Condo Blues: What Type of Sewing Machine Do You Have? Do You Like It?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Type of Sewing Machine Do You Have? Do You Like It?

At 39 years old, my Kenmore sewing machine has seen and sewn it all. My mom bought it in 1972. Mom put many miles on her. Bessie sewed curtains for my childhood bedrooms, countless Halloween costumes, and Barbie clothes. Mom sewed color guard uniforms, flags, and more high school musical costumes than I can count before, during, and after I graduated high school.
Everyone say hi to Bessie!

Why do I call her Bessie? Because when the machine acted up mom yelled, “Come on Bessie!” as she sewed and the machine snapped back in line. Bessie is a safer thing to say around little kid ears (mine) than saying what you really want to say when you are frustrated with things not going your way during a project.

Mom gave me Bessie after she got a new sewing machine. I put many miles on Bessie too. Under my roof, we sewed blankets and toys for Blitzkrieg, Christmas gifts, curtains, slipcovers, reupholstered furniture, and repurposed more things than I can count. Bessie and I designed costumes and historical clothing too. Bessie is Mommy’s Little Moneymaker when it comes to building costumes.

Whenever I thought Bessie was a goner, my repair shop fixed her. I recently took her in. Her current problem is a broken bobbin plate. My guy said a week and $10 later, I will be able to open Santa’s Little Sewing Sweatshop AKA my sewing room for the holiday season.

Nope. The manufacturer discontinued part. My repair person tired a few others. No luck.

It kills me that my workhorse of a sewing machine is permanently out of commission because of a simple bobbin plate.

I need to buy a new sewing machine ASAP or Christmas will not happen this year. I have 35 Christmas gifts to sew and no working sewing machine.

 My cart looks like I am doing Project Runway: North Pole Exploration Challenge. My apologies for the photo quality. I took the picture with my Blackberry.

It worked so well asking you for recommendations when we had to suddenly replace our car, I am going to ask you for recommendations on sewing machines. What kind of sewing machine do you have? Do you like it?

I am not opposed to buying a new or used sewing machine. Both have their pluses and minuses. The same goes with a computerized versus mechanical sewing machine. Although I wonder how well the computerized sewing machines age. Is this an issue if I go with a used computerized sewing machine?

When life gave me too many t shirts I made a t shirt quilt!

Fortunately, most of the basic sewing machines out there do the fancy stitches my Kenmore does with the touch of a button instead of  what was state of the art cam sewing technology in 1972. I use the cam stitches quite a bit so I would like the new sewing machine to do at least some decorative stitching and possibly letters. My Kenmore can do lettering but I never got it or the button holers to work well enough to do nothing more than practice.

I am open to another Kenmore, since mine lasted 39 years. I am also open to another brand. I’m looking at Janome (they made my Kenmore), Bernina (I have a Bernina serger I like), and Viking.

 When I designed and sewed an Ipad cover and stand when I couldn't find one I liked in a store.

I want to do as much research on line before I go into the store to make my purchase. The sales people at my local Stitching Post treat you as if you have leprosy if you have not already bought a sewing machine from them. Every time I try to buy one of their sewing classes the class schedules, “are missing” or “full” when they find out I do not own a Viking. Sometimes I get a song and dance on how complicated their sewing machines are and that they cannot waste class time teaching me how to use the machine. Oh please. Do you think I can design a historically accurate Elizabethan gown based on the Seal of the Goldsmiths, hand draft the patterns,  sew it, bead it, and embroider it (by hand and machine) and NOT be smart enough to figure out how to use a fancy sewing machine on the fly to take a tailoring class?

 I embroidered the collar and cuffs of our shirts too.

I heard Brother sewing machines are more for beginners. Is that true? Do they last? I found a Brother that does embroidery for less than the brands at the top of my list. Do any of you have a Singer or Brother sewing machine?

I designed and sewed a insluated casserole caddy since I already had the dish and couldn't find a carrier for sale either.

I am also considering eventually getting two sewing machines. One for construction similar to my old sewing machine and a second embroidery only machine. Yes? No? Maybe so?

 I got so many compliments on my Buttercup bag I made and gave them as gifts.

What type of sewing machine do you have? What do you recommend? If I go with a used sewing machine, how well do the new sewing machines age?

 I made these bloomers for a Scotch Irish gal to wear on St. Patrick's Day. Hee!

Thanks everyone!

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