I Might be a Seamstress

So this is Ol’ Bessy – my ancient monster of a sewing machine, a Singer 7105, that was passed down to me from my mother when I decided to learn to sew last year.

She’s a finicky machine, that sometimes will work fine, but usually has to be goaded along, and every now and then will just break the thread and quit. I think she got so cranky from being locked away in a closet for decades without use. She’s wound up quite tight, and it’s a tug of war with the tension dial to pull the thread out. But we’ve come to an understanding. Of course I can’t do anything with delicate fabrics, as she would shred them, but she does okay otherwise. And together we’ve made a few things.

The tally so far:
Victories – 3
Casualties – 5

My sister was kind enough to let me make the baptism outfit for her first son, Layne. I realize it was quite a daunting task for my very first project, but with the help of my amazingly skilled mother-in-law, that outfit turned out ok, and my sister was kind enough to even use it, though the bottom snaps kept coming undone. (Oh, and Layne spit up all over it right before they took him to the front of the sanctuary for the actual baptism. Oh, babies…) But I still claim that one as a success.

My other successes were an apron and two pillows for the den. Just a simple apron from a pattern, and rectangular, knife-edge pillows. I really can’t appreciate simplicity more than I did when I finished those projects and they actually looked good.

And those other projects have all been clothes. Clothes are my bane. That is the one thing I really want to be good at, and the hardest. Fitting curves and lengths and widths…a 3D world is a difficult place to work in. But with Ol’ Bessy, I’ve got some good muscle — that is, when she’s cooperating.


10 thoughts on “I Might be a Seamstress

  1. Hi, one more question on threading 🙂 I have same machine, done a repair at professional repair-person. It was working properly until I wanted to change colour of thread and removed bobbin and now I cannot get it back to be threaded and work. I entered it in 2 notches (this small places where thread should go) but it seems like there is something wrong. Like it needs to be entered somewhere else as well.
    Could you give me an advice how to thread bottom part? Where the thread should go?

    • I’m so sorry I don’t have this machine anymore, and I haven’t had it for a couple years now so I’m afraid I don’t remember it well enough to help you. I would probably take it back to the repairman and see if he can help you out. I hope you’re able to figure it out!

  2. hi,ya;’ll this is our first time using our Ol Bessy and we can’t figure out how to put a new needle in it. Can anyone help?

    • You need to undo the screw that holds the needle in, then just slip the old needle out by pulling it gently downwards. Make sure you put the new needle in the same way round. The flat side faces the back if I remember correctly.

    • I’m so sorry, I no longer have this machine or manual. But I do know that you can order it from several places online. I just typed it into a search engine and many places came up.

  3. Hi there, I’m so pleased to have found someone else who has the same machine as me. I’ve had mine for years! And only recently come back to sewing again so I dug it out of the cupboard. It works ok, and I had it professionally serviced. I too have trouble with the upper tension – it tends to bit the thread from time to time. I know it’s not a fancy machine – they have come on a lot since I bought mine and I have seen some super-fancy ones in the shops. But would I actually use all of those dozens of stitches and gizmos. I don’t know, so I’m sticking to my old Singer for now. I bought some cotton fabric a couple of weeks ago and I’m aiming to make a summer top. (Mind you in the UK we haven’t had much summer yet, just torrential rain for weeks and weeks and weeks 🙂 But I live in hope.) What I can’t find is the manual for it. I know it’s in a box somewhere…! Anyway now that I’ve found you I’ll be interested to see how you get on with the machine 🙂

  4. Hi! My girlfriend and I were wandering around the web, searching for anyone who can help us get our Singer 7105 up and running (sans bird nesting) when we found you! Is there anyway you can tell us how to get our thread running well on our Singer? It’s been a bird nesting parade over here and we’re on a little bit of a deadline. Someone is expecting a sewn doll house for their first birthday!

    Thanks so much!

    • First off, if the machine is old and hasn’t been used in a while, you need to take it to a repairman for a tune-up. That was the first mistake I made with mine, I tried using it without getting it tuned up. For bird nesting, try holding the thread tails when you begin every seam. This should prevent that from happening. I don’t know what you’re experience level is with sewing, or what else you have tried, but if you’re having other problems with the thread, make sure the top thread and bobbin are loaded properly, and try adjusting the tension. Also, make sure your thread and needle are appropriate for the fabric you’re using, and that your needle is input properly (the flat side of the needle towards the back of the machine). If none of those things work, I’m afraid there’s not much more you could do besides take it in to be repaired. I just did that to mine and they had to rebuild the upper tension and adjust the alignment. I hope that helps!

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