What Does A Sewing Blogger Do When She Can’t Sew Or Blog?

sewing machine and ipad

This is quite the dilemma. What does a sewing blogger do when her sewing machine isn’t working?

Those issues I had with my last make? Tiny stitches and fabric that doesn’t want to feed. I’m having the same issues with my current make. Which leads me to conclude that the issue is neither fabric nor needle based.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my Bernina sewing machine has never been serviced since I bought it … um, er, well, you see, the thing is – SEVEN YEARS AGO!

Anyone know a decent sewing machine repair person in North London?!

I could use my John Lewis sewing machine but it’s currently loaned to a friend…

JL Mini sewing machine

And my original Toshiba machine is stuck behind a pile of boxes in the under stairs cupboard.

To add to the dilemma, my Internet access is playing up. Without wifi or a sewing machine … DO I EVEN EXIST ANY MORE?

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49 Responses to What Does A Sewing Blogger Do When She Can’t Sew Or Blog?

  1. Ouch! I hope someone local can recommend a good sewing machine repair shop!! *hug*

  2. JenL says:

    Yes, 7 years is awhile! But I have to admit that my Bernina went something like 15 years before I ever had to take it in for repair. (Timing issue). Until a couple of days ago, both of my machines, Bernina and serger/overlocker, were in the repair shop at the same time. (Timing again on the Bernina). I have spent some of the time cutting out future projects and organizing them into bags with all their notions and such ready to go…

  3. lauriesannie says:

    Occasionally, I ponder modern technology. As recently as 20 years ago, I had a bag phone in my car! I’ve given up on my computerized Vikings. I bought an old home-ec style Bernina. I don’t have to lift weights when I take it out but it is a veritable workhorse that only requires regular cleaning and oiling.

  4. Kathy says:

    Tony’s in Tufnell Park – on Fortess Road – a bit of a trot from Walthamstow, (Northern Line Tube) but excellent service and fascinating with all the vintage machines.

  5. Catherine says:

    I think the machine probably does need servicing after all this time. But do you oil the machine regularly? The reason I asked is because I hardly ever oiled my old Bernina and it eventually became really hard to use because of skipped stitches etc. When I got my new Bernina earlier in the year I resolved to oil it regularly. So, the moment it started playing up, I watched a YouTube vid on how to do it, rolled up my sleeves and oiled it. Then I did what’s recommended and stitched through a piece of scrap fabric for a while to eliminate any surplus oil (rather than having it spray all over the seams in my new dress). And it made a HUGE difference and went back to working like new. I was mega-impressed but also felt a bit guilty that I’d so rarely oiled the old Bernina. Anyway. Thought I’d just mention the possibility.

  6. Miriana says:

    Plan, trace, cut out, buy fabric, knit

  7. Susan says:

    plan, cut cut cut (I cut all my clothes out in January, and sew later in the year when I get to it. You could also take some time and make or adjust a dressform. I’ve even hand sewn a whole garment while on the road.

  8. KS Sews says:

    “Without wifi or a sewing machine … DO I EVEN EXIST ANY MORE?”

    hahaha!!! 🙂 Definitely time to fondle the stash, plan projects, trace if you do that and cut out projects.

    Hope you’re up and running soon!!

  9. Tanya says:

    I know a sewing repairer in North-West London, Neasden to be exact. SM Sewing Machines Ltd NW10 0AA .

  10. I went through the sam thing when my vintage Riccar went kaput! It felt like I was missing a major part of my body. Does your side of the pond have a craigslist for a quick vintage fix?

  11. Bernardette Borg says:

    I feel your pain, my sewing machine likes skipped stitches at the moment and I had mine serviced over the summer. I tried changing the needles as well to no avail but she has served me well in the 22 years since I got her.

    Hope you find a good service person, I miss my old one.

    Good Luck.


  12. I know how you feel but I have both a working sewing machine and wi-fi, just never enough time. It is making me grumpy as I have a few projects cut out and ready to go. You could always just pick up a cheap vintage machine. I have bought 2-3 from Gumtree and they were never more than £35 quid. I even bought a Singer 66k for a tenner. My spare machines are in Glasgow or you could have borrowed one of mine. 🙂 Hope that your machine gets better soon. Xx

  13. carlalissa says:

    So sorry to read you have no machine at the moment. If we lived closed by I will be more than glad to loan you my spare one.

  14. Colleen says:

    I take my Bernina to Sew Amazing in St Stephen’s Road E3 where it crosses Roman Roadjust south of Victoria Park. Rob is lovely, likes a chat and is a real local treasure. Hope you get it sorted.

  15. Elena says:

    You can exist without WiFi – no problem. Without a sewing machine – doubtful. But you could always revert to hand sewing if you must! 😉

  16. Now that’s an easy question – knit! You know you want to…

  17. YIKES…both sewing machine and WIFI on the fritz…this can’t be good.

    My Bernina is circa ’81 or so…it’s never been out to be serviced. I do second Catherine’s recommendation to oil it. My responds very favourably to it.

