I know, there are billions of series in blogland, and you probably feel like it's the last thing you need, but you do. I promise. And I thought about what I wanted to call it and came up with Technique Tuesday, but that sounded awfully boring and dry. Then I wondered about Method Monday or Strategy Saturday, which sounded equally dull. So I came up with Friday Feat, then changed it to Feet, in reference to presser feet, but it also reminds me of shoes, and everyone loves shoes. Was that too much information about the way I think? I have all these different hints and tips that I want to share, but not necessarily an entire tutorial for a whole garment. Like what fun things your presser feet can do or fancy things you can do with different needles. I'm excited just typing it! I guess that officially makes me a sewing geek. Ah, well.
So, today I'm going to show you how to clean and oil the bobbin area of your sewing machine. Not all sewing machines are going to look like mine, but it will give you a basic idea of what you can do to keep your sewing machine purring. You can also check with your owner's manual about your specific machine and where yours needs oil. In general, don't mess with the upper portion of your sewing machine. Leave that to the professionals.
Start by removing the bobbin case. I'll admit I don't clean mine out as frequently as I should, but I do oil mine on a regular basis.There's a hinged frame that will pop down by pressing on the side clip. Look at all that lint! It gets worse.
The spindle/hook that the bobbin goes into comes out. This general doesn't have lint on it.
Next remove the throat plate, the metal plate with the seam allowance markings. Some just pop of by pressing one of the corners on top, this one has two small screws that need to be taken out first.
Push the plate up from inside the bobbin area.
Whoa! Look at the filth! Now I was taught NEVER BLOW THE LINT. Since there is oil used to keep everything running smoothly, the lint might just stick other places that you can't reach. Instead, use the small brush that comes with your machine to clean it out. A stiff, clean paint brush would work just as well.
Most machines also come with a small tube of oil, if yours didn't you can buy some anywhere sewing machine accessories are sold, it doesn't matter the brand. Place a drop of oil on the outer rim of the bobbin spindle/hook, rotate it and let the oil run along the outer circumference. If one drop isn't sufficient, add another one, but you don't want it dripping down the sides, just the edge!
Now I've heard stories of people who clean their house before their housekeeper comes. I will admit I cleaned this out before I took it in to be professionally oiled and cleaned (mainly the upper parts). I thought the tech would be so impressed. I just picked it up today and the report goes that while he was in the back of the store working on it, they kept hearing "Oh, my goodness......OH MY GOODNESS!" as he pulled a couple dozen pins out of the arm of the machine, some wrapped around the different mechanisms. Well, I did what any seamstress would do and blamed it on little hands in my house, sticking pins down inviting holes. They better thank their lucky stars the machine was still working!
After cleaning out many projects worth of lint, put everything back together in the reverse order. It should go back together just as easily as you took it apart.
If you're unsure about how to oil and clean your particular machine, take it to a sewing machine dealership and ask them to show you, or check your user's manual. Now you have the weekend to try today's Footie Friday tip and let me know how it goes Monday! I won't have these every Friday because this isn't my full time job, as I already have 6 of those, but I have some neat things to share. If you have suggestions, let me know!
ps my dad just let me know that everything in their etsy shop is 20% off (including stars!!!) with coupon code PATRIOT until July 4th.