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Carolyn’s Corner: Maintenance

Sewing Maintenance

Essential Tools for Sewing Machine Maintenance

Congratulations! You finished that project you’ve been sewing. Now it’s on to the next project. You carefully select your pattern and fabric—you measure, cut, pin, and lay out your pieces—sit at your machine and off you sew. Wait! Why are your stitches not right?! Why is your fabric not feeding the way it’s supposed to?!

Take your needle plate off.

Does it look like this?

Your dentist will tell you, if you take care of your teeth, then they will last longer. The same is true for sewing machines—If you take care of them, they will last longer…and they won’t act up or break. If you keep fresh needles in your machine, keep it clean and oiled, then your projects will thank you. A clean machine means thread will travel easier and fabric will feed better. Here are the tools you will need—lint brush, micro vacuum attachment, mineral oil, and needles.

Let’s start by cleaning out the threads and lint that have found a home in your bobbin case area. Take your needle plate off and your bobbin case out and use the paint brush end of your lint brush to remove as much lint and threads as you can see. Don’t forget to clean your bobbin case too.

If you have one, this is a great time to use a sewing machine vacuum attachment. The hose attaches to your vacuum and the small wands can fit near your bobbin case and suck lint and thread out of your bobbin case area.

Before closing everything up, the next step is to place ONE drop of oil in the base of your hook. Turn the hand wheel toward you three times to get the oil worked in. This will keep your machine moving freely, which means better fabric feeding.

Finally, let’s take that old needle out and replacing it with a new one. If you change your needle every 8 hours of sewing (or after one of those big projects), then that will result in fewer needle strikes to your bobbin case. Fewer needle strikes to you bobbin case means your thread will travel easier and your stitches will remain beautiful.

Now that your machine is clean and purring like a kitten, you can get back to that beautiful project.

Happy (clean) sewing!