You're a much better mom than I am....my 18 mo old went as Little Red, but in a ghastly store-bought costume. And as my husband pointed out, she looked more like a Czech Queen than a fairy tale character
(1) Is my machine a rare exception, do most sewing machines have seam allowances engraved on the throat plate?
(2) My hubby is a professional carpenter and says he has tools that he could engrave the throat plate for me and put in 1/2" and 5/8" lines. He is talented and precise and I trust that he wil do a good job. If he does this for me, what position should my needle be in when we take 1/2" and 5/8" measurements? Should my needle be in the center position? far left? far right?
1.) Yes, most machines have the seam allowances engraved on, at least most I've seen. But there are exceptions (such as yours), and they're not really that rare.
2.) You want the needle to be in the center position. That is, unless you typically sew with your needle in the far left or right postition, but I'm willing to bit large sums of money that that is not the case...so go with the center!
As others have said, you're "supposed" to change it every project. Which I sorta see the point of, but not really, b/c there's a huge difference between a kid's shirt and king size quilt...but both are "a" project. I've also read guidlines for how many hours.
As for me, I break them often enough that I don't worry about it much
Oh, I love my Touch and Sew! You've got a keeper there But moving on to your question...
You'll probably want to throw something at me, but are you really, 100% positive that the machine is threaded properly? Is the needle in correctly? Is the bobbin in right (of course, with the T&S, it's a little harder to mess up the bobbin, but it's still worth checking)? Are you starting your stitching with the needle down? Do you have a couple inches worth of thread coming through the needle so when it comes up it doesn't pull the thread out? (B/c I've been sewing for over 15 years, and that still happens to me a lot.)
Okay, I did it. I just purchased my THIRD machine. It was at the same thrift store I got my $85 Singer from for the same price, and actually my mom bought it for me as a Christmas gift.
Its a Pfaff Dial-a-Stitch 130. I haven't used it yet but it has ALL parts, including the original instruction manuals. It looks like it has never been used. Has anyone come across these machines? I read a few little snippets about them on the web but nothing where people are singing its praises.
Anyway, how to explain to my husband that sewing machines are taking over....
Ooooh, I've got ya beat--I got mine at a rummage sale for $25 It was serviced in 1983 and hadn't been touched since; mint condition. (Well, I thought.) I cleaned and oiled it and it sewed like a dream....for about two weeks. And then it just locked up one night. No clue why, and I don't have the money right now to have it looked at. But it's a fabulous machine. It sews through anything!
My mother, on the other hand, let me *learn* to sew on her amazing 1970s Pfaff (she says they paid close to $750 for it back in 1976), and boy, is that still a sweet machine. She let me sew on it again a few weeks ago and I almost tried to pack it up in my suitcase and bring it home with me. Smooth, quiet, perfect tension, just lovely. I hadn't realized as a child how generous she was being! Now my name is on the bottom of the machine in masking tape, waiting for Mom to be ready to give it up someday.
You do have to admit, though, there's a huge difference between your mom teaching you to sew on that and loaning your machine out. My guess is, your mom was right there, making sure you didn't do anything too dreadful to her machine