10 years–that’s how long I’ve quilted without knowing about this nifty part on my sewing machine. Maybe one of these days I’ll start reading all of the directions. And given that it’s now been on two of my sewing machines of different brands, it will likely be on yours, too. If you’ve got a machine where the thread isn’t well controlled going from the machine to the needle (like my Brother machine). This little sewing machine part you never knew about will help control the thread going to your needle.
How I found this new sewing machine part
For years and years I used my sturdy Singer Talent sewing machine. It was my first sewing machine–I had been using my mom’s but it had started on fire, and I had to throw it out in the snow. I poured over the instructions, learning the ins and outs. I practiced threading, cleaning out the bobbin holder, winding bobbins, and finally sewing. Everything worked great, until it didn’t, and I got to start working my way through on how to fix my machine. But I always got ‘er back up and sewing like nothing ever happen. And then I moved to South Korea.
South Korea uses a different voltage that in the US that my machine couldn’t handle with out an adapter. That and the fact that for the size and weight of a sewing machine I could bring another suitcase of clothes and shoes, I left my little Singer at home. Sewing machine prices were absolutely insane in Korea–about double what they are in the US. But I knew I wanted to stay in Korea for a while and I wanted to get a machine upgrade, so I got a Brother SF50. It was computerized. It had an extension table. But it was missing something.
There was no holder for the thread coming out of the machine to needle like there was on my Singer. It wasn’t a big deal and didn’t impact my sewing in a way that I noticed, but the tread whipped around as I sewed, which was very distracting. I wondered if my machine had come broken, but everything looked whole. I spent a year working with my machine like this until I decided to hit up my good friend Google. And boy was I in for a surprise.
Where this new part is and what does it do?
There was a thread holder built into not only my brother machine, but also my Singer machine! It sits, nearly invisible, just bellow where you screw in your needle. It looks like nothing more an a strange design choice. There are no arrows or numbers on my machine indicating to slip my thread. Though there are plenty instructions else where on how to how to thread the top and bobbin threads. No wonder this is a sewing machine part you never knew about!
All you need to do is thread your needle as normal, and then take the thread hanging down between the machine and needle and slide it into the piece from the right side. This takes the thread from coming into your needle at an angle and makes it come straight down into your needle. It also stops the thread from flapping around, which makes my fingers feel a little safer.
Is it useful?
I haven’t personally noticed a significant change in my sewing, but it has been nice to have the thread controlled, especially on my Brother machine. I think it might also help cheaper threads from breaking as much because they’re being fed vertically, but that’s pure speculation. It must do something if two different brands have the same part. I’m just shocked slipping the thread into this thing (?) it wasn’t in the instructions. Well, maybe it was, and I was relying on a little too much on the diagrams. Anyone else?
Finding this part has reiterated how important the instruction manual is. But also that when you think there is something a little off with you machine, the internet should be the first place you go before you get frustrated or ‘just deal with it’. Not only can you find machine’s instruction manuals, but there are tons of sewing blogs and forums that have already discussed the problems you have.