Tips & Tricks

Keeping your Sewing Machine Happy

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It seems like sewing machines are becoming invincible. Newer models have such a wide range of complex and advanced computerized functions, it feels like it won’t be long now before they can fly themselves to the moon.
By Abby 2018-04-19

That being said, your machine requires regular maintenance to continue functioning as a super-machine. Taking the time to care for your machine after every few uses will increase the life of your machine and the quality of your product! Whether forging a new relationship with your machine or as a refresher for you seasoned pros. Here are some easy and helpful tips for keeping your sewing machine happy and healthy.

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When not using your machine, be sure to keep it unplugged and covered! This will not only keep the mechanisms clear of bugs, pet hair, and dust, it will also prevent moisture from building up and causing rust. Don’t have a factory made a cover? No problem! Make one yourself out of that leftover piece of that pretty fabric you love or repurpose an old pillowcase. Keeping it unplugged as well as cover will also protect your machine from power surges.

This especially pertains to a thread. Low-quality thread, while a cost saver, can leave lint and dust inside the gears. This build-up can result from not only in missed stitches and screwed up the tension, but the lint also soaks up the lubrication inside the machine and can cause mechanical problems. Old thread (older than 5 years) is probably also a good thing to toss during your spring-cleaning. According to various machine manufacturers, the old thread is more likely to break, leaving little pieces of thread inside the gears that can easily build up and create a clog.

Some seamstresses recommend doing so as often as every two projects. Dull or bent needles can wreak havoc on your fabric and stitches, as well as on the gears of the machine. Also be sure you are using the most appropriate kind of needle for the fabric you are working with!

Even if your preventative care is top notch, your machine will benefit greatly from regular internal cleaning. This includes dusting out the bobbin case, between the tension discs, and under the feed dogs with compressed air, a soft brush, or a soft piece of muslin cloth. Regularly grease the bobbin case with sewing machine oil and run a piece of cloth through the machine to remove any excess oil. Follow any other cleaning instructions laid out by your machine’s care manual.

  • Speaking of which…Make your machine’s care manual your bible: Every kind of machine is unique, and its manufacturers have provided you with a wealth of information about how to properly care for it to get the maximum potential out of that specific machine. Whether troubleshooting or simply maintaining, follow these instructions to the letter!
  • Take it in for regular checkups: A healthy sewing machine is like a healthy body. Even if you fastidiously do everything right, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look every so often for the problems you might not know to find. Regularly take your machine in for servicing so those little problems can be fixed before they become big problems.