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Tell us your best tip for maintaining your sewing machine for your chance to win an Amy Butler prize pack!

In our spring issue of BurdaStyle US magazine, Rowan is giving away a Rowan Hapi by Amy Butler prize pack including fabric, patterns, and a book worth over $500.

For a chance to win this package, answer the following question in the comments section below: WHAT’S YOUR BEST TIP FOR MAINTAINING YOUR SEWING MACHINE?

Be sure to include your first name, last initial, city, and country (or state if you live in the US). The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 14, 2014, at 11:59 PM (EST). One lucky winner will be chosen and announced in the summer issue of BurdaStyle US magazine!

Good luck!

110 Comments

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    May 5, 2014, 06.24 PMby Marilyn Garcia

    I use a small (1/2") good quality paint brush that I spray with “ENDUST” to clean my sewing machine. When using this I find the dust and small threads actually get picked up and not spread to other areas of machine. Clean and oil sewing machine after each garment sewn.

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    Mar 31, 2014, 01.56 PMby tzfardaha

    I READ the manual and wow! what a huge difference. Now I always lock the machine before starting to thread. The needle threader always works and I have less problems with my machine.

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    Mar 26, 2014, 01.18 PMby ridgetop01

    I keep “GUM Proxabrush Go-betweens”, or “GUM Soft-Picks” in my machine accessory holder, and use them to clean the small spaces in the machine. They are rigid enough to get into small spaces and do a good job of cleaning. Also, a computer mini-vac is nice to clean the insides with, if you happen to have one.

    Another tip – remove pins in advance of the arrival of the needle, so you don’t break needles and possibly get the pin or the needle head stuck in the faceplate or bobbin area!

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    Mar 23, 2014, 03.15 PMby Struthious

    Using better quality thread certainly cuts down on lint build up. Removing any lint build up that occurs is important.

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    Mar 15, 2014, 11.35 PMby sewster55

    The best way to keep your machine in good working order is to use it a lot. Even when a machine is covered it will collect dust which is damaging. By using your machine a lot you keep all the parts moving and the dust off.

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    Mar 10, 2014, 04.11 AMby Lorraine Mabbett

    1.Covering it. I am always amazed the dust and oils that accumulate. 2. When moving from room to room or site to site – making sure it is not in the way of spillables or tripping traps.

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    Mar 8, 2014, 02.01 PMby SewRachelBlogger

    My best tip is to find a good sewing machine service shop that does all their repairs on site, and get a yearly cleaning and tune-up! My service shop has also helped me trouble shoot problems, and don’t charge when it turns out that it’s just a operator error (that’s me!).

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    Mar 7, 2014, 01.29 AMby dianne1530

    Dust weekly and oil regularly. Dianne T., Austin, TX, USA.

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    Mar 4, 2014, 02.04 AMby lisa6

    Besides removing the lint after each use, covering the machine, and oiling it regularly, I always keep a piece of fabric under the foot. This helps not only to absorb the oil, but also it protects the foot, the plate, and the needle. Another thing is to check the needles frequently to make sure they are in a good sewing condition. My name is Lisa E. from Cumberland, Maryland.

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    Mar 3, 2014, 04.15 PMby LindaRK

    Use it or Lose it…Sew, be happy

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    Feb 28, 2014, 04.42 AMby tbrathwaite

    Clean your machine thoroughly after each use and keep it covered to keep dust out.

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    Feb 24, 2014, 04.36 AMby Isabell Lawless

    Using air to blow out any dust in tight spaces and a baby wipe to clean off the outside of the machine, plus the buttons on the front. Isabell. L, San Dimas, CA, USA

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    Feb 24, 2014, 02.42 AMby swoodsonsays

    De-linting it after every sewing session!

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    Feb 22, 2014, 09.02 PMby EnnyK

    Aside from the tips other people have posted like covering it when not in use and cleaning it regularly, I only use high quality thread since it doesn’t tear as easily and that’s good for preventing bits of it ending up stuck in my sewing machine.

