All good on the sewing machine front

As you all know, I’ve been having issues with my sewing machine ever since Mr Boy and Mimi Bubba decided to chew their way through my foot pedal cable. I can still sew, using the stop/start button, but this is tricky when I need both hands to guide fabric, and in any case all this button pressing was starting to drive me a bit nuts.

Then RR had the genius idea of taking my machine into the little electric shop in town, to see if they could fix it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I thought, so off I toddled to see what they could do.

The shop is actually a little bit scary. It only appears to be open about 3 hours a day, and has shelves covered with things like old kettles and toasters, teddy bears, and (bizarrely) a very furry, slightly worn dog bed. It smells a bit like cabbage and old peoples’ homes, with a faint whiff of indoor cat thrown in. And the man who owns it is rather odd, and has a strong accent. A very strong accent. I may be pretty much fluent in French, but even so it was rather tricky to understand him. Especially as he went all technical on me. Now I’m not really the technical type – according to RR, I believe that everything is powered by friendly little electricity pixies who live in the plug sockets in the walls, and he’s probably not too far from the truth there! But the slightly-odd-strongly-accented shop owner seemed to be saying that he would do what he could, leave the pedal with him and come back tomorrow.

Tomorrow duly dawned and I went to collect my pedal. He’d stripped it back to the wire, soldered it, and taped it back up again, for the princely sum of 10 CHF.


So I took it home, plugged it in and started sewing a test piece of fabric. It worked! Woo hoo! My jubilation lasted only a few seconds, though, until I took my foot off the pedal, at which point I realised that it wouldn’t stop sewing. It just kept on going. I pumped the pedal – nothing. Panic set in, as I frantically tried to unplug the foot pedal from the machine. Sadly it appeared I was Back To Square One and Sewing-By-Pressing The Stop/Start Button, whilst Mr Boy stretched out unconcernedly behind my machine, dreaming of what else he can destroy…


It was at this point that I did what I should have done right at the beginning, I rang up the incredibly helpful Monsieur Stecker at Ets Stecker in Belgium, and ordered a shiny new foot pedal. Apparently it will be delivered in time for Patchwork in the Peaks next weekend, this means I will actually be able to sew properly whilst on my quilt retreat, which is always a bonus…

Whilst I was on the phone, though, I did happen to make some enquiries about the brand spanking new Janome 15000, and a possible trade-in of my current machine.  And I was delighted to learn that, contrary to what I had always believed, my 11000 SE has an automatic dual voltage function built in. So I can plug in a standard Swiss or European cable and it will work just fine. What’s more, M. Stecker refused to sell me the specific Janome European cable on the grounds that I could pick one up in any electrical store for a couple of euros, rather than paying over the odds for him to send me a branded one …

So good news all round! I’m getting a new foot pedal. It looks like it’s going to be easier than I’d originally thought to sell or trade in my current machine. I no longer need to lug the blasted transformer around with me. And with such great customer service, I’m pretty sure I know where I’ll be going when it’s time to upgrade my machine…

All’s good on the sewing machine front. Thanks, Monsieur Stecker, for making my day 🙂

3 responses

  1. Good news are always coming at the right time… Have a great retreat!

  2. Thank goodness for that!

  3. […] don’t know yet what I’ll fancy doing. Hopefully some free motion quilting, when my new foot pedal turns up! And of course I have popped in the ubiquitous hexies, just in case we have glorious […]

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