Tips & Advice
What is the thread cutter?
A thread cutter is a small blade attached to the sewing machine that cuts thread. Some machines have an automatic thread cutter option/function, or you can buy aftermarket stick-on thread cutters, which attach to the machine with an adhesive backing.
What is the balance wheel?
Located on the end of the sewing machine, the balance wheel can be manually turned to advance the machine and thread. When turning the balance wheel, only move it l in the advance direction, never in the opposite direction, which can cause damage.
The needle bar is a rod used to hold the needle or needles on the sewing machine. It can be adjusted up or down and is designed to give motion to the needle.
What is the thread guide?
A thread guide is a wire device used to get the thread to the spindle. The thread guide keeps the thread tension constant during the sewing process. Correct tension is essential to any sewing project, so be attentive to the settings.
A spool pin is used to hold a spool of thread in place while sewing, allowing the spool to spin freely and distribute thread. While it provides support, it does not provide any tension to the thread itself. It is designed to prevent the thread from being pulled off the machine by the force of the tension mechanisms.
The bobbin is a spool, cylinder, or cone that is used to spool thread on a sewing machine. The thread that is spooled on the bobbin is called--you guessed it - the bobbin thread.
How much does it cost to maintain a sewing machine?
The cost to maintain a sewing machine is usually quite reasonable. Keeping it oiled is inexpensive and you can DIY for a few dollars. Replacing the bobbin and needle is also standard maintenance--another inexpensive DIY opportunity. If DIY isn’t your thing, you can have your machine professionally serviced and maintained for as little as $50. Do a little research in your areas to find deals.
What is the average lifespan of a sewing machine?
There is no standard life expectancy for a sewing machine, only factors that influence it. Heavy use and proper maintenance can obviously affect the life expectancy. Quality of the machines’ parts and construction is another factor. Many contemporary models are lighter plastic, versus the heavy-duty metal models of the past. Plastic is cheaper to make, but does not have the longevity or durability of metal. With proper maintenance a machine should last 10 years or more.
How often should a sewing machine be serviced?
Servicing frequency depends on how you’re using the sewing machine, and how often.. Moderate or heavy-use machines can often be self-maintained by oiling as needed and providing basic TLC. Heavy-use machines can require more frequent servicing, but likely not more than a couple times a year, or in the event of obvious problems. If your machine has been stored away for a long time, a service can clean out dust and dirt as well as random elements that can settle in and create problems. 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 are the most commonly replaced sewing machine parts?
The most commonly replaced parts on most sewing machines are the bobbin and the needle. As the focus of the sewing process, needles are the quickest part to wear out. Luckily, they are usually the cheapest as well, so keep a supply of extras handy.