After my mother passed away in 2008, my sister and I spent a few days clearing out her old council house before we had to give the keys back. Anybody who has lost a parent or a loved one and has had to do the same will understand the roller coaster of emotions that go with this task. I won’t go into all of them here.
When it came to my mum’s old sewing machine, the consensus was to get grid of it, as it was very old, and we both remembered it to be a troublesome beast. I used to use it in the mid eighties to adjust my school trousers to turn them into skin tight punk trousers. It would always jam on me and I was forever re-threading it, more than likely due to my misuse of it rather than any fault with the machine. Usually my mum would take over and do the job for me, obviously without any aggravation or jamming.
Anyway, that evening it returned with me in the car, along with some other stuff to sort through. Me being me, and much to the annoyance of my wife, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. I had an emotional attachment to it, and along with a load of other stuff that I probably should have binned, I put it in a cupboard in the garage, where it lived for twelve years. Until a couple of days ago.
With the current lockdown thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic my wife had hand made a face mask, which took quite a while and I heard her mutter under her breath how much easy it would be with a sewing machine.
“We’ve got one.” I piped up. “Got what?” She said. “A sewing machine.” I replied, “My mum’s old one, don’t you remember I was supposed to get rid of it and didn’t?”
Anyway, I fished it out of the cupboard in the garage and brought it inside. The case was in a bit of a sorry state and I set to cleaning it up before opening it, adding the obligatory duck tape to the edges to cover up some tatty and chipped bits. I then cleaned the whole thing up, plugged it in, and was very happy to see the little sewing light illuminate. I then pressed the pedal to see if it worked and… all the lights tripped out in the house.
I’d already printed out the manual I’d found here:
I had sent a very happy message to Dan Hopgood, whose blog it is, for providing the PDF, providing a brief history of the machine. I soon received a reply telling me he was glad he could help, and the garage wasn’t the best place to store a sewing machine, and he hoped it would work fine. I sent a message back telling him of the electrical issue. Again, there was a very friendly prompt reply telling me where to purchase a replacement motor, as he had done with his machine.
Three days later, the motor arrived, it took me less than five minutes to fit it and, having followed the instruction manual to thread it up, it worked perfectly first time. No jamming either, with the bobbin still in it from the last time it was used all those years ago.
So, I owe a very big thank you to Dan Hopgood, without whom the machine would not have been resurrected.
Take a look here: https://danhopgood.wordpress.com