Monday, August 23, 2010

Bend and Snap

I broke my sewing machine. I didn't mean to, I swear. I was making a potholder, the one out of SouleMama's book Handmade Home in fact. Instead of batting, which I would have to buy, she used a thrifted towel for the filling. Brilliant! I snatched an old towel we had been using as a dust rag (I washed it first!) and went to sewing.

What the multi-talented SouleMama didn't take into account was my novice abilities and my minimal sewing machine knowledge.I managed to get everything cut to the proper lengths and my seams were straight. But the layers were very thick. Two layers of towel, two layers of fabric. I got two sides sewn when there was a loud snap followed by a piercing, grating grinding noise. My machine beeped at me several times and flashed E6. Do you know what an E6 is? Motor seizure. It's the equivalent of getting a blue screen on your laptop. It's over. It's done. Better call in the troops. Finito.

I tried to remove my project from the machine but the bent and broken needle (and the only needle I have) had it pretty well pinned down. I had to remove the foot and manually wriggle the needle up and out, ripping the fabric on the top of the potholder with the needle's jagged edge. I guess that potholder is going to the scrap bin. I un-threaded the machine, took out the bobbin and tried to figure out what was wrong. Nothing. Grinding, beeping and more E6.

Tears ensued. Phone calls were made. Bearly Stitchin', the local sewing center said they were sure they could fix her up. They're running about a week out on repairs so I'm looking at seven long day without a sewing machine and that my friends, makes me very grumpy indeed. Not that I'm sewing everyday or anything but I'm still learning. I can't learn if there is no machine with which to do it. And I was just about to start Christmas present #3!! Boo!

The old consumer driven me resurfaced, urging me to just buy a new one. Images of Singers and Brothers danced in my head. I started lusting over the Husqvarna Vikings in the current circular ad from my local craft store. But I won't. My machine may be down but it's not out. Who actually takes things to get repaired nowadays? We throw it away and get a new one. But not this time.What's that saying? Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. The machine is too young to be used up. And with a little love, hopefully, I'll still have many years before I wear it out.

I dropped her off this morning. It turns out that the cost of fixing her is almost as much as purchasing a new one but I'm sticking to my guns. I like the machine I have. I don't really want another one. It's like we "grew up" together, ya know? Sigh. I miss my machine. Only 6 more days to go!



  1. I felt like this when my camera died, mid-picture. Really. It captured half of the photo and the rest was black. Off it went for repairs. Long weeks of repairs. I felt ridiculously lost. It eventually came back to me, and it was awkward at first, but we did end up on intimate terms again :-)

    Just think of the time you now have to dream up more sewing projects.

    May the count-down go quickly...

  2. I actually HATE machine sewing. I'm taking a mini-break from sewing felt crowns for the craft show...and I just don't like it. It's too unreliable...thread comes out of the needle, tension is wrong, whatever. I've had that thick fabric-broken needle experience. And I curse a lot. I JUST WANT TO SEW! My husband knows to clear out when I get out the sewing/knitting machines...'cause the cursing and shouting and crying are inevitable.
    Take up hand-sewing. The only thing that might seize are your hand muscles...haha!

  3. I had a similar 'almost' problem when sewing up a jean bag for my daughter. My incompetence had the thing stuck in no time. Luckily I managed to unstick it but dang the noice my machine made. Good for you for sticking to your guns and getting 'the thing' fixed. I'll have to remember that the next time I pull mine out and tackle another jean project and the ear shattering clank, grind, and scretch sounds occur. LOL.