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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!

109 Comments

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    Feb 18, 2014, 08.02 PMby cmlandon

    This may sound silly, but keeping my 2 year old from adjusting all of the knobs is pretty important. Double checking everything before I begin helps to avoid any disasters! A cover to keep dust out is nice as well.

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    Feb 18, 2014, 06.50 PMby quiltnut851

    I clean out the bobbin case and change my needle after every project. I want to make sure there is no dust in that area to clog the machine.

    Quiltnut in Michigan

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    Feb 18, 2014, 04.09 PMby vernyce

    my fave sewing tip, esp. if you are a heavy user, is to pin on an angle to the seam, well outside the joins you make when sewing — this assures that hitting a pin will not knock your machine out of time and neither break your needle. buy good quality sewing oil to use periodically, and change your good quality needle more frequently than you think, so it doesn’t shred thread or puncture your work. Buy good quality thread – poor quality thread adds lint to your machine’s underside or stretches over the tension regulator, affecting the accuracy of your stitch. believe me, you get what you pay for and you’ll pay if you don’t take the preventive measures that will assure the longevity and health of your machine.

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    Feb 18, 2014, 03.39 PMby knitteresq

    Something simple like covering it when it isn’t in use keeps dust out.

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    Feb 18, 2014, 03.10 PMby Amy Patrick

    Don’t let your son-in-law help clean out the studio because you might find your sewing machine in the dump!

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    Feb 18, 2014, 01.46 PMby Anna Donato

    I try to clean the lint out of my machine every time I finish a project. That way the machine will be ready to sew well!

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    Feb 18, 2014, 10.05 AMby ganache

    I clean my machine after every couple of items I sew. Usually a gentle wipe with a damp cloth after cleaning out the inner workings of the machine. Vacuum cleaner is great for cleaning out the bobbin area!!! I figure my machine gives me so much sewing pleasure the least I can do is maintain it to the best of my ability!!!! Eve L. Sydney, Australia

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    Feb 17, 2014, 11.39 PMby sew2sew4

    Brush and vacuum, then oil. Once you get the lint out and oil the parts, it should sew like butter! Marla A., Katy, TX, USA

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    Feb 17, 2014, 01.55 PMby juliethea

    I find I keep mine well maintained by having a husband that works out of town 5 days a week. Therefore I never get to use it. I also look at it as I pass it by and cry because I never get to sew anymore. My tears keep it clean until I get to use it again. ;). I wake up every day hoping for no homework or after school activities so I could spend the whole evening sewing. Soon they will be all grown and I’ll regret it going by so fast but the hardest thing about motherhood is losing that part of you that makes you, you. Everybody’s tips are wonderful on here and I appreciate all the advice. I will add a few to my routine when I get back to it.

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    Feb 17, 2014, 01.15 PMby LaMadalena

    1) I sew at a very stable table. The more the table moves, the harder it is on the machine. 2) I keep it as dust free as possible and covered when not in use. I clean the bobbin case after finishing every project with a little set of soft brushes. Never blow the lint away because the humidity in your breath could damage the machine. 3) Thick needles for thick fabrics, thin needles for thin fabrics. Jersey needles for jersey. 4) If the machine came with plastic bobbins, use plastic bobbins. If it came with metal bobbins, I use metal bobbins. And I think that’s all. I just try to be gentle with my sewing machines.

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    Feb 17, 2014, 09.44 AMby dol

    Use the right needle for every project, change needle often and keep it dust free. Always check your notice. If your machine do need oil, don’t forget that point. Plus, have it serviced when you feel it needs it.

