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PARTS OF THE SEWING MACHINE: The Take-Up Lever (or “Goose”)


by Rebecca Szetela, founder and owner

Continuing our discussion of the parts of the sewing machine, let’s talk about the “Take-Up Lever”, fondly know here at Create!® Sewing Studio as the “Goose” … a very important part of the sewing machine. The goose is controlled by the handwheel and the position of the goose is important.

Have you ever tried to take your fabric off the machine after stitching only to find that you yank and yank and it’s hard to get the fabric off the machine? Well look no further than the position of the goose. If the goose is not in the top position when you are ready to take your fabric off the machine, you run the risk of  breaking your machine!

To remove your fabric easily, the machine’s rotary mechanism has to go through it’s full rotation (ever thought about why it is called a “rotary machine”?). The indicator that the sewing machine has gone through it’s full rotation is the goose being up. If, when you finish sewing your seam the goose is not up, turn the handwheel toward you until it is. That completes the rotary stitch. Your sewing machine (and you!) will be much happier!

An additional benefit of paying attention to the position of the goose is that when you finish your seam and you go to stitch your next seam, you won’t pull your thread right out of the needle! Have you ever wondered why you are constantly having to rethread your needle? Well, this may be why! So pay attention to that goose and you will have a happier sewing experience!

By the way, the reason we call it the goose has to do with the next part I will write about….the Presser Foot (or “Pig’s Toes”)! See you soon!

Parts of the Sewing Machine: Your Sewing Machine’s Handwheel

Parts of the sewing machine: The Hand Wheel (It’s that “bump” on the right side of your machine!)

In this series of articles, I thought it might be helpful for those of you who would like to expand your knowledge of sewing, to talk about the parts of the sewing machine. The first part I will discuss is the hand wheel.

The hand wheel is an important part of the sewing machine. Although most sewing enthusiasts love the power of the electric sewing machine, there are times when knowing how to do some of your stitching manually is really helpful. On most modern electric sewing machines the hand wheel (that “bump” on the right side of your sewing machine) is turned toward you (counter-clockwise if you are looking at the machine from the right side of your machine) to take a manual stitch.

The times you use the hand wheel to make a stitch include when you want to turn a corner on your project (called a pivot) and you need the needle in the fabric to do this. So…you turn the hand wheel toward you till the needle is in the fabric, lift up the presser foot and turn your work. Then you put the presser foot down and continue to stitch. Another time you need to use the hand wheel is if when you come to the end of your stitching if the take-up lever is down. You need to turn the hand wheel until the take up lever is in the topmost position in order to complete your stitch. Another time you use the hand wheel to stitch a manual stitch is at the end of a dart. I will talk about dart construction in more detail in a later blog post, but this is an important instance of using the hand wheel to make a manual (non-electric) stitch.