Sewing Machine Maintenance

We’ve heard the old saying cleanliness is next to godliness.  Whether you think that saying holds any truth, it definitely could be rewritten in our community as:

Sewing Machine cleanliness is next to impossible!

Maybe I exaggerate.  But it certainly is an endless task!  On a regular basis, we need to take a minute to clear out the lint in our sewing machines if we want them to function well.  They get all sorts of bits of thread and lint in the bobbin case and under the throat plate that really do get in the way of smooth sewing.  If we are in this sewing gig for the long haul and we want our sewing machine to be in it with us, we need to show it some love on a regular basis.  Plano member Marie B has an older mechanical sewing machine and says she opens it up to clean and oil it after each sewing project is completed which has help it keep sewing for over 35 years.  

But do we need to do more?

According to the website www.sewingmastery.com, our sewing machines should be serviced once a year.  

“There are many moving parts in a sewing machine. If it moves, it needs lubrication. These days many of the moving parts are housed with computer circuit boards and wires around them. Sewing machine technicians are specially trained to maintain and service computerized sewing machines. As a sewing machine is used, eventually the lubrication dries out. Once it has dried out, moving parts don’t work so well. The wellbeing of the sewing machine starts to wear out faster than if it was maintained on a regular basis.”

Plano member Sandy G reminds us that in addition to cleaning and oiling the sewing machines, maintenance includes many technical adjustments.

“When a machine is serviced, a tech makes many adjustments that we don’t think about.  They make sure the needle comes down in the middle of our stitch plate, they adjust the balance of decorative stitches and the height of our feed dogs to name a few.”

I HATE taking my sewing machine in for maintenance!!  It takes FOREVER (or it seems that way) and while it is being serviced, I CAN’T USE IT!  Sure, I am fortunate enough to have another machine, but I have my favorite and it is my workhorse.  But in spite of all these feelings, just last month I took my Viking Sapphire 930 in for its annual visit…. almost 6 months behind schedule, but at least I finally gave in.  Why did I give in and take in a sewing machine that is still operating quite well and go through this absence? No, it isn’t because absence makes the heart grow fonder…..  

I do it because I want my workhorse to be my workhorse for years to come.

Many of us go in for an annual physical to make sure our bodies are doing well, that no health problems are brewing under the surface just waiting to emerge.  We go in to catch things before they require extensive measures or to confirm we are still healthy and can proceed as is. Our sewing machines need this same sort of attention for the same sort of reasons.  In the same article written by Sewing Mastery, they echo this idea:

“A yearly service will allow any heavily worn areas to be caught before they cause worse problems down the road. For example, if a shaft or bearing is not properly aligned, the excess wear will eventually cause other areas of the machine to be prematurely worn out.” 

“Most machines do not need major replacement of parts when preventative maintenance is scheduled.”

If you are in our area, you have several locations available to you and your machine to get in for an annual physical.  Here are several:

  • Sew Dallas
    • 605 18th St, Plano, TX
  • Plano Sewing Center
    • 2070 W Spring Creek Pkwy #326, Plano, TX 
  • Viking Sewing Gallery
    • Inside some JoAnn’s
  • Rocking Bobbin
    • 9090 Skillman St #166-A, Dallas, TX
  • Randy Cole with ABC Sews does in-home service
    • 817-223-2551
  • Sewing World of Grapevine
    • 1111W. Northwest Hwy, Grapevine, TX

Plano member Markita HG says she uses her birthday as the reminder of when that yearly time rolls around.  Do you have a trigger to remind you? How long has it been since you have taken your sewing machine in for an annual physical?  Is it time? Past time? If yes, why not stop by one of the locations in this article and get that check up done. You and your machine will be so glad you did!


Article by Sheryl Belson

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