Thursday, July 3, 2008

Replacing Sewing Machine Parts for Extended Life

Sewing machines today are very well-built machines. They will usually last for years without much trouble. When trouble does arise, only a few sewing machine parts will require replacement. Case in point is the myriad of antique sewing machines that are still in use today. Although they are still capable of doing the job, replacement sewing machine parts are becoming harder to come by, especially if the original manufacturer is no longer in business. In most cases, the original manufacturer is the best source for sewing machine parts. However, there are now companies whose specialty is making sewing machine parts. A good machine will last a lifetime.

Sewing machines are a mixture of old-time form and durability with modern electronics. Most parts need only a regular schedule of maintenance. Some parts will require replacement more frequently, such as belts, needles, and light bulbs. These smaller parts are easily replaced and can be found at many sewing-oriented retailers. When you buy replacement parts, you can either buy them from the original manufacturer or buy universal parts which fit many brands of sewing machines.

Some replacement parts are not as easy to find or replace. For example, bobbins, feet attachments, and needle plates can only be found from a sewing machine shop or dealer. To ensure that the replacement parts fit your particular sewing machine, the dealer or sewing machine shop will need the specific model and part number.

Like an automobile, many sewing machines can be retrofitted with after-market parts to add to its functionality. New sewing machines usually come with basic accessories, such as a zipper foot or a pressure foot. Specialized jobs such as quilting or ruffles can be done by purchasing an add-on attachment from the dealer. When buying after-market parts, make sure that the accessories are made to fit your particular make and model of sewing machine. Typically, after-market attachments made by a manufacturer are limited to their specific brand.

If you have one of the more popular brands, such as Singer, you can find dedicated suppliers or repair shops whose sole function is to sell and service that one particular brand. They can also help you to maintain your sewing machine. Maintenance is key to a long lasting machine. You can search the internet for suppliers of parts on the famous name brand and you will be surprised at the fact that there still are people who sevice the old machines.

Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of A website that specializes in providing tips on sewing machines that you can research on the internet. Visit today!

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Sewing - From Hand Quilting, to Machine Quilting, It's Wearable Art For Everyone!

The exact origins of quilting are unknown, though it is believed that it may be traced to the Middle East as early as the Egyptian First Dynasty. Surviving examples of quilting are seen in tomb statues and manuscript illuminations of quilted armor. Scrapbooking and quilting are each two-billion-dollar industries, and patchwork and quilting are both enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity around the world, particularly in the United States and Japan. Sewing and quilting are hobbies that never go out of style.

Sewing Machines, Sergers, Quilting Machines, And Embroidery Machines

Today's sewing machines give us the ability to work on larger quilts with more intricate custom designs. Their bobbins have more than double the capacity of older sewing machines, which helps in not changing bobbins as often with other home quilting machines. Prewound bobbins are compatible with most home and industrial machines and longarm quilting machines.

There are many beginner patterns to get you started quilting, and gives you thousands of free quilt patterns to choose from. All over the internet are a few basic, popular patterns which beginners can easily master and become more comfortable with quilting. With a little searching, you will find several types of patterns that you can use to enhance your machine quilting at home.

Quilter's Curved Needles

What machine needles are you looking for, and how many? The most likely needles to come in a box of 100 are quilting needles. 'Betweens' are shorter needles, good for detailed handwork, such as fine stitching on heavy fabric, as in tailoring. John James Needles are a favorite because of their high quality. Embroidery and metallic needles are each designed for use with specific thread - embroidery floss and metallic thread respectively. You are going to want to take stock and organize your needles and put them all in one place.

Many people have lost interest in knitting because the patterns and possibilities of quilting are much more appealing. The assembling of the fabric pieces into an artistic design, the coordination of colors, and the workmanship of the construction and quilting are just part of the fun. Many have forgotten that patchwork and quilting are two different and distinct crafts and only over the last hundred or so years have merged together. New quilters, quilters with years of experience, hand quilters and or machine quilters, all produce beautiful works through this enjoyable, relaxing, and highly artistic hobby.

Kathy Hildebrand is a professional writer who is easily bored with her "day job" assignments. So, she researches anything and everything of interest and starts writing. Writing about an extremely wide variety of subjects keeps her skills sharp, and gives her food for thought on future paid writing assignments.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sewing Machines - Choosing Your First One

One of the most important tools when sewing is, of course, the sewing machine. Perhaps you?ve taken that beginner?s sewing course and are sufficiently enthused to want your own sewing machine. Perhaps you have refreshed your skills and are ready to upgrade your current machine for a new one. Now you?re wondering - - just how do I go about choosing a new machine?

