Monday, July 28, 2008

Time for a Tune-Up

Sad news: my sewing machine is in the shop. I've been without it for 4 days and I'm having some sort of of sewing withdrawal depression. :)

The good news is that my machine comes home tomorrow! It's been 8 years since I've had the machine serviced, and so I thought it time to take care of that.

How often do you all take your machines to a shop for cleaning, oiling, adjusting? How often is necessary? Do you do your own machine servicing? Yes, I clean and oil my machine regularly, but lately something about the tension has been "off." After 8 years, it was time for a tune-up!

These two tops for my daughters were made last week when I still had my machine. Both are from Ottobre, and both are made from the same lightweight jersey knit fabric.

happy sewing,

Ottobre 4/08
Design #34
Size 146

Ottobre 3/08
Design #5
Size 98


  1. AnonymousJuly 28, 2008

    I don't think I've ever taken my current machines for tune ups. I have a lower end (mechanical) Elna that is just a few years old, a nearly 10 year old Kenmore serger and the machine I've been using for the past 6 months or so is the 1960 Singer 401a (aka Slant O Matic) inherited from my MIL.

    I think you might "need" a back up machine to combat any withdrawl symptoms, just in case. :)

    I hope you have fun with your newly tuned up machine as soon as you get it home!

  2. I have a 1950's sewing machine, I've taken it in twice. Once when we lived in CA and the guy who did it was marvelous. I took my machine in last fall (too bad we weren't living in CA! - had to take it in to a local shop), and they messed the timing up big-time! I was so upset, I took the machine back but they were rude to me and stitched a few stitches and said it was fine. ARGH. I am trying to decide if it is worth spending the money to get someone else to fix it!

  3. My machine is 17 years old. I don't service it near as often as I should. I have a Bernina 1130 that thank goodness is a workhorse of a machine and can take a lot of abuse. I am good about changing my needle, but don't oil it near as much as I should.
    And isn't it always the case that there are a bazillion things you want to work on when you have no machine, but before then if you are like me it could have sat idle for weeks. :)

  4. Oh, my machines need to be tuned up and cleaned desperately. I just can't be without them. If we had taken a vacation this summer, I would have taken them in while we were gone.

  5. I love the first top. I'm unfamiliar with Ottobre patterns. Do you have a source for those patterns? I did a quick google search and couldn't find anything that resembled that top.

    As far as tuning - maybe every couple of years. I try to do as much on my own as possible.

  6. AnonymousJuly 28, 2008

    As I told you on Flickr, I think your tops - both of them - are just beautiful! And your models are gorgeous as well, which doesn't hurt... :) As for the tune ups - haven't tried that yet. I bought the machine I use in March, I think, so it hasn't been necessary - and I actually think I would wait until I thought something needed fixing...

  7. My 40-year-old Elna Supermatic needs a service too. I'm not looking forward to parting with it for a week :(

    I'm researching new machines at the moment.... and also trying to convince hubsky that a new one is in order. A machine that did good buttonholes would be wonderful.

  8. Oh how I hate being without my sewing machine! Fortunately I keep my 25+ year old Kenmore on hand for when I bring my other in for a tune up. I try and bring my machine in once a year and have it checked but in reality it's usually 2 or 3 years.

  9. I have a newer singer - but a nicer one that is not electronic. I have it serviced every 1 - 2 yrs. I usually have it done the end of summer so it is all ready for Holiday and fall sewing projects. I love the tops you made your girls. I am thinking I might make the first one for my older DD as well. your example is so much nicer than the one in the mag - you might have made up my mind!

  10. AnonymousJuly 31, 2008

    Those are both adorable tops. Where do you find good knit fabrics?

  11. Beautiful tops.

    I really should take my serger in. Luckily a local-ish repair guy believes in booking your service time and usually has 24 hour turn around. My sewing machine was in not too long ago and my embroidery machine is still new. I regularly vacuum, clean and oil them.

  12. Those pictures are excellent. I want to be there.

  13. Both of these turned out really cute. I want to get sewing on my Ottobre patterns, but seriously injured my knee so I can't get down on the floor (my only place to cut), or really I can't get back up once I get down! lol So I am commiserating with how you felt when your machine was away. I took mine in a couple years ago and the cleaning/tuning really improved. My quilting teacher told me if you use your machine continually, it should be every year.