My longtime friend and fellow sewer, Lisa, e-mailed me recently with a question. Lisa wrote, “I’m wondering with all the sewing you do, do you do your own sewing machine tune-ups? Or is there a good deal around town?”
I do my own now but I’m not allowed to disassemble items that have moving parts. It seems that after taking apart an old dial telephone I found in our garage to clean and not being able to put it back together (yikes!), I lost my privileges. A similar situation happened when I took apart my “new to me” Kitchen Aid Mixer to clean. It had to be taken to a repair shop (double yikes!). I swear there were only a few extra pieces left over when I exclaimed, “Finished!”
For several years, I automatically took my machine into the shop when it started acting up – skipping stitches or making funny noises. Then, I got tired of the expense and picked up a book from the library on servicing sewing machines. It was a bit dry reading (trust me on this!) but inspired me to oil my machine regularly and make small adjustments on my own.
Oiling my machine (with sewing machine oil – don’t use just any old oil on it) has made the biggest difference in keeping my machine running properly. The manual that came with the machine shows the spots to lubricate. Word of caution – don’t let it spill on your table or on fabric you’re about to sew. Please learn from my mishaps!!
Sewing Machine Tune-Up
Here are few books to check out: My daughter liked this one and it’s simple, easy reading.
This is another book to check out but the local library system has several books by William Ewers (Amazon doesn’t have them) about sewing machine repair. They’re worth checking out (literally, from the library) to see what his professional advice is.
Montavilla Sewing is the local spot to take your machine and the only place I take mine to have it serviced. They also work on my serger machine, too. They usually give a discount if you ask and the local, neighborhood newspaper (Southeast Examiner) sometimes has coupons. Montavilla Sewing also sends out a mailer that lists their classes and any good sales they have on thread or sewing machine attachments.
Montavilla Sewing replaced the motor on my grandmother’s old sewing machine that my kids sew on (although good luck trying to get my 15-year-old son to admit he’s ever sewn on that machine!). It’s a great old machine from the 1960’s and runs like a tank but had sat unused for many years.
Want to see how a sewing machine works? Check here on Answers.com for a history of sewing machines and the different components that make them work.
Have you taken something apart to “fix” it and been sorry? Do you lubricate things regularly?
Go Gingham related links:
All the sewing projects I’ve done can be found here
Easy steps to remove pesky tags from clothing
Want to learn to sew? Start here with easy cloth napkins
How to take apart a skirt – use your seam ripper on this project!
Mitered cloth napkins made from an old skirt
Sew your own homemade lunch sack
How to sew a Harry Potter cape complete with wand pocket