The sewing machine has come a long way from the original treadle machine that not only did not run on electricity, it only stitched forward and straight! Sewing machines today will embroider, sew buttonholes automatically sized to your chosen button, finish your seams, tell you what stitch length, presser foot and thread type to use, and in general do most everything except make coffee for you.

The most basic sewing machines today are electronic - that is, they are not computerized. They will generally offer the basic stitches - - straight stitch, zig zag, buttonhole. They may even have a small number of ?specialty? stitches such as embroidered vine or leaf designs. Some other stitches will be overcast, seam finishing and imitation serger stitches. They?ll offer different needle positions - - center, left and right. Medium range sewing machines are generally computerized and will offer more stitch choices, needle positions and may even offer an automatic buttonhole choice which will make numerous buttonholes the same exact size for you (rather than you having to mark the beginning and end of each buttonhole manually). Higher end machines offer greater speed, even more stitch choices, quilting stitch options, monogramming alphabets and even a computer screen which tells you the recommended presser foot, pressure, stitch length and width. The most expensive sewing machines offer an embroidery component which gives you the ability to embroider designs from memory cards or even download designs from the Internet and change their size, shape and configuration.

When choosing from the myriad of sewing machines available today, it?s much like buying an automobile. You must do your homework. There are many sewing machines makes on the market - Husqvarna Viking, Singer, Janome, Bernina, Pfaff, and Brother. They are sold through authorized dealers who either have a stand-alone store or an arrangement with a fabric store. You should choose a dealer near you so that you can easily take the machine in for servicing if you are having a problem with it. Most dealers offer classes that are specific to the brand of machine and that teach you how to use it more effectively. They will also sell accessories for the machine. You can go on-line and read reviews of sewing machines at places like or Users on these forums will be very candid about their likes and dislikes of certain brands. The dealer you choose should be knowledgeable about the machine and should be able to service them at his or her shop. Beware of a dealer who sends the machines out for servicing!

After doing your homework and narrowing your choices down, be sure to decide on a budget before actually visiting a dealer. Do not go for the cheapest machine, especially if you are fairly new to sewing. I don?t recommend buying the most expensive one immediately, either - so many bells and whistles will confound you and discourage you! When you visit your dealer, explain your sewing level, what you plan to be sewing (pillows, garments, outdoor items, denim, leather, cotton, quilting, whatever). Your dealer will then be able to show you several machines in your general price category which will meet your sewing needs. Sit down and test drive the sewing machine. Bring samples of the fabric you expect to sew with and stitch a test seam or two. Try threading the machine to see how easy (or complicated) it is.

Ask about what types of presser feet come with the machine, what kind of warranty is offered, who does their service work, and what type of classes or lessons does the dealer offer for learning the machine. Also ask about trade-ins - if you have an old machine they may take it in trade or they may offer a trade-in program when you want to upgrade this new machine in a couple of years.

Finally, be sure you are comfortable with your dealer. I don?t recommend purchasing a sewing machine from a big box store. Yes, the prices are cheap, but you can?t get the machine serviced, they won?t teach you how to use it, and you certainly can?t call them if you are having trouble threading it!

If you choose wisely, your sewing machine can be a wonderful tool that will give you many hours of relaxation and enjoyment.

Susan Andriks, owner of the New Hampshire Academy of Sewing (, has a stable of great sewing machines: a 105 year old treadle machine, her mother?s 1940?s Pfaff, a trusty Bernina 1130, and a brand new Janome MemoryCraft 6500. She loves using each and every one of them to create beautiful clothing for herself and to teach others the art of sewing, as well.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Learn Exactly How To Repair Your Sewing Machine At Home!

My name is Tony Asef and I start my own sewing machine business 21 years ago with little knowledge of repairing sewing machine at that time. I remember very good when I was looking for someone to teach me all trick in sewing machine repair business. But unfortunately no books were around! After 21 years in this business I decide to write all my knowledge and trick in this step-by-step book to teach other people how to do their sewing machine repair at home for themselves or as a business.

