Aside

The mechanics of sewing

Just a quick post today – I spent my morning having a lesson on how to use my overlocker. I booked it through Sew in Brighton, who do an overlocker day class, but I did mine today on a one to one basis.

I got a Pfaff Hobbylock 794 a while ago off the internet, in a fetching colour combo of brown and cream, for about £30. Yes, I know this is risky and when I got to my session this morning, it wouldn’t start at all! It turned out there was no fuse, but once that was in place and we jigged it round a bit, it ran fine. Apart from the fact that it appears to be stuck on “on” or “off” so can’t currently be controlled by the foot pedal. So it needs a service which I will get done over the next few weeks (if you live in or near Brighton, I recommend Richard Mouland who has previously serviced my sewing machine and got it working again when it broke).

All in all, I think it will make sewing stretch so much easier, and it was by far not as scary as I thought it would be. I’m going to book another session once my Hobbylock is serviced, to learn some more of the ins and outs, and hopefully sew my first stretch tshirt!

All this got me thinking, I really need to get myself a more reliable sewing machine. My machine is very basic, noisy and temperamental. I spend far too long rethreading, sorting tension and tangles out. Does anyone have suggestions of an affordable, reliable machine? I don’t need anything mega fancy – just a workhorse really.

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4 thoughts on “The mechanics of sewing

  1. Thought I’d check out your blog as you kindly posted a comment on mine- glad I did! I have been thinking of getting an overlocker for a while, but as I don’t sew stretchy fabric too often I didn’t think I could justify the price: I think I’ll take a leaf out of your book and keep an eye out for a second hand one. Regarding sewing machines, I bought a John Lewis one about 10 years ago and it still looks and works like new- it does all the neccessary things with a professional finish, without costing the earth.

    • It is the only overlocker I’ve seen ever for sale in Brighton on gumtree, but definitely worth keeping an eye out! My theory is, if it is a good brand, with a good service it should be fine as they tend to be built to last. I will have a look at John Lewis I think – my other option to to check with the service man to see if he has anything on his books for sale.

      • The John Lewis machine has been hard working and no trouble to use. Are you ever in London? There is a fantastic big warehouse full of fully serviced second hand sewing machines in Balham, and they even have a sewing machine museum! The machine’s seem fairly priced if not cheap, but they are all working perfectly, and have been given the once-over by the engineers there. They sell all brands and models, and next time I’m in London I might see if they have any smaller overlockers for sale. They also managed to find an original key for my 1912 manual Singer!

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