Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sew Simple

Over the years, I've collected a few sewing machines.  My very first sewing machine was a Kenmore. My dad took me to Sears and I was so happy to select the one that I could afford.  It was a nice machine, made of solid steel, and it had a "free arm".  Which makes it so much easier to sew sleeves and small projects.  That machine lasted a long time and I'd kept it stored away, throughout all our moves. I eventually gave it to my Aunt, who needed a new machine.

Here's another one of my favorite machines:  The Singer Featherweight.  And, yes, the one in the photo is mine.  It looks like a toy, it's very lightweight and sturdy.  It only sews a straight line, forward or in reverse.  No zig-zag action on this machine.  It's as basic as it gets.

I bought this one about 6 years ago, online.  A lot of quilters use this machine, because it's easy for them to take to their classes.  I am not a quilter, but I did make a quilt top, using this machine. I ended up quiliting it by hand, since doing it on the machine was not working for me.  The finished quilt is more of a lap quilt or wall hanging.  I made it for our daughter. Here's the finished quilt:

Of course, I had to add to my collection, and couldn't resist this great find.  I found this "Viking" Sewing Machine (circa 1970's) at a thrift shop.  Paid only $15.00, and it included the side table and the original case.  The sewing manual was missing, but I did find oneonline.  The machine works beautifully!  It's got more steel in it, than the average car, today. As you can see, it's just another simple machine.  I use this one as my backup.

Today, I use my all time favorite "Bernina".  I've always wanted a Bernina and finally got one, about 6 years ago. It's just a simple machine, with no "bells and whistles". Although my new machine is basic, it does offer a few nice gadgets, like an automatic threader. It came with a few attachments, but I'd soon learned, that purchasing additional "gadgets" are very expensive for this machine. The "walking foot" alone is $169.00! 

If you're new to sewing, my suggestion is to first decide what type of sewing that you'll be doing.  If you'll be quilting, purchase a basic machine that INCLUDES the Walking Foot.  For sewing clothes that you would like to monogram, select a machine that offers the different styles of monogramming.  If you'd like a machine to do mending or repairs, a simple machine will work just fine.  Keep away from the hand-held sewing machines. It limits you from using both hands and the stitching quality is not the best.

Buying a sewing machine is like buying a car. There are so many different styles and models and they require regular maintenance. Take time to understand and learn your machine, just like you would your new car.  Eventually, you will enjoy it and everything will be "sew" simple, after that........



moonflower20 said...

I enjoyed reading how you got your sewing machines. I can imagine the excitement you must have felt bringing home that first one! I love all those sewing machines that you have collected. That quilt is absolutely gorgeous! I think a quilt should be hand sewn anyway, so you were right by not machine stitched it! Thanks for sharing your lovely memories, Nancy!

Patti Lekas said...

following from blogfrog

It's Sew You! llc said...

Claudette and Patti, Thank you for following my blog!

Thank you for your compliments, Claudette. I know it may sound silly, but when I see these vintage machines, I often wonder what type of sewing was done by the previous owners.

You amaze me with your beautiful handbags that you produce with your vintage sewing machine. It goes to show that there is still a lot of life left in these machines.

Jewel said...

I take my hat off to you, I am really no good with sewing machines even though my mum spent many hours teaching me how to sew when I lived at home. I used to make my own clothes, but nowadays, it doesn't save any money if you do that, although you can produce something that no one else has. I love your shawls and quilt by the way.

Honeybee said...

That singer featherweight sewing machine reminds me of my mother's sewing machine. i thinks it is heavy duty machine LOL, i've seen my mother use it when i was still little and she still using it today, and it has been more than 20 years.

thanks for the visiting to my blog the other day. i appreciate it very much. i am now your new follower.

It's Sew You! llc said...

Jewel, Like you, I often wonder if it pays to make your own clothes. However, I have a favorite sewing pattern for a pair of slacks, that I can not part with. I'll just modify the hemline to go with the latest fashion of the time. My daughter does not sew, either....I guess that's what moms are for....hehehe

....and HoneyBee, Your mom's vintage sewing machine sounds really nice. It's really nice to hear that she still uses it today. I wish I had one of those.

Thank you both for sharing your fond sewing memories. I sincerely appreciate your compliments and for following my blog.