Are there any other seamstresses/tailors on this board? Amateur or otherwise?
It was not a good weekend for sewing machines at my house. My primary sewing machine is a New Home and I've always loved it. I've been working on window treatments and was trying to finish up the last set of curtains for my living room last weekend. There are pleats and multiple layers of fabric in these curtains, so I was sewing some very thick stuff. My machine was stitching VERY slowly and kept stopping.
I did the usual cleaning routine, but that didn't help. I took off the end panel and examined the motor and belts and such; cleaned out a bit of lint and such. Turned it up and took off the bottom panel; checked that too. Running the machine with the end panel off, I saw that the motor wasn't running right; it was slow and halting.
So apparently my sewing machine needs motor repair or a new motor--not something I could likely fix myself. Luckily for me, I have another sewing machine! I inherited my grandmother's 1973 Kenmore that has a nice cabinet. My father told me it was in "desperate need of oiling." A couple months ago I'd bought some sewing machine oil, so I was ready to give it a try.
Taking out the manual, I carefully followed the oiling instructions. After that time-consuming process, I tried turning the handwheel. . . it turned fine. But nothing else did. Same with running it with the motor. The motor turned fine, the handwheel turned, the bobbin winder spun, but nothing else moved.
At this point I was at my wits' end--two sewing machines, but neither one worked! However, I am nothing if not stubborn. I looked at the diagrams in the manual again, looked for a troubleshooting section (there wasn't one), and glared at that machine. I tried loosening the clutch and tightening it again. THEN I tried turning the handwheel BACKWARDS (the instructions tell one ALWAYS turn it towards yourself). Things started moving!!!
So I cranked it by hand some more, with mixed results. As I kept it up, it got easier and worked better--the oil was working its way into the places that needed it! The mechanism was frozen from having been unused for some time. I removed the needle and just held my foot down on the pedal. WOOHOO! Now I can deeply identify with the phrase, "like a well-oiled machine"!
Got the band sewn on to those curtains, breaking three needles in the process. Need to press it before I do that last seam! Then I will FINALLY be all done with those living-room curtains.
What with settling in to the house, taking care of pool and spa, practicing my flute, and normal daily living tasks, I just haven't had much time for sewing! Still have lots of window treatments to do; nothing as THICK as those living-room curtains, tho!