome 6600. I like it but when I speed up the stitching the fabric starts

pulling to the left despite my effort to keep it straight. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I'm over a 10 hour roundtrip away from the shop where I purchased so isn't easy to get there.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Mary Cal - we don't have a 6600 in our studios so I can't offer specific trouble-shooting advice long distance. The reasons for this type of behavior could stem from multiple scenarios of settings, fabric, thread, etc., etc. Since you don't have a dealer near you, I would recommend you contact Janome's Customer Service: http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/ContactUs

MaryCal said:
MaryCal's picture

Thank you. I've found a Janome forum and hopefully someone wiil be able

to answer my question.

JoyceLM said:
JoyceLM's picture

Great instructions for anyone getting a new sewing machine - no matter what brand.  Thanks.

vickit said:
vickit's picture

I've never owned or even sewn on a Janome but, do know one of the digitizers for machine embroidery designs swears by hers and loves it. Of course, hers is an embroidery machine now but she started on one which was not.

dlaroche said:
dlaroche's picture

I love my Janome, I got a DC 2012 a few months back.  It makes me smile everytime I turn it on.  I have one issue with the top fabric pushing more than the bottom fabic.  Does anyone know how I adust this?  Thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ dlaroche - there are several things which could alter the fabric feeding, including the number and thickness of the layers as well as physical adjustments to the machine. It't a hard one to troubleshoot long distance. As the visitor below mentions, a Walking foot might help, but we would also suggest having your local dealer take a look since you could show him/her the acutal situation(s) in which the problem occurs.

Domenica said:
Domenica's picture

I just had a look at the instruction manual for this machine and it looks like the pressure of the presser foot in not adjustable (thought there might be a chance as it's adjustable on my DC4030). I would recommend using a walking foot to see if that solves the problem.

sunshdws said:
sunshdws's picture

I've been lusting after one of these for a long time.  LOL  Oh how I wish I could afford a new machine!

MarciaFlorida said:
MarciaFlorida's picture

I've never used a Janome or seen one in person. I like this model because it actually diagrams common threading actions on the machine, some I frequently have to look up because of a poor memory. That is such a helpful decal!

kateperegrinate said:
kateperegrinate's picture

I bought the Janome Magnolia 7330 in February and love it! I was a beginner sewer using my mom's old Singer (from 1980) to make sure I wanted to start sewing as a new hobby. I was planning to not get a new machine until my birthday in June, but when I went to a sewing machine store, I fell in love with the Magnolia when I realized how much easier it was sewing on it than my mom's old machine. My only regret now is that I didn't wait until June because I could have bought the 7360 instead!

melissasews said:
melissasews's picture

does this machine have pressure foot adjustment

Figzof said:
Figzof's picture

I own a jenome and that's all I want. Best machine ever.

regina918 said:
regina918's picture

You've made my week already!  I LOVE Janome machines and that's all I sew on now....we have the best dealer where I live who is always helpful and accomodating when it comes to questions or problems...Able Sewing in Raynham Mass...you ROCK!

crescentcity1 said:
crescentcity1's picture

The stitch settings are wonderful!!..This machine has it all..I decided last week to upgrade my singer simple..This just may be the one!

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