The importance of sewing machine oil

Sewing machine oil

I once bought a new sewing machine. It lasted about about year. The reason: I did not take heed to the instructions of using sewing machine oil to oil the sewing machine. I just thought that it would go on and on like my sewing machine which had the pedal blow up.

The sewing machine has gears which needs a regular maintenance. It’s important to clean it and oil it with a special sewing machine oil which can be bought from a sewing machine store or a fabric store. Sometimes a big store like Wal-Mart will also stock sewing machine oil.

If you neglect to use the sewing machine oil, your sewing machine will very quickly stop working. The gears will get stuck, the knob will stop turning and you risk total engine failure. Just like with a car.

How do you oil the sewing machine? There are special holes in the sewing machine where the sewing machine oil needs to be inserted. Sometimes, you will have to open a part of the sewing machine to insert the oil in additional places. It is important to follow your sewing machine instruction manual to know where to insert the sewing machine oil.

And the last part: no you cannot use any oil you buy in the supermarket. You need special sewing machine oil. Not canola!

When the sewing machine pedal isn’t working

The sewing machine pedal isn’t working – What to do

I once had a sewing machine that was used a lot. It was a beautiful machine. But the sewing machine pedal wasn’t working as it should. I should have seen trouble coming, but as it was, I pushed to finish my sewing projects. I was sewing breastfeeding pillows for a mother and baby clinic.

What I should have realized is that the sewing machine pedal was about to stop working all together. I was sewing away, suddenly there was a flash and the sewing machine pedal blew up!

So when your sewing machine pedal isn’t working as it should, there could be several reasons for this. The sewing machine pedal could be about to complete the end of it’s life span. In other words, it may blow up or it may stop working. A condenser inside the pedal could be blown. There are lots of things that can go wrong. But what do you do when the sewing machine pedal isn’t working anymore?

Several things can be done. The first is to trouble shoot the sewing machine pedal not working. Check if it’s plugged into the wall. Check if it’s thoroughly plugged into the sewing machine. It may be that it just needs a bit of a wiggle for it to make a connection. If this is the case, the plug point probably needs a little bit of cleaning.

If none of those things work and the sewing machine pedal has in fact stopped working and isn’t going to be working again, you can cut the cable off of the pedal. Take the pedal and cable to a sewing machine shop where they sell pedals. The shop owner will match the plug with another pedal and can connect the wires so that you will have a working pedal again.

If they can’t find a replacement pedal, you can always buy a brand new one. But ideally, when your sewing machine pedal isn’t working anymore, the first thing to do is to see if you can’t fix the problem yourself.

Sewing Machine Basic Stitch Settings

The basic stitch settings on a sewing machine can be tricky to get right. There are several zigzag settings and several straight settings, but these stitches don’t all do the same thing. It is important to know what you’re doing when you are just starting out with sewing and you are struggling to understand the different basic stitch settings on the sewing machine.

I’m hoping to help you by taking a look at the sewing machine stitch settings and seeing if you can understand them after I’ve explained it. So without much more pomp, let me get straight to what you are here to read.

Lets’s start with the different sides of the sewing machine stitch settings panel. There is a right hand side and a left hand side. On the left is your different stitches and on the right is the stitch length. Let’s look at the left hand side again.

The first stitch (A) is a straight stitch. To reverse this stitch, you need to press the reverse knob on the sewing machine usually located towards the bottom part of the machine or on the side. The reverse works the same for all other stitches.

The next stitch (b) is a basting stitch. This stitch is used for gathering or basting and usually has to be at it’s maximum size to work.

Stitch (c) is a zigzag stitch. This is used to applique or work an edge around the hem to stop it from fraying. Depending on the size of the stitch you may need a pressure foot with a wider hole than the standard pressure foot.

Stitch (d) is a stretch stitch. This is used on knit fabrics so that the fabric can still stretch after stitching has been done. It goes along the stretch of the fabric enabling the fabric to stretch. You would sometimes use a stretchy type of thread for this.

Stitch (e) is called a blind hem stitch. It is used when you don’t want much of the hem stitch visible and is useful for that purpose.

Stitch (f) is a shell stitch which is often used for sewing delicate fabrics and the hems on them.

