Sewing Machine Needles
I have no idea why, but I think these are actually kinda cool. Maybe because they're usually pointy and dangerous? There are all sorts of complicated needles out there, but your most used, basic ones come in one of 3 varieties: sharp, ball-point, or chisel point:
Ball Point: Perfect for knit fabrics and loose weaves. This needle enters the fabric and pushes the threads aside to create a hole. This keeps these fabrics from unraveling from having cut threads as would be created by the sharper, regular point needle.
Chisel Point: This needle is the hardcore one of the bunch. You need to sew some leather or some such material...this is what you want. This needle is capable of making a hole on a solid surface (unlike using the weave of something like cotton).
I won't go into the names of all the sections on the shaft of the needle. Suffice it to say, there is an eye for your thread to go through and a shank with a flat side that slips into place and is secured on your machine. PLEASE NOTE: you should change your needle before starting every project. Needles are small and there could be chips in the point or dullness after use. Don't worry, they aren't that expensive.
Presser FeetThere are as many presser feet as there are stars in the sky. I exaggerate, but it's kinda true. Feet can be easily changed on your sewing machine to accommodate zipper sewing, buttonholes, quilting, blind hems, etc. Your machine comes with a few but there are hundreds you can add to your arsenal. But beginning sewists, don't let all the feet that came with your machine freak you out too much. Seriously. The one you will use most though is the all-purpose foot that comes installed on your machine. It will be your best tool for most basic jobs in a zigzag or straight stitch.
|Yer basic, run of the mill, all-purpose presser foot.|
So, now you can thread your machine, and figure out what needle and foot to use. Let's talk stitches next time!