Sunday, July 18, 2010

machine failures

I'm feeling immensely frustrated right now. I've been studying for my end-of-term exams for the past week or so and during my study breaks, I've been trying to get some Summer Essential sewing in. I'm really looking forward to wearing some new me-made summer clothes, especially since it has been so hot during the last couple of weeks! So I started out with the simple, no-pattern outfits: I traced a tank top, a pair of shorts and a half-circle skirt and cut it out from jersey. I put the jersey needle in, selected some thread and started on the first seams (which were, incidentally, side seams on which I used a straight stitch). Awesome, I thought, this is a lot easier than I thought it was, I don't know why I was so afraid of sewing with knits!

Ah well. Now I know. As soon as I started sewing a zigzag seam, my thread started to rip every couple of inches. The bobbin thread bunched up every once in a while and made tangles that sucked the fabric right under the needle plate. Every couple of stitches, the "zag" in the zigzag wouldn't hold and the machine would stitch a couple of straight stitches instead. Also, my bobbin holder seems to be made of plastic, because when I tried to adjust the bobbin thread tension, it kinda broke a little. Not one of the things I did (like, change the thread and the needle, try to eliminate every piece of lint I could find, adjust the upper and lower thread tension etc.) helped even a little. Plus, I can't take the bobbin holder out, because the only way to do that is to take off the needle plate, which is attached by a couple of screws, one of which is located so that not even my shortest screwdriver will fit in the space between plate and the machine's arm. 

So, I guess some of you will say that this is what happens when you buy a AEG machine on sale from Amazon. You may be right, too. I guess I'll be sending it back. The last time I did that (with an mp3-player which stopped working) they just gave me back the money, which would be cool. I'm thinking about buying a used mechanical Pfaff or Bernina on ebay instead. I've thought long and hard about it, and the only stitches I really need are straight and zigzag and maybe a button hole program - so I hope I can find something not too expensive.

So now I'll go back to being frustrated that I can't wear my new polka dot skirt today and go back to studying...


  1. Yikes! How frustrating! :( Anyone who's been around me when I'm sewing, knows the machine gets a tongue lash every now and again. Why can't they just do what we want? Not to much to ask ;)

    Wishing you better sewing luck.

  2. Hehe, thanks Ali. I worked out the problem and you actually pointed me in the right direction with you post on sewing with knits. :) Thanks!