Archive for the ‘Cleaning’ Category

I’ve cleaned my sewing machine a few times, mainly after doing some free motion quilting when I know all the layers of fabric and batting are causing havoc on my Bernina. But it wasn’t until Lauren of Lladybird slapped the hands of every sewist through the interwebs and shamed us into cleaning our sewing machines that I thought I would read the manual again to see what it says.

I could have sworn when I first RTM several years ago that it advised to clean and oil every now and then. Well, to my complete shock, the manual says to clean your sewing machine after every use. EVERY USE! The manual didn’t say how often to oil your machine, but it didn’t say not to do it frequently. blerg…..so I cleaned my machine this past weekend.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of how my machine looked under the plate before and after cleaning:

Under the Hood: Before & After

1. Before, 2. After

I don’t sew all that often so I was a bit surprised by the amount of lint build-up. Or perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised given that since I sew so infrequently I easily forget how long it has been between cleanings.

I also went down below, pulled out the bobbin and cleaned in the hook rack. Does anyone else have the problem where as soon as you lower the lever, the hook rack immediately falls out? I don’t think it is supposed to come out this easily and it may be the reason why my sewing machine frequently jams when I near the end of a seam.

Day 49/365

(I applied a Flickr filter to this photo, which is why it has some texture to it in case you are wondering why it looks nothing like the other photos)

Anyway, I cleaned the hook rack with a microfiber cloth and then used an air duster to ensure all the lint was gone. I put the hook rack back in place and dropped 2 drops of oil and ran the sewing machine without any thread for a couple minutes to prevent the oil from soiling any thread or fabric. The manual says to run the machine “for a short time” after oiling, but the what the hell does “a short time” mean? I suggest being on the safe side; run your machine for a couple minutes, then sew a test swatch to make sure no oil makes it way onto your fabric.

I gotta say, after all that mess my machine sounded so much better! She seemed quieter and sewed smoother. My husband still thinks it makes a sh*t ton of noise, but then I tell him “why did I buy you noise canceling headphones?!”  I definitely won’t be cleaning my sewing machine after every use (who has the time for that), but maybe after every completed project…


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