7 Ways to Freak Out Your Sewing Machine Technician

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This time of year you want to be extra kind to your sewing machine technicians. Here are a few things that FREAK sewing machine service people out and a few hints on how to stay on their good side.

Check Your Sewing Machine in For Service With a 15¢ Spool of Thread On It

When I saw this today, I immediately sat down to write this blog. All of us get the heebie jeebies when we see old thread on a sewing machine. This thread is so old it belongs in a museum. No wonder the machine doesn’t sew well!

Remove all thread from the machine prior to dropping it off for service.

PSA: Wood spools are collectors items these days. Put all your wooden spools in a pretty jar for display. Please do not use them in a sewing machine.

Sew With Glitter

‘Tis the season for extra glittery fabrics. If you have ever been around little girls, you know glitter happens. When you choose to sew with glittery fabrics keep in mind how hard glitter is to clean off of normal surfaces. Now imagine trying to get it out of the bobbin area.

If sewing with glitter, take the time to remove as much of it as possible BEFORE bringing the machine in for service. Trust me!

Use Canned Air

Canned air is NOT good for sewing machines. It blows more lint into the back of the machine and into all those moving parts, electronics and motor. This is no place for lint. As soon as a machine is opened up, they can tell if you use canned air or not.

Don’t forget to clean out from underneath the throat plate. Do not use canned air.

Tell Them You Have Never Had Your Machine Serviced

This is not something to brag about to your friendly sewing machine technician. If you truly have not had it serviced in a long time, they will forgive you.

Don’t make a big deal about how long it actually has been since your last confession, I mean, sewing machine service.

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Sharpen Your Own Sewing Machine Needles

This is NOT a thing! Sharpening your own sewing machine needles is the worst idea ever. We found a needle in a machine that was much shorter than we were used to seeing. After careful inspection, we realized the owner had tried sharpening the needle.

Always have plenty of NEW needles on hand.

Thread Caught in the Hand Wheel

When unattended thread is left hanging around, it is guaranteed to get wrapped around the hand wheel of the machine. Please read the following blog to learn more about this problem, how to avoid it and see amazing other pictures of places we have found thread.

Rust in the Sewing Machine

When sewing machines get wet or are stored in damp environments they can rust. Rust is never good and can give sewing machine mechanics an instant headache.

Keep sewing machines in comfortable environments to help keep them from getting rusty.

In Conclusion…

Stay on the nice list at your local sewing machine repair store by following these helpful tips prior to your next sewing machine service.

If you ever feel you need to ask for a little forgiveness, bring cookies!

If you are a service person, tell us in the comments below what else freaks you out. Or if you have had a unique sewing machine service situation that happened to you, please share it below.

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  1. Mary Wilke says:

    Also very true. One of the biggest things that freaks us out is when it come to us in pieces in a cardboard box because someone in the family thought they could fix it themselves
    That’s the worst!

    1. Sara says:

      LOL! That is so true. I so want to add this to our list!!!! This happens more than we want to admit. They are lucky we don’t charge double for this situation.

      Thanks for chiming in!

      Sara Snuggerud

  2. Elizabeth Graham says:

    I was chatting with an older sewing machine repair guy where we used to live. He told me that someone had dropped off the pieces of a Singer 15 treadle on his front porch (works out of his garage). He got it back together & working – but no one ever came back to get it. It was a “display” piece in the shop area for a few years, until he got an offer for it. Have no idea exactly when it happened, though…

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for sharing!


  3. Sue Kondis, All About Sewing, Mobile, AL says:

    This is a great post. I shared it with my teck and he loved it. He said it no longer “freaks him out” because he sees it so often. I had a “round robin” Open House on Sat and I asked him to be one of the stops on their circuit. He loved the opportunity to share his knowledge with the attendees on how not to bring their machines in for service, why to bring in for regular service and not when there is a problem and what causes their problems. Hopefully, if we keep educating customers we can save out tecks a little angst.

    1. Sara says:

      That’s a great idea Sue! Thanks for sharing. Sara

  4. Maribeth Strand says:

    Love sewing mastery videos – I try to watch 1-2 times a year as a refresher for my bernina. It’s amazing how much you forget your machine can do!


    1. Sara says:

      Hi Maribeth,

      Thank you! That is a great idea. I wish more people would do this.

      Sara Snuggerud

  5. Effie says:

    Hi dear Sara,
    Thank you for all your help. Merry Christmas and wishing the best new year for you and your family.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Effie,

      Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!

      Sara Snuggerud

  6. Vicki Sharoky says:

    This information was great as well as entertaining!
    Question, can you advise where I can view Sewing Mastery videos?
    Thank you, Vicki

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Vicki,

      You can see all Sewing Mastery videos at These videos do reside on YouTube which is how many people find our videos for the first time.


  7. Jim says:

    One of the things that really drove me crazy was cheap monofilament thread. The wiry nature of it would cause it to escape the take-up lever and wind around just about every moving part. It’s VERY hard to remove, especially when friction has caused it to melt. Another major irritation was customers using oil to solve all problems. Nothing ruins a technician’s day faster than a machine that comes in dripping with oil.

    1. Sara says:

      Thank you Jim for the additions to this list. We totally agree!

      Sara Snuggerud

  8. Sarah says:

    I’m so sad to hear about the older threads! I’m totally guilty of having a (fantastic) stash of wooden spooled cotton numbers I got out of a free pile that I’ve been going through!

  9. MaryDane says:

    I have a Pfaff Performace Icon and is skipping stitches and breaking threads. I have changed needles even different sizes, changes threads and still continues doing it. What can I do ?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi MaryDane,

      Please let us know what type of fabric you are sewing on and which brands of threads you have tried. Also, make sure you have cleaned all lint out from underneath the throat plate.

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