Sewing Tips: Your Sewing Machine

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Below is an excerpt from 150 Sewing Tips by Mary Johnson, printed in Woman's Day in 1962. I found this booklet in my grandmother's sewing library. Reading it not only conjured up memories of my grandmother, but reminded me of the legacy of this crafting tradition.

You Sewing Machine

* If the thread breaks when you stitch, the machine is improperly threaded, you've inserted the needle improperly or you are using the wrong make needle.

* If the machine has been unused for some time, oil it in the tiny holes provided for that purpose. Stitch through cotton strips to absorb excess oil.

* Regulate length of machine stitching to suite fabric texture. For heavy coatings, 12 to 13 stitches to the inch; for medium-weight suiting, cotton or synthetics, 14 or 15; for sheers, 16 or 18.

* Use a medium-size machine needle for general garment making.

* If the stitches don't look right, check threading and bobbin. If the trouble still exists, consult the instruction book.

* You can improvise a seam guide with a strip of adhesive tape about 2" long. Place it straight up and down on the machine plate as far right of needle hole as width of seam allowance (usually 5/8"). When you stitch, bring raw edges of fabric up against tape edge.

* If your machine puckers some fabrics take the needle out of the shaft and roll is on fine sandpaper; or sew through the sandpaper without thread (abrasive side up to sand won't get into the works).

* If machine skips stitches on synthetics, especially tricots, change to a fine machine needle and nylon thread.

Let the good times roll and happy sewing!

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