The Sewing Place



« on: June 14, 2017, 19:06:12 PM »
My lovely local machine/bits and bobs shop service my Janome mechanical as and when I remember to get it done. They always do a fab job and are very friendly and helpful and turn it around in a couple of days for me. They don't do embroidery machines but said they knew X did and to contact them. So I dutifully do this (there's a loose screw in the needle housing and it's gone and I've busted 3 needles - no more embroidery!) and they quoted just shy of £160! Little extortionate methinks. And 14 working days turnaround, which is a little on the long side. They also weren't fabulous on the phone.

So I do some googling for Brother accredited service/repair people and find a good looking one in Exeter. Ring them, explain my predicament, cue much giggling and "oh dears" and a quote of £69 and a 5 day turnaround. Any parts on top. As the thing still stiches out nicely and works well I'm hoping a clean and service with maybe a new bolt for the needle housing will be all it needs. Very friendly and helpful on the phone.

My only problem is getting the big machine to Exeter - it's a 2 1/2 hour train or drive and it's a hefty machine. We have family a bit further south so could combine with a visit but I don't know. It needs servicing and I have stuff that needs embroidering. Any ideas on non extortionate ways of transporting a V3? Or non extortionate Brother service/repair people a bit closer to home (Berkshire)?

And I'm not being crazy that £160 for a service is extortionate right?


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 19:48:08 PM »
That's more than extortionate!  Are there any sewing factories near where you live, either still functioning or now closed?  If so they have damn good mechanics that would probably do it for some extra cash in hand.


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 19:52:17 PM »
I don't think so, but I don't know - I'm Berkshire - no idea how sewy the county is!

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking £160 is extortionate!


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 20:36:25 PM »
I take it you are talking about Exeter Sewing Machine shop?  Chris who services the machines (and owns the shop) is excellent and I highly recommend them.  They service my sewing machines, overlocker etc.  And, of more significance if you but knew it, they do my mother's too, to her satisfaction, and, well let's just say that she is not easily pleased when it comes to her sewing stuff!!   Difficult though about getting it there.  As someone who has been known to con the men in my life that I am not quite as high maintenance as they think I am and of course I travel light (then courier on an extra suitcase and back again) it's not as expensive as people think but on the other hand, a hefty sewing machine .........   But if you can persuade your local coach service to take it to Exeter bus station as luggage I am more than happy to pick it up and take it to the sewing machine shop (they're about a 2 minute walk) and drop it back again.  Otherwise I fear that your savings on the service will be outweighed by the costs of getting it there. 


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 21:26:26 PM »
These large machines always cost more to service than a normal sewing machine.  They take longer to do for a start.  Beware of cheap services.  It depends what they call a service.  As for turnaround.  If an engineer is in demand his turnaround will be longer.  They are getting fewer as years go on.  Will the cost include the emboidery unit or do they not do that?


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 21:36:43 PM »
The expensive one did not include the embroidery unit  :o

I don't mind paying more than for my mechanical because I know they are harder to pull apart, and I accept they'll take longer, but 14 working days seemed a bit on the long side. They were also underwhelming and unhelpful on the phone.

I'm annoyed because I can't pull it apart myself, I can fix most of the problems my janome gets by tinkering but it still gets a service every couple of years or after a big quilting session as the fluff gets into places I can't get to.

It is Exeter Sewing Machines yes, they seem to have good feedback and they were super on the phone, and even gave me helpful info on taxis and bus routes if I was to train in. We have family in the area so could add in a visit to them to make it less of a drop off trip. I'll see if I can send it as luggage but we've noticed much tighter/paranoid security recently so not sure how much luck I'd have -< Thank you so much for the offer :)


