A sewing machine is a vital piece of equipment for any seamstress. It’s the workhorse that does all the heavy lifting and makes all those beautiful garments we love so much.
But if you don’t take care of it, your sewing machine can quickly turn into an expensive paperweight.
So here are some helpful tips to keep your precious sewing machine running smoothly, trouble-free for years to come, and ensure a good quality sewing machine.
- How to Maintain Your Sewing Machine
- 1. Keep it clean
- 2. Put it away
- 3. Be gentle
- 4. Take it easy
- 5. Get regular tune-ups
- 6. Buy quality parts
- 7. Use quality thread
- 8. Clean off lint:
- 9. Remove thread from hook
- 14. Perform regular maintenance
- 15. Sew with sharp needles
- 16. Be careful:
- 17. Take care of feet:
- 18. No metal bobbins
- 19. Protect it
- 20 Tune it up regularly
- 21. Mix & match:
- 22. Pre-wound bobbins
- 23. Stick to the basics
- 24. Choose wisely
- 25. Keep an eye on the spool pin
- 26. Test it
- 27. Turn off the power
- 28. Keep it tucked away
- 29. Extension cords
- 30. Know how to fix
- 31. Change the needle
- WHAT IS A BOBBIN ON A SEWING MACHINE?
- How to Thread a Sewing Machine for Beginners
- How to Choose the Right Sewing Machine Needle
- What To Look For When Choosing A Sewing Machine
- How to clean and oil a sewing machine
How to Maintain Your Sewing Machine
1. Keep it clean
Keeping your sewing room tidy will help avoid snags on threads and other debris getting caught in the gears or feed dogs (the parts that pull the fabric under the needle).
Vacuum often, dust regularly, wipe with a damp cloth as necessary and use compressed air or a brush attachment on your vacuum to keep the interior of your sewing machine free from dust and debris.
If you feel that the motor is burning, then it’s time to clean your sewing machine right away.
2. Put it away
If you aren’t using your sewing machine, put it away. Not only will this help protect it from damage, but also reduce the risk of injuries from a runaway needle.
A few minutes spent packing up your machine can save many hours of grief and thousands of dollars in medical bills.
3. Be gentle
As with most delicate equipment, be careful when threading your sewing machine. Make sure the thread is not tangled, and try to stick to a single path from spool to needle to avoid snags or tangles.
Also, make sure you pull enough slack to do the task you are using it for, but not so much that you can pull the machine across your work surface. With a little care and attention, your sewing machine will serve you well for many years to come.
4. Take it easy
When sewing, make sure the fabric is smooth and firm against the machine bed (the tabletop that your machine attaches to). This will reduce extra wear & tear on your machine.
Also, if you are using too much pressure when sewing, the upper tension could be set too high for the material you’re working with.
5. Get regular tune-ups
Most sewing machines require a professional tune-up every 2-3 years, so if you’re not using your machine on a daily basis, set up a maintenance plan to get it serviced regularly and prevent major repairs down the road.
6. Buy quality parts
We all love a bargain, but cheap components can lead to headaches down the road.
When replacing parts on your sewing machine, stick with known brands and use genuine replacement parts for best results. It’s worth it in the long run!
7. Use quality thread
Cheap thread strips easily, jams easily, and can even cause tension problems on your machine. On the other hand, a quality thread is very resilient and will not strip or bunch up as easily. The best bet is to stick with known brands (like Gutermann or Coats & Clark) for great results every time.
Related: How to thread a sewing machine
8. Clean off lint:
Regularly clean all the lint off your sewing machine because it can cause many problems with your work.
Lint builds up on your machine after cleaning It will damage the motor and affect how it operates. This needs immediate attention.
9. Remove thread from hook
Clean the side of the tension discs and remove any thread there. Be careful not to touch anything else inside or you could ruin something vital.
14. Perform regular maintenance
Make sure that your machine is cleaned, oiled, and tuned up regularly. Typically they need to be professionally serviced once every 6 months depending on how often you use them.
A lot of machines are not used very often or receive infrequent maintenance so when trouble comes it can hit with a vengeance.
15. Sew with sharp needles
A dull needle can cause skipped stitches and other problems, not to mention the damage it will do to your fabric.
Keep an assortment of sizes on hand for different fabrics, and don’t forget that a universal machine needle (size 90/14) is best suited for most sewing tasks.
16. Be careful:
It’s not advisable to use a machine that is not in great condition and has been sitting around for a long time, as you could end up with problems from the rusting of moving parts.
Don’t force your sewing machine or pull hard on it to get it to work. It may be out of adjustment or need oiling, Have it looked at by a professional. Tugging on the machine could cause you to break something or hurt your hands.
17. Take care of feet:
If your foot pedal isn’t working properly, then check that rubber piece for wear and replace it if necessary.
18. No metal bobbins
Don’t use a metal bobbin in your sewing machine (ever). The metal will cause damage to the machine.
19. Protect it
If you have a machine that is built into your table, then keep the top closed at all times when you are finished sewing because dust can be harmful to your machine’s mechanisms if allowed to settle on them.
20 Tune it up regularly
Because of the high speed at which sewing machines run, they need to be tuned up regularly (usually every 3 to 6 months).
Doing this ensures better stitch formation and more even seams.
21. Mix & match:
When you use different threads in your machine, make sure that the weights are compatible with each other, otherwise, problems will arise with tension and stitch formation.
22. Pre-wound bobbins
Pre-wound bobbins are best because the thread is already properly tensioned, which prevents problems with thread loops and bobbin thread being pulled into your stitching holes.
23. Stick to the basics
24. Choose wisely
If you are buying a new sewing machine for the first time, consider what you plan to sew and do some research for choosing the right sewing machine before making a purchase to make sure that you’re getting the model that best suits your needs.
25. Keep an eye on the spool pin
Your spool pins will wear out over time or suffer from damage due to poor thread spool placement.
If you notice that you are getting a lot of skipped stitches, then it could be due to worn-out or damaged spool pins.
26. Test it
It’s important to test your machine as soon as you buy it – the sooner the better – as some faults may not show up until after a few uses.
27. Turn off the power
Make sure that your machine is turned off before you try to oil or work on it in any way, as this will ensure that there are no serious injuries.
28. Keep it tucked away
Never leave your sewing machine lying around where small children might play with it; always keep it locked up in a cabinet or under your bed.
29. Extension cords
If you need to use an extension cord, then make sure that you cover the machine’s plug with plastic, which will prevent any electrical shorts from harming the machine’s internal parts.
30. Know how to fix
31. Change the needle
If you’ve been sewing for a long time, you should know that your needles will need to be changed frequently, especially if you’re sewing with thick fabrics or materials like denim, also change your needles when they begin creating holes in your fabric rather than neat stitches.