Panic in the sewing room
This is my beloved sewing machine. I purchased it a few years ago when my Pfaff bit the dust.My go to brilliant sewing machine doctor, leon Speilvogel had moved his repair shop in the garment district, appropriately called "Garment Center Sewing" out to Brooklyn. Getting the machine to Leon was something of a problem which required either an expensive taxi ride or dislocating my funky shoulders from carrying the sewing machine. While I weighed my options I purchased the inexpensive Janome as a stop gap measure.
I ended up falling deeply in love with what was supposed to be a temporary fix. The Janome was in many ways just a better machine than the Pfaff which had cost several times more than the Pfaff.
Over the years several parts broke off. The stopper mechanism for the bobbin winder went early. While I was teaching a class the little tool box crashed to the ground so I hacked together a repair using Velcro. But the machine kept purring along, working as an extension of my hands--until Wednesday evening,
Wednesday I was doing some work after dinner when the machine suddenly stopped. It felt like a gear had broken or fallen off. I was as distraught as I would have been if one of my kids had gotten injured. There is work to be done and I need my machine.
I checked out various machine reviews online. I looked at the specs of several machines. I consoled myself with some knitting and some junky TV.
Yesterday I decided to see if there was a temporary machine I could locate locally via Craigslist. This machine was being sold, a subway stop away, completely new and never used.
The price was reasonable. I hopped on the subway, and bought the machine. As I carried the machine out of the apartment building where I had purchased it, the doorman stopped me to ask about the machine. He has a side business creating Haiti pride clothing. He uses a higher lever brother machine for his work which he produced completely himself .W talked for a bit about where we source fabric and trims from and then I went on my way delighted to have found a fellow seamster.
I got home, unpacked the machine, and tried out all of the stitches. It's a nice machine, but I am not in love. The working are a bit louder and clunkier than the Janome, but it does have some nice stitches. in general, the stitch quality is nice.
I pulled out a not quite finished challah cover. I can't remember exactly when I had begun this challah cover. Given the materials, cotton rather than silk I imagine that it was quite a while ago.I also assume that given that the woman pictured is my grandmother, that I must have made this piece to exhibit at a show.
If I had planned better I would have taken a before photo. The photo was edged with white satin stitching. It was OK but the balance of the piece was a bit off. I stitched a ribbon frame around the photo using a copper metallic thread. Metallic thread can make machines balky.
My new machine performed well. Given how often I use metallic thread in my work the machine passed an essential test.
My grandmother will grace our Shabbat table tonight. My husband will rent a car and take my ailing machine to Leon. Hopefully my Janome can be salvaged, but meanwhile I can work.