As we know Sewing Machine repair is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world today. Newspapers, women?s magazines, dry-goods stores, high schools and colleges are going all out to encourage the millions of American women to do their own sewing, not only to make their own clothes, but also slacks, suits, shirts, sweaters, etc. for their husbands, sons, or boyfriends. Statistics also show that the number of women who now make their family wardrobe has grown tremendously. Now is the time when a sewing machine specialist can write his or her own ticket. Never before have the money-making opportunities been so great in this field, if you know what you're doing. This is also one very prestigious occupation. The latest figures show that over 89 million American women, because of high costs of ready-to-wear garments and undesirable workmanship of store-bought clothes, are now making almost all of the clothes for their families.

That is not all. Most of these women find true enjoyment and satisfaction in making the family wardrobe on their own sewing machine. So it is only natural that the demand for excellent service on these sewing machines is on the upswing and growing by leaps and bounds. Think of it! Eighty-nine million or more sewing machines, not including another 10 million sewing machines in schools of all sorts, such as grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the land, schools for the deaf, the handicapped, the children?s homes and old folks? homes, just to name a few. Plus, the sewing machines in hospitals, prisons, homes of correction, tailor shops, women?s shops, and the list could go on and on.

All of these sewing machines need service at least once a year and quite possibly four or more times each year. I'm well aware that some women are forced to return their sewing machine to repairmen time after time trying to get it fixed properly. Not all, by any means, but many so-called sewing-machine specialists simply do not have the knowledge or the know-how to set up, adjust and retime the modern sewing machine. I've seen sewing machines come out of a repair shop in worse shape than they were when they went in, and I am sure that thousands of women could say "Amen" to that statement. So for the above reasons, I decided to write a complete guide to sewing-machine repair and teach people how to repair their own sewing machine at home. On the very first day, you will find that our simple training method is amazing. I assume that you have had no previous experience with the repair of sewing machines. However, if you have had experience, you will learn how to use your knowledge to the best advantage. Your training will be practical from the first page on through to the end of the book. It is based on proven methods of top sewing-machine technicians.

I will teach you everything you need to know. Admittedly, the book is predominantly about sewing machines with just four of the 70 pages pertaining to. I have gone to great lengths to include along with the copy clear, sharp pictures of many different sewing machines, sewing-machine pails, proper adjustments, cleaning, and timing, etc., so there is no need to flip pages back and forth in order to find the picture that goes with the text. It's clear, and it's simple.

My name is Alex Asef and I start my own sewing machine business 21 years ago with little knowledge of repairing sewing machine at that time. Vist My Site Sewing Machine

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Monday, June 16, 2008

7 Tips to Changing Your Sewing Machine Presser Feet

The function of a sewing machine presser foot is to help guide the material under the needle and over the face plate. Different feet can serve special sewing needs. For instance, using a zipper foot when inserting a zipper can really improve the outcome of your zipper efforts.

Many machines have both screw on presser feet and snap on presser feet available. Singer sewing machines use a slant shank adapter to make the most use of the newer snap on system. These 7 tips will have you changing your presser feet in no time and getting your projects done faster.

  1. Many machines come with a general purpose presser foot in place when purchased. You will probably be able to use this foot for both straight and regular zig-zag stitching. Check your instructions to make sure.
  2. Always be sure to raise the needle to the highest position by turning the hand wheel toward you before changing your presser feet. This keeps the needle safely raised and the thread in proper tension.
  3. Raise the presser foot with the lifter, usually at the back of your machine.
  4. While it may seem intuitive to pull on the presser foot to remove it, you actually push the tow of the foot (the part closest to you when facing the machine) up. It will snap off the shank.
  5. If you're only changing the foot briefly, keep the first foot somewhere on your work surface easy to find for replacing.
  6. Place the new foot under the center of the shank, and lower the presser foot lever. Fit the shank over the center pin on the presser foot as you lower.
  7. Push the presser foot screw down firmly, and you'll hear the presser foot snap into place. Don't lift the presser foot into the shank, as your fingers will be moving in the direction of the needle. Be sure to just lower the shank and press down for quick, easy, safe presser foot changes.

Practice this a few times and you'll be switching presser feet a lot more quickly than you could make a pie. Use a narrow stitch foot to "stitch in the ditch", use a zipper foot for applying zippers, use a special open toe foot for special embroidery applications. You'll have more fun sewing when use the right foot for the right job.

Robin Brown is a Singer sewing machine fan. She sews regularly for her family and for fun. She markets Singer brand sewing machines online, and has a video blog of tutorials. She posted a tutorial video about changing presser feet on her video blog at Singer Sewing Machine Tutorials. Visit for video tutorials on using a mechanical Singer sewing machine, and presser feet recommendations.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sewing Machines & Scissors Need a Drop of Oil

"Just a drop of oil is all it needs." This statement is not only very true with your sewing machines and sergers, but also for your scissors.

