Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A to Z 2012 - O

Join me as I blog my way through April - A to Z!
This month, you'll learn about those funny little
sewing terms...as defined by Seams Inspired.

Today, I'm #1108 in the Challenge.
To meet the others, click the badge above or follow this link:  A to Z 2012


There is one step in sewing that I used to skip over...until my machine went Clunk! Thwack! Fizzle! What in the world could have happened? Thread lint build up from the spool of thread passing through all the guides, bits of fabric lint fuzzies taking up residence in the bobbin well, and just some general dust caused the seized up machine moment. It could have all been prevented with a little cleaning and Oiling.

Oiling is a very necessary step in sewing success. It ensures the machine will run easily, as well as prevent friction between all the touching parts. Which parts should you oil? All machines are different, so check the manual for your machine.  'Oil points' are usually shown in a diagram in the manual. Only a drop or two of oil should be used, as an over-abundance of oil will just end up spilling down the shaft of the machine. You'll find it when you begin to sew, because it will show up as stains on your fabric. 

Regular maintenance of dusting and oiling your sewing machine will produce better stitches. When should you oil your machine? Most manufacturers suggest machines should be cleaned and oiled after every sewing session. While I'm by no means an expert, I will tell you that I am a lazy oiler. If I've only sewn for a few minutes, or less than two or three hours, I do not oil my machine. When I've spent an entire day on a sewing project, I will dust and oil my machines as I clean up my workspace. 

Seams Inspired's Oil Tips...

  • ALWAYS dust before you oil. You'll end up with a gunky mess otherwise. 
  • Get the loose fuzzies off the machine with a stiff brush. After this step, if you have access to an air compressor, blow the stubborn dust out of the machine. A can of compressed air will also work for this step. ONLY try this if you are confident you can take apart your machine and put it back together. If not, leave it to the Sewing Maintenance person.
  • FIND a Sewing Maintenance Person and take your machine to be professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you purchased your machine from a dealer, take it to that particular shop. It is worth the $$$ to maintain your machine. Think of it as an investment in your sewing success.

Have you ever oiled a sewing machine?

Happy Tuesday!

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