Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why I like metal parts...

Once upon a time, I began work on a set of field bags for the children in my early childhood program. I cut up an old pair of jeans and stitched them into small bags, then started adding webbing for the handles. That's when all the trouble started. My sewing machine didn't want to sew through so many layers of fabric. It tried, but there was a big nest of tangled fabric on the back of each one which did nothing to hold it in place--give a tug, and all the stitching came right out. I tried fixing the tension, I tried a new needle, I tried all the fixes I could find suggested on the internet. Nothing. Then there was a big klunk! and then it just wouldn't sew anymore.

Well, I tried without success to find someone around here who would fix it. (I got attitude instead.) Then my friend in Boston suggested a place near her. Two hours each way one weekend to drop it off; then again the next weekend to pick it up. But it was all worth it. "Mr. Sweeper" got it running again, and I've never had it run so quietly and smoothly.

But I never went back to the field bags. There they sat, for months and months, while the kids asked "are they done yet?" It was a doomed project. I just wasn't excited about it anymore. Finally, I couldn't stand looking at the unfinished heap any longer. So today I got to work on them. Hooray--it was working! The stitches were regular and lovely! All hail the old machine that sews through anything!


Yup. Broke it again. Tried all the fixes. Then remembered that "Mr. Sweeper" had said the needle plate was bent. Sure enough, bent again. Damn. I looked all over the internet for a replacement, but found only the information that it was "Obsolete. Unavailable." (Explain to me how it can be obsolete when there are still machines out there in the world, sewing away...) I start mourning my machine, and getting all depressed about my inability to sew.

But then I think--hey, it's metal. I like metal parts because they are repairable. What would it take to repair this? A hammer? I give it a few whacks with the hammer until it looks straight, pop it back in, and ahhhh.... Sewing again.

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