Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sew, Mama, Sew! sewing machine meme

It's Sewing Machine Month at Sew, Mama, Sew! For anyone who might be in the market for a sewing machine, they're asking bloggers to do blog "interviews" about their sewing machines. Here's mine:
What brand and model do you have?
A Kenmore 14 Stitch.

How long have you had it?
I took it with me to my first post-college apartment (1992). My mother had had it for many years before that.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I recently saw the same one, with accessories, at a tag sale for $25. There's a similar model for sale on eBay right now, going for $120.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
For years, it was used infrequently--to make curtains or pillows, tote bags, or occasionally a crafty gift or a simple dress. In the last year, I've been using it much more frequently, for baby clothes, diaper covers, clothes for myself, purses, gifts, and my first quilt.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
My mother sewed many of our clothes (3 girls) when we were young. Then I sewed infrequently on it for years. Lately, I've been sewing much more often--every week, and often several times a week. But I think I've put more than my share of wear and tear on it. It hasn't had as many tune-ups as it should have, I haven't dared take it apart enough to properly clean it myself, and the needle plate is all nicked from too many broken needles and sewn-over pins. (I know, I know...I've learned my lesson now! But I used to think you were supposed to stitch over the pins.)
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I have passionately hated my sewing machine at times, but I've come to realize that it was pretty much all my own fault. I cursed it for bunching up the thread over and over on the back side of the fabric and breaking threads and sucking my fabric right down into the bobbin case only to be ripped as I tried to extract it. But....um....well...let's just say using the right needle--changed not because you broke the last one, but because you've been using the last one for ages--makes a big difference! So does a good tune-up. I've come to appreciate it more and more. But, no, she doesn't have a name. Is she a she?

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
It's "convertible" (i.e. a piece comes off so you can sew around narrow parts like sleeves). It has zigzag stitches and other stitch styles I haven't yet explored. I just tried using the darning plate for the first time to do free-motion embroidery, and that was great fun.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Probably everything that makes me nuts about it is really my own ineptitude. As I get better at sewing, I'm liking it better and better.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
Not yet.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I'm a big fan of older machines in general. I like mechanical parts that can be repaired; metal parts rather than plastic; and strong machinery that can handle tough jobs. Mine satisfies all these qualifications. When I saw that $25 one at the tag sale, my first thought was "who can I buy it for?" (My next thought was "damn, she got it first.")

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Quality. Price. Ability to be repaired. As few unnecessary parts as possible (less to break down).

Do you have a dream machine?
I don't yet know enough about sewing machines to have a dream one.

No comments: