To fix or not to fix….that is the question.

Here is a picture of my loyal servant. It is a bottom of the range Toyota, bought from Argos for about £60 in 1982. It is a very basic machine and has needed only the odd drop of oil and a clean now and again to keep it happily purring (OK be honest! sometimes vvrrrumming) away. It only does straight and zig-zag stitches.

This machine has never moaned, groaned or broken down. It has had no parts replaced, doesn’t break needles or cause knots and tangles and has no tension issues. It is a complete all rounder. I’ve sewn everything from prom dresses to car seats on this machine 🙂 All the pieces on my blog were created on this Toyota.

The new machine on the block (that was a patchwork pun in case you missed it) is my Juki, bought especially for quilting on a frame. This one only does straight stitch but has a larger throat and goes lightning fast. Yes, it was expensive and I saved hard working overtime for a couple of years to get it, but it is also turning out to be just right for the purpose. I have tried to piece patchwork with it but I prefer my old Toyota tractor as that goes much slower.

However, the Juki has a knee lift for the presser foot which I love!! and don’t get me started on the thread cutter which is amazing 🙂 No loose ends to grab hold of.

So, I have a machine for piecing and another for quilting.Who could want for more? Not me. As long as I can sew, embroider, knit or crochet, I’m happy enough. However, I do have a dilemma…………….

A couple of years ago, my lovely Mother-in-Law Alice passed away. I inherited her beautiful (I think 1950’s) Husqvarna, complete with a box of feet I’ve never seen the likes of before. Apparently, according to the little booklet that came with it, they are for piping, hemming, blind hemming, zips etc.

The only problem is, it blows the electrics when I switch it on. The sewing machine dealer that I bought the Juki from said there was definitely something wrong with the presser foot which is made from Bakelite and has rattly bits inside 😦

He also explained that if he brought a new foot, he could try it but that the motor may also have packed up. Sure enough, the motor is a also bust.

All in all, he says it is easy to replace the motor and have a new presser foot for about £60 all in and he would collect and return the machine to my house. 

So…….do I get it fixed or not?  Do I need another machine? No. Would I use it if it was fixed? Certainly yes. Then what would happen to the Toyota? I can’t sell the Husqvarna, nor do I want to, and I would love to use it to make lovely things that would remind me of Alice. The dealer says it is worthless and he has had lots of old machines in the past that nobody wants. But this one is different. I’m definitely considering having the motor and presser foot replaced, even if it is just to play with all of the special feet it has. Is it worth the £60 (the same price as my Toyota)? What do you think?

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. Teje

     /  February 11, 2012

    Hi! I love your ‘vintage’ Husqvarna! Husqvarna has always special place in my heart because my first own sewing machine was amazing and wonderful Husqvarna! Now I have boring, simple Singer. I hope you can fix your sewing machine!
    Did you see that you have a visitor form North Finland?!
    I go to see if I can get a map, too! Thank you for your advices!
    x Teje

  2. Yes Teje. I was very excited about the Finnish visitor because on the details it said they are from Lapland which is where Santa Claus lives, isn’t it?? Avis x

  3. Definitely fix. It will probably outlast all the others and get you out of a tight spot if you need to send one of the others off for repairs. I also have a Husqvarna but it is a new embroidery model that I love but I still use my Pfaff just as much as well. Like fabric, how can you only have one! 😄

    • I never thought about my other one giving up. I’ve enjoyed thirty + years of reliability. Hmmm… now you’ve got me thinking. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  4. Victoria

     /  February 11, 2012

    I had a Singer that I inherited from my Mom when she passed. I was told it could be fixed but probably wasn’t worth it. I loved that machine it (like your Toyota) would sew anything. I did get another machine but I couldn’t bring myself to toss it out. It has sentimental value. If you think you would use the Husqvarna by all means have it fixed! I will some day have my ancient singer fixed too 🙂

    • Well, so far I think it is 3 out of 3 in favour of fixing 🙂 I imagine if you did get the old Singer fixed it would be a great machine. It would be nice to see a photo of it. I learned to sew using a hand-cranked singer when I was in primary school. I’ll never forget the teacher who allowed me to use her “special machine”.

