Monday, November 24, 2008

Trying to Stitch Away Grinchness

Life is gearing up for the annual holiday. I admit it. I'm a Grinch! But in between these preparations has been a bit of sewing-related fun. J loved wearing one of N's old summer nightgowns but as the weather got colder I decided to make her a flannelette one. She's learning -- as soon as she heard I was getting a pattern ready to make her something -- she started heading downstairs to choose the fabric from my stash! More on the nightgown sewing in the pattern review, below right.

Thought I'd learn a bit about sewing machine repairs and maintenance. I get a bit weary of the cost of having my machine tuned up ($115 for the serger tune-up and small repair last month and that's about 1/4 of what a new one costs)and relying on some man in a backroom I can't talk to to do the job. Plus, the machine usually sits in their shop for three weeks until they get around to it. So I purchased an e-book online and began reading. Then went hunting in our local antique and treasure shop for an older machine to practise on. The owner actually gave this one to me. Said that by the time she pays to have it serviced she can't make a profit and someone can go to Walmart and buy a new machine for about the same price. (There's a lot wrong with that -- the cheap new machine will be flimsy, made with plastic parts and this old machine is a strong workhorse that just needs a tune-up)
I thanked her and brought this Piedmont Sewing machine home. Joel also got interested and so we spent part of one evening working on the machine, learning as we went. Within a short time, the machine was working fine. We're looking forward to spending more time learning how it works and to repair timing, etc.
I've also learned that these little machines can have a lot of history piled into them, thanks for some informative folks on Pattern Review. This machine was made in Japan for the Hudson's Bay Company, probably in the late 1950s. It's called a badged machine because the Japanese factories would make the sewing machines and then various department stores would 'badge' them as their own. These machines actually had improvements on them that Singer didn't have and would later copy (such as the way the foot pressure is designed and incorporating the light into the machine body). Hmm....sounds like the auto industry.

1 comment:

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

Love the nightgown you made for J, so cute on her...specially as it has sheep on it!!That sewing machine looks like it was hardly used, my first sewing machine after we were married was a Piedmont we bought second hand, it was a great sewing machine. What was the e-book you found on repairing sewing machine's? I can usually maintain mine myself but had to take it in a couple years ago for a tune up and first they tried to convince me I needed parts costing over $200 dollars then when I went to pick it up the sales person gave me a lecture on not keeping the machine clean and produced a small bag of pink fluff........I had not sewn anything I knew it was clean as I had taken it apart before I took it in which I did not want to tell her as I did not need another lecture!!