Monday, April 26, 2010

It's the Bobbin Casing, silly!

Today, I decided to officially declare my sewing machine to have bitten the dust. Or at least the bobbin casing to my rather wretched and ill-reviewed Singer 3820 150th Anniversary Edition sewing machine which I have had since 2001.

When I bought this machine, I thought it was a huge upgrade from whatever I had before, and I'm sure it was. But this is not a well-made machine. Numerous people in internetland have had the same exact trouble with this machine that I have: The bobbin casing gets pulled out of place and the needle then strikes straight into either the metal plate or the plastic edge of the bobbin casing.

This has happened enough times on my machine that there is a nick in the edge of the BC which is preventing the thread from smoothly flowing out of the bobbin to get caught up into the mechanism of the newly forming stitch.

Imagine thejoy of perpetually tangled threads. Such fun.

And I have lots of sewing to do: A Wedding dress, a rehearsal dinner dress and some vestments, not to mention the fact that I have already cut out some night gowns for my girls. Today I was going to try and get at least one of them put together when I ended up unscrewing lots of sewing machine parts, poking around here and there and finally examining the wretched bobbin casing and discovering the damage.

Of course the first thing I thought of was that it would be good to replace this one part, me being the frugal person that I am. Can I find it anywhere in ANY parts lists for the Singer 3820...of course NOT.

Do I REALLY MIND????? Of course NOT! My husband is eager to buy me a new sewing machine, so I think I will let him. It won't be a Singer this time. That company, so a friend informs me, quit making good machines ages ago and is coasting along now on an undeserved reputation. After my experience with this machine, I believe her.

So, I don't need anything complex or too fancy, but I do think I'm going to go for something electronic as opposed to mechanical. Greater precision.

Whatever I get, I'll use it steadily, as I have my entire married life. I bought my first machine with wedding money in 1992 and used it until the motor burned out on it (that's lots of sewing!) and my second machine nine years ago...so I'm averaging a machine every nine years.

I think, I want a serger, too. But I'll have to save up for one of those. Maybe with some of this summer's sewing money....;-)

5 comments:

elizabeth said...

that's really nice! so glad that you get to sew. really too bad about singer no longer being good. boo on that!

but yay for sewing!

Xenia Kathryn said...

Let us know what kind you choose! Happy sewing :)

margaret said...

Your friend is absolutely right about Singer. I made my mother's from the 70s last mostly by fixing it myself as their repair franchises (couldn't take it to any technician) were so appalling. Now the machines are appalling too. I have a Janome for straight sewing and a Brother for embroidery - both are great.

mamajuliana said...

I still have my mother's old Brother machine from the early 60's--it just keeps chugging along. Nothing fancy...just sews. On the other hand, my brother that hubby bought for me about 20 years ago is just a glorified paper weight! Even though it has all of the bells and whistles-what good are they if they don't work?

A sew sewing machine is on my 'wanna' list.

Hope you find a great machine!

Tabitha said...

I asked my mom, who just retired from teaching sewing, what she would recommend. She said that Janome will hold up for 15 years with heavy student use and abuse and has a wide range of features and options. She also said that it is easier to get repairs. They used to be all metal parts and durable, not sure if still true.

Bernini and Pfaff are also solid construction and long-term quality, but they are European and can be harder to get repairs. You might be able to find something fancier in used, trade-in or repo.

Decide what features are must-haves and pay close attention to which pressure feet are included. You might also be able to deduct some of your cost on your taxes over a few years if you are using it as a source of income.

Anyway, that's what my mom had to say. Hope some of it is useful. Happy shopping.