Monday, February 7, 2011

If it ain't broke, don't fix it...

Ever have one of those days when you are sewing along just fine and then bam - your machine fails you? I am talking about those moments which inspire you to speak every expletive you've ever heard, hurl your machine out the window and swear off sewing forever? Now you're with me. Okay, so what is the best way to handle those moments? Let us take a moment to discuss that, shall we?

Thursday at my after school sewing class one of my new Bernettes (yes, the new ones...) just refused to sew. Nothing had happened to it, and to my knowledge it hadn't been used in a week. So why in the world was the wheel stuck? I took out the manual and it suggested to take apart the bobbin and remove any trapped threads. I did that but it was not going to budge no matter what I did. It was getting to the point where I was afraid I was going to break it and I needed to attend to the students. I put the cover back on and told the kids it was out of order. Well nothing can set a group of middle school kids heading in the wrong direction like an adult who preceivably gives up. Boy was it hard to get them focused after that. I was having one of those moments I described above - but publicly and in a room full of twelve year-olds.

I had planned on doing a fun free motion thread illustration project with them, so I tried to garner enthusiasm for that instead of giving into the grumblings about all the other machines which were now 'broken' and stories of broken machines and machine related accidents they had heard before (my grandma told me that she knew someone who sewed right through her finger once!) It became machine-doctor to the rescue mode: I rethreaded one, wound an empty bobbin on another, replaced a needle which had broken in half (I don't know why it broke - it just got stuck in the fabric and when I tried to pull it out the bottom part came off!) and attempted to convince the student who didn't feel like plugging her machine in to try one of mine.

So today I am off to my fav little neighborhood machine-fixer-upper place which also happens to sell those lovely Bernina 830s... I may have to play with one while mine is on the operating table. What do you do when this happens? Do you put your project away or take the machine apart piece by piece until it looks like that toaster oven your dad tried to fix when you were a kid? What calms you down in if you are faced with a machine malfunction? What inspires you to keep on sewing? This week is dedicated to *$&#^@)! and the machines we love to fix.


  1. Can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw my machines off my roof.

  2. That picture of junked machines made me want to cry. Really.

  3. Indeed! I wish I could reach into the photo and pull them out and fix all of them! The photographer is from Australia. You can see more of her work here: