Investing in your sewing future – servicing your machines

Regular servicing ensures optimal performance from those trusty machines so that they keep on giving us the best stitch, seam, buttonhole and tension that we need to make our sewing look the best it can and less like something that is obviously sewn at home.

As with a number of areas in our lives, we tend to put off some things because we are too busy just doing stuff.  For example, checking your tyre pressure and oil when you go the the garage – no longer known as a “service” station for those of us of a certain age – to fill your car with fuel, or cleaning and oiling the sewing machine when you just want to get that garment sewn.  Periodically, a repair or a proper service is called for and then you may phone or drive back to where you bought the machine and the shop is GONE!


In my perfect world, what I’d like to see is every neigbourhood having a butcher, a baker, a full service sewing centre … but with the increasing demise of bricks and mortar stores for specialised sewing machine sales and service businesses, there is often even greater likelihood that servicing with be ignored or put off.

So the new reality is that we now may need to take our machines to the fabric/quilting/craft shop which is the agent for our brand and leave it there.  If that isn’t available, you’ll have to find another technician who has the expertise and experience with your particular type of machine.

inside a sewing machine

How you can help…

What I’d like to compile is a comprehensive directory of servicing businesses and agents for machines we own in our area – whether is be a suburb in Auckland or any other town or city in NZ.  Local knowledge is invaluable and worth sharing.  One day, you might be on holiday in Fjordland and have to find a repair shop…you’ll thank me later!

So to get things started, you can check out the 2 service teckkies listed on our other page

Also below is an excerpt from Diane Parton’s friend’s email. She’s recently had her Bernina serviced in Mt Wellington, Auckland:

I can remember in the past people having problems with Bernina servicing.

Tell any Bernina owners to go to The Ribbon Rose. The machines get sent to Wellington to be serviced by Colin, #1 Bernina man in NZ until he trains Steve Forlong who owns the Ribbon Rose shop.

Machine home and purring like a kitten!

So, please feel free to leave a comment below about any servicing business or person that you’d recommend to others and also what brand or type of machines you’ve had repaired.  Then it can go onto the list for others to refer to.


It’ll certainly pay dividends in the end!


Extend your sewing at our meeting on Saturday 14 May

Me-Made-May 2016

What are you making this May?

Perhaps something you’ve been wanting to start (or finish) for a while or as part of an online sewing community challenge? Whatever it might be, there’s no better time to sew for yourself or others when the long summer days are ending.

The changeability of weather through Autumn (or Fall) means considering layering our clothing for greater comfort because of variable temperatures.  It also makes us think of using appropriate textiles in our sewing such as merino knits – which we are so lucky to have such great variety of in New Zealand.

The famous NZ merino, Shrek's fleece reproduced from the Otago Daily Times 05/2014

The famous NZ merino, Shrek’s fleece reproduced from the Otago Daily Times 05/2014

Fine merino is so versatile because it is a natural fabric, has great recovery, can be found in a range of differing weights for base layer, mid layer and outer layer uses, and is a joy to sew. We can play with our overlockers or use adapted construction techniques and there are so many choices with modern patterns which utilise these fabrics.

Some of us will have got through their item for the First Challenge which is to sew some dungarees, overalls, onesies or a jumpsuit, either for themselves or someone else.  I’m picking that the competition will be fierce, as the standard of these challenges is always very high.

If you’re halfway through a project or want some inspiration to start one then come along to our sewing meeting on this Saturday, 14 May.  For regular attendees, note this month is the extended session specifically for sewing time and which will run from from 12pm to 5pm.

Another activity we will have going is the making of a paper mannequin for those that wish to participate.

image c/- BurdaStyle

image c/- BurdaStyle

The venue is in the big hall at the Bayview Community Centre, 72 Bayview Rd, Bayview,  North Shore of Auckland. A map is found here

Please bring:

  • Your sewing/sewing machine, extension cords etc.
  • Any items that you’ve made to “Show and Tell” to others.
  • Supplies for the paper mannequin.
  • Your own lunch/snacks. Teas and coffees will be supplied.

If you’re not already a member and would like to visit, please do.  If you like what you see then please talk to Diane about signing up on the day.

We look forward to seeing you, and bring along a sewing friend if you think they’d like to connect up with like-minded people in Auckland.