Can You Store A Sewing Machine On Its Side

What makes a sewing machine

Sewing machines are the bread and butter for any keen sewer or tailor. But what exactly makes up a sewing machine and why should you care whether or not you can store it on its side? Before we discuss that, let’s break down the components that make up a typical sewing machine.
The body of the sewing machine typically includes a motor and a variety of gears, knob controls, and attachments. It is typically made of metal and plastic and its shape and size can vary between brands and models. It also houses the bobbin case and the needle, which are the most integral components of the machine.
The bobbin case is where the bottom thread is wound around, and the needle is the part that actually sews the top thread and fabric together. Additionally, the thread tension round the bobbin cases needs to be adjusted to ensure that the stitch is even and even-looking.

Can You Store a Sewing Machine on its Side?

The short answer is no, you shouldn’t store a sewing machine on its side. Storing a sewing machine upright is essential for its life span and productivity. According to Rachel Sipes, a professional seamstress and apparel instructor of Sew Like A Pro, storing a sewing machine on its side can cause the internal parts to move and shift, which could cause serious damage and will ruin the stitches that come out.
Additionally, storing a sewing machine on its side can harm the ability for the needle to penetrate the fabric and could destroy the needle altogether. The needle needs to be able to move freely when sewing and when stored on its side, the needle can get stuck and can be broken easily, making it difficult and costly to replace. Furthermore, storing a sewing machine on its side may deform the plastic elements of the machine and can make it difficult to use, due to the gears not fitting correctly.

How to Properly Store a Sewing Machine

Storing a sewing machine correctly is easy, and the biggest thing to consider when doing so is to make sure you have the correct socket for the machine. This is important because a regular socket can easily overheat your machine and render it useless.
After you have the correct socket, make sure you store the machine in an area that is away from any direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. This will ensure it doesn’t deteriorate over time and keeps in a secure and safe place. Additionally, it is also recommended to store the machine covered and secure when it is not in use.

What Happens if a Sewing Machine is Stored on its Side

The internals of a sewing machine, such as its gears and mechanisms, are designed to work best when stored upright. Unfortunately, if the sewing machine is stored on its side it can cause a number of issues. This can include warping of parts, the machine not stitching correctly, and parts breaking. As it has been previously discussed, storing a sewing machine on its side can also damage the needle, which can make it difficult and costly to replace.

Tips for Keeping a Sewing Machine in Good Condition

To keep a sewing machine in good condition for as long as possible, maintain and regularly service the machine. Manufacturers typically have guidelines on how to do this and if you have specific questions, feel free to contact them. Additionally, it is also important to store the sewing machine in the area mentioned earlier that is away from any direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.

Cleaning your Sewing Machine

Proper cleaning of a sewing machine is important to ensure it works correctly and efficiently. It is highly recommended to use professional cleaning solutions when cleaning your machine, as home solutions can be too harsh and damages its internal parts. To clean your machine, dust away any particles that have accumulated on the outside before wiping it down with a cloth. You can then add a few drops of sewing machine cleaner to a cloth and clean the exterior of the machine.
Make sure to use a soft cloth when wiping the machine, as any harsh cloths can scratch and damage the plastic elements of the machine. Additionally, when cleaning the bobbin case, be careful and make sure no dirt or dust enters the machine. Last but not least, it is always best to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation on cleaning the machine.

Important Maintenance Steps

Just like with any appliance, it is important to properly maintain your sewing machine in order to get the most out of it. This includes lubricating the machine regularly and cleaning it when it gets dirty. Additionally, it is important to replace the needle frequently to ensure seamless stitching and use the correct type of needle for the fabric you are working with.
Also, use the same thread your machine was set up with to avoid any tension issues and keep a spare bobbin case handy in case it gets stuck in the spool, which might occur when the thread isn’t properly wound around the bobbin case. Lastly, keep a couple of spare needles and bobbins handy for when the ones in use wear out, as this will save running out to the store in order to continue your projects.

Using the Right Power Source

When using your sewing machine, it is important to make sure it is plugged into the correct power source. Depending on your model and where you live, this can range from a standard 3-prong wall outlet to a special combination outlet or one of the modern surge protectors. As a rule of thumb, always refer to the manufacturer’s advice when it comes to choosing the correct power source for your machine.

Replacing Parts

It is important to replace any worn parts on your sewing machine as soon as possible. This includes the bobbin case, the needle, the power cord, and any other pieces that have been affected by use. When searching for replacement parts, always look for ones that are made by the same manufacturer as the original part.
This ensures that the replacement part is fully compatible with your machine and that it performs exactly as expected. Additionally, it is best to replace all worn parts on your machine at the same time to avoid any further damage to the machine.

Storing Supplies

In order to keep your sewing machine working properly and ensure it lasts longer, make sure to store any extra supplies such as thread, fabric, needles, and bobbins in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will ensure that none of the items become damaged or discolored over time. Additionally, having your supplies easily accessible makes it easier to work with the machine and can make sewing projects faster and less of a hassle.


It is important to ensure that your sewing machine is stored correctly and that it is properly maintained and serviced. Furthermore, it is important to use the right power source and the right replacement parts to avoid any damage to the machine. Additionally, it is vital to store all extra supplies in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight. If these steps are taken properly, you can ensure your sewing machine will last for a long time.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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