As with all machines, sewing machines work best with some basic maintenance, done regularly. The emphasis is on the words ‘basic’ and ‘done regularly’. Most machines today are designed to perform well for years together without any major problems. More often than not, if you encounter any problems, it will be because you have the wrong setting on your sewing machine or because you may have done something wrongly or just plain forgotten to do something. The chances of there being any mechanical problem with the machine are slim to none.
Don’t Ever Tinker With the Mechanism of Your Sewing Machine
I say this from experience – no matter how much of a DIY guru you or your spouse may be, do not ever open out your sewing machine to try and trouble shoot its inside workings. That’s unless you are fully qualified to tinker with it. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see the inside of a sewing machine, you’d be amazed. It’s a very intricate, complex maze in there! When my sewing machine was skipping stitches, I made the mistake of complaining to my all-knowing, Mr. Technical husband who insisted fixing it would be a snap! Well, many snaps later, my pride and joy lay in a huge tangled mess and when I took it to a sewing machine repair shop to try and fix it, they advised me to scrap it and buy a new one!
In hindsight, if only I had thought of referring to my manual for some help with troubleshooting this very minor problem! Well, at they say – live and learn, which brings me to my very first tip for preventing sewing machine problems:
Read the Instruction Booklet
Every sewing machine comes with a detailed instruction booklet that is relevant to that particular model. Even before you start sewing, make it a point to read this instruction book from cover to cover. These booklets are full of helpful advice and tips on how to use your particular machine properly so you can enjoy many years of good service.
Clean Your Machine Properly & Regularly
Dust, thread residue and lint buildup can play havoc with your sewing machine and hinder its inner workings. Don’t wait to do the cleaning up only after you have any problems. Regular cleaning can stave off problems before they occur and keep your running smoothly.
When cleaning pay special attention to the areas around the presser foot, the bobbin case and the feed dogs. Remove the bobbin case and brush or wipe off the link from the shuttle race as well as the case compartment. Remove the needle plate and using a brush, carefully reach in and clean the lint off the surface of the feed dogs.
Last but not least, oil your sewing machine where indicated in your instruction manual.
A machine that is well maintained and cared for on a regular basis will run better and prevent time consuming and expensive problems latter.
Tip for the day
If you’ve have misplaced and cannot find the instruction manual of your sewing machine, you can usually find copies of almost all models on the internet. Some sewing machine manufacturers even keep these on their website itself.