Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss


a not-so-funny thing happened a few weeks back when I was oh-so-close to being finished with the Sling Along pattern.I was clipping along on a Saturday afternoon, when all of a sudden the thread guide on my sewing machine just…. fell off.  No problem, right?

Here’s my old buddy Jeter (the original “Your Almost Daily Purr”) and my brand new Necchi sewing machine back in 2004.

Well it shouldn’t have been anyway. After all, I had the little thread guide in hand as well as the tiny screw that held it in place, and I knew exactly where it needed to be replaced, but that’s where the simplicity ended! First of all, the tiny little screw required must be the tiniest phillips head screw driver ever created and of course I didn’t have one like that. I struggled along to no avail for about an hour trying various substitutes like the pointy end of a knife or a teeny-tiny flathead screwdriver. My hubby finally volunteered to drive over to my brother’s house to retrieve the correct screwdriver and that should’ve solved the dilemma, right?


Try as I might, even when that little screw was fully tightened, that thread guide was NOT stable and would not stay in place, and my machine would just NOT run without it being secure. (How does it know that it’s not?) It just seemed like something else was missing, but since I never really got a good look at how the thread guide was attached prior to it falling off, and since I hardly ever see the attachment site since its located on the backside of my machine, I had no clue. No problem, right? I could just look in the instruction manual for a setup picture.

But guess what? There was NO picture of the backside of this area in the instruction booklet! By now I had wasted 2+ hours of my time and still couldn’t get my machine to run! But, I could just take this machine to the shop for repairs and carry on utilizing my trusty spare, right?


That’s because I’m probably one of the few sewing professionals in the country that doesn’t have at least one spare machine! Not too smart, right? That’s on me. It won’t happen again after this but in the meantime… I had to quit thinking like a repairwoman and start thinking like “McGyver”! I figured there must be another way to hold this little thread guide in place long enough so I could limp to the finish line with this last bag sample! So after scrounging around the house I found an old hairpin my daughter must have left behind and as you can see ABOVE… it worked on a very temporary basis. As long as I was very careful & gentle with how I pulled on the thread it stayed in place pretty good. I finished the bag sample only having to replace this arrangement two times!

Moral of the Story?  Get a Spare Sewing Machine!

Now remember that my Necchi sewing machine is the original machine I started the business with 15 years ago! It’s never had even one problem. I’ve oiled and cleaned it somewhat regularly, but its never EVER been in the shop for an overhaul (even though it probably SHOULD have been!).  It’s not sleek, sexy or fancy and it has no special bells or whistles. But here’s what it is in spades….


Quite simply, it’s the Timex of sewing machines! It “takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’! So when faced with the daunting task of choosing a new machine, what do you suppose I did? I bought me a brand NEW Necchi of course, and here it IS (above)!

My old machine is back from the shop but not everyone is convinced its totally fixed! 🙂

And in the meantime I took “old faithful” to the shop for a repair to that thread guide and a much-needed overhaul and now that it’s back I would be really hard pressed to say which machine is running better… my old machine or my new one! But one thing’s for sure, I don’t plan on ever being caught without a spare again! And as it turns out, there was a tiny little piece missing on my old machine and that’s why I couldn’t get that thread guide on tight enough! (Who knows when or where it fell off!)


And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know how many sewing machines YOU have and if any of them are what you would call “Specialty” machines? And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.


And guess what? We have a brand new private FaceBook Group page  just for StudioKat Designs customers?  It’s the perfect place for you to post pictures, comments or questions about our patterns! How cool is that, right? And don’t forget to check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, get your daily sewing fix and behind the scenes scoops on Instagram, and be the 1st to know about new patterns, discount codes and sample sales by signing up for “Kat Bytes”, our monthly newsletter.


10 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I miss my old Viking my grandparents bought me when I graduated high school. I had it for 18 years before losing it in a house fire. My main machine is a Janome HT2008D which I got after the fire. I like it nd never had much of a problem with it.

    I just ordered a Brother 1034D serger. I know it’s not fancy but it has great reviews on Amazon and fits my budget for now.

    • I think the best thing to do is to buy the machine you NEED. Unless you’ll really use all of those bells and whistles then you’re really just buying something that doesnt suit your needs! 🙂

  2. Since I have been sewing since I was ten my first machine was a Kenmore; For graduation I received another Kenmore with cams. Both machines worked well. Enjoyed the fancy stitches. When Janome came out with first home embroidery machine tried that. It became my favorite first computerized. Sew’s very thick bulk with no problem. Embroidery was fun but limited to such a small size. Ten years later purchased another with larger sewing area. Stuck with same brand only because of investment in feet. So yep each machine works and each has my favorite task or feature for project. The first Janome is the work horse though. So yep, four main machines. Others I have inherited or given just to play or have friends over to learn.

  3. I am fortunate to have a bevy of machines. My regular go to is a straight stitch Babylock Jane and then my other go to is my Sunstar cylinder arm (with removable flat table). I also use my Babylock Esante embroidery/machine for unique bags. My poor Bernina serger just sits there and gets dusted every now and then. Latest purchase is a Sailrite LSZ-1. THIS is only used for repairing dirty dirty load straps, but she is a tank. I think my machine inventory is slight overkill, but they all get used (‘cept the serger….lol) I am so fortunate to have all of the sewing/bag making communities to share and interact with.

  4. I have three sewing machines and a serger
    Love your newsletters and your new boss, too.

  5. My main machine is a Babylock Ellisimo Gold, and I do use all those bells and whistles! I also have a Babylock serger, a Janome Coverstitch, a cute and very old Wilcox & Gibbs treadle, my Grandma’s 1950 Morse, and quite a few vintage machines. I use different machines for different types of sewing. The older machines are so sturdy and are great for sewing bags!

  6. I had a viking that got flooded when our house flooded, the son dried it out, cleaned it and it works fine and went to live with the granddaughter and her grandmother. It’s a workhorse they all use. I got a new viking, I also have a Hello Kitty janome and an extended arm brother for my mil’s quilting frame. I bought the janome for the granddaughter but she didn’t like it. So it’s my go to classes machine.

  7. I have a Bernina 440- my trusty old Viking which does better letters and much easier than the Bernina! Also my aunt’s Featherweight-Bernina serger- and Janome coverstitch. Use them all for different sewing. They are all tucked away in a small extra bedroom-sewing room.