In January of 2012, I bought a sewing machine. It was a viking Emerald 183. It looked like this:
It was ok. I learned a lot with it. I made napkins and pillowcases and a cute skirt. I made some pajamas for my son’s Build-a-Bear. I made bags for my friends on their birthdays. I made coffee cozies as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I had a lot of fun with that machine. I didn’t love it though. It skipped stitches and it got stuck hemming jeans and it squawked at me a lot. It groaned through many of the tasks I gave it. And it would not sew minkee fabric evenly no matter what I did. My dealer who is awesome, offered me one year to trade in the machine for it’s full value. The Emerald was actually discontinued but Gordon at Viking Sewing Center honored our agreement and accepted my trade-in anyway. Gordon rocks. He’s been in business since 1965 and it shows. This is not a commercial. I just like doing business with good people. Anyway, the minute January of this year rolled around I traded up to this:
It’s my lovely machine. My Husqvarna Viking Opal 670. It is everything my Emerald wasn’t and I love it. Before I use it, sometimes I hug it. I love it so, so very much. It sews like a dream. Like butter. The stitches are beautiful. It never squawks at me. And it has so many features.
My favorite feature is the built in scissors. I push a button and it cuts my threads and pulls them through to the back side of my project. It’s not a do or die feature but I just think it’s cool.
It is the perfect machine for me and my skill level which is still very much novice.
I wear wigs and wiglets when I am out and about but at home, I wear soft cottony stretch knit hats. My favorite is currently lost. This makes me very sad especially since I spent $25 on it. It’s made out of t-shirt fabric and has three seams. $25? I could do better for cheaper.
So I bought some knit fabric of my own and have been experimenting with sewing my own hats. It keeps me busy. And it’s fun. My latest creation I modeled after a baby hat we purchased at The Gap for my son in 2001. I am wearing it right now (my new creation, not the baby hat). It cost me $2 total to make and I cut it out free hand.
I love my hobby.
But you know what else I love? Sewing machines. I love them. They fascinate me. They can do so much and they can be simple like the mechanical machine I bought my son for his birthday to extremely complex like a fancy pants (I could never afford) Bernina that costs $14K.
You know how people like power tools? That’s how I feel about sewing machines. Viking, Bernina, Pfaff, Elna, Janome, White, Singer, Babylock, Brother. Vintage, modern. I don’t care. I love them. Is that weird?
I guess it’s weird, but it’s my new obsession. If you tell me you sew even a little, I’m going to ask you about your machine. I’m going to look that machine up online. I’m going to research it and read reviews about it. And it makes me so happy.
That is weird, right. It’s weird. But I do not care. I need happy in my life. I need calm. And sewing machines are my new thing.
You’ve got to find what makes you happy. What makes you happy? And furthermore, what kind of sewing machine lives at your house?
September 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm
I love my Pfaff, Classic Style and use it primarily for quilting. Have you considered Etsy for your hats? I still enjoy the sleeve you made.
September 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm
I bought some easy tie head scarves on Etsy and I actually just bought a really cool wig on Etsy. I love Etsy.
September 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm
Hah! Don’t get me started! I have been sewing since college, which is __ years. I have a Janome My Excel 23x, probably discontinued because it’s about 20 years old. But it works great and does everything I need. I have to ask about your Emerald 183: Did you read the manual? Did you clean it and oil any reachable moving parts? I ask because I find that most people don’t do any maintenance at all, but sewing machines are not like computers, where you never service anything. They do need to be cleaned a bit and oiled just a little here and there. I clean and oil after every project. Also change your needles frequently. Did you know I used to sew custom bridal gowns? Check out me with fake blonde hair: http://www.whitebow.com/Photo_Portfolio.html OK I will stop now!
September 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm
My 183 was “self oiling”. I only had it for a year and I kept it clean and nice and I read that manual cover to cover. The first time it really freaked out was when I tried to hem jeans with it and it just beeped and squawked an sputtered and ate fabric. It was not good. I didn’t realize how much I disliked the machine until I got my Opal. The difference is night and day in quality and performance.
I did know that you sewed custom bridal and I can’t wait to see your pictures.
My son’s little Kenmore is a Janome made machine and it is really neato. We both love it.
We are going to make zipper bags together when I am feeling better. 🙂
Thank you for the yummy ding dongs. Much better than anything Hostess has ever made! It made my day!
September 8, 2013 at 11:35 am
I am afraid of sewing machines. I don’t understand them, and they really intimidate me with all the spools and bobbins and such. That is weird, but I don’t care. I have a seeing machine phobia. Not much help since I did sewing in workshops last year. Thankfully someone else helped with the machine. 🙂
September 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm
That means you need a top of the line machine to weed out any confusion, Elizabeth. 😉 These fancy pants machines take out all the guess work and they make things so easy! Come over and I will give you a lesson.
September 9, 2013 at 10:42 am
Hello there….mine is a Janome….and since I do little else but make quilts anymore I love it….and it is easy to travel to quilt retreats!!! Although some of my frineds have a Janome Feather Weight…and THAT is really easy to take along. Nothing fancy on mine…just the ability to make a nice 1/4 inch seam!!!
September 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Do you bind your quilts yourself or do you have them bound professionally? I want to start quilting and am going to begin with little baby quilts. Do you think that is a good place to start?
September 10, 2013 at 7:25 am
I think any EASY pattern is the best to start…and baby quilts would be good due to the size…but…I remember,,,barely…my first project was a queen size quilt….but easy pattern..look up the “9 patch” pattern…very easy…and gives you the confidence to move on to other things and colors….”butting” the seams is the sure fire way to make great corners….you will get that later…but remember it….oh by the way…quilting has it’s on jargon…I do bind…I love it….it is the handiwork of an evening in front of the TV….and I also hand quilt…which is my therapy!! I also send a lot of the ones I give as gifts to a gal here to machine quilt…it goes faster and it is more forgiving for cleaning… .don’t have to be quite as fussy…..machine washing on gentle and hanging to dry is the best way….lol
wow…you got the “lecture”……