Friday, June 06, 2008

Apparently it's a delicate flower.

The other day I was sewing along, making my kids flowered beach bags, when suddenly my machine jammed. I figured it had to do with the terry cloth backing I was sewing onto the front of the bag, so I turned the flywheel by hand until it wouldn't turn anymore. I took the fabric out and there was a thread jam around the bobbin case. I picked out the threads and resumed sewing.

Not two minutes later, there was another thread jam. I pulled the threads out and started over.

Same thing happened again.

Now, a wiser woman might have said "I'll stop here - obviously my machine is having some problems." I, not being the Wiser Woman, kept at it through my rising frustration, yanking the bobbin around and pulling miles of thread out of the bottom of the machine, figuring the machine just didn't like the terry cloth.

I was pretty annoyed and frustrated when, after the last thread jam cleared, the stupid thing still wouldn't sew. The needle went down, the thing sounded fine, but it wouldn't make a stitch.

And even then, if I had just left ill enough alone, it would have been fine.

But instead, I took out the fabric, jerked the bobbin cover off, and forced the flywheel by hand. It still wouldn't turn and the stupid bobbin kept bouncing up. I showed it who was boss, but, you know, not too hard.

I finally gave up and took it in.

"Sure", friendly dude says, "it needs an overhaul, actually, so I'll have it for a couple of days and it'll cost you $85."

All right, no problem.

I get a call this afternoon, from an extremely upset sewing machine repairman.

"I don't know what the hell happened to your machine here, Sharon. I've never seen anything like it in my life."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah, there are these four cogs underneath your bobbin case, right? And somehow - and seriously I have no idea how - all four of them are busted beyond repair. I don't know how it happened - the machine motor itself isn't strong enough to do this kind of damage. I mean, it takes some serious force to break these cogs."

", how weird." (A fiery blush is creeping up my neck.)

"I mean, somebody would have had to turn that flywheel with a lot of force. I mean a lot of force. Then they'd have had to bang that bobbin case down WHILE turning it, and somehow hard enough to break all four of these cogs."

"Ah. Well....that's sure....strange." (Mystified, I am.)

Silence from repair dude. Then, suspiciously, "Well anyway, this is going to cost you at least $100 for the labour, then I have to get those four replacement cogs. You're looking at $150, probably."

"Uh, okay...well thanks then."

I feel like the doctor just confronted me about all the bruises on my toddler, you know?

My bad.


kate said...

Well, you know, this has been discussed before. .... unusual strength of a clydesdale and all. :-)

Obviously it is simply a weak machine.

Brenda said...

I agree with Kate, weak machine. Personally, I have a fear of these machines and stay away. If I were to go near one, I would definitely be trying to beat it into submission....

Heatherly said...

oh! that is so sad.

Ames said...

I think this is one of my favourite posts and I don't know why. Hilarious.

Gwen said...

I'm envisioning Anastacia and Drisella: "I'll make it fit!"

Annalea said...


Thanks for reminding me that I need to take my machines in for tune ups. ;o)

mel said...

Oh dear! You just don't know your own strength ;)

Stace' said...

grab your sticks and carry on...

lizbon said...

Snort. I mean, massive sympathy emanating from my corner.

I had to pay $90 to fix my eons-old sewing machine a few years, and I felt like it was highway robbery, since the damn thing only cost about $150 when new in the 1980s.

Clearly, you have not learned the most important rule of machine repair and maintenance.

Well, now you've learned it, I imagine. So, are you going to pay the $150 or buy a new one?

Karen S said...

Or apparantly you are stronger than you thought ;)
What a story, it made me smile a lot here in the morning sunshine.

Shan said...

No, it's a $700 replacement cost so I'm stickin' with it. I've had it for 12 years - I don't mind paying to keep it going for another 12...though it hurts a bit.

But yeah, expensive lesson, right. Thanks Lizbon - you should have told me this a week ago.

lizbon said...

Sorry, Sugar. Did I neglect to mention that the only way to learn that lesson is hindsight?

Also, I am never arm-wrestling you.

Tabatha said...

OH! You poor thing! I hope it will get all fixed and won't be a problem.