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2017, 21:48:43 PM »
They're very much in demand for machine services at Exeter Sewing Machine shop and I really don't think they do 'cheap' services.  They've been a family run business since the 1940s until recently, when due to retirement sold it to employees who were trained by the person who is considered quite an expert locally in sewing machines.  They do understand that people don't want to be without their machines for ages and therefore those who do the services don't do the selling of haberdashery/sales etc but concentrate on the machines, including embroidery machines.  I am quite sure, indeed know due to the machines lined up, that they all have enough work to do locally and rather than be a warning to people to 'beware' of their services, well I am sure they were just trying to be helpful.  It seems a bit harsh that Chris has to increase his timings just to prove he is 'in demand' when those of us locally know that we can just pop in with 'a bit of a crisis' (usually got into a pickle with rethreading our overlockers) and he will sort us out there and then.  Please don't malign local businesses.  They mean a lot to us. 
  • Jo likes this


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 21:58:42 PM »
None of the negative I said was to them - Exeter Sewing Machines were great on the phone and really sounded like they knew what they were talking about. They've got a waitlist at the minute which is absolutely fine and good news in my book, so it would take them longer than a week, but the lovely lady on the phone did say that they usually have a quicker turnaround, the time doesn't bother me at all, and the price seemed excellent. I'm trying to work logistics out to get the V3 there!

My annoyed comment was more how clever the machine is compared to my knowledge of how they work! I'm more than happy to pay someone who knows what they are doing haha!

I was disappointed in the attitude and price/time from the first place I contacted as I just couldn't work out why it was so expensive and would take so long. I appreciate paying more for a faster service, or if parts need replacing, but a basic service being almost 3 times the price of other brother accredited places seemed a bit off to me and I'm not made of money! They are also over an hour's drive away so if I'm travelling very far I want to be going somewhere I can feel confident they'll take care of an expensive bit of kit!

Exeter Sewing Machines sounded friendly and knowledgable and I'm going to try and get it there for its service. Local businesses are so important, and they sound like my local - small, friendly, family run, and they love what they do - which is exactly the sort of business I want to support!


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 22:09:33 PM »
I think my comment was a crossover with Ohsewsimple!  Which sounds very grumpy and doesn't mean to be!  I am simply saying that when local businesses try to accommodate people who want their machines done in a rush it doesn't mean they don't have enough work to be getting on with because they do.  Exeter Sewing Machine shop is fab.  I am sure many towns have their equivalent.  If we don't support them they'll go.  So I am sticking up for my local business!  As a local, if I walked in tomorrow with my sewing machine and told Chris that I was ready to throw it out of the window because of (insert reason) he would sort it for me there and then, if possible.  That doesn't mean he hasn't got enough work to do.  In fact if he gave me the timescale he gave you I'd give him that appalled look and beg him to do it sooner!  And he probably would.  I did think about the security thing, but if it can be done then it's a genuine offer.


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2017, 22:50:26 PM »
have you tried Sew Devine in Reading?


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 07:03:22 AM »
Sew Devine are my go to, but they don't service embroidery machines sadly.


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 08:30:33 AM »
Local businesses aren't always good... DD took her Pfaff embroidery machine to her local guy... he had it over 6 weeks, said it was fixed.. £150..  she got it home it wasn't, it went back for another few weeks, came home and the same problem. DD brought it to me and I got my guy who fixes machines part time... he comes to your house, 10 minutes later and a spring from a ball point pen and it was fixed.. £20! She got a refund from the local guy.


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 09:37:14 AM »
Exeter Sewing Machines are really good, as is The Sewing Studio at Redruth. hey both charge roughly the same, have a similar turn around and are very helpful both in person and on the phone. Local businesses are obviously preferable for convenience but if you can transport or courier a machine to somewhere you know will do an excellent job it is worth a little inconvenience  :)
Triumph of hope over experience :D


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 09:48:28 AM »
I've not had to use my sewing machine man for ages, but like Efemera, mine comes to the machine and fixes it there and then if it's possible.

Like RavingDoll says, if we don't use good local facilities, we will lose them.

Maybe a list of good local machine fixers could be arranged on here?

Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.


Re: Extortionate!
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 12:09:02 PM »
Have you tried contacting Home Counties Sewing Machines, HP13 7LB?
I've not used them myself but they appear to have a good reputation and are well established according to sewing forums.