Old things made new. That's a broad category for any topic, especially in sewing. It could mean upcycling fabric or clothing; refurbishing furniture, or overhauling a sewing machine. Sometimes making something new is as simple as a few small additions to your sewing notions or equipment.
My PFAFF 1212, made in the early '70's. It's quite the work horse, and though it has a few features such as an automatic stitch cam, it lacked in original presser feet until I found adaptors.
A shank adaptor and the extra presser feet (snap on) open your sewing machine up to a wide variety of stitching capabilities: overlock stitch, embroidery, smocking, ruffling, etc. If you know your machine well, most likely you can perform these stitches without the new presser feet; however, why make it harder than necessary? The new presser feet available make sewing a breeze without laying out hundreds of dollars for a new machine.
There are two adaptors: long and short. Examine the pictures and notice the difference between the long and short adaptors. Each is designed to fit to the shank on your machine - long shank for short shank machines and short for long shank.
Thread is an important part of giving your sewing some pep. Paying careful attention to the type of thread, matched with the right needle and fabric, sewing just took a turn from drudge to fun!
Of course, selecting the thread that's right for your machine and project can be a little overhwheming with different weights, sizes, uses and preference of brand. Sort through the confusion quickly by using thread guides and charts, available for free on most online notions stores.
I adore this machine. My work horse; the PFAFF 1212. Yes, it's old, but after the near $400 overhaul it just received, myself and the tech are both sold on this make and model.
What happened? As an experienced seamstress, I know what to do to take care of my sewing machines. They all receive regular maintenance. Here were the symptoms and steps I took to attempt to remedy the problems, before I made the decision to send it for repair.
Check the Needle. You may need to change your needle when the following occurs:
Check the Bobbin - You may need to check the bobbin and casing (housing) when your machine is not stitching correctly. Many times the symptoms are a matter of the right weight thread and/or winding the bobbin correctly.
Check all Settings - You may need to check and adjust the settings when the following occurs:
Other - You may hear or experience the following list of symptoms. When they occur with regularity, it's time for the tech at your favorite repair shop:
Troubleshooting your own machine should be done first. Clean it and change the needle with frequency; add oil when necessary. If you have taken care and checked all areas but are still experiencing a poor outcome, it's time to take it in.
Though I took my machine in to a local repairman for it's annual maintenance, it came back with a clean bill - no issues found. I wasn't convinced. I was continually breaking needles, getting jams, and the machine was changing stitch type mid stream on it's own (from straight to zig zag). I had checked all areas of my machine and no issues were found. I knew it was time to send it in.
I didn't want to send it back to the local shop, so after a quick search I sent my machine to an a licensed PFAFF dealer in Colorado - J & M Vac & Sew, Fort Collins. This store provided fanstastic results and I felt relieved to know they addressed each issue I presented. It turned out the cam needed replaced, a light fixture, a complete cleaning (someone spilled a drink on the machine before I purchased it!), the power switch and a few other items.
My PFAFF is back in it's place and ready to rock out the work ahead! A big shout out to J&M Vac & Sew for their excellent work and customer service! I'll leave you with the task to mark on your calendar a day for routine maintenance to your valuable investment. Do you have other areas to add to the check lists above for troubleshooting? If so, leave your answers in the comments below.
Wishing you success and inspiration in all you do, today and always!