Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to oil your Sewing Machine

Hi, welcome to my blog! As someone who loves to sew, craft, paint, basically do anything creative, I decided to create a way for me to share my projects, as well as a few helpful hints, with people who love the same things I do!

To start I thought I would begin by going over the very basics of keeping your sewing machine in tip top shape. After all, the better your machine is running, the more amazing things you can sew on it! In this post I am going to show you how to take apart, oil and clean the bobbin case, shuttle hook, and race assembly (trust me, its not as intimidating as it seems!)

Most machines come with a container of oil. If you don't have one, or lost it, you can purchase them at any place that sells sewing machines. Begin by opening the door to your bobbin case. I have a picture of what it looks like on my Bernina, they are all pretty similar. You will also notice I have the foot place removed on my machine as well. This really helps you see what is going on in there. And also allows you the opportunity to clean out all that LINT!!! :)

Next you want to remove the bobbin and bobbin case.

Now come the tricky part, undoing the clasp that holds your shuttle assembly in place. Mine happens to be a little clip on the left hand side of my shuttle assembly, your may look different. It may be two black plastic clips that swivel in to lock everything in place. Your manual will show you how to unlock this part of your machine. When you have unlocked the shuttle assembly, it will drop open as pictured below.

Next, take out the shuttle hook... It is the metal piece that looks like a half moon and is on the right hand side of the shuttle assembly. It is not snapped or hooked in, so it will pretty much fall out when you touch it. DON'T WORRY, you did not just break your machine! I promise!

Now its time to clean and oil. First use the tiny lint brush that came with your machine to brush out any lint. NEVER and I mean NEVER BLOW THE LINT AWAY!!! This will push all of that lint into the inner workings of your sewing machine, which is a bad bad thing. If you must be super diligent in cleaning your machine, use a vacuum.

I oil my machine in three places, the back of the race, the back of the shuttle hook and once after I put everything back together. The race is the black plastic circle you can see that is folded down on my machine. Yours may be metal. I run a tiny bit of oil with a q-tip along the back of the race. Then I oil the back of the shuttle hook. Hold the bar the bobbin sits on and turn the shuttle hook so you can see the back. There will be a flat part along the outside, I put a little oil there as well. In the picture below you can see the flat rim on the outer edge of the circular part of the shuttle hook facing up (the shuttle hook is upside-down in this pic)

Now, put everything back together! First place the shuttle hook back in the assembly. It will not snap it, simply place it back in the machine. If you look closely there will be half of a circle in your machine, complete the circle with the shuttle hook. It is easiest to put it in while holding the post the bobbin goes in.

Snap the race (black plastic circle) make sure you hear it click or the tabs snap so you know it is secure. To check and make sure everything is in place, turn the hand wheel a few times. Finally the last place you can oil is in the re-assembled shuttle assembly. Turn the hand wheel until your shuttle assembly looks like this...

If you look closely, the shuttle assembly looks like there is a funnel, or the bottom of a hear shape at the bottom of the circle that is the shuttle assembly. Place one drop of oil in this "funnel" and turn the hand wheel a few times to distribute the oil.

Replace your threaded bobbin, and your foot plate if you removed it too, and you're ready to sew! I know it seems like a lot, but I try and oil my machine every time I change my bobbin. I don't go to all the trouble to take the foot plate off and de-lint every time, but I will usually do that before starting a new project.

You will really be surprised by how much quieter your machine is after you've finished. And after a few times it only takes a few minutes to complete the whole oiling and bobbin changing, (I promise, you will become a speed oil-er!) and is totally worth it in the stitch quality, and quietness of your machine.

I hope this posting has helped in showing you how to clean and oil your machine with confidence!

Happy sewing.


1 comment:

  1. Happy blogging Janice! I have a project for you if I can find the website ~ we got an awesome burpcloth for E and if you can replicate, I'd love to order several!!! :) xo!