I'm feeling a bit discombobulated today. I could blame it on coming back from nine days of a great vacation. Or the end of summer with no camp or school or routine for Egg yet.
But I know those are not the reasons.
I don't have my sewing machine today. I imagine this is how many people feel without their car. My Bernina is at its annual check up. Or what should be an annual check up, I often let it go a bit longer. I want to sew, I have lots to sew, but I need to patient. Sewing machine maintenance is critical to smooth happy sewing.
A lot of regular sewing machine maintenance you can do yourself.
- You can change your needle regularly. Dull or bent needles can have a big impact on your stitching.
- Keeping your machine covered when you are not regularly using it. This prevents dust from creeping in to all exposed parts.
- Clean out dust bunnies from under the throat plate. Depending on what type of fabric you use and how often you sew, these can accumulate quickly.
- Clean dust bunnies out of your bobbin area.
- Oil your machine.
Steps three through five depend on what kind of machine you own. Machines with bobbins that load from the top need to be cleaned differently from machines that have front loading bobbins.
Here is how I recommend proceeding:
- Find your machine's manual. If you cannot find it, Google most likely can produce it.
- Find the lint brush, little packet of oil and tiny screw driver your machine came with. If those are also gone, sewing machine oil is available at Joann's, Amazon and Walmart. Tiny screw drivers are easy to find and instead of a lint brush I have used a little paint brush. Sometimes I use tweezers to carefully pluck dust bunnies out.
- Go on Youtube and search "Clean your sewing machine [brand name goes here]" There are some great tutorials. Here are a few I recommend:
These five steps will result in less thread breaking, better tension and a machine that just behaves better.
For those of you who sew often, I recommend a yearly service. I have a Bernina and have mine serviced regularly at the store that sold me the machine. The regular service re-calibrates tension and checks and cleans the parts I can't get to and would be too scared to touch anyway.
I also have a cute little finger duster from the Container store for dusting the outside of my machine.
Tomorrow morning I can drive up to Portsmouth to pick up my machine, but until then I will spend my time doing all of the things I don't do when I'm sewing (like post on my blog).