Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome Mr. Pfaff home!

Preface: if you are a "real life friend" who is having a baby in December. And the baby's name starts with an H. Please avert your eyes now. Or you might catch a glimpse of her sweet present! 

Not sure if anyone noticed or if I even mentioned it but Mr. Pfaff (my primary sewing machine) was in the shop for a LONG time. He needed to be cleaned and oiled. Since he is an embroidery machine and computerized I can't do it myself. It took the shop a good 2 weeks to get it done and then another week for me to get up there and get it (it's about an hour drive, yeah we live in the middle of nowhere!).

Yeah...I sew in my living room with LOTS of coffee! While my kids color on the side :)
I had been using Ms. Husqvarna Viking and while she is a good solid sewing machine but she is a bit older, not quite as precise, and doesn't have as many cool features as Mr. Pfaff. So when I got Mr. Pfaff back on Tuesday I was stoked! Only Thanksgiving was coming up and I couldn't set him up until after Turkey Day. I got him out Friday morning and am so excited to have my old friend home!

A few things I learned at the sewing store when picking Mr. Pfaff up that I thought I'd share with you all. They were not initially obvious to me but now that I think about them they totally are!

1. When removing fabric from your machine always pull to the back. Do not pull your fabric toward you to check it out. Pull it completely to the back trim your threads and then look at what you've accomplished.

This will prevent your needle from bending, breaking, and inevitably causing major headaches! You see when you pull the fabric back the needle will not bend or move around at all but when you pull to the front there is some give and while it will give just a bit to the front if you do it over and over it will eventually bend. Resulting in skipped stitches and broken needles. Not fun! Not fun at all!

2. Try to keep your machine as clean as possible. Ok, ok, so I did KNOW this. But the nice lady who was helping me just reinforced it even more. And even showed me how to properly spray air into my machine to clean it out.

My machine has a thread cutter in it. So after I've backstitched a couple times I can hit a little button and it cuts the thread and brings it to the back so that it can be tied off. When it cuts the thread sometimes other little threads get caught in there. If they are not removed it can result in jamming the machine and blocking the motor. Making things a BIG mess to clean up! When spraying air into your machine to help loosen or remove the excess thread/dust spray at an angle away from the bobbin housing. Making it nearly impossible for the extra threads and dust to get back in there and make it all gunky again!

3. Always use an appropriate needle. If you are using knit or anything even remotely stretchy use a stretch or ball point needle. If you are sewing denim or several layers of home decorator weight fabric use a denim needle. Just cotton? Use a universal needle! Again results are less skipped stitches and not nearly as many headaches!

She showed/told me all of these things amongst other machine specific tidbits. If you have a Pfaff 2140 I'd be happy to share. You might already know all of them but I never had any show me how to use my machine I just read my manual and figured out how to do basic stitch functions. I bought it a few years ago off of craigslist for a killer price!

Love and Hugs,

PS. I've been working on a pattern for Bellie's dress for you all! If all goes according to plan I hope to get a full pattern and tutorial up by the end of the week!

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