Sewing Machine Care AdviceMembers of our About.com Quilting Community have shared some of their favorite sewing machine care tips. Use these techniques to help keep a sewing machine out of the repair shop, and adjust the machine so that it's just right for sewing.
From Julie Higginson:
- Years ago, when I took one of my sewing machines in for a tuneup, the repairman gave me a tip. He told me the most common problem with machines is the thread tension going bad, and one thing that causes it is repeated misuse of the tension discs.
When you change your spool of thread, you most likely take the spool off and just pull the thread out of the machine. By doing that, you are actually forcing the thread to go backwards through a path that it is only meant to go forwards. Instead, you should snip the thread up near the spool, then grasp the other end of the thread and pull it out of the machine so that it follows the same path as it does when you're sewing.
Yes, you might be "wasting" several inches of thread by doing it that way, but the small waste is much cheaper than taking your machine in for service more than should be required.
I've been following that repairman's tip for years now and have found it to be true. I only have my thread tension checked/adjusted when I take my machine in for its annual tuneup.
- When I need to tilt my sewing machine forward for a better look at what I'm doing, I put two of the wedge type door stops on the two back corners to lift the machine up and keep it stable. The wedges act as ramps and make it easy to adjust the machine's height.
From Chris B:
- Put a 1" thick book under the back side of the sewing machine to tilt it a bit so it's not so hard on the neck and shoulders. It makes the work easier to see as well.
- A 6" ruler taped to the front area of the sewing machine is VERY handy.
- Cabinet liner that is spongy, cut to the shape of the sewing machine foot, keeps that foot from sliding away.