A Stitch In Time…..Saves Lives!

A Stitch In Time Saves Lives!
For every single person at home behind a sewing machine or with needle in hand putting an item together for key workers I wanted to say a great BIG thank you! Whether it’s a headband, scrub bag, scrubs or anything sewn between, you are part of a new and momentous movement. A movement that’s brought us together to help where we can. A movement where our skills were honed for such a time as this (Esther). A movement that helps us to express our gratitude to others, and above all a movement that allows us to express our love – one stitch at a time. We are all part of an elaborate tapestry that we cannot yet see the finished design, but know that every stitch counts towards the outcome.
Thank you and keep those stitches coming.

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Betsy is fixed!

Betsy is a Bernina Virtuosa 160 which has given me a fair bit of trouble since I’ve had her. I’ve previously serviced her and she’s been in the Handmade Community sewing room for a while but suddenly she stopped pulling the fabric through the machine.

I’ve had her at home for well over a year for a checkup so it is long overdue.

On the workbench today- Bernina Activa 140…

Say hello to Brianna. I brought her home from my community Sewing group to give her a service and one of the spool holders has broken as well. This will need to be modelled and reprinted on our 3-D printer and I’ll leave that to my amazing hubby.

One Newhome rescues another….

Isn’t it amazing when you receive three Sewing Machines in a couple of weeks of each other and one has to be scrapped but as a result a part from it is used to rescue another one!

Another Newhome sewing machine in the work space today. NewHome 531. This one comes in a little table. Her name is Nancy.

I can’t believe that the Sewing Machine I scrapped yesterday has given new life to this old girl. Sadly this machine came with no foot pedal and electrical connector and no spare parts, feet or anything else. If it hadn’t been for the fact that yesterday I scrapped the other machine which came with a power supply and footpedal this one would sadly have also been consigned to the scrapheap.

It’s a much happier ending for this old girl because after a lot of cleaning she is now working absolutely perfectly. I took thread out of places where a machine would normally never see thread! I am not sure how people manage this but it was so bad that the machine wouldn’t even turn over and the motor just hummed trying to drive the belt and would’ve burnt out if I hadn’t cleaned it first.

A lot of cleaning and oiling and slowly the parts started to move. At that point I knew she was worth working on and I continued the restoration process.

She is now sewing a beautiful seam

https://youtu.be/24C7Z_SgGz0. Threading a NewHome 531 sewing machine.

I will use her to sew for a few hours to ensure everything is well and then she will be ready for rehoming. A very happy ending for a vintage machine. 🧵😁❤️

Not all Vintage Sewing Machines can be rescued…

I’m often gifted Sewing Machines which I restore and pass on to people that are learning to sew. The problem is that not all sewing machines can be repaired and are worth repairing.

I’m immediately suspicious when machine arrives with bits of broken plastic and hinges snapped. In this case I believe the machine has at some point been dropped

I generally base my decision on whether to repair a machine on its worth now and the quality of the machine to start with.

In the case of this NewHome machine that I received recently, I firstly check that it works if it’s electrical and then work my way from there. In this case I oiled it and cleaned it but when it came to actually sewing the motor was unable to turn the needle bar up and down. This was not a problem with the motor which works fine but rather something not turning correctly inside the machine.

In the case of this machine it will cost too much time and energy to find what is internally damaged and I therefore have to just harvest the parts that I can to use in other sewing machine restorations.

This does make me very sad, but when you have limited time, energy and resources you need to ensure you’re spending it on a machine that is worth the effort.

Pearl – the Singer…

Meet Pearl the Singer 15k which according to the records dates from 1906.

Pearl belongs to Fiona, one of the ladies from my Handmade community sewing group. Fiona‘s hubby bought this little singer for her but she’s been on display for a while as Fiona was unsure whether she worked properly or not.

I’ve given Pearl a service and a cleanup and she works fine apart from a few obvious problems.

Pearl – a Singer 15k
The back plate is missing. Not a major issue if she is kept in a case because that way dust can’t get in
I think she’s been dropped. One of the spool holders is very badly bent and the lever to raise the presser foot is snapped.
I don’t believe modern Needle shafts are quite long enough for this machine. I’ve had to drop the needle in order for it to form a stitch properly
A little video of Pearl in action
Traditionally old machines come with a round felt disk to protect the body of the machine from the spool turning constantly as well as to ensure the thread doesn’t snag. I love to crochet these for all the machines I work on as many of the little discs are missing.

Pearl, I hope you’ll be very happy sewing for many years to come with Fiona and her family.

Novum Deluxe Mark III

This is Nora
Novum Deluxe Mark III

This lovely old lady was gifted to me by Margaret whose mum owned it and wanted to pass it on to somebody who would use it. I’ve given her a service and a clean and she works like a dream.

This is a straight stitch only sewing machine but everything is in perfect working order and includes the case and the foot pedal and both the manual and attachment booklet. I’ve included a free downloadable scanned file below if you need it.

She is all ready to go off to her new home. Thank you Margaret and mom. 🥰🧵

The gift of sewing…..

I love all things sewing and making, but I love being able to give the gift of sewing to others just as much. In fact, I love it so much that I teach community sewing groups in Wigan.

In addition to teaching beginners to sew or improve, when they show a real interest and desire to create, it sometimes isn’t enough to just teach. Not everyone is blessed with the ability to get an old machine and tinker and clean until it hums like new again.

Well, I have a gift and with this comes a desire to bless others. I do this in the form of buying or acquiring old machines and fixing them to gift on to others. Over the years I have given away dozens of machines and I wanted to start a record of which machines went where. Some are so far distant that I cannot recall, so now seems like a good time to start the process.

December 2021 – this old girl was gifted to me by Lynda and after some cleaning and adding in a tin of sewing tools and accessories, she went off to her new home with Abigail and her two daughters…..

I will continue to bring sewing to as many people as I can – it isn’t just about the sewing and being able to make nice things for yourself, family and friends, but it is a joy to meet up with other people as a sewing community.

Happing sewing everyone!

Scandinavian star tutorial….

If you’d like to make these gorgeous stars I’ve made a video tutorial to help. Pop over to my YouTube channel, grab some paper or fabric and get creating.


Save the planet – one face wipe at a time!

Reusable face / makeup wipes

This is what 151 reusable makeup/face wipes in bundles of 5 look like! All made whilst watching TV as this helps still my mind! Mostly from scraps of cotton yarn and every one is reusable so saving our planet from more waste.

These are donated to our Community Grocery in Wigan. I’ve attached a very crude hand drawn diagram if you’d like to try them yourself. There is also a video tutorial on my YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/unOP7vRgMDs

Crochet diagram for face wipes


October – 30

November – 151