Basic Sewing Machines


Singer Perfect Finish ET-1


Name: Singer
Location: Textile Area
Status: Operational
Training: None
Slack Channel: #help-textiles-arts-and crafts
Owner: Chris J

Bernina Activa 220


Name: Bernina
Location: Textile Area
Status: Operational
Training: None
Slack Channel: #help-textiles-arts-and-crafts
Owner: denhac


There is no required training to use either of these home sewing machines.



  • Do not use the sewing machine if there is visible or audible damage.
  • While in operation, always keep your eye on the sewing area and do not touch any moving parts such as the thread uptake, handwheel, motor, etc.
  • Keep hands away from the needle when you turn on the machine and while it is in operation
  • Turn off the machine when leaving the sewing table
  • Turn off the machine when replacing the needle or presser foot
  • Turn off the machine when threading or cleaning the machine.
  • Do not attempt to sew over pins! If you are using pins, they must be removed before they reach the presser foot.


  • Insert a bobbin.
  • The grove on the needle should be facing the back of the machine.
  • Thread the machine. The needle should be threaded from front to back.
  • Adjust the stitch type, length, and width if necessary.
  • Adjust the presser foot pressure if necessary


Once you’ve inserted a bobbin, the machine is threaded and you’ve adjusted the settings for your project, turn on the machine.

Lift the presser foot, then insert your fabric under it.

Gently press on the foot pedal. Depending on your project, you may want to reverse a couple of stitches at the beginning and end to secure the stitches.


  • Pay attention to what you are doing as you sew.
  • Remove any pins before they go under the presser foot.
  • Make sure that the stitches are forming and that you haven’t run out of bobbin thread or that your needle came unthreaded.
  • Keep an eye out for needles breaking.
  • If the machine makes a significant amount of noise or any weird noises, stop using it and report it in the slack channel.

Shutdown & Cleanup

  • Power off the machine.
  • Please discard all thread and any other scraps.
  • If there are thread and cuttings on the floor vacuum them up.
  • Empty the trash when it gets full.




The Singer has needles, bobbins, and a thread stopper. It did not come with the platform.

The Bernina has needles, bobbins, a bobbin case, a sewing platform/table, and a thread stopper.

The needles are stored in the textile supply drawers. The needles also come in different sizes (thicknesses) and types. The universal needle is an all-purpose needle, though certain projects may require specialty needles like ballpoint (knits), jeans, leather, twin needles, etc.


A home sewing machine can handle a variety of fabrics: stretch, knits, and light- to heavyweight wovens. It will struggle with heavier fabrics like leather, multiple layers of canvas, etc. The machine can handle a variety of thread types, make sure to pick a thread appropriate for the project.

Files & Resources


Year Released
ModelPerfect Finish ET-1Activa 220
Serial No.ZHC11027160030315828101


This section is for noteworthy events such as:

  • Singer Perfect Finish ET-1 on loan from Chris J since May 2021
  • Bernina Activa 220
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