Sunday, 6 May 2012

Zipper and sewing machine trouble

So the gingham dress still isn’t finished. My arch nemesis the zipper has done it to me again, with some help from my sewing machine that still isn’t doing what’s supposed to. I will have to learn to tackle a ‘normal’ zipper this year as this is driving me insane (or I will have to look for patterns without zips, but all the pretty dresses have zippers). I’ve read several different tutorials on setting zippers and I understand what I’m supposed to do, but somehow this doesn’t translate to practice. I’ve also tried a fair few different methods but it always turns out to be a mess unless it’s an invisible zipper. I’m somewhat tempted to swap this zip to an invisible one, but then I’ve decided I want to learn to set a ‘normal’ one so I will stick with this for a while longer.    

I got around attaching the skirt to the bodice one evening last week, the pattern’s instructions didn’t make much sense (maybe it’s just me) but the skirt is now attached and it looks ok and it hasn’t fallen off so all is well. Then I tried to attach the zip (more than once) with little success and that's how far I've got.

It's beginning to look like a dress

And now it seems that my sewing machine has given up to the ghost. I can’t change the stitch length, some stitches jump for no apparent reason and the feed is all over the place. Needless to say I’m not very happy. The sewing machine I’ve been using since I moved back from the UK is my Nan’s old machine, it’s a Brother VX860. I think it’s from the 80s, it certainly has that look, but so far I’ve not managed to date it. It’s a good and sturdy machine; the insides are metal, not plastic, I’ve cleaned it and oiled it a few times so I know. It doesn’t do the fancy stitches, but it’s been great with thicker fabrics and I had no trouble when sewing the corset.  

The offending machine 

I’m not sure if I should get this serviced or consider getting a new (old) one. The local dealer said it would cost me somewhere between 38€ to 78€ to have it serviced + extra for spare parts which I think is somewhat steep, especially as it will only have a three month warranty. Though this one has sentimental value as it’s my Nan’s but then I have her old Singer and that one is more precious so maybe it’s time to start looking for something else, but the online reviews scare me a bit, there doesn't seem to be one machine above the rest, also I don't think I want to spend too much on one. Recommendations welcome.

The good news is I have a few projects to share here while I ponder what to do with my sewing machine (or get it fixed) so fear not my readers I won’t ignore the blog. Laters.


  1. I have this ( Singer 7258. I'd recommend it if you're looking for something that works well but isn't horrendously expensive. I've also got my great aunt's old 1960s metal singer as backup too, though, so I was willing to go out on a limb and try something plastic. I like that it has different types of 1-step buttonholes, a needle threader, and a clear drop in bobbin case....among other features. :)

    1. Oh, that Singer looks exciting, I will have to look into it. And it's good to know that the new plastic Singers aren't all bad as I have soft spot for Singers, I had a plastic one while in the UK and that was fine but then I didn't use it so much. Thanks Sue :)