Stitch (g) is an overcast stitch. It is used for keeping hems neat and tidy. Especially when you struggle with straight stitching! You need a special overcast pressure foot to use this stitch.

Stitch (h) is used for making scalloped hems and is called a scallop stitch. It is a difficult technique to master and I would not try this for a first time sewer.

Stitch (i) is a satin stitch and is used for decorative purposes on satin fabric. It’s a tight type of zigzag stitch to make it look pretty.

On the far left size there are three blue images. These are for the button holes. Turing the wheel (on my machine) or changing the dial on another sewing machine (or a button) would enable the sewing machine to stitch these basic stitches.

On the right hand side you get the different stitch lengths. Depending on what you want to sew, you would have to adjust your stitch length to the correct size. Usually for sewing straight hems and seams, a setting of 2 would work well. For gathering, a setting of 4 or 5 is required. For button holes, you would need to do a small stitch. It really depends on the exact project that you want to make.

I’m hoping this article is helping in making sense of the different stitches that are available. There are tons of research and articles out there on sewing machine basic stitch settings. As usual, happy sewing!

Sewing Machine Settings

Sewing machine settings can be confusing to the new sewer. If you have never worked a sewing machine but want to start, the settings could be confusing. You could Google around for the different “sewing machine settings” or you could just read further.

Most sewing machines have the same type of settings, right across the world. If you can use one sewing machine, it should not be too hard to figure out the next sewing machine. That is, except for really old fashioned machines that they initially used by hand before feet were developed for them.

So without much further ado, let me assist you in the different sewing machine settings you get, and how to use them. The basic thing to remember is that there will be some sort of nob or wheel or button to press to change the different stitch settings on a sewing machine.

The different stitches you will find on the sewing machine will include plain straight stitching, a zigzag setting and settings to sew button holes and zippers etc.

If you look at the settings window, there is one place ( on the left) to change the stitch type and another place (on the right) to change the size of the setting. Usually to sew something, you would use about a setting of “2” for the straight stitch. But that is a different page and different article.

The different stitches are simple to change. Simply select the stitch that you want to use and set button or wheel or shift to that stitch. Do the same with the size of the stitch and there we go. The sewing machine settings are complete.

If you are wondering about the different stitch settings, you could look at them here in this article about the sewing machine basic stitch settings.

Which sewing machine?

Which sewing machine should I buy?

Starting out with your basic sewing supplies and wondering about which sewing machine to buy can be daunting. There are so many items to choose from. From the very basic sewing basket items to the basic sewing machine. It can all be confusing, especially if you’re just starting out with your sewing hobby.

So when you’re wondering which sewing machine you should buy, there are several things to remember. Different types of machines do different things, and not all of them are sewing machines to be frank. You get different types of machines which I will describe briefly here.

Industrial Sewing machine: An industrial sewing machine is made for heavy duty sewing and has a few basic stitches. Not enough to get by if you don’t also have a serger.

A home sewing machine: A home sewing machine has a whole range of stitches that you need to do your sewing. Straight, zigzag, button holes, blind seam stitch etc. The home sewing machine can do various tasks such as applique as well.

The serger: a serger is not actually a sewing machine but works hand in hand with a sewing machine. It works off the ends of the fabric so that the fabric doesn’t fray and leaves it neat and tidy. If you’re an absolute beginner, I do not recommend using a serger. It’s far too easy to make a mistake and make a hole in your fabric as the serger also cuts the fabric.

The embroidery machine: This is a fancy machine that can do embroidery images onto a piece of cloth such as a towel or shirt. It usually works with a computerized image that is fed into it or pre set on the embroidery machine.

Well now that you know the different types of machines, I think you can figure out which sewing machine you should use. The home sewing machine is the one to get as it can have many functions you will need in your sewing endeavours. Without the stitches on the home sewing machine, it’s basically impossible to sew properly and thoroughly.

There are so many brands to choose from for home sewing machines. In another article, I have written about the different types of sewing machine brands and which ones are recommended.

Below, I have added an image of the types of stitches you will find on a basic sewing machine and which ones to look for when you buy your basic sewing machine. It will tell you which sewing machine to look for when you buy the machine.

How to sew a button hole - machine setting