Keeping Your Tools Fresh: It's Important!
1. Sewing Machine
Without question one of your most important sewing tools. There are several things to consider with machine upkeep. Most experts recommend getting your machine serviced once a year. I've got to be honest with you... I don't. But I think you should get it done at least every few years so that they can make sure everything is running right and the timing is still good.
One of the things you can do at home on your own for your machine is to clean it out. We published a blog on that a few weeks ago, so if you aren't sure how to clean your machine, you can find that here. Another thing you can do is to make sure you change your needles regularly. A dull machine needle can wreak havoc on a sewing project, so make sure you switch that out every couple of projects at least!
2. Cutting Tools
Another super important tool we all have is something to cut our fabric and threads. If your cutting tools are dull, it's almost impossible to get a clean cut. If you use scissors, replacing or having them sharpened regularly is a must! With a rotary cutter, make sure you're changing those blades out when they start acting up. This will go a LONG way towards making sure your projects come out with clean pretty edges and a professional looking finish!
3. Straight Pins
Most of us probably don't even stop to think about the pins we use, but their upkeep is important too! They might be one of our most important sewing tools! If they get dull, you can risk snags and holes in your fabric that you would never want. The easiest thing to do where pins are concerned is to just make sure you're replacing them regularly. Keep them fresh and sharp! And when one struggles to get through the fabric, toss it out.
4. Measuring Tapes
If you sew garments regularly, a measuring tape is a much-used sewing tool. What some of us don't always realize is that they can and will stretch out over time, making our measurements less accurate as time goes on. There really isn't a 'fix' for this problem outside of just replacing your tape. I check mine probably about 4 times a year against my cutting mat or acrylic ruler to make sure it's still measuring an inch at an inch.
5. Cutting Mats and Acrylic Rulers
We occasionally run across patterns with measurements for square or rectangular pieces (like Isabella's Banded Skirt in Girls and Women's sizes). The easiest way I've ever found to do this is with a ruler and a rotary cutter. But it's hard to get accurate measurements when your tools are too old! Cutting mats and acrylic rulers both lose the printing on them over time, making the numbers and other markings difficult to read. If you're having difficulties reading your ruler or mat, it's probably time to get a replacement to make it easier for you and ensure accurate sizing!
Hopefully, this list has helped you to identify some things you might have been wondering about and helped you problem solve! Do you have other upkeep tips? Please share them with us in the comments! And as always, please join us in our fun Facebook community to share tears, triumphs, and questions!