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Thread: Sewing Machines in your Life

  1. #1
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    I didn't want to hi-jack Rhonda's thread, so started this one.

    My mom was always sewing. I learned how to sew at a very young age. I got my first 'real' sewing machine when I was 6. A green Singer in a cabinet. I have no idea what model or anything, but I would love to have another. It was a lot like the Featherweight.

    I inherited Mom's old Singer portable when I was about 11. Don't remember much about it either.

    I have bought two new machines in my life - the first was a Baby Lock. My son was 9 months old - he is now 22. And I went back to Cloth World (how's that for a trip back in time) and cancelled the order twice. I was scared of getting us $170 more in debt (I was buying it on Lay-a-way). And the second is a Singer that I bought at Service Merchandise Clearance for $160 and a Singer Serger for $140. That was 15 years ago. I also inherited my grandmother's Featherweight (which I didn't realize what a jewel until after having it for 5-6 years). And about a year ago my husband found another Featherweight in the 'Free' area of our local dump.

    My 22yo Singer decided last week to just drop it's presser foot lifter. Doesn't move now up or down. Talked to my repair guy and he said that it would be about $90-100 to fix it. Then I saw a listing on here from Linda B. (Up4BigChal) selling an almost brand new Brother for $75. So I snapped it up. Can't wait to get it.

    It looks like we might be moving soon. If that happens, I am going to look for a new place that will have space for a longarm eventually. Never thought I could have one or need one, but I have changed my mind about that.

    So, after my novel - what has been your history of sewing machine? Can you remember what you learned on? Come on - spill the beans. I am really excited to hear everyone's stories.

  2. #2
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    Like you I learned to sew at a young age. My mother had a singer tredle that she had electrified sorry she did that but, I do not remember what happened to it. My first machine that I bought was a Singer Athena 2000 which was the first electyroinic machine that Singer made was not very good had too many problems with it. I bought a Jaome which I love would like to get a Feather weight someday or another Singer treadle if I could find one for a good price that I can afford.

  3. #3
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    not much of a story really, i learned on my grandma treadle,just played with it,when i was a little girl,she was a fantastic seamtress.(never wuilted though) she made alot of my clothes,including a beautiful blue winter wool coat with a lambs wool collar.
    i wish i had paid attention and really learned from her. when i had my first baby, she got me a sears kenmore. she worked at sears, and we got all the catalog rejects..lol!

    she helped me make a dress and pinafore. and then the machine sat for years. i freecycled it, it only needed a new bobbin holder, it had rusted.
    then i took a class at joanns, and got hooked! so i went out and bought a janome 6600 for my first real machine i intended to use. 12 months same as cash..

  4. #4
    Senior Member quiltin chris's Avatar
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    I began sewing when I joined 4-H at 9 years old. My first machine was a Nelco. I guess Mom got tired of me using her Necchi. I had the Nelco til after I got married. Then I started really sewing--chambray shirts for my husband to wear to work, mending, clothes for myself etc. After a few years Viking came out with their first computerized machine. It had specialty stitches on a wand that was inserted in a large slot on the front of the machine. I used that for many years til Janome came out with their embroidery/sewing machines. Well I could hardly wait to get one but I managed to wait for the Memory Craft 9000.

    In the meantime, I bought a Janome Serger which I despise and never really learned to use it well.
    Then I started quilting and bought a Janome Jem to take to classes.
    I met a lady who got me interested in antiques. I bought a Singer Featherweight and a Singer Treadle. I don't use them at all now.

    I traded the Janome 9000 for a 10000 and upgraded it to the 10001. Now I am slobbering over the Horizon and the Janome 11000 SE.

    My husband says I have too many--but when I look at the wood shop tools my guys have I don't feel guilty at all!!

    Chris

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhboxers
    A green Singer in a cabinet. I have no idea what model or anything, but I would love to have another. It was a lot like the Featherweight.

    I inherited Mom's old Singer portable when I was about 11. Don't remember much about it either.
    I have a green Singer in a blonde cabinet and I believe (without looking now) that it's a model 15.

