Sunday, June 22, 2014

Machine Loyalty

A quick post today, to let you know that I'm alive and kicking. I have been sewing and have a couple of posts in draft mode, just waiting for photos. I'll get to them this week, I hope - no promises.

But I'm hanging around doing nothing (not really, but telling you I've been crazy busy gets old really fast...) This weekend ranks up there with the busiest
- work at Sawyer Brook yesterday morning, an unusual thing because of a bus group shopping visit; an ASDP chapter annual meeting in the afternoon; a bridal shower for a neighbor today. I barely have time to read the Sunday paper!

But I picked up the newest Threads magazine this morning and was so pleased to see a spread on my friend Helen Haughey's studio in St. Louis. I saw her space about a year ago while I was out there visiting my daughter, but Helen has remodeled it recently. It's truly lovely, light and airy, and a wonderful spot in her beautiful home.  But it was the caption of a photo of her machine that caught my attention today. Helen sews on a Bernina, and the caption says she's been loyal to the brand since her first machine in her teens. 'Yay, Bernina' was my first thought, but I can't make the same claim.

How many of you sew on the same brand you first owned or used? I'm really curious about this! I meet people with all kinds of sewing backgrounds, from hobby sewists to couture designers, and I wonder if the level of expertise has more to do with brand loyalty than other factors.

I first sewed on a Singer, a treadle that was my grandmother's. Well, that was just playing around as a child.

Singer Style-0-Matic 328, circa 1960. I still have all the cams and attachments - and love its sliding zipper foot! Mom was crestfallen when the Touch and Sew came out shortly after she bought this, and she always wanted one.
My first serious I-made-this-dress-myself experience was on my mother's Singer, which I tried desperately to take for my own when I moved out of the house at 19. (There followed several years of me "borrowing" the machine that had sat unused for months, only to have Mom insist just days later that I had to bring it back because she "needed" it, until she finally bought the machine of her dreams. Then it was years of her begging me to trade with her, because she didn't like her new one as well.) It was the only machine I owned until I made the decision to open my sewing business. What I added at that point was a Necchi, only because it was a "sewing school overstock" sale that I found at the right place and time.

My Bernina loyalty doesn't even start with a regular machine. I bought a Bernette serger after a weekend sewing seminar. After my first classes using this serger, the sponsor/store owner offered these brand-new machines we'd used for class, at half price - making me a customer for life. I didn't even have the money to pay for serger yet, so it had to go on my family credit card (my husband's only comment when I called him for permission was "Get all the attachments that go with it now, so you won't be looking for them later." Gotta love a man, he understands the importance of the right tools for the job!)
This is the serger my DH repaired last year, when the brushes had worn down to less than nubs. Great having an in-house repairman!

The serious machine that really got me started and triggered my loyalty is my Bernina. Only a month or so after I brought home the Bernette serger, the same store owner made me a fabulous deal on a very gently used (only 3 months old) 1230 that had just been traded in. She even gave me a 3-months-same-as-cash credit deal, when my business was brand new. I paid it off in that time, and will be forever grateful to Ann Sullivan, of Ann's Fabrics in Canton, MA.

And the 1230 is still humming away, doing the bulk of my work day-in, day-out.

So where do your loyalties lie? I'd love to read your comments!

1 comment:

  1. I've driven a Pfaff for about 16 years now, and I love it. the built-in walking foot was a major factor in my decision to purchase it. A variety of buttonhole styles sealed the deal. It has performed perfectly well and I'm very happy with it.
    My serger is a Husquvarna 5 thread that I bought at the same time as the Pfaff. I have a love-hate relationship with it, just because it's a serger. I don't ever think I'll love serging. It's just not fun to me.
    My two machines before the current ones were Singers. I learned on my grandmother's Montogmery Ward machine. When I turned 13 or 14, she bought me a Singer Touch and Sew. It was an ok machine, although the cams didn't work well. After my teens I traded it for a Singer Athena 200. I loved the drop-in bobbins on the Singers, but that's about all I miss. The new Pfaffs have drop-ins, so maybe sometime I'll be back to that method. I love my Pfaff!