The problem was that a gear had split and I was originally told when I took it to a repair shop that it was beyond fixing, but whilst chatting to Maeri, she suggested that I let her sewing machine repair engineer colleague take a look at it just in case there was anything he could do. I was already resigned to having to ask for a new one as a Christmas present but it seemed like a good idea anyway. Just in case.
So imagine my delight (and considerable surprise!) when Bob said that it wasn't beyond help after all. It's 30 years old at least, my machine; it was my Mum's and was an expensive one when she bought it so I'd be unlikely to be able to replace it like-for-like - but most of all I'm so pleased that I can carry on using my Mum's machine. I like the continuity. I like looking at the cotton reels in the storage case and remembering what she made with the colours. I like to look at the attachments and remember picking them up and examining them as a small girl whilst she sewed at the kitchen table. I like the idea that my girls will be able to use it and it's a machine with a history.
This is the split gear wheel - it's much smaller than I imagined it to be, but you can see why the machine was a bit poorly!
And here's my machine, back on the kitchen table and ready to go!
I signed up for an online sewing course a few weeks ago through an Australian store called The Haby Goddess. It's a nifty idea - it runs for six weeks with a catch-up week in the middle and a few extra catch-up weeks at the end. Each week's lessons are uploaded on a Monday morning and then you have the week to work through them at your own pace. There are also project sheets to practice what you've learnt, a Facebook page to show off pictures and ask questions and plenty of opportunity to contact Jodie, who runs the course, to make sure you're doing it right.
I decided it would be a good idea because my dressmaking skills are a bit rusty and I want to work on them with big daughter. This course is ideal for us as it starts right at the beginning so big daughter can gain confidence without having to learn how to put zips in, for example, in the middle of a project.
I'm quite a way behind as I've been waiting for my sewing machine to be repaired, but when I got it back on Saturday I was far too impatient to start at the beginning and instead launched into a project - a bean bag bed for my friend's pup!
This is the bean bag bit, completed without too many beans on the floor. They're really fiddly to pick up if you spill them as they go static-y and stick to the brush and fly about the room, so it's definitely a job that needs your full attention!
Next onto the cover. I made a bean bag for our dog a while ago as I didn't like the way his bed had gone lumpy, so it was a simple matter of taking the lumpy filling out and replacing with beans (which is why I know all about them flying all over the place!). It's so much easier having washable covers as dogs are such muddy things, especially at this time of year! I decided to put one of the Sew School lessons into practice and made a zipped cover. I'm really proud of the way that the end tab covers the end of the zip and looks very professional!
And this is the finished article! I made two covers so that one could be in the wash, and I'm very pleased with it. As usual, the colours have done strange things in my photos - I need to work on my photography! - but they're actually quite a nice chocolate brown colour which is an excellent colour for muddy dogs!
Not bad for a start, and I'm going to enjoy going back over the lessons and getting to know my sewing machine again. Big daughter is also looking forward to making something else after her first foray into dressmaking this summer, so hopefully we'll have more to show you very soon!