I managed to murder a sewing machine. I was busy sewing wonky log cabin blocks on my late Mother-in-Law’s Kenmore when I heard, GADUMP! I stopped and saw I had a bent needle. I replaced it and stared to sew but the machine continued to clunk!clunk! clunk! And clunk! And basically not sew anything. I needed sewing machine triage.
- Chain Piecing on the Kenmore
There is no sewing repair place near my house and I don’t own a car. I was determined not to ask a friend to schlep me and my crippled machine to a repair place so I started to look for someone who would come to my house. I found a guy on Yelp who had one five star rating. That was his only rating. I called him.
“How old is your machine?” he asked
“I don’t want to buy a new one,” I retorted. (I am always suspicious.)
“I don’t want you to buy a new one,” he answered, “the new ones aren’t any good; but I need to know how old yours is before I know whether I can work on it.”
“Seventeen years old, ” I replied.
“I can fix that no problem.” He made arrangements to come to my house the next day.
My husband let him in and took his card, Jack DeSorte’s Vacuum Repair. Jack parked himself at my dining room table and inspected the machine. “I’ll have this fixed in about an hour, ” he announced.
My heart soared. For the next hour, Jack labored on the machine and treated my husband and me to the short version of his life story, his philosophy of sewing machines, sewing machine repair and sewing machine restoration. It dawned on me that I had a first class, genuine, A-Number One sewing machine nerd repairman seated in my dining room. Which is a good thing in case you were wondering.
After an hour, Jack rose from the table wiping his forehead and informed me that he would have to take the machine into his shop. “I don’t know what you did to this machine, ” he declared, ” but I’m gonna have to take the whole thing apart and it’s gonna be messy. I might need parts. I can’t fix it here.”
“Will you bring it back when it’s fixed?” I inquired.
“Of course,” he replied as if wondering why I had to ask about something so obvious.
“Wait a minute,” I called, running down the basement steps, “I have something else.” I returned with my Mother’s 1961 Singer Slant-O-Matic 500A. “This was my mother’s machine, “I told him, ” and I used to sew on it when I was a little girl. It works but it needs a tune up. She got that machine when Kennedy was president, ” I added. (This means that I felt comfortable enough with Jack to date myself. Which means something but I’m not sure what.)
He was beaming. “Will you look at that, ” he exclaimed lifting up the lid that covers the double thread spindles. “It’s so clean! Normally when I see one if these it’s got all kinds of crap on it.”
“My Mother was so clean that once she broke our television to clean it, “I bragged. “My Father wouldn’t get it fixed, so we had to turn it on and off by using the plug. And my brother claimed that we were the only family he knew who had a brutal cycle on their washing machine.”Maybe you are starting to understand why I took to Jack like I did.
Jack wrote up the proper receipts and disappeared with my sewing machines into the night.
To be continued. . .