Don’t we all dread when that message pops up on the dashboard? But, just as with our cars, maintenance is an important task to keep our precious machines humming along.
Change your needle regularly. Once it’s making a “thump,thump, thump” noise it’s definitely time for a new one! The small expense of a new needle can prevent costly repairs down the road.
My brother once told me “A clean engine is a happy engine.” The same is true for our machines. Make it a habit to regularly clean lint out from beneath the feed dogs (on a domestic machine) and around the bobbin case. I try to do this every time I switch bobbins. Keep a cotton swab or pipe cleaner near the machine for easy lint grabbing.
Oil! Machines have lots of moving parts, and oil is a necessity to keep them running smoothly. Only use oil that is designed for sewing machines. Your user’s manual should clearly indicate where, how much, and when you should oil your specific model. For instance, my machine has small felt pads that require one drop of oil periodically, as well as a reservoir close to the needle plate. If you can’t figure out how your machine should be oiled, check with your local dealer.
If you won’t be using your machine for a while, cover it to prevent dust from collecting on and in it. You can improvise by covering your machine with a pretty dish towel (or some fabric you might have on hand), or whip up a cute cover like this free pattern from our sister magazine.