Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sewing Machine Rebellion

My sewing machine started attacking fabric last night.

I should have known that this mechanical act of rebellion was coming.  The machine had been snapping off needles all week (a record four in a twenty four hour period), but I had ignored the symptoms, telling myself that I simply had remarkably bad luck, hitting pins right and left, while buying another pack of sewing machine needles.

Then I hit yet another pin, only this one contorted into a L-shape and was slammed down into the sewing machine gears.  A tiny piece of pin poked out, and I thought about grabbing my pliers, but laziness after sewing for several hours won the day, and I went with the less than awesome decision to try to retrieve the pin without pliers and get it with my fingers.  The pin disappeared the moment I touched it, into the recesses under the sewing machine foot.

I sighed and began to deconstruct the machine.  I shook it a few times, hoping that maybe the pin would fall out.  I removed the plastic bobbin cover and then determined that I needed to remove the metal plate with the screws.  That was when I discovered that the entire machine was stuffed full of rather oily lint.

Now I know I'm supposed to clean my sewing machine.  I used to clean my kenmore several times a week.  But my Brother takes quite a bit more work to take apart (or at least it did the first time, I figured out a trick tonight, so I'll definitely be doing it more frequently) and I'd avoided it for... an embarrassing number of months.  Considering that the machine averages a minimum of three hours of sewing time each day, and as many as six hours on days like today, I had a pretty good idea that it was really, really going to need it.

After fifteen minutes of removing lint from all the crevices it had filled, I found the pin, removed it with pliers and put the machine back together.  Amazingly it worked on the first try.  And I was able to finish up all the machine sewing that I absolutely had to do before our long drive east.

Now if I could only finish machine quilting the U.S. Map quilt I made Sadie my sewing goals for the week would (pretty much) be complete!


  1. Now Cam, regular cleanings are very important with your machine as is oiling if it is required (my machine is self oiling). I wouldn't want your machine to ruin a project, as it's apt to do with the most expensive fabric in your stash. I wouldn't want you to cry.

  2. Wow, if only that had worked for my sewing machine! What model do you use?

  3. haha! At one point I had posted on my blog about my lacking of cleaning, and how much lint I took out, I sew fleece mainly, so you can imagine the huge lint pile that came out!


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