Arguably, I have too many sewing machines ….
There is my grand old lady, a 1917 Singer in a splendid cabinet … she was my first, found in a charity shop back in the late 1980’s – I bought her, even though I had no money and nowhere to put her, mainly because I adored all that deco detail. Sadly, she’s no longer functional – one move too many, I think, cost her a metal plate from the tension guage, and unless I can find a replacement part and someone able to weld it back on again without damaging her, she’s purely decorative now.
I also have her grandmother, an even older Singer dating back to the 1880’s …
She’s functional, now she’s had a clean-up and a service (she was in a sorry old state when I brought her back from the charity shop a couple of years ago), and although I’ll use her for simple projects, she’s largely been adopted by the oldest nestling as her training machine – I’m pleased – she’s such a good, simple machine to use, straightforward and uncomplicated.
I have more modern beasts for the everyday work, and although the husband raises an eyebrow at the need for “that many sewing machines”, I don’t think it’s excessive – I only have two, after all …
This here’s my Frister and Rossmann … he’s my main man. He does all the hard work, is impeccably behaved, never gives me any trouble – the workhorse of the four. He’s not the most modern of machines – I had him second hand a good ten years ago, but he does everything I ask and need of him.
Unlike this little diva:
High maintenance, highly strung, temperamental and, frankly, a bit of a bitch. But for anything fancy, she’s my girl. I haven’t fully explored all the little discs that came with her, but I have liked what I’ve used so far. And I’ve found she’s by far and away the best of the two electric machines when it comes to free-motion machine embroidery.
Ever since I saw Jan Tillett’s work at FibreFest back in August, I’ve been tinkering around with free motion machine embroidery ….
As a committed hand-embroiderer, it felt vaguely disloyal at first, but it’s such a different discipline, that now it just feels like a technique. I still don’t think there’s anything that can beat the satisfaction of highly detailed hand-embroidery, but this has satisfactions of its own.
I’m enjoying it mostly as an alternative way of quilting, and embellishing – for me, it works particularly well on my bags …
I have embellished the handle of this one with small swirls … love that acid green against the black and grey of the old denim / suit trousers I’ve used in the patchwork. I think I’m going to add more onto the body of the bag.
I enjoy the way it gives me the option to extend the pattern from the vintage upholstery fabric out across the denim, and at the same time fix the lining to the body of the bag in a more interesting way …
And for that reason, I’m prepared to tolerate Elna’s tantrums and sulks …. although I am wondering now if it’s in any way odd to assign gender and personality to a machine?