How to Oil a Dressmaker Sewing Machine


The Dressmaker is a Japanese-brand sewing machine. Though no longer sold in the United States, many Dressmaker owners value them for their reliability. Dressmaker gears and machine parts are all made of metal, making them much more robust than machines made of plastic gears. With proper maintenance, owners say that Dressmaker machines can last a lifetime. However, Dressmakers can grind and run slowly. A routine coat of lightweight sewing machine oil can easily fix this. Sewing machine oil is thinner and lighter in color than motor oil or even cooking oil.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine oil
  • 12 to 20 cotton swabs
  • Open the arm cover of your machine, which is located just above the needle mechanism. Grab the front of the arm and pull. The cover should snap open. Inside is a long metal rod running from the top of the machine to the needle. Locate the metal face plate to the right of the rod. The face plate has circular gears near the top and center.

  • Add two drops of oil onto the tip of a cotton swab and rub it over the top gear on the face plate. Oil the two gears near the center of the face plate and the metal rod where it meets the bottom of the inside cavity. Add a little more oil to your cotton swab if it gets dry.

  • Close the arm cover and turn the machine upside down. Add two drops of oil onto a cotton swab and oil all the metal parts that move, especially where two metal parts meet. This includes gears and metal rods that slide through loops. One or two swipes of oil are plenty.

  • Flip the machine upright. Turn it on high for two or three minutes. This evenly distributes the oil through the machine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sewing machine oil is available at most craft shops or stores that sell sewing machines. It comes in small, plastic bottles and is light and clear. Do not use motor oil or any other kind of oil on a sewing machine. These oils can gum up the gears or cause them to jam.
  • Oil your machine about every six months.

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