Sewing machines

I’m about to buy a new sewing machine. I’m so excited but I’m also feeling nostalgic and thinking of all the machines I owned or used and all the projects I have accomplished with them. Please join my trip down memory lane to meet all my “ladies”.

I bought my first sewing machine in 2010 while living in Australia. I was keen to learn how to sew but not willing to spend big bucks as I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it. I went to a flea market once and noticed two sewing machines, I didn’t know if they were in working condition and the guy who was selling them had no clue either. I managed to bargain one for $80.

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It was a Singer 319K from 1954. I loved the colour and the more I discovered about this machine, the more I loved it. The person that owned the machine before was a very tidy person and all the accessories (disc, bobbins, feet, instruction manual, etc) remained in excellent condition.

My – then boyfriend, now husband – spent an entire evening testing the machine and adjusting it. I had no clue how to wind a bobbin or adjust the tension and he showed me. Where did that come from? This is when I knew he was a keeper, ha!

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My machine wasn’t modern for sure but I loved her to bits. She worked perfectly fine and had so much charm with her levers and “fashion discs”. Unfortunately, when I left Australia, I couldn’t bring her with me as she was very heavy and it would have costed me a fortune to ship her across the globe. I wasn’t sure it was worth it as all I was doing with her was “trying” to sew garments (without much success to be honest). I regret now, she still holds a special place in my heart and I would not hesitate to travel with her again. Funny how you can be attached to some objects.

My second sewing machine was offered to me by my husband (still boyfriend at that time) while we were living in London, about a year after settling in the city.

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It was a simple sewing machine from the British department store “John Lewis”. I loved her as she was bright red. Such an important feature for a sewing machine, isn’t it? I had lots of fun with her experimenting with sewing projects and sewed my first few quilts with her. I even took her in a trip to Paris to spend a week at my husband’s grandma place for some family sewing lessons.

The next two machines don’t belong to me but I have so many good memories with them.

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This first one was borrowed from my sister-in-laws while we went back to France with my husband to prepare our wedding. I kept her for a couple of months and worked on many projects for the wedding as well as two quilts and baby gifts. Such a simple machine (Singer smart 2) but it helped me a great deal.

The second one is the one I still use to date. It is a  Bernette 56 and belongs to my flatmate here in New-Zeeland. My flatmate was kind enough to leave her machine in the living room and I have used it a lot (about 10 quilts). It was quite difficult to settle down in NZ and find a full-time job. From time to time, I wouldn’t be working for weeks. Which was hard on the finance and quite lonely to be honest. This sewing machine was my only kiwi friend. I would spent days working on it creating beautiful gift for my “far away” friends. Fortunately, my situation is better now, and I can afford to buy a machine of my own.

Sewing machines are a bit like boyfriends, aren’t they? Sometimes you have a big crush, sometimes it last for years, sometimes it doesn’t work out and sometimes, well..it’s just a one night stand. Ultimately though, you are looking for THE one.

With that in mind, I would categorise my third category as “one night stand” as I only used them for one project or even less.

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I borrowed the first one from a friend when I was visiting France to finish one project. I bought the second one from a colleague but it only lasted for two weeks (he refunded me) and the third one was borrowed from my boss (while working on an upholstery workshop). This machine was normally used to repair his camping gears or sailing gears and I didn’t managed to make it work for my delicate quilt fabric. It was a nice offer but I gave it back the next day.

So, now you know all about my relationship with my previous sewing machines. All these machines were quite basic and I’m now ready to jump towards the computerised side. I’m thinking about a Janome 6030! I still need some time to make up my mind but I can’t wait to work on my new machine.

Please tell me what sewing machine you currently use and if you would advise it to someone or not. You can also tell me about your dream machine.