Saturday, October 20, 2012

Best Practices: Before you walk away...

Most people sew in spurts:  They work on a project, finish it and store their machines until the next big project comes along.  When you set your machine aside, you can spend three seconds doing three ridiculously simple things to extend the life of your machine and prevent problems.  (I even do this when I walk away from my machine for a few hours...)

Step 1, one second:  Pad it.

First, always pad your presser foot.  Always place a small piece of fabric between your presser foot and the bed of your machine.  Doing so protects the underside of your foot from being scratched by the feed dogs.  A roughed-up foot won't glide as smoothly over the fabric and could potentially even snag it.

Step 2, one second:  Lower it.

Second, never store your machine with the presser foot raised.  Doing so compacts the spring that holds the presser foot down when you sew.  Over time, the spring may lose some of its resilience, affecting the amount of pressure it can apply to your fabric layers for seaming.  

Step 3, one second:  Needle down.

Finally, store your machine with your needle in the down position.  The needle is the most vulnerable piece that protrudes from your machine.  Storing (and transporting) with the needle in the down position protects it from breaks or small bends that could affect your machine's timing or even damage something more expensive in the bobbin mechanism.  

Simple, right?!

What's the best little sewing tip someone ever gave you?