Sewing Machine Parts

A sewing machine is a very important instrument for garment making. There are many kinds of sewing machines, but their basic structure is the same, whether they are treadle machines, electric sewing machines, or hand-operated machines. I will explain here some of their basic parts and their functions so you can understand the machine better, which in turn, will help you in your sewing.

Sewing machines go back a long time. The Industrial Revolution gave us the first sewing machines to offer relief to the manual sewing work. Off course, they have gone through many changes and improvements since then. You can sew an exclusive dress with a high-end luxury fabric with these machines now at home.

Basic Parts of a Sewing Machine

The basic parts include needle, needle plate, spool pin, presser foot, hand wheel, stitch dial, thread tension dial, tension disc, power switch, and many more.

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Spool Pin

This is fitted at the top of the arm and holds the reel or the spool of thread.

Needle Bar

A rod made of steel that holds the needle at an end with a clamp. The bar gives the needle motion.

Power Switch

As the name suggests, this is the on/off switch. It is usually located at the machine’s right side.

Thread Take-Up Lever

This lever is fitted to the arm’s body. The top thread passes through this lever in an up and down motion with the needle during the process of sewing. The loop that is formed is also tightened.

Presser Foot

The fabric is held firmly at the right place with this foot. You have to press the bar to lower it to hold the fabric.

sewing machine

Presser Foot Lifter

This is a lever that is attached to the presser bar. Its purpose is to lower and raise the presser foot.

Bobbin Case

The case moves into position for catching the top thread and forming the stitch when you lower the needle into the bobbin chamber.

Bobbin Binder Spindle

The bobbin is kept here during winding.

Bobbin Cover Release Button

It releases the cover for the entrance to the bobbin.

Bobbin Winder Stopper

The bobbin winding process stops when the bobbin reaches optimum capacity.

Bobbin Winder Thread Guide

These guides help in the process of bobbin winding. They hold your thread in the right place to the needle from the spool.

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Fly Wheel

The motion mechanism works when the wheel revolves.

Stitch Length Dial

The dial is useful for controlling the stitch’s length.

Reverse Stitch Lever

The sewing machine works in reverse when you push this lever.


This is used for forming stitches on the garments.

Needle Plate

This is a metal plate located below the presser foot and needle. The plate, which is a semi-circular disc with a hole, allows the fabric to move forward when you are sewing. The needle passes through this hole.

Thread Tension Dial

The dial controls the top thread’s tension.

Tension Disc

There are two concave discs where the sides are in convex shape. The sides face each other. Threads pass through these sides. A spring adjusts the tension of the thread. There is a nut that decreases or increases the pressure.

Hand Wheel

Located at the machine’s right side, the wheel lowers or raises the needle.

Stitch Width Dial

It controls zigzag stitching.

Pattern Selector Dial

This dial sets the symbol of the stitch pattern you want.