Bee's Hive

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

This is Sewing Machine Month on Sewmamasew's site.

This is my Sewing Machine Meme.

What brand and model do you have?
I have a Viking 150E, Singer 301A & Euro Pro that are my main machines, but I also have older singers and a cheap serger I use all the time.

How long have you had it?
I've had the Viking since 1992, Singer since 1958 & Euro Pro since 2000. These were all new purchases.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I think the Viking was about $400.00, the Euro Pro about $150.00 and I have no idea what the Singer cost.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Yep! I sew all of those things.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I am retired & disabled, pretty much a shut in most of the time. Sewing is my life now. I sew everyday. My machines only get to rest if I am reading pattern instructions or cutting out fabric!

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I LOVE my machines. They make me smile when I look at them. We have been wonderful friends for many years. No real names. The Viking is my "good" machine, the Singer "the work horse".

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
My Viking has the best button hole maker. It also does the nicest satin stitch. The Singer just keeps sewing through anything I offer it. The Euro Pro has a walking foot that came with it. This was a cheap up grade for the extra's not offered on my Viking. It has served the purpose well.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Nope, I really love my machines!

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

I was introduced to sewing in 7th/8th grade. After spending the first year learning the machine, the 8th grade girls set out to make their graduation dresses. I spent many days after school working on my dress. My graduation gift was the Singer 301A slant needle.

That's me sitting at the machine by the teacher
8th grade graduation dress
Here is my wonderful 301, still doing a fine job today! I do have a 221, the machine quilters brag about if they have one, but the 301 is a much better machine because it is gear driven.

The first major project on my Singer was my prom dress

The 301 sewed everything in my life for the next 34 years, without ever needing repairs!
In 1992 when my grandchildren began to arrive in the world I wanted to advance to zig zag and a better way to do smocking and button holes. The Consumer report rated the Viking as #1 so that's the one I bought. I was in heaven!

In 2000 I had an accident. That ended my years of working and allowed me more time to sew. I couldn't afford to upgrade my Viking but I really needed a walking foot so I bought the Euro Pro. It was cheap and came with lots of feet, including the walking foot.

There really isn't just one story to tell. I can connect items in photos to my sewing experiences all through my life. My children grew up in flannel gowns, my grand children in sweat suits. Every wedding photo or party dress carries it's own sewing memory.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I sit behind the latest Viking Model every few years. The "test drive" isn't any different for me then if I were sitting behind the wheel of a Corvette, it's the same thrill! If I could buy a new machine, it would be the Viking with all the whistles! My Viking has a story. It was the new model 600. Sewers demanded the 150 return so off came the 600 tag and it was replaced with the 150E tag, a better E-lectric pedal. I think it must be another gem of machines, just like the 301 was. How lucky can a girl get! I own both!

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Do you have a dream machine?
A new machine needs to meet YOUR needs and YOUR budget. I no longer have "New machine dreams", but I am looking for a refurbished Viking up grade with lots more fancy stitches and embroidery.


Anonymous said...

Wow Holee your dresses are great. I only made a straight wool skirt when I took sewing in high schol the teacher wasn't encouraging so I didn't sew again really for years. Then I made all of my daughter's clothes. And then a lot of other stuff along the way.

Tom H said...

Great posting Holee! I am sure your machines love you as much as you love them.

7th and 8th grade I took shop!

Rachel said...

Wow - what a great post. I loved seeing the pictures of you as a young girl! I can't believe you made your own prom dress - what talent!
My mum taught me how to sew, but I really started to love it in grade 8. God bless those junior high sewing teachers (I used to be one - and it takes a ton of patience)!

Shogun said...

Holee - I remember seeing a couple of these photos last year (I think) and I just love them. You are so talented. I wish I had learned all these things a long time ago, but at least I have discovered the joys of sewing now. AND it has allowed me to meet so many new people.

On a side note, how can I get people to look at my blog and/or post on it??

Rhonda said...

HI Holee. This is a great post. I love all your picts. Take care and have a great week.

Marilyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marilyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marilyn said...

Dear Holee,
How good is your Viking 150E for quiltmaking? For example, can you turn the wheel slowly, doing one stitch at a time? Does the needle penetrate those thick layers and make even stitches? I've had an Elna 1600 for about 10 years and hardly used it at all, but now that I'm making quilts I find the Elna too temperamental. My darling sister-in-law can sell me her hardly-used Viking 150E and I'm hoping it will do the trick. My quilt designs require no embroidery but very precise straight stitches. BTW I loved your online sewing memoir. Looking forward to your advice.

Holee said...

Marilyn, The 150E viking sews wonderful. I have quilted king size quilts on this machine without any problem at all.For general straight line quilting, you will find it does a great job. Put on a darning foot and you can do just about any design you want.

There have been vikings made after the 150E that had problems but they have since fixed those in the newer models. If I had the chance to buy another one, I would buy it in a heart beat just to have a back up.

monika jayne said...

OMG! This was a great review! This story should be part of the company brochure. The photos MADE it so real. Thank you SEW much for sharing that. It made my day. And it was actually useful too. xoxo

Lady Lane said...

I just bought the Singer 301A because of your beautiful photos & memories with it....THANK YOU!

It's my first machine & I'm so excited; Sew Mama Sew brought me here, and I'm glad they did!

Holee said...

Good luck Lady Lane with your machine. This machine is so easy to repair. You can find the original booklet on line. Just remember when you take the bobbin casing apart to clean it there is a little hook that must be put in the top slot or the machine will not work. I am working on doll clothing right now for American Girls dolls. This machine will sew nylon to denim without any problems. If you do clothing and get a chance to buy the button hole attachment it is a must. Also remember...oil, oil, oil and change the needle often! This machine also needs gear grease.