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    Feb 17, 2014, 06.38 AMby craftyccain

    Don’t forget the oil! :) craftyccain@gmail.com

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    Feb 17, 2014, 06.02 AMby GranChris

    You really need to keep dust and lint out of your machine. I clean the lint out from under the needle, ie remove the plate cover, bobbin case every second or third time I change the bobbin. No canned air, a Q-tip, pipe cleaner, lint brush or vacuum will do the trick. Even a soft make-up brush or camel’s hair paint brush will work. If you are not using your machine keep a piece of fabric under the needle, a leader to keep the dust from getting in. Also cover your machine with a soft cloth, anything will work, even a simple yard of fabric to keep the dust out. Some feet need oil read your directions, you paid a lot of money for these feet. My machine doesn’t need oil but if yours does follow the manufactures instructions, too much or too little is bad. My old one even needed the bobbin case oiled. Machines need good care just like your car does. I love my machine and it gets babied.

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    Feb 17, 2014, 05.26 AMby taiwo .

    I try to clean her out between projects and keep covered when not it use!

    Taiwo O. Richmond, VA

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    Feb 17, 2014, 04.44 AMby Danielle MacIndoe

    When you change thread, snip it at the spool and pull the small piece all the way forward through the machine. Never pull it out backwards and wind it back on the spool, it’s not good for the machine and leaves extra dust and fibers.

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    Feb 17, 2014, 03.22 AMby Lettuce77

    I find that my machine gets temperamental if I’ve not used it for a while…so in my case the advice is: sew often.

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    Feb 17, 2014, 02.11 AMby shibz

    Make sure you clean out dust regularly and don’t push your machine too hard (ie don’t over pins, use the handwheel when going through a particularly thick area). Prevention is better than the cure! Siobhan S., Warrnambool, Australia

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    Feb 17, 2014, 01.52 AMby mrsunclefuzzy

    Keep the dust out clean it well. Joanne M_G Hillsboro, Oregon

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    Feb 16, 2014, 11.08 PMby redgurlblue1

    SWIFFER WIPES!!! I “swiffer” all of my machines with one of the dust cloths (generic/store brand works just as well) after every project. They pick up dust in hard to reach crevices and clean so much easier and more thoroughly than anything I have used in the past. They are cheap, fast, and effective!

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    Feb 16, 2014, 10.15 PMby yarnivore

    Don’t sew over pins in your seams, no matter how tempting it is! Not only does that often nick your needle, causing skips in your sewing, but eventually it can throw off the timing, and necessitate a tune-up. Everyone else’s tips here are splendid, too!

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    Feb 16, 2014, 09.45 PMby runningwithscissors1

    clean out the bobbin case regularly and keep it covered when you’re not using it! Tania M. Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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    Feb 16, 2014, 09.33 PMby Jana Duplantis

    I service regularly and clean dust & lint out between projects with canned air. It’s important to remove needle plate when cleaning. Jana C. Duplantis in Reno, NV

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    Feb 16, 2014, 09.24 PMby Michele Wielgosch-Timms

    I clean the dust regularly and cover my sewing machine. Michele T from Manitouwadge, Ontario Canada

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    Feb 16, 2014, 07.00 PMby brandonlewis147

    Brandon L. Tahlequah, OK USA Along with regular maintenace, when im sewing or serging fabrics that easily fray, lint easily builds up. Brushes and air doesnt always work… I like to use a piece of thread like floss and gently remove lent build up. Works great!!!

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    Feb 16, 2014, 06.32 PMby Liz Flynn

    My best tip to maintain my sewing machine is to use all of my 5 senses to always pay attention for anything she might need from me … I hope she never has to send out any hints I could smell!

    Elizabeth F.; Clifton Heights, PA

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    Feb 16, 2014, 05.58 PMby VickiH

    Cover machine and clean lint from bobbin case regularly.

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    Feb 16, 2014, 05.32 PMby sofen1

    Clean the dust and oil regularly and cover it when not in use.

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    Feb 16, 2014, 05.01 PMby Bethany Martini

    I keep my bobbin case dust free!

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    Feb 16, 2014, 04.57 PMby Bethany Martini

    Keep the bobbin area clean and dust free!

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    Feb 16, 2014, 04.38 PMby missourimel

    Clean and oil regularly.

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