April 8 – Sewing Machines, Past and Present

Today while I was stalking blogs and I came across a great post by Carolyn over at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. She was talking about sewing machine maintenance. What a great topic. One thing I learned was that when cleaning your machine you should not use ‘Canned’ Air. Hmm… I haven’t used it but always thought that it was a great idea, until now. Make sure and check out her post for other great maintenance information.

I sat down and began to think about the sewing machines that I have had in my life.
My mother’s sewing machine was a Brother, that poor machine, i turned every dial and handle on as a small child, until I am sure it became unusable. I have often wondered what became of that machine. I never once thought I would wish that I had it. My first sewing machine was a used one, I think it was a Kenmore and it worked. But I would always steer clear of buttons because I could never make a buttonhole that fit my choice of buttons or make consistent sized buttonholes. After using it for a couple of years I just finally gave up on creating any garments at all. Someone ask me about it and I gave it to them.

Several years past but after the birth of my son I felt the urge to create again (Some may call this nesting ) so I went out and bought my first new sewing machine, it was a Brother XL2022 that I bought at our KMart in 1988. I chose it because it was a sewing machine that offered one step buttonholes and it was an inexpensive machine. I was excited, it had a buttonhole foot that attached with a place to set your button in and it always made buttonholes to fit the button that I had selected. I was also so excited about the free arm that made sewing on sleeves so easy. Sheer Heaven. I have loved it through the years. I always took care of it and it never gave me problems.

Brother XL-2022

Brother XL-2022

In the late nineties I divorced and somehow got separated from my machine. Finally once things were settled down I got it back, minus the free arm attachment and about 90% of my sewing notions, feet, patterns and fabric that I had accumulated. I was discouraged and lost interest. But I still have her and when I decided in 2010 that perhaps I should get back to my love of sewing she still worked. The task of replacing most of the feet that I needed was daunting. That is when I decided to own a new machine.

 

I currently use a Brother LB6800PRW, which it really a Brother SE400, with Project Runway Decals and a cute little case on wheels that you can carry around. I have had it for a couple of years now. I remember the day I took it out of the box, I pulled that baby out and unwrapped it like it was one of my children coming from my womb. I set it up on the table and admired it while I looked at all of the gadgets that came with my machine. It sat there for two days while I admired it. Everyone in the house would ask had a used it yet and I stared at them, using my ‘Are you crazy’ look. I just wanted to enjoy the moment for as long as I could. I bought it because I wanted some embroidery capabilities but I knew that I wouldn’t really ever use them. I like that you can download designs on to it, either by cable attached to your PC or by a card. I loved that you don’t have to use the foot pedal but can control it by button on the machine with a speed control. It is my first drop in bobbin, which I really love. So easy to set up and use. It has been relatively trouble free but I did purchase a service manual just in case I have problems.

Brother LB-6800PRW

Brother LB-6800PRW

 

 

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9 thoughts on “April 8 – Sewing Machines, Past and Present

  1. Annette April 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm Reply

    I feel like a sewing machine can be like a family member. We get very attached, even when we aren’t using them. I’ve had several and have mourned their deaths. I loved my various Brothers. I still have one as a back up that I have taught my boys to use. I now have a Viking with embroidery. I love it. No one is allowed to touch it. I like to spend a little time with her every day.

    • ksgentry April 10, 2014 at 12:28 am Reply

      My daughter loves to use it and while I am trying to be a loving mom I cringe every times I hear her hit a pin with my machine.

  2. Siri April 9, 2014 at 10:10 am Reply

    I have a cheap little machine my mom gave me a couple of years ago. At the time, I didn’t sew and she got it for me cause I bought my first house and she figured I needed something to hem curtains with. Last year I suddenly discovered sewing clothes and my machine has served me very well. It is however very basic, and I am trying to make up some excuse to buy a new one :) As a side note, my mother still has the Husquarna machine she got for her wedding and it’s over 40 years old. Still going strong! So that one definitely is a part of the family!

    • ksgentry April 10, 2014 at 12:27 am Reply

      I was amazed at the things my machine can do but I am sure that it will never last as long as a real vintage beauty like your Mom’s. Those are classic machines and built to last.

  3. Mads (lifeinamadshouse) April 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm Reply

    Your machine looks pretty badass! =) I’m definitely jealous of the downloadable embroidery feature; I don’t embroider as yet, but I feel like I’d like to try it someday (on collars, sleeve cuffs, etc.). And the case for your machine sounds AMAZING. I can see why you love it!

  4. Mads (lifeinamadshouse) April 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm Reply

    BTW, I nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check it out at my blog (http://lifeinamadshouse.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/the-liebster-award/) if you want. =)

    • ksgentry April 10, 2014 at 12:22 am Reply

      Thanks for the nomination! Fun questions!

  5. Aya in Couturgatory April 10, 2014 at 1:32 am Reply

    I am so impressed by all of the stitch patterns on there! I have a Toyota machine that I’ve used since 1998. My mother got it as a prize in a golf tournament years earlier and handed it off to me as she’s about the least domestic person out there. :D

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