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    Feb 22, 2014, 05.10 AMby quiltingnanny

    Have a small brush handy and every time you change the bobbin, clean out the lint from the bobbin cage. I am amazed at how much lint gets in there in such a short period of time. And if you are FMQing a quilt…it is even more important to clean the cage frequently. A clogged bobbin cage can even cause stitches to be uneven.And keep the machine covered when not using…dust gets in everywhere!

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    Feb 21, 2014, 01.18 AMby SKTRITA

    I regularly blow a big puff of air into the bobbin area to dislodge any dust and debris. It’s kind of cathartic. Then a drip of oil and I’m off to the sewing races! (Susan R., San Diego, California USA)

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    Feb 20, 2014, 08.31 PMby baberahamlincln

    I sent my unemployed boyfriend to a sewing machine technician course… now I have a professional servicing whenever I want one!

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    Feb 20, 2014, 04.40 PMby jenirun

    I clean my machine between projects. I try to brush out any dust every time I change my bobbin. Q-tips and make-up brushes work great. You’ve got to get that dust and thread scraps out! After cleaning my sister’s machine, it has run better than ever….even better brand new.

    Jennifer C, Reidsville, NC

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    Feb 20, 2014, 04.26 PMby bluewillow

    I think a big tip is keeping my machine dust-free. I clean out the dust about once a month. I believe a big tip is using a good quality polyester thread. There is very little dust with a polyester compared to a cotton thread. Susan P. Bristol, CT

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    Feb 20, 2014, 02.42 PMby HarrysMom

    Don’t forget the tension discs! These get fluffed up too so get some clean cotton fabric, one that won’t give off too much fluff, dab a little alcohol on it, and carefully wipe it up and down between the tension discs. Do this with the presser foot raised to release the tension and make it easier to slide the fabric through. You can do this on your serger too. You’d be amazed at how many fibres catch in this hidden spot which can mess up your tension. Nicola W, Almonte Canada

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    Feb 20, 2014, 04.05 AMby meldon

    I try to keep it clean and dust free. I cover it when not in use. Melissa D Courtice, ON Canada

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    Feb 20, 2014, 02.29 AMby Munimula

    Hold regularly the vacuum cleaner to all sewing machine openings to suck all the fluff out. Claudia B., Jackson, MS

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    Feb 19, 2014, 03.05 PMby torepage

    I dust mine regularly (canned air is great for this) and oil it every few projects. Keeping it covered also helps. Alexandria L. , Jacksonville FL.

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    Feb 19, 2014, 12.33 PMby leona25

    Use it! My machines are ancient (about as old as me) but they work perfectly. Respecting what they can do allows me to keep a close eye on the health of my machines and care for them. I’m thorough in making sure every thing is assembled correctly and kept clean. I don’t push them over their limits. They are my partners in my making adventures. Leona B. Sydney Australia.

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    Feb 19, 2014, 07.46 AMby stella

    I clean the dust and lint, removing the needle plate, after every project and keep my sewing machine covered when not using it. And I add oil every two or three projects. I also try to use the correct needle for my fabric. And good quality thread is important!

    Carole B., Annecy, France

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    Feb 19, 2014, 04.38 AMby lostingaia

    Put some time into asking a quick cover for your machine. It will keep dust from settling into the mechanism.

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    Feb 19, 2014, 02.29 AMby katanarose

    Go out and buy a spare light bulb for your sewing machine right now! You may think that it will last forever, but the odds are against you. Incandescent bulbs are becoming history soon and those high efficiency ones just aren’t the same.

    Kelly L. , Milverton, Ontario, Canada

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    Feb 18, 2014, 10.39 PMby taysha1128

    always cover after use

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    Feb 18, 2014, 09.30 PMby epaburke

    Remember to oil your machine if you have been using it a lot, or if you haven’t used it in months. Look under the needle, in the bobbin case, and behind the tension dial for lint and bits of thread. A stiff little brush is great for this. One piece of thread stuck in the bobbin case can make a lot of trouble when sewing.

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    Feb 18, 2014, 08.18 PMby 1quarterelf

    Avoid letting 2 year old brothers anywhere near the machine. And sometimes older brothers too (mine have caused all sorts of havoc with my machines)!

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