Getting an Upgrade

vintage sewingThe old domestic’s been letting me down of late. Gone are the days when we gleefully spent our Sunday afternoons together, coursing our way through reams of fabric, fudging our way around zips and experimenting with all the exotic stitches on her dashboard….(actually, truth be told, the novelty of the hundred-billion stitch options wore off about a week after purchase way back in 2009).

Maybe she’s sick to death of the metres and metres of wool that I’ve been feeding her for my latest creation, the 1940s full-length dressing gown…(see my instagram for pics). Or maybe she’s vexed that I’m making her work so many hours of the day. Maybe she’s sensed that I’m really having rather a lot of fun on the big daddy of sewing machines, The Industrial, at school. Jealousy can lead to all sorts of odd and unexplained behaviour.

Whatever the reason, my dear little Janome DC3050 took decidedly funny turn last week – in the midst of forties dressing gown construction, no less!! Like a thing possessed and with a frantic, erratic, maniacal fury, she carried on sewing after I took my foot off the pedal. Stop little machine! Stop!

After a good few seconds of high-speed, rogue sewing, I struck upon the idea to switch the power off. Thank heavens for my quick thinking. And thank double heavens for the quick-unpick. This was not a momentary blip in her constitution, however. The devil had well and truly taken hold of my little domestic and was leading me on a merry dance, much to the detriment of my glorious dressing-gown. The time had come to get her to the repair man.

Ironically, only a month ago, it was suggested to me by mama M that I get the old bird serviced. Pah! I had thought at the time – but she runs like a dream! Why the devil would I give up good and precious cash only to have an expert confirm the fact? Well, this is probably why.

Much to my embarrassment, however, and after the frustratingly immense effort it takes to lug a sewing machine on two buses across London, nothing was found to be wrong with her. Cue flash-back moments to my university days when (with secret delight) my old, ugly laptop ceased to turn on and I hastily bought a brand-spanking new and very beautiful macbook. An £800 macbook. Back home and about to plug in my new purchase I noticed that the socket at the wall (where my old laptop was still plugged in) was switched off. After hesitantly, guiltily switching it on and noticing the old laptop come to life, I quickly pulled the power cable out of the socket and stuffed both laptop and cord in the cupboard never to be thought of again! Until now, that is. Moral of the story-that-I-haven’t-yet-learnt? Sometimes I can be too hasty to give up on machinery. At least it only cost me £65 this time.

So. back at home, suitably reminded that the problem could have been as little as the machine not being plugged in properly, 1940s dressing gown under her feet once more, we start up again.

And she is POSSESSED! Again!!

In the absence of parental guidance (mama M is a 6 hr drive away), I am on the brink of buying something new. Is this the right move? Is it? Is this the laptop saga all over again? Am I rushing into things? I do really want to get this dressing gown finished… and I do rather like the idea of getting a new, SEMI-industrial…



  1. Lachlan Mor

    Get an old singer in good nick. I have a 15-91, a good 201-2 or 101J are great. If you require a zigzag find something in a 400 series I believe. They are solid work horses and will see through everything including bone!

    1. acapitalgirl

      Oh no! Too Late! Only yesterday I succumbed to machine withdrawal and got myself a Pfaff Hobby 1142… wah! It seemed to be a good price and supposedly can manage pretty much everything you put through it’s feet… time will tell I guess!

  2. Lachlan Mor

    When I lived in Holland I had a Pfaff 360 that was amazing. Pfaffs are good, not sure about the new ones though.

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