    Nice story - I don't have any stories of before - I just collect machines NOW! :)

  6. #6
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    I can remember my grandma sewing on her Singer treadle sewing machine. I think she might have even let me work the foot pedal once for a few seconds. My first sewing machine is one that I "won" thru a magazine where you had to do a simple crossword puzzle and then you could get it for $99 at only $10 a month. It is a Dressmaker and I still have it. I don't think I have even tried using it in 15 years. When I was in high school we used Singers and that was all the experience I had on sewing machines. About 12 to 15 years ago I went to the local county fair and saw a Pfaff 7570 being demonstrated. It was love at first sight. I bought it then and there. Got it home and didn't do much of anything other than straight stitches for piecing quilt blocks together. Then about 6 years ago I walked into the local quilt shop and saw the Jenny Haskels Beyond the Color Purple quilt blocks and they were just starting a new class on those. However, the owner told me my Pfaff 7570 couldn't do those that I would need a Pfaff 2144 to do those, so I sold my 7570 and bought a 2144 in time for the class starting the next week. I love it, I love it, I love it. I have used that for everything!!!!!!! It is in a cabinet but it is always open and being used. Since then I have added a 1897 Singer Treadle, a 1912 Singer, a 1953 Singer Featherweight, a 1957 Singer Featherweight (my latest as of last week), a 1920 Singer a Pfaff serger, and my most precious jewel my 2010 Gammill Optimum Plus. The Gammill was a suggestion from my son because my dad had just past away on Christmas Eve and I was feeling lost and didn't really know what to do with myself and didn't really want to go get a regular job now that I didn't have to worry about my dad any longer. And it really amazes me that I got hooked to quilting by watching the weekend shows Quilt in a Day - Eleanor Burns, sewing with Nancy and Fons and Porter. Who would have ever guessed that I would go all out with the quilting like this. Glad I did and am.

    Thanks,
    Sherryl
    Candlequilter

  7. #7
    Senior Member craftyone27's Avatar
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    My first sewing experience was on my mom's old Kenmore cabinet model with deco discs (anybody remember those?).

    The first sewing machine of my very own was a BabyLock from ClothWorld that my husband bought for me for $100 on sale - Jane I think we had the same machine as it was regularly $150 or so. I just gave that machine to my neice a few years ago.

    My current machine is a Bernina Virtuosa 155 which I bought used at my LQS 5 years ago. My husband just about choked when I came home and told him how much I was spending on my machine-lol! I told him to calculate the cost of all the tools in the garage and then we could talk - never did hear another word about the cost of my machine.

    My next machine will hopefully have BSR and embroidery - or be a longarm - either one would make me happy.

  8. #8
    Super Member Connie in CO's Avatar
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    Myself,i started in J H in home ec class back in 62 i think.You know i don't remember after that.I know my mother has a Singer.

  9. #9
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Nice thread. I used to play in Grma's sewing space...she let me empty the drawers of her Singer treadle, as long as I didn't break anything.She made utility quilts from feedsacks & gray wool batting, then tied.

    Mom never sewed a stitch.My 1st machine was a kenmore in a cabinet that cost all of $50 when DD joined 4-H. She never sewed either, but I used it to make the girls pjs,nighties & short/top sets.Then it was put away & sold when we sold our other house.

    We traveled a lot with an RV when DH retired.he got me a featherweight that went all over with us & I started making quilt tops on it.5 yrs later, I got a Viking & was just never comfortable using it....prob my fault.

    Anyway,sold both machines & got a Bernina with BSR....no embroidery.It's the last machine I plan to buy.Have a Janome Jem for classes & has never been used.I just keep it for back up.. Never a prob with the Bernina.

  10. #10
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I tell everyone I was born with a needle in one hand and fabric in the other. I started sewing at around 5. My mother sewed all our clothes. I was the only girl in school with a different dress for every day in the week. The other girls thought we were rich; I was sort of embarrassed that all my clothes were home-made. Anyhow, after my mother died in the late 80's my brother brought me my mother's sewing machine; the one I learned to sew on. I just got a new motor for it and have it on proud display in my sewing room. It is a Singer from 1936. I have about 10 other machines of various vintages, from a White treadle to the new Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond. A number of years ago I went back to Michigan to visit my brother. He took me to see an old classmate of mine. I didn't remember the guy (because he had a girlfriend back in school), but he remembered me. He asked me if I still sewed. That blew my mind; that a boy would remember me 45 years later by my sewing abilities.

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