Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sewing Machine Shopping

Having already made my decision to upgrade to a fancier sewing machine, what was a fun pastime has now turned into an imperative.  It’s a real downer having projects midway through the pipeline without having a way to finish them.

I’ve mentioned before that another of my hobbies is amateur astronomy.  Like sewing machines, telescopes are very specialized and technical pieces of equipment. Also like sewing machines, each type of telescope is suited for particular types of astronomical observing.

When I first got into astronomy, I went through several telescopes as I learned more about the hobby.  At a certain point, I knew enough about astronomy and the type of observing I like to do that I could invest in the best telescope choice for me.

Now I think I’m at the same point in my sewing “career”.  My Brother PC-210 has taken me from complete beginner to a moderate skill level and the ability to produce some nice garments.  And I also know the kinds of projects I like to do.

So I made two lists.  One was a review of sorts about my current machine, what I liked and didn’t like about it.  And the other was a list of what I wanted out of the next machine. Continue reading

Sewing Machine Repair – a Drama in One Act

I brought my machine back to the shop today, to get its buttonhole malfunction addressed.

After the tech greeted me and I explained the problem, he immediately shifted to a confrontational tone and claimed that all he did to the machine was oil it.

I said he must have done something, because the stitch length had changed and that I thought he had recalibrated something.  He told me that on this machine, there’s nothing to recalibrate, and reiterated that all he did was oil it.

I explained that buttonholes worked just fine before I took the machine in for service, and showed him the shirt I was wearing as evidence.

He responded, “I asked you if there was anything else wrong with the machine when you brought it in. Did you tell me there was anything wrong with buttonholes?”

“But there wasn’t anything wrong with the buttonholes”, I replied. Continue reading

Back to the Shop

I generally don’t spend much time talking about sewing machines on this blog.  I have one, I use it, it’s a tool for getting the job done.  I much prefer talking about the projects I do. So it dismays me to turn this blog into an ongoing saga of the problems with my sewing machine.

Since my last post, I’ve discovered a few more things about the machine post-tuneup. It has to go back to the shop.

I mentioned before they recalibrated the stitch length, which is good. But, they did something to the backstitch. Backstitches are now really short. So if you use the auto-backtack feature, it does three long stitches forward, three tiny stitches back, then stitches forward. Previously, forward and back stitches were always the same length. That’s probably something I could live with, because I generally don’t backstitch that often in my general sewing.

But I discovered a bigger problem while working on my yellow shirt last weekend. I had finished everything except buttonholes and button attachment. The machine had been going along fine except for some skipped stitches and a thread nest, both of which could be due to the too-small needle I was using for the thread.

That was when I discovered the machine can no longer stitch buttonholes. Continue reading