Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Boo-urns!

The best laid plans of Cations and cats go oft awry.

I had a whole list of things I wanted to accomplish during this week in SF -- finish the hem of Elaine's wedding skirt, make something out of my awesome Jurassic Park sheet, and make a dress for my sister. Alas, it is not to be, as my mom's dodgy old Kenmore decided to go on strike. I was already having issues with it last summer, and somehow in between getting up to cut out a facing and sitting back down (I'm totally serious -- nothing happened to it, nobody used it), the whole thing froze. When I try to turn the hand wheel, it just doesn't turn (not even the tiniest bit!), stepping the the foot pedal produces a hum but no motion, and a thorough inspection of the bobbin case area doesn't reveal any offending thread or lint. I'm totally flummoxed -- what could've happened to make it suddenly, randomly jam like that? It's not computerized, either, so fried motherboards aren't an option.

Just so this isn't an entirely picture-less post, here's the sheet that I'm using to make my sister's dress!

It's got lobsters on a navy and white pinstripe background, 100% cotton with a nice soft hand. Emily has a fondness for crustaceans, so I was pretty psyched when I found the twin flat sheet in excellent condition at a thrift store.

I'm using Simplicity 6926, a 70s sundress pattern, which should make for quite the nautical look when I'm done. If I ever get done, that is, thanks to the silly machine's silly temper tantrum. Time to look for a sewing machine repair shop!

45 comments:

  1. So I have an old Kenmore as well, from abou 1975-76. We should talk sometime. Anyway, mine does exactly the same freezing thing, handwheel and all that you are describing. I will turn it off, take the bobbin out, remove the spool, open the case, oil a tiny bit, put it back together and for some reason, can't really explain which part, it works.

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  2. Nooooooo, I will never get those potholders finished either!
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/sew-fine-san-francisco#query:sewing%20machine%20repair ?

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    1. Praps here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/sunset-sewing-and-vacuum-center-san-francisco-7#query:sewing%20machine%20repair

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  3. Oh dear! I had something similar happen with my serger and in the end had to take it in for a service. There was something all jammed up inside. I hope Kenmore gets zesty again soon! I would also like to note my lobster sheer envy. That is all kinds of AMAZING!

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    1. After taking in the machine, apparently its timing was all off. Now I can do that lobster sheet justice!

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  4. urghhh that doesn't sound good about your Mums machine, have you taken the casing off to have look? sounds like something might have snapped or slipped on the inside.

    Love the lobster sheets, I have rather a thing for lobster print fabrics.

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    1. I did try looking inside, but couldn't see anything obviously wrong, so I took it in for a checkup and things are all good now!

      There really should be more lobster-print fabrics in the world.

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  5. That happened to me a couple of years ago and it was also a Kenmore. A friend of mine came for a visit and wanted to use that machine. I told her it didn't work...it was 'frozen'. A few minutes later she was sewng with it. I asked her what she did...how she got it to 'unfreeze'. She said "I oiled it".

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    1. I don't have sewing machine oil, so maybe I should invest in some...but since the machine hasn't been serviced since my mom got it, I figured it was overdue for a checkup anyway.

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  6. So frustrating! My machine has been "in the shop" for about two months now--I hope yours doesn't take nearly as long to fix!

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    1. Yikes, two months is a very long time! I don't know what I would do with myself! Thankfully, the shop I took it to finished working on it today!

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  7. I had a similar problem a few months ago - I have a Viking Husqvarna 120. If I remember correctly, I think the light on my machine worked, but the foot pedal would not making the machine "go." I thought it was probably a foot pedal problem, but the cost of a new foot control was more than my whole machine is worth. So I pried open the foot control, undid a few screws, and found where a wire had broken and was no longer making a connection with the thingy it needed to connect to. Here's a photo. I took it to an electrician supply place, got a new little clamp thingy to hold the wire in place, and it cost about 30 cents. Sorry to blather on, but I hate to pay other people do a lot of money to fix things I can figure out myself! I don't know if this is your problem, but I hope it helps.

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I knew it wasn't a foot pedal problem, since the handwheel wasn't turning, but I'll keep that in mind for future reference!

