Tips & Advice
What causes stitches to be uneven in length?
The most frequent cause of uneven stitching is old or poor thread quality. It is important to check that the bobbin thread is properly threaded into the bobbin case–another common cause of uneven stitching. Also, check your needle. If these fixes do not address the problem, you might need to have it professionally diagnosed.
How often should a sewing machine be tuned?
There is not a consensus on how often machines need to be tuned or serviced, mostly because of varying opinions and different machine types and usage factors. However, if your machine has been stored for a length of time, a service can clean out dust, dirt, and random elements that might settle in. Moderate- or heavy-use machines can often be self-maintained by oiling as needed and providing basic TLC. This might require some disassembling on your part. If your machine is struggling and you are not handy in the DIY world, take it to a professional.
What is the best type of thread to use?
Different situations require different thread density.
The best type of thread to use depends on what you are sewing and its purpose. For smaller or lightweight projects with thinner fabric, use a lighter thread. For heavier fabrics, or for heavy-duty stitching (shoes, gloves), you will need a heavy-duty thread.
Bobbin thread is a lightweight thread often used for embroidering things. The lightweight design allows the back of the embroidery to be less dense than the front, which can be helpful when embroidering lightweight fabrics. It prevents dense embroidery from becoming more dense and rigid than the fabric, and allows for more pliability than regular thread.
Sewing machines generally fall into two categories: domestic and commercial.
There are four basic types of residential machines:
Industrial machines also fall into four primary categories:
- manual (most common and most basic)
- electric (has an electric motor)
- computerized (advanced system with many features including stitch memory)
- overlocking (even more advanced, for edging hemming and seaming industries)
- flatbed (similar to domestic machines; primarily used for sewing flat fabric pieces together)
- cylinder bed (opposite of flat bed; ideal for sewing cylindrical fabric pieces together, like cuffs and sleeves)
- post bed (ideal for heavier duty use such as emblem stitching, glove and boot making)
- and off-the-arm model (least common, used for seaming sleeves and shoulders).
How often should a sewing machine be oiled?
How often you should oil your machine depends on the frequency of use. Obviously more use requires more oiling. For minimal weekly use (once or twice), monthly oiling should be sufficient. If you only use it a couple of times a month, oiling every two to three months should be adequate. Heavier use requires more frequent oiling, so adjust your maintenance accordingly. If you notice decreased performance, check the oil. Your owner’s manual can provide specifics on your machine.
What causes a sewing machine thread break?
There are several issues that can cause thread breakage. Upper thread tension being set too high, and bobbin thread tension and/or thread content being too high are likely causes. You might also have old, substandard, or faulty thread. Going too fast and using the wrong thread are other frequent causes of thread breakage. If none of those are the culprit, you could have a malfunctioning machine.