Review and renew your tools

and get ready for a new season. Is it really June already?

If you sew, you probably know you should take your sewing machine in for maintenance every year. Sorry, but it’s like a breast exam–a necessary inconvenience. This is especially important for computerized machines because the build-up of dust can damage their innerds.

To get the lint out, I like a fluffy, real-hair make-up brush, like the ones used for blush. It picks up the dust and lint so much better than a nylon one and is WONDERFUL for the serger! Sometimes you also need a little harder brush to get the details. The harder and longer you sew, the more often you need to clean. Don’t forget to oil per instructions. Grease those joints!

Keep it cleaned and oiled, but take it to a shop to do the INSIDE; think of it as a tune-up. (Hmm, I wonder if they’d clean and oil ME? I think my joints could use it!) Since it often takes a few days at the shop, it’s a good time to review your sewing space. You could clean up!

A recent tip I read said to “clean as you go”–yeah, likely story. Who has time to do that? I actually like to clear up my space before a new project, but I won’t show any photos because my idea of “cleaning” wouldn’t pass muster with Good Housekeeping. I do like to sort fabric and scraps, though, so I do that when I’m without my buddy for a few days.

What made me really excited was a tip on cleaning my iron. I try to be careful–I really do! But I get in a hurry and often get a build-up of gunk on the sole plate–fusible goo and spray starch. I use “iron-off” cream on a heated iron, with pieces of old towel to make a good thick pad for wiping. This time, though, I had a big build-up that refused to move, so I tried a “Magic Eraser”–that was the cool tip, used on a cool iron. WOW! It truly works wonders.

But I still had one stubborn spot and was thinking I might need sand paper. I have every imaginable sewing gadget/notion, but no sand paper. I suddenly realized I had some old emery boards. It worked!!! I got rid of the spot and some of the stubborn stains on the side as well, then “buffed” it with the Magic Eraser. Voila! Clean iron. YEA!

I have another idea that helps with the ironing/pressing. Make saddlebags for your ironing board! It simply loops over the end of the board and has really convenient pockets. (Mine will now start holding a Magic Eraser and emery board! )

#CC1020 Ironing Board Saddlebags

The photo shows that side holds markers, a pattern and a deep pocket is big enough for a small spray bottle. I leave my ironing board out all the time, but IF you want to put it away, you can loop the saddlebags over a hanger and put them in a closet!

Pattern available at

The other side pockets

The other side has an elastic band to hold scissors, a folded non-stick sheet (which I should always use to prevent goo…but which often gets “lost”), and there’s even room for a small pressing ham.

It might be a good idea to baste on a non-stick sheet right in the middle. Hmmm?

Maybe it’s time to get your tools tuned up and organize your space.

PS–If you’re going on vacation, that’s a great time to take your machine in–you won’t miss it so much!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: