Sewing Machine "First Aid"...

You're in the middle of a big project and your sewing machine starts giving you trouble; AACK! What to do? Below are a few things to try that will help, and might just save you a trip to the shop; Check them out!

01

Change the needle...

The very first thing you should try! There are needles available that are customized for each different kind of fabric. Sewing 15 denier tricot? use a Stretch needle. Sewing denim? Jeans needle. Leather/Vinyl? Upholstry? Knit? They have a needle for that! Even sewing plain old cotton with a universal needle will go much better if the needle is brand new. Try it!

02

Change the needle Correctly...



There is a very specific way that all needles go into their machines. Make absolutely sure that the needle has been manufactured in the correct system for the machine, that the flat of the needle is facing the right direction and that it is inserted all the way into the needle bar until it hits the stop. An incredible number of machines come in with these simple problems!

03

Pay attention to threading...

 

All Machines thread a little differently- and yet all machines thread basically the same. Make sure to thread in this order from the spool: Thread Guide, Tension, Check Spring, Takeup Lever, Thread Guide, Needle. If one of these critical parts is missed or threaded out of order... No way, Hosea! That machine won't sew!

04

Pay attention to thread...

Be sure to use the same thread in the bobbin as the spool. Use new thread if possible, and in exotic fabrics, use a thread with properties that are similar to the fabric being sewn. If you are having trouble with your stitch, switch to the higest quality name brand thread available; you get what you pay for here! If at all possible for nomal sewing, stay away from crazy types like Monofilimant, Metallic, Glitter, Open Braid, Elastic, etc. These will all tend to give your sewing machine the fits!  It is normal to need a machine "tweaked" specifically to sew these threads, and some machines will simply never work properly with them.

05

Bobbins...

 

Use good quality bobbins and be sure that they are the right type for the machine. There are subtle differences in bobbins, and if their dimensions don't match those of the ones that came with the machine, they'll cause trouble. Always make sure that the thread is properly under the bobbin case tension spring, and check to see that said spring is clean underneath: Lint and debris love to hide under there and they'll cause the stitch to be terrible! Did you know that there is a proper direction for the bobbin to unwind in the case? Look it up in your manual and it will often help to improve the stitch.

Copyright 2012, Just Sew.