How To's LEARN By SewUber Blogger Share Tweet Pin Share You open the box and there it is: a brand new sewing machine. It can look even more intimidating than trying to set up your new Blu-ray player to your television; yet, don't let the sewing machine scare you off. Once you learn the basic functions and items that are on it, you can learn to do projects very quickly while continuing to hone your skills. Here are seven important facts you should know about your sewing machine so that it works at its top condition; 1: Only use the needles, bobbins, and other items that go with your particular machine A lot of items, especially bobbins and presser feet, are not interchangeable between different brands of sewing machines. Only use the ones specified by the sewing machine company. When you use an item that is not supported by your sewing machine, you can break needles, or threads, or jam the bobbin, and even seriously damage the sewing machine itself. 2: Sewing machines are not self-cleaning You may have never seen your mother clean her sewing machine in over 10 years. Yet, that doesn't mean the machine worked at its optimal performance in those later years. Periodic maintenance involves cleaning out thread and built-up fiber lint in the bobbin area, along the tension disks, and in the feed dogs. Using compressed air works well to blow out lint and fuzz from your machine. You should also oil it periodically. Your owner's manual will tell you the proper way to oil the machine and the areas that need this important maintenance. 3: Price does not dictate a quality sewing machine You will find sewing machines as low as $60 and as high as $2,000. Yet keep in mind that a higher-priced sewing machine will not guarantee that you will get a better quality project. These sewing machines will have more features and accessories available so you can make designer clothing and larger, professional craft projects. Keep in mind that even professional seamstresses can create fantastic fashion designs on lower-budget machines. Pick out the one that will enhance your skills and challenge you to become a better sewer. 4: Don't blame every problem on the sewing machine It is easy to get into the habit of blaming the sewing machine because the stitch is crooked or the needle keeps breaking. Yet, oftentimes, you may be doing something wrong that is causing these problems, or causing the sewing machine to malfunction. Before you toss your sewing machine in the attic and go online to purchase a new one, evaluate the way you are using it. You should also ask a more experienced sewer about the problems you are facing. There are a lot of online forums you can join and ask help whenever you are in doubt. One of my favorite sites is Craftsy. They have free classes online. You may learn that changing one simple technique will have you sewing like a pro with fewer issues. 5: Sewing machines cannot change the quality of the material or thread you use You can brag that you can make a designer dress from a burlap sack and some bailing twine that the runway models in Paris would be envious about. Yet, we all know in reality that the best and most durable clothing will be based on the types of material and thread that you use. Take into consideration about what type of project you are creating and your budget to decide on the appropriate material to use so you have a craft project that lasts. 6: Work at your own pace Yes, it is true that your great Aunt Bess can create 50 shirts on her sewing machine in one day that look fabulous. Yet, it doesn't mean you should work as fast as humanly possible to finish your project. Everyone has their own work pace to ensure the best quality stitches are created. If you are a beginner mom and just starting out learning how to make children clothes as a start, don't beat yourself up if your finish project are not as perfect as what you see on Pinterest. Don't let anyone else's craft projects or work output dictate your own sewing skills. Now your strengths and your weaknesses and work within your limits while challenging yourself to become a better seamstress. 7: Make projects that you love Too often we have seen people give up on their sewing machine because they are too frustrated. When asked on the reason why they gave up, they shrugged their shoulders and just said that it was a project that they wanted to try on a lark. They saw someone else working on a sewing machine and figured it would be easy for them to do it too.Don't give up on your sewing machine. Become passionate with what you are doing and fall in love with the project you take on. When you are emotionally invested in completing your sewing project, it will become easier to figure out how to use your sewing machine to its fullest potential. Let it help you tackle the project head on as you will be grateful with the finished piece.