Tuesday, September 9, 2008

my dear sewing machine

Between ages 13 and 26 I burned out 3 sewing machine motors. (I started working on patience more into my 30s)

You know it's bad when your sewing machine repair man begs you to please buy one "you can't break". Honestly, all I knew at the time was I had 7 purple bridesmaids dresses to finish in about 3 days and anything he gave me that would get the job done would have made me happy. Bless his heart, he talked me into spending about $600 on my Janome New Home My Excel 23x, rather than just getting yet another "disposable" one.

I love that machine. Deeply, madly, truly. We've been through a lot together, and it has been just as kind to me when I have made it disgrace itself with purple taffeta bridesmaid dresses or Route 66 upholstery fabric pillows with fringe and a zipper as it was making my lovely silk wedding dress. In fact, I think it was kinder in those moments of what I like to refer to as "whoring my talent", patiently understanding that I needed to pay the bills.

The first time I moved to Kansas there was a tornado warning in the middle of the night and I was down there in the basement with my machine. (never lived that down)My theory is that as long as I have it (we have eachother) I can always start over. Can't you just see me in one of those terrible late night interviews outside in my ragged jammies, talking about how it "sounded like a freight train", clutching to my beloved machine!?

And when I was thinking of adding to the "family" and buying a serger (which, by the way changed my life), I decided to be as unbiased (no pun intended) as possible and really do the research. But what I came up with is that New Home is the best. So much less expensive than the others, and the only thing you can't do is be part of the Husky or Viking Cults. (who am I to talk?!)

So, here are the practical reasons I love my particular machine:
  • it doesn't beep at me, the motor is computerized but there are no digital annoyances telling me what to do or scolding me when I do something wrong (although I will build an altar for the person who invents a bell that goes off when the bobbin thread runs out during sewing)

  • the needle up/needle down button (makes corners a breeze), also the needle always stops in the "fully up" position so there's no need to turn the dial on the side when removing what you were sewing (LOVE that)

  • automatic button-hole maker (pop the button in and it automatically makes the button-hole the right size!)

  • drop-in bobbin with the see-through top
  • conveniently located thread cutter
  • flip-open "junk drawer", which also comes off to reveal the free arm
  • all of the pressure feet, what they are for, and how to use them is right there in front of your face
  • pressure feet pop right off with a red button, so no screwdriver needed!
  • rolled hem foot
Although, the relationship you develop with the item you use (and depend upon) most in life really does happen over time. Late nights, last minute alterations, baby clothes, Easter dresses, curtains and everything in between are what make the bond develop... but being a great machine is what keeps it in that place for you to love.

(p.s. yes, I fully realize that I am crazy to have spent so much time on this post professing my love for my sewing machine while it sits 5 inches away waiting to accomplish the pile of work we have.)


Cathe Holden said...

WHOA! I will sit down in the morning with a nice hot cup of coffee and enjoy reading every bit of this!! Thank you so much for this timely advice!!

Landra Lynn said...

Oooh! I've been wanting the hubby to by me a machine for Christmas... I might just take your advice on this :o)

Unrelated but still important... we are hosting a "cookie sale" to help support Nie and her family.

If you would like to help, feel free to visit http://xomissl2.blogspot.com