How many sewing machines are too many? Two, three, five????
Originally my sister had purchased a Kenmore in the late 70's and it sat in the box for what seemed like an eternity. Realising that she was never really going to sew (although it was a solid investment) she decided to hand it down to me. I on the other hand had only sewn my Barbie's dresses (by hand) mind you. I still can not recall how I was allowed to use a sewing needle. I guess it was the 70's and parents were not overly cautious about things as they are now, with good reason of course. You can never be too careful. Needless to say I was so excited. I had my own machine, even though I did not have the first clue as to how to use it. I didn't know how to set the thread tension, thread it or change the needle plate to use the zigzag stitch. Yes, of course the machine came with an instruction booklet but who has the time, and how hard can it be? Well, I broke three machine needles in one week. The first two flew by the side of my head, really fast.WHOOSH!!!!!!!!!! Before I even had time to get scared or realise how dangerous it was. I truly am not kidding.... I actually gave the machine to my father and announced that it had to be broken and please find me a repairman that could take a look at it and fix it. Boy, was I naive not to mention stupid. He obviously "thought" I knew what I was talking about so he took it in to be repaired. There was a repairman in our neighbourhood who actually worked on different kinds of sewing machines. The man checked it out and did not waste anytime in telling my father that I should read the instruction manual that came with the machine because I was trying to sew zigzag while all the time using a straight stitch needle plate, meaning the needle would strike the needleplate and snap in two. It was sweet sailing after I read the manual and was able to understand the different settings. I actually even broke one of the feet as the needle kept hitting it repeatedly, and it broke off. To this day I remember those days and laugh at my ignorance.
Fast forward to the 90's and my uncle was closing down his garment factory and tried to sell off most of the equipment. He asked me if I wanted one of the industrials and I leapt with joy!!!!!!!Who wouldn't? To this day it is still one of the best gifts I have ever received. In my eyes it is even more gratifying than owning a car. I know that only a real seamstress would ever understand that acknowledgement. But it felt like someone had gifted me the Hope diamond!!! I had to pinch myself, for real.
In the early 2000's I contemplated buying a serger since I would hand finish all my garments and thought I really needed one and could not live without. Thankfully the price of sergers was so high that my pocketbook took care of that decision and quickly nixed that idea. Good sergers go from $450 and up and it still doesn't look like the price will ever come down. Lack of space was also another factor so that idea got shelved for good and I quickly forgot about that.
Flash forward to this summer. I was getting antsy about computerized sewing machines and kept researching them on the net and thinking I really, truly, absolutely could not live without one. My still living Kenmore only had 12 decorative stitches and I was seriously crushing on the machines with 200+ that I could not see straight. My co-worker suggested I look into Pfaff. He owned one and sweared by its accuracy and solid construction. He suggested I speak to a dealer he had bought his from and so I looked into it very seriously. Let's just say that Pfaff sewing machines do not come cheap. I looked at other brands as well, but finally settled on the Pfaff Expression 4.0. It sewed beautifully had 200+stitches with a nice bright screen and automatic one step buttonholes (several different styles), it has an automatic threader, indicates to you when your bobbin is running low and the sewing foot is moved up or down at the touch of a button (believe it or not I still can not get used to the fact that there is no physical lever to lift the sewing foot). I caved. Yup, I bought one. It is the newest addition to my sewing family. Oh, and I also have a very small one for sewing up my cards. How many does that make? You got it, four altogether. Somedays I feel kinda guilty but when I can accomplish certain tasks with efficiency the guilt kind of dissipates and I feel very blessed. On the industrial (which happens to be a Brother) I have sewn hefty weighty materials on my Kenny I have sewed just about every type of material and he is my most treasured machine because I have had him for so long. The Expression is my proud realization of how far I have come and how much I have accomplished. I could not even adjust the tension on my previous machine and here I am choosing stitches and different threads to create amazing designs and figuring out how to sequence different designs together and save them onto the machine itself. I have also come a long way from sewing up a storm for Barbie to sewing up a storm for myself. Sewing is medecine for me and I guess you can never have too much medecine!!!!!!!!!!!