5 sewing machine repair tips

After (prematurely) declaring my sewing machine revival a success, yesterday I had to do another sewing machine surgery session. Things I’ve learned:

1. Work step by step.

Even though I’ve opened, cleaned and oiled my sewing machine before, this time I unscrewed all the pieces, cleaned and oiled them and put them back. This is wonderful if you’re a mechanical and you know what you’re doing. If you’re just a daring newb, you’d better take it section by section. This way you have more chances to remember which is which and what goes where.

2. Find your sewing machine manual

Theoretically your sewing machine should have a nice little book that talks all about reducing or increasing tension in the presser foot, raising and lowering feed dogs and generally tell you which part goes where in case you forget what that little piece of metal did or where it came from.

3. Play detective

If you’re like me and can’t get a sewing machine manual anywhere, use this as the one and only reason you can’t fix things right away. Feel like a martyr, arm yourself with patience and start playing detective with you sewing machine. Observe, try, screw, unscrew. Repeat as necessary.

4. Read stuff

Reading about sewing machine repair helps because you get to understand what you’re doing. And that’s crucial. I suggest starting with the problem (I found this great sewing machine troubleshooting guide), then search for ways to fix it. Then read about the section of the sewing machine involved.

5.Keep calm and carry on

After despairing over not being able to raise the feed dogs (I swear, there are no levers, no screw, no nothing) I decide to hack it to raise the feed dogs a bit. It worked and I’ve sewn myself two new scrunchies and a head scarf to celebrate and prove myself I fixed it. Buuut… it’s not the real thing. So I let it rest for a while and will go reading more about feed dogs and sewing machine repair. Or make friends with a mechanic:)

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