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When to Have your Sewing Machine Serviced

Posted by Kara Ballinger on

When to Have your Sewing Machine Serviced

When to have your Sewing Machine Serviced

Beginner sewists often overlook getting their sewing machine serviced. Just like taking your car in for regular oil changes, it’s important to have your machine regularly serviced by a professional technician. Knowing when it is time to take it in can be difficult and you don’t want to spend money unless it is necessary. Here are some good guidelines to help you know when the time has come.

A few thoughts before I get into the guidelines.

  • It may feel like a hassle to get your machine serviced, but I promise that it’s worth it. It can save you so many headaches! I remember when I first started sewing; I started having issues with my tension. I watched countless videos and tried EVERYTHING to fix it! It finally occurred to me to take it to a repair shop. All it needed was a good cleaning and tune up and it was good as new! I wished I had taken it in right away.
  • Getting your machine serviced is a bit of an investment. It can cost $70 and up for basic service. There are additional charges if parts need to be ordered and repaired. Many times though they only need adjustments and cleaning.
  • Locating and getting your machine back can take time. There aren’t many professional sewing machine repairmen around anymore. Which means that they are often backed up. It can take 1 week to 1 month to get your machine back after a service. Keep that in mind when considering the right time to take your machine in.

 If your machine has been in storage or was bought second hand.

More and more people are starting or returning to sewing, which means digging the machines out of closets and attics or buying a perfectly good machine second hand. If your machine has been sitting in a closet somewhere, or you are not sure its history, it’s a good rule of thumb to get it serviced before you begin using it.

I should make note that you can clean and oil it yourself first and then decide whether it still needs serviced. Once you have it cleaned, sew some practice stitches and use the below as your checklist to verify it is in good working shape.

If one or more of the following things are happening:

  1. Your thread keeps snapping.
  2. You keep breaking needles.
  3. The thread is pulling harder and is tight.
  4. Your machine starts to sound different and/or is making loud and inconsistent sounds. (Yes, they sometimes growl at you)
  5. Your machine isn’t stitching properly.

These things can be good indicators that something is going on with your machine that you likely won’t be able to fix yourself. But before you rush off to the repair shop, try these things first:

  • Rethread your machine. Completely unthread your machine and remove the bobbin. If you have a spare bobbin, wind it and try that one instead of the one you were using. Then completely rethread your thread and bobbin.
  • Change your needle. Sometimes this simple fix can make all the difference!
  • Clean your machine. You can do basic cleaning and maintenance on your own. For my instructions on how to clean your machine, click here.

If you try all three of those things and you’re still having trouble, it’s time to pay a visit to the repair shop.

Let me encourage you that getting your machine serviced regularly is totally worth it. It will make sewing easier, less stressful, and allow you to enjoy time behind your machine.

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