Answer Man

Here’s where you can get your sewing machines fixed

Q: My daughter recently inherited her Grandma’s 1970 Elna sewing machine. In the sewing basket was a receipt from 2005 for work done at the Belleville Sewing Center, 1801 North Belt East, but their phone number is no longer in service. Have they relocated or just gone out of business? Would you be able to suggest another sewing center that could work on an Elna?

A.H., of Belleville

A: You can bet that Belleville Sewing Center customers in the early summer of 2010 were saying “Darn it!” when they saw this sign posted on the door: After 33 years of keeping Belleville area residents in stitches, Bob and Judy Nelson would be locking up their store for the final time on July 30 and retiring.

So I offer you a couple of alternatives, although I can’t personally vouch for either because I can’t sew a stitch, much less have had a need for sewing machine repairs. That said, I’d certainly give Coffey’s Alterations, Sew & Vac Repair at 633 S. Lincoln Ave. in O’Fallon (618-624-8628) a call or visit. Open from 9-6 weekdays, they say they’ve been serving the metro-east for more than 40 years and tell me they can certainly take care of a 1970 Elna. Better yet, ask them about their in-home service.

You might also try Jackman’s Fabrics, 1000 Lincoln Highway, Fairview Heights (618-632-2700), which says it also repairs all makes and models of sewing machines. You can check them out at They also offer routine preventive maintenance to prevent future problems.

Today’s trivia

Who is generally credited as the inventor of the sewing machine? What year?

Answer to Wednesday’s trivia: So far, stopping or even lessening the fury of a hurricane has proven impossible, but it’s not because we haven’t tried. In the 1960s, the U.S. government started to fund research that looked into ways of modifying the terrifying storms. Called Project Stormfury, scientists tried to weaken hurricanes by dropping silver iodide into the rainbands of four monsters — Esther (1961), Beulah (1963), Debbie (1969) and Gigner (1971). They were hoping that the silver iodide would increase the size of the rainband while weakening the inner-core winds by releasing some of the latent heat that helps power the hurricane. By the 1980s, they realized it was an unworkable theory, and it was scrapped. Now, meteorologists have gone back to studying hurricanes to improve forecasting.

Roger Schlueter: 618-239-2465, @RogerAnswer

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