Friday night, wanting to start sewing the muslins for the coat and dress, I turned on the sewing machine. Nothing happened. I fiddled with the cord, the light went on briefly, then went off again. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the machine to stay on; there was some problem with the cord socket that was messing with the power cord.
So what could I do? After using a carefully selected assortment of four-letter words, I packed the machine up for repair. I then went back to the loom and started working there. By early Saturday morning, the warp was beamed, lease sticks inserted, and ready for threading. So at least the time wasn’t wasted.
However, I was due to meet with Sharon (my couture teacher) on Sunday, and I needed those muslins done! So, as soon as the sewing machine repair shops opened, I hightailed it out the door with my poor machine.
Shop #1, which shall remain forever nameless but which I’m sure some people will recognize, happens to be the premier quilting shop on the Peninsula, and also sells a lot of high-end sewing machines. The first words out of the owner’s mouth were, “Oh, Bernettes, they’re not dependable, it’s probably not worth repairing. You should really consider buying a new machine.” I fixed him with a steely eye and said, “It’s been perfectly dependable for fourteen years, thank you, and I’d like it repaired.” He said, “Well, it will be $85 to clean the machine before we start repairs, and if it really is the power socket we may need to order parts, and it could be $120 just to get the part. For just $399 you can get a new, high-quality machine.”
The conversation, needless to say, went rapidly downhill from there. The sad thing is that I did (formerly) like the shop. And I had planned to buy my next sewing machine from them, because they offer some nice classes in getting the best use out of your sewing machine. However, given the attitude, I think I’ll be shopping elsewhere. I dislike high-pressure sales tactics, especially when directed at an obvious Damsel in Distress.
Fortunately, all was not lost. Our Heroine scooped up her beloved sewing machine and packed it off to A Better Discount Vac and Sew, where they will be looking at it Monday morning. I have high hopes – the fellow there is the one who replaced the motor on my double-ended electric bobbin-winder. To do such an unusual repair, he had to buy $40 worth of tools, but only charged me $69.95 for the new motor and didn’t complain at all. So if it turns out I need to buy a new machine (hopefully not!), guess where I’ll be buying?
Meanwhile, since I needed a sewing machine, I rented a Viking sewing machine for the day. It has to go back to the shop tomorrow by noon, so I’ve been sewing like a maniac all afternoon. I’ve gotten the first coat muslin complete, though I may redo it – Carol, the woman who put together my sloper, went through a long list of standard alterations that should get it a lot closer to fitting correctly than the unaltered pattern would. I’m also working on the muslin for the interior support of the dress, which has been variously called “the foundation”, “the cradle”, and “the corselette” by various books (you choose which one you like best!). Basically as soon as I get up tomorrow, it’s nose to the sewing machine until the muslins get finished.
Then, if I have time before going off to see Sharon, I’m going to check out Highlands House and Park in Santa Cruz. It’s one of the top sites on our favorites list for the wedding, and I’d like to scout it out and see if it will do. Mike and I (mostly me) have also reviewed a bunch of photographers – here’s the website of the one we like best (so far, anyway).
Finally, for those who have waited patiently through the verbage, here is a Photoshop version of the gamp I’ll be threading up tomorrow evening. I’ve altered it so that each of the three test sections has a different spacing, and I’ve changed it so that there are two sections with a six-shaft broken twill background and only one section (the least promising one IMO) with a four-shaft broken twill background.
I’ll be threading that up tomorrow, in between all the other stuff.
Oh yes! I forgot. Today I picked up two items at the farmer’s market that are once more piquing my curiosity: truffles (the fungus kind) and quince paste. I’m hoping to make the truffle work with chocolate (wasn’t successful last year, bought a different variety this year, will try again), and the quince paste I think might be exquisite as a layered confection with a milk or white chocolate filling. If I have ANY time left over this week in between the fourteen other projects, I’ll give those a whirl.
And now (drum roll please), here’s the photo of the gamp. To see it nearly life-size (as it will be woven), click to see the larger photo.