Way back at the start of April, my lovely, trusty, 18 month old sewing machine decided to give up on me. On the weekend I ran a promotion for my Name Banners, meaning I had 38 to make.
It just wouldn’t work — the hand wheel was very stiff to turn, the needle kept sticking and an error message kept coming up on screen that indicated that the bobbin was tangled, when there was no problem with it at all. I spent four hours trying to figure out how to fix it — I cleaned out the bobbin case, I was only able to remove part of the needle plate to clean underneath, I switched it off and back on again (after all, it’s computerised and isn’t that how you fix computers?) and nothing. All the Name Banners were cut out and piled up neatly on my dining table and I had nothing to sew them with.
I was about to send my husband to Argos to pick up a spare machine for £150 when my lovely Facebook friend Lyndsey suggested the little Hobbycraft Machine, which was for sale at £24.99. Desperate, Hubby was sent there instead and came back with this:
So yeah, it’s tiny. Teeny weeny. And reading the one review on the Hobbycraft website, it really wasn’t going to cut it. But I gave it a go and instantly hit a problem — you made it stitch by switching it on and off. There is a pedal, but like the machine itself its weeny and it didn’t really matter what pressure you put on it, the machine had two speeds, slow and slightly less slow. So to stitch, you hit on and to stop, you hit off. Which is great for Jack (but more on that later), but for me, urgh! It really did take some getting used to, for those of you who machine sew out there you will know that you get to know your machine, you know exactly what pressure to apply to the pedal for the speed you require without even thinking about it. Getting used to a new machine takes time, and I just didn’t have time with this, I wanted my old machine back!
I eventually managed to get the Name Banners done, and fortunately my machine broke at a time where I was planning to have some time off from work anyway, as Ed was in San Francisco for a week. So I popped my old machine on my desk and tried to put it out of my mind for a few days.
Having the little machine in our house was wonderful though, because (I am sad to say) the boys don’t get to touch my sewing machine. For one thing, reaching the pedal is a problem for them all. And it goes really fast — too fast for little hands. But the little machine meant that all three of them were able to use it, and make something entirely on their own. And that’s for tomorrow’s Blog post.
I did eventually brave going into a small, independent sewing machine repair shop a few miles from where I live who told me the machine could be fixed by just putting oil inside the holes located over your sewing machine and that would fix the problem — DON'T DO THIS! I didn’t, it just didn’t seem right, and having read a bit online it just wouldn’t have worked. No, what I did was manage to take off the whole of the needle plate with a little more patience and I was amazed at the amount of fluff under it. I gave the bobbin mechanism a little oil and things appear to be back to working order again, hoorah!
However, if your thinking of taking up sewing and don’t want to fork out £100+ on a machine, it really wouldn’t hurt you to give the little Hobbycraft one a try. It is frustrating when your used to a full sized machine, but it really does do basic stitching perfectly.