By Emily Jansson, Nancy’s Notions guest blogger
Happy New Year!
The New Year is a time that we take stock of our lives, and zero in on the things that need improvement. Aside from the requisite visits to my gym, I’ve also resolved to sew more for myself.
On that note, I realized one other important thing about January—it’s the perfect time to put your sewing room through the rigors of a little pre-spring cleaning. Let’s start the New Year with a clean and tidy space.
I’ve compiled a checklist to get your sewing area in tip-top shape:
1. If you do nothing else, please tune up your machines—all of them. Spray embroidery machine thread channels and bobbin chase areas with canned air, remove stray threads, replace serger blades, and oil.
Remember, each machine has its own requirements—be sure to refer to your owner’s manual before proceeding. Some machines are not made to be oiled in all spots, or hit with air. Use discretion. If you’re not sure, contact your dealer.
Clean any digital screens with a microfiber cloth while the machine is off.
2. Take inventory of all blades and needles. Discard those that are bent, nicked, or dull. Replenish your assortment so you always have the right ones on hand.
3. Get rid of bent pins. Safely dispose of them with a sharps container. If you don’t have that, make one out of a used coffee can, Rx bottle, etc., that has a secure lid.
Run a strong magnet across the floor to pick up any stray pins, and follow by vacuuming up loose threads and fabric bits (if the threads are extra long, pick them up by hand—you don’t want those wrapping around the vacuum brushes). I love the lighted pin picker upper for getting in the darker nooks and crannies of my sewing area.
4. Use a cleaning agent to remove residue from cutting mats, embroidery hoops, and any other hard surface that may be gummy from fusibles and spray adhesives.
5. Cutting mats: A cutting mat cleaner pulls up all kinds of gunk, and is a great thing to keep around. Use a mat smoother to remove embedded fibers, smooth nicks, and restore your mat’s girlish figure.
6. Have your shears and rotary blades sharpened. Send them off to a professional or try any one of our sharpening tools, here. NOTE: Please read your warranties and any owner’s manuals that may have come with your shears. Sometimes the warranties only remain intact if the item is sent back to the manufacturer for sharpening.
7. Refresh your ironing board cover with a quick cleaning. Toss it in your washing machine with cold water and detergent, and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Dry on low.
Replace ironing board covers if they are worn, torn, or flattened.
8. Clean the face of your iron. I prefer these Iron Clean Sheets—they’re easy to use and I don’t have to worry about any cleaner residue that may be stuck in the steam vents.
9. Organize your threads. Take a few minutes to get those thread tails tamed in their thread locks, and give a pull test to any threads that may be old. Simply hold a bit between your two hands, and give a sharp, firm tug. If the thread breaks, toss it.
The thread test is especially important for cotton and cotton-coated threads. Believe me, I know how long some of them can be in your collection—I have some from my mother that go back from before I was born. Be sure that any spools you have on hand are good ones—you don’t want to start a fabulous project only to be brought down by thread breakage.
10. Finally, check your bobbin stock, and empty any that are close to running out. You may wish to reload with often-used colors—white, cream, gray, and black.
Organize your bobbins in a secure case or drawer; there are so many to choose from. My favorite is the Bobbin Saver. Check out our storage solutions.
Have you got more ideas for spring cleaning? Post them below!
Thanks to Emily Jansson and the Nancy’s Notions Team for sharing these tips!
Bye for now,
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