Sewing machine oil is needed to keep your sewing machine running in tip-top shape. Be sure to use oil designated for sewing machines and sergers. Do not use multi-purpose oils or WD-40; these may be harmful to your machine. As a general rule, place a drop or two of oil in the places where metal parts rub against each other. The most common area that needs to be oiled is in the bobbin and hook area. Other places may include the bobbin winding mechanism and oil ports. Refer to your sewing machine manual for oiling instructions and illustrations. Most newer computerized machines do not need to be oiled in as many places as older models.

How often should you oil your machine? Many of the newer, computerized machines are set up with a time scheduled message to alert you when to oil your machine. After so many stitches, the machine will display a message telling you that your machine is in need of a drink. The basic rule is: the more you use your machine, the more you need to oil it. Most sewing machine dealers recommend every 10-12 hours of stitching. Listen to your machine as it is stitching. If it is sounding a bit clunky and noisy, give it a drop of oil. That just may be what it needs. If in any doubt about oiling your machine, consult your sewing machine dealer.

If your thread is breaking frequently, try placing a drop of oil in the bobbin area of your machine. This keeps the bobbin case running smoothly when the top thread loops around the bobbin to form a stitch. Many times when I am teaching and someone is having trouble with thread breaking, the first thing I will suggest is oiling the machine. This of course is not the only cause for thread breakage, but usually fixes the problem half of the time.

After oiling your machine, always sew several rows of stitches with a scrap of fabric. This will pick up the excess oil. If you start sewing on your project, you will likely end up with oil on the thread which transfers and spreads to the fabric. If this does happen refer to "How did that stain appear?" for tips on removing oil stains.

Your sewing shears and thread snippers are another item in your sewing room that may need a drop of oil. Try dropping a tiny amount of oil in the screw assembly of your scissors. Open the blades and place a drop of oil between the blades. Open and close the blades several times and let the oil set in the scissors for a couple of minutes. Wipe the screw assembly and blades clean with a dry cloth. Be sure to cut several fabric scraps to eliminate the excess oil. You should oil your scissors several times a year. This will reduce the friction between the blades, making them easier to cut through fabric. It also keeps your scissors cutting smoother and lasting longer.

It is just amazing what a drop of oil can do!!

Serena Smith is an avid embroidery and quilting enthusiast living in Kansas. Creating new projects and sharing them with others through local classes and online lessons is one of her greatest joys. Visit her website, Embroidery Treasures, for fun projects, helpful tips, inspiration, notions, fabrics and embroidery supplies!

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

How To Buy The Perfect Sewing Machine For Your Needs

Sewing Machines can be huge investments, cost a few hundred dollars or more for the nicer models. Therefore, it is important to know what you are doing when you go to the store to purchase a sewing machine. There are countless models from which to choose, so you need to know what you're looking for in a sewing machine in order to find the best buy possible. Taking your time to find the best product for you will save you money and frustration in the end.

The first thing you want to understand when looking for a sewing machine is what you will be using this sewing machine to do. Will it be used for quick repairs on clothing? Will it be used heavily every day to help run your craft business? Find a sewing machine that is durable enough for your needs. If you will be sewing for hours every single day, you're probably better off choosing a more heavy-duty machine, even if it is a little pricier, because a less expensive machine will only break down since it is not fit for heavy use.

Next, look at the extra feature of each sewing machine you are considering. Some sewing machines have settings that allow you to control the width and kind of stitch that is made. If you'll be using your sewing machine for a variety of things, this is important for you. Also check out the foot pedal. Make sure it is comfortable and easy to use. The foot pedal should work smoothly, and you should be able to either use this pedal or a switch to backstitch easily. Check the machine to find out where all of these buttons are located.

Ask about each sewing machine's warranty as well. Like any other mechanical device, sewing machines can stop working. If this happens to you, make sure that you are covered, at least for a year or two, so you can protect your investment. Be wary if no warranty is offered at all. This is often the case in renting centers and other discount places, because the sewing machine is not brand new. If someone previously owned the sewing machine, it might have had hard-to-fix problems that will happen again when you purchase it. Proceed with caution.

The last factor is, of course, price. Stay within the budget you set for yourself, because spending too much for extra features you don't need is common among consumers. Visit stores when they are having sales, like after the holidays to find the very best deal on a sewing machine that can fit your every need.

Visit for all your craft supplies and accessories. Both US and UK stores are available.

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