Things your sewing machine will thank you for

Things your sewing machine will thank you for

Your sewing machine takes a lot of abuse (including the verbal kind!) but there are a few simple things that will improve the relationship! Let me know which of these you're guilty of.

Don't pull your thread against the thread path

Yes, I do this too. I've finished with whatever thread and I yank it out of the machine along with the spool, roll it up (okay, in fairness, sometimes I don't even roll it up!), and thread the next colour.

Here's what happens when you do that - little itty bitty pieces of lint from your thread get caught on the other side of the tension discs and when you rethread your machine you distribute those itty bitty pieces through the mechanics that are hidden behind the machine casing along the thread path.

So, snip the thread at the top of the thread path and pull the short piece through just above the needle (pulling it all through the needle risks bending it).

Bobbin action

Bobbins come in different sizes, but sometimes an L-bobbin isn't quite an L-bobbin. And an M-bobbin ain't gonna fit anyway. But L-bobbins are what the machines normally use, but in that L-bobbin range, you get slightly taller ones and slightly shorter ones. You also get metal or plastic. I know, right? As if we're not already confused by all the thingamajigs you get in sewing. So, check your machine's manual and your dealer should have the right bobbins for your machine. Mine have a little J on the shaft, so I know those are the ones that are good to go.

The handwheel loves you

That's why it wants to turn towards you when you're sitting in front of the machine. Unless you have something stuck in the bobbin, or you have terrible nasty nest creation happening (probably because the bobbin isn't quite the right one, amongst other causes!). Then you can move it slightly to help you get the mess loose, but in general, always turn towards you. This also applies when you want to raise the needle.

Thread tails

When you start sewing, hold onto the top and bobbin thread to avoid the thread getting tangled in the bobbin area, and flexing the needle. Needle flex is accounted for in the manufacturing of your needle (some more than others, read my post about needles for all the in's and out's about this necessary tool) but a bent needle is going to cause all kinds of drama best left for Broadway.


Talking about needles, change them regularly. They are much cheaper to replace than fixing the damage a blunt and bent needle can cause your machine. You will also see it in the quality of your stitches.

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