Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sewing Machine Woes

Like computers, sewing machines are wonderful…
when everything is working as it should.
For someone like me, 
who sews pretty much everyday,
my sewing machine is a big part of my life.

My Janome machine is the newer 
of the two machines I have
and the one I use the most.
It is about 12 years old.
Because I sew so much,
I take my machines in regularly 
to have them serviced.
About nine months ago, 
this machine went in for
its regular maintenance servicing.

When I got it home,
this is how it was sewing.
For those of you really interested in sewing and machines,
 this is the underside of the sewn fabric.
It would sew perfectly for stretches,
then start the above.
Back to the sewing machine shop.
Several days later, I am informed the machine is ready to go.
It seemed fine sewing at the shop,
back home, the above again.
Another trip to the shop which
I might add is a half hour drive from my house.

Let me say, this is the shop from whom I purchased the machine
and I am a fairly regular customer since they service 
both my machines and my over lock machine.
They had just been taken over by a new owner or manager,
I'm not really sure which.
He would not even look at the machine
this time, insisting I was using the wrong thread.
I will admit I use Coats and Clark Dual Duty thread
and I realize that is not considered a premium thread 
by many people.
So back home again, I try using some
Mettler, which is considered a better thread.

The thread made no difference.
At any rate this saga has continued 
for the past nine months, 
three different sewing machine repairmen,
 countless trips back and forth,
and the appearance of my face in all my local shops
bringing nothing but dread 
to the people working there.
("her again…")
I guess it might be time 
to buy a new machine.

Thank goodness, I had my backup machine 
on which I've been sewing everything
during this time.
I paid $40.00 for this machine about 40+ years ago.
It was a used machine when I bought it.
It does nothing but straight stitch,
is all metal (no plastic on this gal), 
 but still sews like a dream.
(I made my wedding dress on this
machine a hundred years ago,
for goodness sake!)

The tattered manual is copyrighted 1953,
making me and this machine very, very
close in age.
(I'll let you consider which is older.)

Notice the above paragraph from the 
old Singer's manual re "REPAIR SERVICE."
Imagine a sewing machine service rep 
coming to your home…

Since the sewing I do is not fancy sewing,
this machine is perfectly adequate for me.
My big concern is having a back-up machine
for those times this one is being serviced.
I did  research to help me make a 
decision on what I should buy.
Everything I considered seemed to
really be more machine than I needed,
is electronic and/or computerized,
and has lots of plastic parts.
And do I really need a machine
that gives me 300+ different stitches?

Then I remembered my sister Nancy, who is not a sewer,
had a machine she had acquired years ago from 
her former mother-in-law.
It has been sitting in our basement for years.
What a strange coincidence we should both
have the very same old machine.
Hers is actually in a bit better shape than mine 
since it hasn't had the workout mine has.
I have cleaned it and oiled it and
it sews perfect stitches too!
I have found my back-up machine!

My plan is to alternate these two machines
on a weekly basis and I am probably 
good to go/sew for years!
AND I don't have to buy a new machine!

Meanwhile, the Janome, with all it's fancy stitches
is packed up and waiting for this 
summer's yard sale.


NanaDiana said...

Oh- How aggravating. I have that same Janome machine and finally gave it to my daughter when I bought a Husqvarna. That Singer is the same one my mother had for all her sewing years. She bought an "attachment" that screwed into place that she could use with cams to make buttonholes. I am not sure where the machine went when Mom died.

Did you try adjusting the bottom bobbin yourself at all? They are SO touchy but if it doesn't work it won't hurt anything anyway. xo Diana

tljwlj said...

Wow I've got this same old machine it was my mom's 1st machine. I also have a 401 and 403. Now if you want one that does some fancy stitches get the 401 or 403. They were made in the 50's too and have cams. They are all work horses.

I got a new one 1970's ( Singer were all plastic by then )and took and traded it in on 401 many years ago and have never regretted it one bit.

I've now gotten my mothers last machine a 1958 Necchi. It is the best of best made in Italy. All metal and loads of stitches you can do with cams. You can mix and match the cams to make more. Yes total 4 machines at my house. Each one set up for different things.

You can find these machines on Ebay machines. Don't waste your money on the new computer things. They will be in shop more than at home. That is if you like just regular stuff. HTH

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain! I have a all the bells and whistles Bernina 1630 computerized machine and I do love the way Berninas sew. That being said, she weighs a ton, is a pain to set up and is way too big for my studio space to be able to leave set up all the time...*sigh* Well, I don't know what happened to my brain recently but I am getting tired of being connected all the time by technology... I need to slow down so a couple days ago I purchased a real antique machine... a 1918 Singer hand crank sewing machine that is a 3/4 size portable machine... no electricity even involved! Many think I've gone off the deep end what with now having to control the fabric with one hand while cranking with the other but hey, it worked fine back in the early 1900's so why wouldn't it now? It will take some adjusting to but honestly, I rarely drag out my Bernina because of the hassle. I am planning on packing her up and selling her this spring... not quite yard sale material here in New Hampshire but perhaps my Etsy shop or Craig's list. Hmmm, 1953, a year before I was born, lol! 1918 was 36 years before I was born! I can't wait for her to arrive - if you want to see her I just posted yesterday on my blog about her... (http://elisabetpollockstudio[dot]wordpress[dot]com)
Good luck with your sewing trip back in time, :D
Hugs and stay warm my dear friend,
Beth P

Karen said...

I have a phaff 2042 quilting machine. It stays in the cabinet, does not travel (not good to move electronics), I needed a traveling machine and a heavy duty machine for sewing for hubby projects.
I got a featherweight, its small simple and reliable. The heavy duty machine is sameas yours but a few years newer than your machine. Love that machine too, will sew almost anything.

Most likely the issues with your janome is the service person.
When I got the same results from the place I bought my machine I went to a reliable repair man that only services sewing machines and my phaff runs like a champ.
Before you sell your janome as around and find a good repair person ad have he take a look at it. A few gals in my small quail group have janomes and love them.

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