What are the Parts of a Sewing Machine? How They Work?

There are many variations in the sewing machine models you can find on the market today. With the modern sewing machines, various computational systems get added to the features of the products to make it easier for the users to work with them. However, despite all the changes in the sewing machine models, such as with the addition of modern features, there are basic sewing machine parts that are always there to make the sewing machine work.

These sewing machine parts have been around for decades, so you will always find these basic parts that make up a sewing machine in any sewing machine model you are using today, whether it’s a vintage or modern sewing machine. Parts like presser foot, bobbin, bobbin case, feed dogs, and others, will always exist in a sewing machine. So, it’s a good idea to get to know about these parts.

List of Sewing Machine Parts You Need to Know About

There are various sewing machine parts you should know to enhance your knowledge about sewing. These parts work together as one, and each sewing machine will have these parts installed, with some external parts you can add or remove from the machine. Here’s the list of sewing machine parts you need to know:

  • Presser foot. This is the useful part of your sewing machine for keeping your fabric in place as you sew it. You can use different presser foot types based on the stitches you need to apply to your fabric. Also, you might need to use unique presser feet for different fabric types.
  • Bobbin and the bobbin case. The bobbin is the place where you put the thread in a sewing machine, and the bobbin case is the place where you put the bobbin. It’s the heart of any sewing machine, as this is where the threads you use will get applied to the fabrics. You will need to use the particular bobbin models suitable for your sewing machine, as you often cannot use the bobbin with another sewing machine, such as the one from another brand unless they are compatible.
  • Slide plate. It is the plate where you can get access to the bobbin to put the thread you need to use in your sewing activity. It’s the cover plate for the bobbin where you can slide it open and close.
  • Throat plate. This is the plate that gives you access to the needle, which will allow you to put the thread on the needle to make the stitches. It often includes the lines that will guide you to make the seam allowances or apply straight stitches to your fabric.
  • Needle clamp. This is the small part of the sewing machine that holds an important role, which is to put your needle in place. The clamp will hold the needle, and it will support different needle variations to accommodate different stitches and fabrics.
  • Take-up lever. This is the part that will help perform the stitches on your fabric. The lever will move up and down in quick succession as you keep on stitching your fabric with your sewing machine. You will need to take this lever up before you start the stitching process, so the needle won’t get snagged on the fabric.
  • Tension regulator. Just as the name suggests, this is the part where you need to control the top thread tension on the sewing machine. You need to set the tension right to perform the right stitches on the fabric, otherwise, the thread will break if the tension is too high or the stitches won’t get delivered if the tension is too low.
  • Feed dogs. This is the part where you can control the stitch length as you stitch the fabric. You will need to guide the feed dogs to deliver the stitches you want. It will move the fabric by itself, so you just need to guide its movements to deliver the stitches you need to apply.
  • Bobbin winder. This is the part where you fill the bobbin with the new thread after it becomes empty. It will do a quick winding for the thread so that you can use the bobbin again in your sewing activities.
  • Bobbin winder tension disk. This is the part where you can ease the winding process of the thread you want to fill in your bobbin. It’s useful on some occasions, such as when you are using the external bobbin winder.
  • Spool pin. This is a small part that helps to hold the thread you are using in the sewing machine. Depending on your sewing machine, the spool pin might be in the vertical or horizontal position.
  • Flywheel. It controls the take-up lever in your sewing machine, and it’s very easy to operate. You can use this part to raise or lower the take-up lever, and you need to turn this part toward you.
  • Thread guides. This is the part that has the role to regulate or control the thread tension, as the threads will pass through these thread guides.
  • Stitch selector. This is the part where you can select the stitch type you want to apply to the fabric. You just need to push a button to pick the right stitch to apply to your current fabric, and you can always change it anytime.
  • Stitch-length selector. You can use this selector option to pick the length of your stitches. It often uses numbers as the indicators of how many stitches you want to apply per inch or millimeter, depending on your sewing machine model.
  • Stitch-width selector. You can use this selector to determine the width of the stitches you want to apply to the fabric you’re working on. It often only applies to decorative stitch types.
  • Display screen. Modern sewing machines will have a screen to display various information about your current stitch settings. You can also see various options available for you through the display screen.
  • Reverse stitch button. This part can reverse the stitches you apply to your fabric. It’s also called the backstitch button. It’s very useful for embroidery.
  • Foot controller. This part will help you speed up the stitches as you push for the pedal, and it will slow down the stitches as you release it. It will control the dynamics of your sewing activities, so you have to get the hang of using it.
  • Modern features. Various modern features are available in modern and expensive sewing machine models, which will often combine computational technology with a manual stitching process. You can also save your own design on modern sewing machines or enjoy more customization options for your sewing projects, making it easier for you to do it.
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Additional Parts – Sewing Machine Attachments

You can use various sewing machine attachments if your sewing machine supports it. Most sewing machine models today support the use of attachments, and they often include some essential attachments in the box when you purchase the machine. Also, you can buy additional attachments from the manufacturer, as they often sell the additional attachments on their official website. Sewing machine attachments may include presser feet, serger, and many others.

Please note that some attachments might be compatible with use for different sewing machine brands. However, it’s always better for you to pick the attachments from the same brand as your sewing machine brand to avoid any incompatibility problems later.


  • What are the parts and functions of a sewing machine? As already explained in this guide, you can check the list of the parts and their roles in your sewing activity. These parts work together to deliver the stitches and various sewing styles you will need for your fabric. Some parts might differ in design depending on your sewing machine model or brand.
  • What are the 20 parts of the sewing machine? You can check the parts as they get listed in this guide. There are various parts you can find in a sewing machine, such as presser foot, bobbin, foot controller, and more. Each part works together to deliver the best sewing experience for you.
  • What are the three primary parts of the sewing machine? The head, the stand, and the cabinet. These are the primary parts of the sewing machine, and any sewing machine will have these parts in its build structure. The parts mentioned in this guide are available in the head, the stand, and the cabinet parts of the sewing machine.
  • What are the head parts of a sewing machine? The head of the sewing machine is where you will work with your stitching most of the time. It comprises the arm and the bed, which are the places where you will do most of the sewing work. You can find most of the essential sewing machine parts in the head area of the sewing machine.
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These are the parts of a sewing machine you need to know. By knowing about each part of the sewing machine, you will have a better understanding of what you’re doing. The sewing activities you do will require you to use most of these parts.

These parts work together as one, and these parts will deliver the stitches you will need to apply to your fabric. Take care of these parts as you’re using the sewing machine. Happy sewing!