Become your Sewing Machine's BEST FRIEND

Machine Maintenance

Steve Pauling-Instructor

Saturday, February 22, 2020
St. Frances Cabrini Church
Mpls, MN
1-4 pm

VINTAGE MACHINE OWNERS here is your chance to learn how the maintain those well-loved machines.  Steve Pauling of Bobbin has brought us his expertise before and now returns to do it again.

This class provides for an in-depth review of basic maintenance of all mechanical machine components, an understanding of different hook systems, and trouble-shooting of common problems. It does not include major adjustments (other than balance of tension) or repairs, but we will review trouble-shooting of problems that might require adjustments,

Please note it is ONLY for older mechanical machines... NO computerized or newer plastic "clam-shell" style machines. Newer machines simply aren't designed for very much self/user-maintenance except for cleaning lint out of the hook area minimal lubrication access. The older mechanical machines were actually designed for do-it-yourself maintenance which makes them ideal for this class. It is important that students are able to easily open up their machines in order to work on them. If students question if their machines are acceptable, please contact Steve via email ( with the manufacturer's brand name, complete model/series number and if possible, a photo of the machine. He really wants to avoid students showing up with a machine that isn't appropriate for DIY maintenance/service or be disappointed and frustrated for not having understood this requirement.

Many quilters own a Singer 221 (aka "Featherweight") or 301, it's larger "sister". These are ideal for larger groups of students. Therefore, the first session of the day will be limited to Singer Featherweight machines. The class limit for the Singer Featherweight session is 15.  Due to the many variations among machines, the second session is limited to 8 students.


The classes will be held at St. Francis Cabrini Church, 1500 Franklin Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.

The class fee is for one session only.  Please carefully select your session based on your machine. No lunch will be provided.


  • 9am to noon. The morning session will be for Singer Featherweight machines only.  
    • Members $50
    • Non-members $60
  • 1pm to 4pm. The second session is open to any vintage machine.
    • Members $50
    • Non-members $60


WARNING you may get dirty! Students are encouraged to perform the basic maintenance activities. Note it is possible students may not be able to perform all service tasks, although we will certainly review them during the designated class time.


Here is what you should bring with your machine:

1)    Paper and pen/pencil for note taking.
2)    Mechanical sewing machine in good working order – Covers must be removable.
3)    Operating manual for sewing machine.
4)    6-8 ft extension cord – don’t forget the power cord and/or foot control!!!
5)    A small brightly shining flashlight.
6)    Necessary tools for opening all readily accessible sewing machine covers, including needle plate
7)    Containers or small plastic bags to hold parts
8)    Medium-light colored terry cloth hand towel to catch small disassembled parts
9)    Old terry cloth large bath towel to use as padded work surface
10)  Small screw driver for disassembling and adjusting bobbin case tension
11)  Small brush for removing lint
12)  Tweezers
13)  Quality sewing machine oil and dispenser (NO 3-in-1 household oil!!!)
14)  Soft absorbent cotton cloths for wiping down parts and your hands of excess oil/grease
15)  Standard 50 wt consumer thread (Coats and Clark, Gutterman, Metrosene, etc.) – bring two medium colored threads of the SAME BRAND, TYPE, AND SIZE. No dark colors or intense “Jewel-Tone” colors – medium colors only.
16)  Scraps of fabric for sewing tests – plain fabric without a printed design is easiest for analyzing stitches. Medium weight cotton broadcloth (quilting material) is minimum requirement. Other fabric types/weights may be brought for additional sewing tests.
17)  Wear comfortable old clothes and be prepared to get your hands dirty
18)  If you need reading glasses, don’t forget to bring them.
19)  And last of all, be willing to learn and be prepared to have fun!

Steve will have a small assortment of supplies and tools available at 30% off retail prices, including small screw drivers for bobbin case tension adjustments, fresh sewing machine oil and gear lubricant, cleaning brushes, vacuum attachments, etc.