Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Home for a New Home

This is my tale of a sewing machine that I feared I would never fix and it would have to go into the parts category. It had such good "bones" in its variety of stitches, excellent condition, and neat storage for accessories.
New Home XL-II with extension table
What was the problem? A plastic gear in the hook assembly had cracked so it ceased to run. The owner was nearly giving it away since it was broken and said if I could fix it she would like to buy it back. Now I have to confess that was almost two years ago and I do not have the contact information anymore. I replaced the broken gear but could not get it to "stay" as it kept sliding back. Had I missed something? How could I get it to hold in place? I broke down and bought a service manual a year ago and checked to see if it could solve the problem for me and it seemed so but I made a very big mistake in not downloading it. Yup, it would only be available for two weeks and then it would be gone unless I downloaded it to my computer. And I didn't. Cheap and stubborn as I am, I was very reluctant to purchase it again so it waited many months until I couldn't stand it any longer and went back to the site again but this time I downloaded it and printed it off right away.

The manual was quite good and I could see by their diagrams and explanations that I wasn't missing any parts, all but one of the settings were correct, but it kept sliding back. Then I did something that moved it all into place. Voila! Now the machine would run, pick thread up from the hook, but the thread would get stuck. I check it over and over again but there didn't seems to be anything wrong. I applied the principle of WATT (walk away to think) several times and finally I took another long look at the whole mechanism to find the hook seemed to have a gap and that's why it was catching. Could I move it back? Sure enough, there were two tiny screws that would loosen and reposition it to close that gap. It took a few more trials and adjustments but it finally worked. It not only worked but it sounded better, too. Hallelujah, she was sewing again! I needed to use the instruction manual to figure out the stitch width lever and the automatic buttonhole maker, but it was sewing very nicely.
25 stitches plus buttonholes
Dial up one of the stitches
Sharon called up and was ready to try it out but icy roads were predicted in the afternoon so maybe she could come early in the morning? She arrived with her husband and a piece of double sided fleece. She admitted her white plastic Brother was not meant to sew two layers of fleece but just do minor repairs. Sure enough,  the New Home XL-II handled it with ease once the stitch length was at the max. She loved it, especially how the accessories were stored in the top compartment.
Accessories under top lid
Even the carrying case had a lift off lid that would hold even more supplies so all of your sewing would be in one place.

Hard plastic carry case
Top with handle
Top removed with sewing supplies storage

That would be "one place" if you didn't have a room-full of fabric, sewing machines, and all the items they require:
Earlier in 2016, just the side with the sewing machines

Might your life be so simple.


Anonymous said...

Great resolve leading to new life for this New Home sewing machine! Thank you for sharing

Anuj Agarwal said...

Hi Karen,

My name is Anuj Agarwal. I'm Founder of Feedspot.

I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Sewing Machine Mavin has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 15 Vintage Sewing Blogs on the web.

I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 15 Vintage Sewing Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


Karen said...

Thank you! I do feel honored and hope to have many more posts that celebrate sewing and vintage sewing machines.

Jonathan said...

A couple I know had the New Home sewing machine you posted about. They were selling it on eBay. It was such a nice machine, reading your post makes me sorry I didn't purchase it. I wish you had taken a picture of the gear you replaced. I would have loved to see where it was in case I ever find one of these machines. What site did you find a repair manual on?

Karen said...

I'm afraid this was almost 2 years in the making so no photos of the gear but it was the feed dog gear that connects with the hook drive gear. There were two places that had the service manual so I'd rather not be too specific since it was easily found. Yup, it's a great sewing machine!

Anonymous said...

I had another New Home for 35 years, I still mourn for it. Those pictures made me so jealous even though I have two lovely Janomes now. New Homes of that era are jewels.