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I have a broken sewing machine question. I have a pretty old Janome sewing machine that was recently handed down to me from my mother. It's a beautiful old thing and I had it serviced and the repairman said to hang on to it because it's an excellent machine.
Well I fear I have ruined this excellent machine. I'm a beginner at sewing. I was making a purse with wadding inside it and trying to sew up the edges (4 pieces of fabric and two thicknesses of wadding).
I recently discovered the fancy settings on it that let me do beautiful zigs and zags and interesting combinations of stitches. I chose a setting that was lots of small stitches together, then about every 5th stitch a bit mountain/zig zag. I got about 2cm up the side of the purse and obviously it was too thick for the machine/needle/thread/tension (I have no idea) and the needle bent. I removed the needle and replaced it, but now it keeps unthreading when I sew and is making a not so nice noise.
I just spent $200 getting it repaired and serviced. Is there any way I can fix this myself? or should I just take it straight back to the repair shop? I know that the repairman did a good job of fixing it last time and am pretty sure this is just my incompetence on the sewing machine that has caused the problem. Needless to say I'm devastated, as I have just discovered sewing and spend most nights doing just that, sewing! What an incredible craft it is.
Any thoughts or suggestions are very, very welcome.
By Fiona from Sydney, Australia
You have a good machine, but it is a dressmaker not an industrial machine. You may have a bent shaft, timing out of wack and so so many other possibilities. If you are a beginner or not unless you know what you're doing, the worst thing any one can do is to take a sewing aching apart! Just go back to where you had it recently worked on and ask if they would take a look at why it's running poorly. If they are a reputable sewing machine service business, I doubt they will charge you at all unless a part is broken and you have to buy a new part.
If you could take a sewing class, to learn the basics in sewing and machine care, you would learn important tools in sewing you will use forever. Don't use heavy weight fabric on a dressmaker machine ever, ever. Guaranteed to ruin it. Stay with lite to med weight fabrics and use the correct thread of course. If later on you can, buy something like a Singer straight stitch machine, they are good strong work horses. Enjoy sewing, you have a great machine to use.
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I have an old sewing machine, labeled Gimbels, 40yrs old. After inadvertently bending a needle while in the machine, it will not freely move up and down. It displays great resistance while the clutch is engaged. Can you indicate where the problem may be and where I can get parts? Thank you.
Did you already replace the needle? (obvious question, sorry!) (03/13/2008)
Look in the yellow pages of your phone director for sewing machine repair shops. Once you've found the business give them a call and see if they still makes replacement parts for it. If not you can probably find a nice used sewing machine at a garage sale, flea market, estate sale, or a thrift store. (03/13/2008)
Take the end off the machine, the end with the shaft that goes up and down, usually there 2 guides, when you jammed the needle it could have tweaked one or both of them, loosen the screw that holds it and let the shaft aline it's self and re-tighten it, while you're there oil it, bet you never have huh. Most people don't, also there's a pin on the fly wheel, make sure it's aligned, it should rotate freely. (03/17/2008)
To guest post: My husband followed your advice and as soon as I removed the front of the machine it loosened up and is now running fine. We both thank you kindly and are grateful for the accurate information. Best wishes. (03/18/2008)