I Feel a Rant Coming On!

I have a very old sewing machine - according to its serial number it was manufactured in 1887 - basically while Jack the Ripper was stalking the streets of London...

It still works.  When I got it all I had to do was clean it and then oil it and then buy a new bobbin for it.  Well I can hear you sniggering now... you'll never get a new bobbin for a 120 odd year old sewing machine.  Well you'd be wrong.

My hand machine from 1914 - different make but again I can still find spares for it.

Basically the design of the machine has not changed and most modern parts and accessories can be fitted onto my old machine.  Now of course a lot of modern machines are computer driven these days but I am talking about the mechanical bits of the machine.  They have changed very very little.

Two blind hem feet, one old, one new, they both fit either the old or the new machine!
This is a brilliant machine.  With a design so good that it has never needed to be changed.  I am more than happy to own such a thing and if I had paid the original price for it (which was actually quite expensive) then I would certainly feel like I had my moneys worth by now!

Two blind hem attachments one is 128 years old 

This is my Dyson vacuum cleaner.

I bought it because I believed that my very clever engineering husband would be able to replace any parts that failed over the years, therefore giving me value for money almost on a scale to match my sewing machine.  For the past ten years or so (actually I can't remember when we bought it, at least ten years ago) this has worked fine.  A few minor things have been purchased from Dyson and the machine has been repaired and has proved a really good workhorse and I no longer cringe at the thought of how much money it originally cost us - it was expensive and we did not have very much money at the time.

BUT!  Now it seems that Dyson no longer sell the parts for our vacuum cleaner.  We can buy equivalent Dyson parts but they are not guaranteed as to quality and Dyson do not recommend any of them.  Instead Dyson suggest that we trade in our old machine and buy a new one.  This isn't an option for us... we live in Spain.  They do have Dyson in Spain but we cannot see anything on the Spanish website about trading in your old machine.

I am soooo disappointed in Dyson.  We have just spent £30 on a new motor that we hope will be as good quality as the original but of course we can't be sure.  We are loathe to purchase a new vacuum cleaner at £300 + and we do not want the old one to go to Landfill.  Have Dyson embraced the throw away society in the search for profit?

For us the vacuum cleaner is a once every now and again cleaning tool because we have tiles throughout the house and mostly we are fine with a broom and dustpan.  And I expected (foolishly) to never need to buy another vacuum cleaner..... ever!

What is wrong with this society?????  If something works why change it?  The Dyson vacuum cleaner is a perfect design.  It works really well.  It does everything its supposed to do and I don't need to upgrade it just to change the colour or the look of it.  We could happily continue to repair the machine as needed for another hundred years (given the availability of the parts) and it would still be an excellent vacuum cleaner that does the job it's supposed to do.... like my beloved sewing machine.

OK rant over... I best get the broom out now.


  1. You should email the above 'rant' to Dyson and let them know how you feel and that you may have to go to another brand because you thought you had already made your 'lifetime' investment in Dyson. Worth a try to see what they can do for you. Good luck!!

  2. I should really, you are right, but we have ordered a motor which we hope will fix it and now that I have had my rant I am quite deflated and can't be bothered lol. We really don't want to buy a new one, or trade it in when we know that it could be fixed fairly simply. Fingers crossed that the new motor is good quality. Meanwhile, its back to the broom.

  3. I too invested in a Dyson, which bit the dust permanently within 5 years. When I went back to the shop, they seemed to think that 2 years was a "reasonable" length of time for a vacuum cleaner to last, and basically refused to help. Back to my trusty old Henry, then, which I've had for 18+ years...

    You may want to re-check your beautiful Singer's serial number, it's a 66 (or a 99) oscillating shuttle, and they didn't start to make them until the early 1920s! But you are absolutely spot on that you can still get bobbins, needles etc. and indeed slide & needle plates for them, quite easily. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everything was made to the standard that these were...

    1. Haha I knew there would be a sewing machine addict out there who would spot the deliberate mistake - the photo I posted is of my 1947 Singer treadle as I was in a 'rant' fueled rage at the time of posting and didn't have time to go and unwrap my 1887 German Pfaff to take a photo - its has a boat shaped shuttle and so finding replacements is not quite as simple as I made it sound but I was trying to make a point... lol... being found out has made me laugh. But i am further disappointed by your experience with Dyson... 2 years!!! That's scandolous!

  4. Indeed I am an addict - so much so that I might be able to help, if you're looking for anything specific! Might be able to source some spare bobbins, for example; is it a true boat/transverse shuttle or a hybrid shuttle, i.e. happy with a 15 needle? I have a tin of old Pfaff feet & bobbins somewhere, which aren't likely to get used.

    I also have a Pfaff but it's a very modern one that plays second - or even third - string to my completely unflappable Jones Medium treadle (1909) and a wonderful, tiny & very portable little Mundlos vibrating shuttle - I've even taken that one camping! And have to admit to having a Singer 201K in the garage... the poor Pfaff only gets used when I need fancy stitches!

    1. Sorry for not replying sooner Thriftwizard... things have been a tiny bit busy here. Thank you so much for your kind offer... I will at some point dig the machine out of the box that its still in... I rarely use it, although it has the nicest of stitching of any of my machines if I'm honest and I used to use it mostly for topstitching... but I really have so little time to indulge these days. I have got it working but of course no spare bobbins... I couldn't tell you the specifics of the bobbin I would have to take a photo up close for you. One day, I shall... sorry it won't be soon. Thank you so much for your kind offer all the same.

  5. I really like your attitude to shopping, once and never again for reach item, I agree. Fingers crossed the new motor will work. Do let us know.

    1. The good news is that the new motor works ... it sounds a little noisier to my ears but hubby says that's because the old one was failing... so far so good. Well... if you spend a little extra money on something you expect better quality and quality should last... but these days who knows! Thank you for reading the blog.


Post a comment

You must register to comment - anonymous comments are no longer accepted on this site - sorry I know it's a pain to register for yet another account and remember yet another password but I just got too much spam mail ... I do love to hear from people who read my blog so a big thank you to those who make the effort.

Popular posts from this blog

There's always a downside - cautionary tale

Chicken Politics