  18. Heather says:

    I would be forced to pull everything out of the cupboard under the stairs – and you have my sympathy as mine still has a large
    pile of boxes from moving out of London 3 years ago! Oiling is a good idea.

  19. Hrachelp says:

    I’m voting for shopping for a new one (new to you vintage machine) on whatever is the equivalent to craigslist there. Oops! No internet!

  20. Christine Taylor says:

    You could try Rona sewing machines in Waltham Cross, Paul is excellent, or Regent sewing machines in Ilford.

  21. Jane Vellender says:

    Def need to move the boxes and get the Toshiba out while you work on getting it serviced. As you use it so regularly be kind to it and get it serviced annually! Your sewing machine will thank you for it!

  22. peggy says:

    Don’t you detest old sayings like ” They don’t make them the way they used to?” Sometimes it’s true.
    My precious Bernina is 30 years old. It HAS been serviced a few times, and once I believed
    something had gone wrong with it as it skipped stitches and looped bobbin stitches so I took it
    in. The needle had slipped just a bit and I was charged nothing! Now that is an excellent
    machine and they don’t make them (maybe even Bernina) like they used to. My Bernina shop is too far from you, but just down May Avenue, Oklahoma City. Ok.

  23. Jill says:

    For me, the sewing is “done” when all that’s left is the hand sewing tasks (sewing on buttons,hand-hemming, and the like). When my machine was stuck in the shop, I tackled that humongous pile of hand sewing that had piled up. I worked on it while watching TWO movies and finally got it all done. And rediscovered some completely forgotten makes in the process.

  24. Ashley says:

    My machine is also down! I beat you – never had it serviced in thirteen years! Took it to the shop and it was going to be very expensive to fix so I’m resigned to getting a new one and hoping that someday when I don’t live in NYC (aka land of expensive things) I’ll be able to get it fixed. I’ve got three projects cut, though, and I’ve done quite a bit of knitting!

  25. Alexa says:

    I feel your pain! All my sewing stuff is currently in storage! I’m having withdrawal symptoms!

  26. Henriette Furze says:

    Sorry to hear, hope the patient improves soon. I have always used the wonderful Chapman Sewing Machines in Camden for my much loved 1960s Pfaff but a quick search says it has closed! I loved that place. I’m in South Tottenham so it was easy for me. Hope you find somewhere great. Share if you do!

  27. Katie M says:

    I can recommend Chapman Sewing Machines @ 80 Parkway, Camden (probably not the closest for you though). Brilliant work, good prices.

    • Katie M says:

      Cyril Chapman’s store has been open for 70 years. If you read his blurb on his website, he has even serviced a machine for the Queen’s Lady of the Linens!

  28. Candie says:

    Following the manual you should be able to clean it and get oiled yourself? I clean and oil my Bernini 750 every week and it sews like a charm. There never seems to be a good time to take mine to the shop but I know I should. Good luck!

  29. Wifi issues AND a downed sewing machine?? Yikes. Talk about adding insult to injury…

  30. anne says:

    Review your stash, plan and maybe cut out the next couple of projects and do any extra shopping for threads, zips, lining etc for these projects. Ask if loan machine will be in use for the next fortnight. Unearth machine under the stairs and spring clean there (earning an extra virtuous badge). Do some knitting. Plan your handmade Christmas presents. So lots of things you could do but the urge to use your machine will still dominate! I hope you will soon have everything back and working well.

  31. LinB says:

    Sometimes the universe forces us into a fallow season. Rest as much as you can, take your dog for long walks, read an interesting book, eat some chocolate. When your machine(s) are up and running again, you’ll have more energy and inspiration than you’ll know what to do with. (Than you’ll know with what to do. Whatever.)

  32. I have used Rona Sewing Machines at Waltham Cross (https://www.onlinesewingmachines.co.uk/service-and-repair) for my Janome overlocker and Philip Shad at Potters Bar (www.shadsew.co.uk) for my 37 year old Pfaff.

  33. redsilvia says:

    Ugh! What a pain. You can put your machine in for repair and then run out to LHR and fly to SFO and borrow one of my spares. And help us eat some of the massive Thanksgiving dinner coming up. Then when your machine is ready, pop home and sew! OR you can follow the much more reasonable advice of cutting out, planning and knitting. Both are good!

    • didyoumakethat says:

      Oh, Plan A sounds far superior!

      • redsilvia says:

        It would be fun! But you’ve probably got a lot to be getting along with. I know I cut out my last project and it’s been sitting on my table not getting worked on, despite me not working this month! You’re always welcome though! Bring Ella!

  34. Rose in SV says:

    Did the feed dogs drop? My machine has that option for freehand quilting. If I accidently slide the button, my fabric never advances. In any case, I hope it’s an easy repair…

  35. Caroline says:

    To service my machine, I have used Regent Home of Sewing, Chapel Road, Ilford. They also sell a wide selection of fabrics.

  36. Karen says:

    Would love to know where you took it in the end and how pleased you are with the results🤗

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