Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Singer esta MUERTA!

My Singer Stylemate 347 is dead. I can hardly believe it's true. A few weeks ago it was humming along nicely, as stable and constant as always. Then a few weeks ago, poof, it started skipping stitches. I took it to one repair shop, they kept it a week, performed a $60 tune up, and returned it saying "it's fixed." I took it home, sewed for a few minutes and then the stitches started skipping again. So I took it back, and the shop sent it out to their "Singer specialist" who last night returned it, declaring it "better." Well, on the first stitch the machine made a grinding noise, the thread knotted into a ball under the fabric, and I jumped with terror. I spent an hour playing with her, trying to adjust the tension, re-thread, change needles, anything to make her sew. But the problems only got worse, include the dreaded skipped stitches (again!). The verdict of my sewing instructor is that my Singer esta MUERTA.

I smell foul play. At least I small careless repairs. Or is that smell the scent of my Singer's burning motor and my crushed hopes for a long life of happy sewing? I refuse to believe my good ol' Singer actually bit the bullet on her own. How could she go into the shop *almost* functional and come out a complete mess? I think something was tweaked incorrectly, or something still needs repaired. I am going to try one more repairman, totally unrelated to the first two, for an opportunity at resurrection.

In the meantime, if you have a sewing machine recommendation, send it my way. I am researching new replacement machines. Lovely Singer 347, RIP my friend.

8 comments:

Myra said...

I replaced my old Kenmore with a rebuilt Bernina, love it, but also loved the old Kenmore. It's just that the Bernina does more.

jkubenka said...

I have emailed my godmother, who lives in San Antonio, to get the name of a reputable sewing machine repair shop for you. It sounds like shoddy repair work. Do not give up yet!

Anonymous said...

You have my deepest sympathy. I suffered the loss of an old Singer just 2 years ago. That machine was the first thing I'd ever bought with my own money, made at my first job as a census taker in '80. Unlike my mom's '59 Singer, its guts were plastic and doomed to fail. Anyway, I mourned and went on. My new partner in sewing is a Bernina 230. It has features I love, like needle up/down and programmable buttonholes. But the main thing is that the stitches are smooth and the motor just purrs.
Good luck with looking for a new machine to love!
-Beth from Upstate NY

Kate said...

Thank you for thinking of me!!! I would LOVE to fix my old machine, at least to keep it in running order for simple projects. I expect that I eventually need to find a newer machine for the more technical projects, like projects with difficult fabrics, couture techniques, etc.. but I love the old Singer, it is so nostalgic and original, and it makes me feel like a bad ass to sew vintage patterns on a vintage machine. I look forward to your godmother's advice. THANKS!

Xan said...

See if you can open the removable cabinet cover and take a look at the gears.
I went through this kind of thing with two 1970's Singer models years ago. Turned out the polyester (yes, polyester!!) gears wore out and broke.
Otherwise, it sounds as though someone got in there and messed up the timing-again, I am no expert, just a girlie who relied on later model Singers at one time.
Ever since finding Singer models of the 1930's-40's I won't use any other kind of machine-can't beat cast iron and brass construction (sans polyester gears) especially when found in garage sales for $2 to $35 (yes, $2 to $35) each!!

jkubenka said...

Okay, here is my godmother's recommendation:

"The best sewing machine repair place here in San Antonio has been in business for as long as I can remember.

It is Grome's Sewing Machine Co.
4719 Manitou
Phone number: (210) 684-0376
Located: Tell her to take Loop 410 to Callaghan Rd.
It is close to 410 when you turn onto Callaghan Rd. and to the left will be Manitou... Easy to find.
They have always done excellent work for me and the price has always been in line.
Hope this helps!"

Kate, I hope this does truly give your machine some more life!

judy said...

I, too, extend heartfelt sympathy. The death of a good sewing machine is like the death of a trusted friend. I hope it's not really as bad as you think.

Kate said...

Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I am seriously thinking about buying a sewing machine from an eBay seller. This is the machine http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=130262713325. Does anybody have any comments?!?!?! (be nice...)

I loved learning my old Singer, with her old-fashioned, antiquated features and quirks, and this machine will provide the same challenges and hopefully rewards.

I really like how many images the seller shows on the post, I like the online video, her feedback is great, and she has been helpful answering questions via email so far. Of course I know its a huge gamble to buy a sewing machine from an unknown buyer online, but I figure the plus side is that I will get a bargain I might not get from an in-town shop, plus it makes a good story.

What are your thoughts?!?!?!