Friday, April 24, 2009

Sewing Machine Envy

Two posts in one day--I know! It must be for something special! And indeed it was. But first, some backstory:

Sometime last week, for the first time, I stopped into this store that I have passed over and over again called the Opelika Sewing Center. I knew they offered sewing classes, so I thought I would look into that. And I knew that they sold sewing machines, so I was going to look into getting a button hole foot for my sewing machine. Imagine my surprise when I inquired about the foot and the saleswoman said, "I'm not really familiar with Singer machines." I thought she must be crazy, because aren't Singer machines the original sewing machine? But then I looked around and noticed that she wasn't familiar with Singer machines because they didn't even sell Singer machines! So strange. I picked up a flyer for classes and went home.

Then, another day, I was at Hobby Lobby getting my fabric and the woman in front of me in the long, slow checkout line started talking to me about sewing and the baby, and when she found out that I don't have a machine that embroiders she told me that she would embroider anything for me for free and gave me her number. I was talking about this with a friend at church, and one of the ladies that Eli works with (and we go to church with) overheard and asked me if I know how to smock. I told her that I don't but that I saw that the sewing center offered classes in smocking. She smiled and said she would teach me to do it for free, and that she actually taught the woman who now teaches the classes at the sewing center. So awesome!

Then, today was my sewing date with Ginger, teaching her how to sew. I went to her house ready to set up my sewing machine, but it turns out that she has a sewing machine that she doesn't know how to all. She's had it for about two years. So, I spent seven hours over there with her teaching her how to use her sewing machine and just chatting. And this brings me to why I'm posting twice in one day.

Ginger's sewing machine was awesome! Write this down: Brother HE-120

I had to teach her how to use it by reading the instruction booklet because I've never used anything other than Singer. It was different, but amazing. Can I just start with the automatic needle threader? You put the spool of thread in a cartridge and thread the thread through it, where it has a cutter at the very end so you aren't left with any tail. Then you pop the cartridge into the machine and push it down and suddenly this mechanism opens up, grabs the thread and shoves it down and through the eye of the needle! It happened so fast the first time that I didn't know what happened but the needle was suddenly threaded with no licking the end of the thread and trying to thread the end in vain, only having to pull out the needle threader from my emergency sewing kit! It was magic! It's pretty awesome in slo-mo, too.

Next, let me talk about the bobbin. You pop it into the compartment (which is horizontal and not vertical), thread it through one little area, and then it also has a cutter so that the end is flush and disappears. You don't have to do anything else. You start sewing and all the threads are where they're supposed to be.

Also, there was a button that you pressed that cut the thread when you were done sewing, so that the thread would be exactly perfect to start the next time. Instead of the wheel to lower and lift the needle, there's a button to push (though the foot is still lifted manually). It was so quiet--made my machine sound like a diesel. This was the luxury car of sewing machines. I wanted to cry with joy every time that needle was threaded automatically and when I didn't have to fish for the bobbin thread. It was glorious.

Did I mention that it also does embroidery? The last two hours I was there we were playing with the embroidery functions. The machine is run by an LCD touch-screen for both the regular and the embroidery functions. Fun.

So, in all, this machine was AMAZING, and very worthy of a second post today.

Oh, yeah. And now Ginger knows all the basics of sewing using her machine.


Cheryl said...

I can tell that you were impressed with the sewing machine! 10 years ago, the Singer was the right price and the right machine for someone who was going to school, working 3 jobs and newly married. If you are going to get more serious about creative sewing I hope that you will look further than the Brother. There are others with at least equal features including Singer, Kenmore, White, Janome and Viking. And Pfaff! I would have killed for Pfaff at one time. It was a top of the line machine and the Pfaff factory was not far from where we lived in Germany. I'm glad you enjoyed your day!

Misty said...

I'm totally jealous too! :) I want one of everything please ;)