30 Sep '11
Its Been Sew Long
No, I couldn't think of a cheesier post title. I couldn't find a cheesier image either: A few years ago, to my delight as well as my horror, I inherited the above model Pfaff sewing machine. My past history with sewing machines isn't great, because unlike knitting, I cannot seem to figure out much past the basics of sewing. The machine I had been working with previous to the Pfaff was older than I was and supposedly indestructible, a Husquavarna Viking. It spent two years in my hands and then suddenly refused to do anything but sew in reverse. I took it in to be fixed twice, but nothing worked. When I returned the machine to its original owner, at her request, it went off to see yet another repair person. The Viking had a good life, but had finally given up the ghost. I've had very little time to use the Pfaff, working sporadically on my son's quilt-in-progress and making project bags for myself and the Etsy site. The busier I've become with dyeing, the less I try to sew because it takes up so much of the space I also use to skein, reskein and tag yarn. I've also borrowed a fixed heddle loom from the same person I borrowed the Viking and inherited the Pfaff, so you can imagine all the hardware hanging out under the shipping desk waiting to get attention. I had projects all lined up to be sewn and sent to a dear friend who was having another baby, but when I got all set to sew I found the thread on my machine was catching on the bobbin housing. I did internet research, read the owner's manual, dusted, cleaned, rethreaded, adjusted tension, and pretty much every other thing I could think of to fix the expensive little monster. To no avail. Then the baby whose gifts were languishing was born, and the Seattle Stitch n Pitch happened, then came Sock Summit, the Serial Knitters Cruise, and Northwest Needle Market. I haven't even dusted off the sewing machine since last May. My biggest worry was not that there was something really wrong with the sewing machine, it was that I had broken yet another thing belonging to my best friend's mother. She has been looking after me in various forms since I was about sixteen, and I have this deep-seated fear of disappointing her. The source of this fear is probably the fact that I've continually disappointed her in some way or other in the last 20 years, but she's never, ever been harsh or critical. My own dominant parent lived by the harsh word. But enough psychology. Monday, I finally took the Pfaff to the doctor. Diagnosis? Ineptitude. I had threaded the top thread (which I don't even know what to call) as well as the bobbin completely wrong. I have been re-taught and my appreciation for the lovely folks at small fabric (and yarn!) stores has been renewed and redoubled. This weekend, I may even finish sewing the baby blanket and burp cloths for whomever is going to have a baby next.