Repair Shop guest in tears after sewing machine is restored
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During the Wednesday night’s episode of The Repair Shop, Dominic Chinea and Lucia Scalisi welcomed guest Sarah Goodman. She explained how badly she wanted her great-great-aunt’s sewing machine restored. The metalwork expert took on the challenge head-on but needed some muscular help from co-star Jay Blades.
It was an emotional episode of the BBC show, as Sarah explained that she had wanted the sewing machine restored as it belonged to her great-great-aunt, who had once used the machine to teach her how to sew.
Dom asked: “How on earth did you come to own something like this?”
“My great-great-aunt Alice, she bought it in 1881 so she could make her wedding dress on, and it was advertised as the Rolls-Royce of sewing machines,” Sarah explained.
Agreeing with her, Dom added: “Yeah, I guess only the best to make your wedding dress on.”
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“She left it to my great-aunt, who I called Auntie Shortie, she more or less brought my mum up in the Second World War, and she taught my mum to sew on it and then when I was a small child Auntie Shortie taught me to sew on it,” Sarah continued.
“And I used to make dolls’ knickers out of oblongs, and I’d cut the corners at angles and sew up the sides,” she explained laughing, before adding: “I was sort of like a granddaughter to her, which is why she left me the machine.”
Dominic asked: “Did you spend a lot of time with Auntie Shortie then? You smile every time you mention her name.”
“Yes, she was a beautiful person, when she died, I was 13, and she left me a big suitcase full of fabric, and I made patchwork quilts out of it.”
After discussing the history of the machine, talked turned to how the machine had gotten into such bad condition after Sarah expressed she had still used it after her aunt died.
“What happened for it to sort of fall into disrepair?” Dom questioned, Sarah, laughed and plainly said: “Life!”
“It sort of got stuck on a shelf, and it’s all very dirty, and the fabric just sticks now because that’s rust,” she says, pointing to the worn-down parts of the machine.
Lucia then asked: “What would you like us to do with it?”
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“I don’t want it to look like brand-new, but so that it could be used. This so that it’s smooth as well so that the fabric doesn’t stick to it,” Sarah asked.
Before leaving, Sarah got emotional about letting go of the machine and leaving it in the hands of the experts, she asked: “You’ll take good care of it,” with Dominic reassuring her: “I will, I promise I will.”
Getting to work, Dom took the machine to his workshop and started to take it apart, however, he soon realised it was a task that needed more manpower as the screws were seized together.
Coming to save the day, co-star Jay Blades leant a helping hand: “Let me have a go then!” he exclaimed as he took a screwdriver to the stubborn screw.
Successfully, the pair managed to get the stubborn screws turning to allow Dom to restore the machine to how Sarah remembered.
Sarah came back to collect her sewing machine with her mum, Sue, who Auntie Shortie also taught to sew on the same machine.
Jay also accompanied Dom with the reveal of the machine and asked: “What are we hoping to see underneath the blanket then?”
“If you’ve fixed it, I’ll be amazed,” she exclaimed, exchanging a giggle with the hosts.
Revealing the machine, both Sarah and Sue were in awe of what Dom had managed to do with the machine, with Sarah describing it as “gorgeous”.
She also spotted a new feature to the machine she hadn’t noticed before, which was the original gold pattern and said: “Thank you so much!”
Sarah also got the chance to test it out before taking it home, exclaiming: “Oh, it makes the same sound! You’ve just taken 50 years away all of a sudden!”
The Repair Shop is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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