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  8. Ugh, how frustrating. It's awful being without a machine. I hope it works out soon! That lobster sheet is awesome!

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    1. I'm sure you know how frustrating it is to not be able to sew properly, especially once you have some solid inspiration! Thankfully, it's back to functional now!

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  9. Ha! I have that pattern! Can't wait to see how it turns out, especially paired with that sheet—it's pretty perfect. I hope your machine problems are resolved soon!

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    1. Oh wow, you should totally make it too! ;) Haha, I just get too excited when other people have the same vintage pattern...doesn't happen too often!

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    1. Unfortunately, I don't have any here in SF, but the machine was due for a tune-up anyway!

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  11. Ooo! I have that pattern too. I'm excited to see how it turns out. Shame about the machine- I hope you can get it fixed.

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    1. Yay, another pattern twin! You should make it too! :)

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  12. Awww man, what a bummer! On the plus side, the dress is going to be CUTE when you get a chance to make it!

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    1. Let's certainly hope so! That lobster print deserves to be showcased well!

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  13. check Craig's list, I see the most amazing deals on sewing machines there. I think you can find a great machine for the price of the repair. So many people have machines that are just taking up space in their closet and want to unload.

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    1. I'm not living here yet, so I don't want to just buy a machine for the remaining two days that I'm here...although I definitely can't wait to look around for a vintage Singer when I do move up here for good!

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  14. That's a shame about the machine; I swear sometimes they have a mind of their own (and possibly grudges against humanity...). That sheet is super cute though, I can't wait to see the finished dress!

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    1. Right? Seriously, nothing was happening and it just went and died. Grudges for sure!

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  15. Try oiling it! If it's an old machine the more you oil it the more it will love you. Your sister's sheets look like they will be an amazing dress!! Hope you get to finish it soon!

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    1. It's not super old, just from the nineties, I think. And I'm pretty sure nobody's oiled it in all that time!

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  16. Sorry to hear that the machine isn't cooperating, but the sheets are adorable! Should I know be on the lookout for crustacean-themed sheets, as well? :)

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    1. I don't imagine that there are many crustacean-themed sheets out there; Emily would certainly be thrilled if there were!

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  17. Oh no! I hope it's able to be fixed soon.
    LOVE that lobster fabric. Please share the dress when you are able to complete it. It looks gorgeous in my head :o)

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    1. It's pretty darn cute in my head, too! Let's hope it turns out that way in real life...

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  18. I love that dress pattern! I am sure your machine will be fixable, the same thing happened to mine and it was repaired to as good as new for 40$.

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    1. It's fixed! I was pretty sure it wasn't permanently out of commission, but it was still frustrating at the time. Sometimes you just get into a groove while sewing and don't want to stop!

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  19. Oh no! I hope the machine can be saved quickly and without too much expense. You'll have to find some other way to relax now :) That lobster fabric is going to be really great as a sundress!

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    1. It's been saved! Thankfully, I had plenty of other things to do while I was waiting, although I wished I was sewing instead!

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  20. Older machines will literally gum up if not used regularly. A service and lots of solvent will get it going again.

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    1. It's not too old, but it definitely doesn't get regular use. I took it in for a tune up and it's fine again now!

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  21. Frustrating when a machine decides to quit on you! We had excitement the other day in the opera shop when the motor on a really old industrial (so old it doesn't have a reverse or a stitch length!) decided to start smoking! Smelled terrible and we unplugged it so fast because we were afraid of a fire starting.

    I love the pattern you plan to use for your sister's dress! It will be so cute with that lobster sheet. =)

    ~ Brooke

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    1. Yikes! Smoking is scary! Thankfully that's never happened to me with any kind of appliance...that would be quite the excitement indeed.

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  22. OMG I love lobsters on fabric! My little boy had a little onesie that was blue with red lobsters, my fave!

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  23. I love the fabric and the pattern, too!

    Something like that happened to my old machine, it wasn't computerized either, I had to take it in to have it worked on.

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  24. I've got that pattern too! It's very cool and lobsters with stripes is going to look fantastic! That really stinks about the machine, hope all is well now so we can see more Cation Awesomeness!

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