Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Temporarily Aborted Bunting DIY

I was all set for a DIY project over the long Easter Weekend, with bunting well in my sights, to use as decorations in the hall.
The aim - bunting decos for our wedding (photo source)
At Christmas my Mum gave me her old sewing machine (a Pinnock, late 1970's vintage, she was a dressmaker while home with us kids), as she had replaced hers, and as they were moving home from Qld to Vic, they stopped with us mid trip home, and lightened their load by giving me the sewing machine.
Pinnock Sewing Machine, similar to the one I've been given
I haven't sewn (apart from hand sewing hems, buttons) for quite a while (probably not since school, closing in on 20 years ago!), so I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I was up for it!

On Saturday I headed to Spotlight, after much perusing of some gorgeous fabric I thought I'd be sensible and just buy some calico to start with to make sure I could still sew, and not ruin expensive fabric.  I could also dye the calico different greens if it worked out, and use that swapped in with different pattern fabric.

Armed with 5 metres of Calico, on Monday I set up the machine, and kit of threads, scissors, unpickers, etc on the dining table.  I got the machine all threaded up no problem, switched it on, and the light works yay, I put the first strip of test calico in place ready to go, press down on the pedal and the motor starts whirring, but no action.

Uhoh, I try again, no luck, I wind in and out the tension thingo on the end, no luck.  So I call Mum, and wouldn't you know it, she actually replaced the machine with a new one 10 years ago, and this one hasn't been used since!  Excellent!

So now I have to either put it in for a service, and given it's age it could be pricey, or look at buying a new/used machine.

Extremely frustrating as I had set the day aside for my DIY project, and really fallen for the idea of using bunting as decorations for the hall.

So my DIY project is on hold, until I can get this old girl working or replace her with a newbie!  Frustration factor of 10+++!


  1. That's disappointing Mel! Is there a machine you can borrow? Seems a shame to pay a lot for a service or a new machine just for this project. Would hand-stitching or even stapling be an option?
    BTW, I'm about to pass on your blog to a friend of mine who is getting married next year - I already recommended http://500dollarwedding.blogspot.com/ to her, which has some neat ideas also.

  2. Hi Scather, yes very disappointing. Just speaking to future Mother in Law, and I might be able to borrow hers. If I can get back into sewing, I might shop round for one for me to use full-time, as I've got lots of DIY projects in my head :)
    No worries re passing on my blog, thanks for your recommended one also. Mel.

  3. Bugger, what a shame. Glad you have some other options though.

    You could also try the no sew version where your bunting flag is single layer and you trim with pinking shears or double layered and fused together with iron on fusing. You then attach these to your ribbon or bias binding using no sew hem tape.

    Gee I hope I explained that ok.

    Good luck with it either way.

  4. If the motor is going, but nothing is feeding through, it may be that the feed dogs are lowered (that's the part under the needle that pushes the fabric through). There's generally a lever to raise and lower them. (The purpose of being able to lower the feed dogs is to enable free hand machine embroidery, so you can move the fabric where you want.)

  5. Hey I managed to stumble across your blog today and I love it! I'm also planning a wedding and made bunting out of hessian sack material to be displayed behind us during the ceremony. I was super dooper lazy and just hot glued it all! Plus I cant sew for the life of me anyways.

  6. Peta - I hadn't thought of non sewing options, shall look into those :)

    Anonymous - thanks for your advice, I will try that tonight and see how I go, hopefully it will fix it! :)

    AshMac - welcome, thanks for stopping by :) Hot glue is a great idea, shall put that on the list to try should the machine truly be dead!


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