      • Victoria

         /  February 12, 2012

        What a great idea! after I finish this quilt I will surely do a machine post! Thanks and Happy sewing 🙂

  5. Sounds like a very reasonably priced repair job. I pay more than that to have my (slightly newer) Husqvarna serviced. If you think you will use it once it’s back in working order, I say get it fixed. I doubt you’ll regret it.

  6. It’s a beautiful old machine. I love old sewing machines, not that I have any. And like you said it would be wonderful to be able to use it. I hope you get it fixed. It’s not a lot of money really, it deserves it. Let us know what happens.

  7. frogzone1

     /  February 16, 2012

    So…is it fixed yet?

    • No 😦 I rang “The man who can” and he took a sharp intake of breath and said “that’ll cost a bit”. He said he would ring back with a price. Haven’t heard yet.

  8. Thank you for dropping by my blog… 🙂 That machine is beautiful! Please get it fixed!

    • I’d love to, but “the man who can” still hasn’t called back. I think I’ll ring him again tomorrow. Maybe it is a bigger job than he thought!

  9. The Modern Home Economist

     /  March 1, 2012

    I think you should definitly fix it. It looks like a very special machine and has the added importance of being your late Mother-In-Laws. I would fix it for sentimental reasons alone. The fact that you can also use it for practical purposes makes it even more rewarding. I hope it won’t turn out to be too expensive for you!

    • Thank you for prompting me into further action. Mr Fix It will collect the Mean Green Machine tonight. Then he’ll call back with a price. Watch this space 🙂
      Thank you for reading my blog. Avis x

      • The Modern Home Economist

         /  March 1, 2012

        So glad to hear that you are fixing it. Interested in knowing the overall cost. Hope it is not too painful – but I am sure it will be worth it! Keep us updated 🙂

  10. craftingismybliss

     /  March 9, 2012

    Glad you are fixing the vintage Husqvarna. I think you will be happy you did it. It’s always nice to have a back up. I have several machines that I use and a few are of the vintage variety. Mostly Singer because I love the style of those machines. You can see pictures on my blog. I love your sewing projects so bright and cheerful. Great blog.

    • Well, it was collected last week and they are supposed to be ringing me with a price BEFORE they do anything. No news yet! I wonder if no news is good news??
      Thank you for reading my blog 🙂 I’m off to take a peek at yours now!

      • I found your blog from a link in “spinning a yarn” where there was a manual available for download for the Viking Husqvarna 21a sewing machine.

        I realize I am posting this more than a year later but I have become a Husqvarna Viking junkie after inheriting one from the 70’s from my mom and now finding a CL 21 in rummage sale for $20. It is a real workhorse and is similar to your model in color and style but just a tad more advanced. Unfortunately it only has one cam and it is shot so none of the special stitches are available. I have removed the cam and run the machine without it. It straight stitches forward and reverse like a little soldier plus it has that wonderful low gear feature that is amazing.

        I am wondering if you did get your little Viking repaired and has it proved to be a useful machine for you? These particular vikings are very hot in the states right now and are selling for a pretty piece. Everyone loves their power and the low gear feature.

        Thanks for your delightful blog!

        • Hi and welcome to my blog 🙂 Please call back. Yes, I did get it fixed!!! Unfortunately, Mr Fixit tried but failed to find original parts so he replaced the motor and foot pedal with new ones. We are looking out for originals and might replace them again in future. It is a fantastic machine, a real workhorse like yours. If you look on my two “Finshed” pages (links at the top of this page), you will see what it has created. I’m so pleased I got it fixed. Mr Fixit is a real enthusiast and he did a wonderful job bringing it back to life. Now, my Mean Green Sewing Machine is used almost every day. Long may it continue. I can totally understand your affection for these machines. I will treasure mine forever. I’d love to be able to do more than just straight stitch, but for patchwork, this little dynamo is perfect. Avis x


I really enjoy reading your comments. Have a lovely day :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: