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Sewing Machine: Repairs

Lesson from the Tin Man

August 3, 2018 Sarah Coggins
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I enjoy all things crafty and that includes sewing. I haven’t spent much time recently using my sewing machine though so it’s been sitting. Last weekend I went to work on a project and it locked up. Even trying to turn the balance wheel by hand was a chore.

Sewing Machine: Fixed
Yes, my desk is a hot mess. #reallife This isn’t Pinterest.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a little stuck in my ways at times and my sewing machine is one of those things. I’ve had that machine for almost 18 years. I know that machine (even more so now). I’m comfortable with that machine. I didn’t want a new one. I wanted mine to work.

Determined to Find the Cause

I pulled out the manual. Both Trent and I looked through it. I opened up the side panel to check the belt. Looked good. I considered the motor, but since the machine was still struggling when we tried turning the wheel manually, I felt confident the motor wasn’t the issue.

Sewing Machine: Repairs

I spoke to a local store and learned I could drop it off for their technician to take a look at. The fee would be $50. Not bad if this was a pricey machine, but I think this machine was around $150 new. I couldn’t see spending a third of that original price just to diagnosis an issue.

Hearing my frustration, Trent removed every possible panel so we could take a look inside. Everything appeared fine – nothing popped loose. No broken springs. It was just stiff.

Sewing Machine: Broken

A Simple Fix

On a whim (a very hopeful whim) on Sunday night, I placed an order on Amazon for sewing machine oil. It arrived Tuesday. That evening I carefully placed a drop or two of oil in the spots noted in the manual. Then tried a couple other spots. With it still open, I plugged it in and pressed down on the foot. It started to slowly go, but was still off. I wasn’t sure.

Trent came to peek and started pressing down the foot. Slowly it started smoothing out until it was running full speed again. As I tackled bedtime routines with the kids, he began putting it back together.

Sewing Machine: Putting it Back Together Again

Turns out, my sewing machine was like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Apparently I’ve failed at this simple thing for 18 years. *face palm* I’m even more impressed with my machine now. It’s still going even with my failings and now running better than ever. Lesson learned. I’ve had a good laugh at my own expense and am excited to see what else I can create with my sewing machine in the next 18 years.

Have you had big oops moment that made you laugh?

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About Me


Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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