Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Zen and the Art of Sewing Machine Maintenance
When I got my new sewing machine, I was determined to keep it in the very best of shape. After spending a fair bit of money on sewing machine tune ups in the last few years, my "burning" question for the sewing machine store was around maintenance. What did I need to do to keep my lovely Janome in peak running condition? And I use my machine A LOT so I needed to treat it right.
With that said, this is what I know. You need to have some tools. Compressed air is one of those tools. Being paranoid about wrecking things, I did ask if it is okay to use this on my machine. It is okay. Just so you know there are some safety tips you need to remember. More on that later. I also have my trusting sewing machine oil with the telescoping spout. Kind of cool. I also have handy, the little screw driver thingie that came with the machine to remove the needle plate and tighten the screws when done. The little brush that comes with your machine is also important.
I was told to check out the lint accumulation and give a little drop of oil after every 8 hours of sewing machine time. I try to do this. Have a look at what I saw after removing the needle plate the other day. Big giant EWWWWWWWWWW! The first photo shows the bobbin case still in place and the next photo shows with the bobbin case removed. Look at all the fluff that gets under the bobbin case!!!!! EEEK! Trauma!
So I take my little brush and I brush as many of the clumps of fluff out of there as possible. The magical little brush acts as a fluff magnet so it does quite a good job. After getting the fluff out, I then make sure I turn the machine off before using the compressed air. I just think this is a good idea.
Safety tip: Turn off machine before using compressed air.
Using the compressed air, blow out all remaining fluff. I use it on the upper parts of the machine as well. It works like a hot darn. The can gets really cold as you use the compressed air. I find that, well, cool!
Now look at the clean machine! Wow! Snazzy! One last thing, using the sewing machine oil, place one tiny drop of oil on the centre spot under the bobbin case. Right in that little donut on the "wick." That is it, folks. These are the keys to a smooth running sewing machine! Put all your pieces back in, tighten screws and you are good to go!
And just so you know, all that fluff accumulated after quilting 2 quilts. ERG! One big, one little. Just so you know. Have a lovely evening!