My sewing machine is feeling its age. When I bought it four years ago its only purpose was to make curtains for my new condo. My mom was going to figure heavily in that endeavor; I just planned to iron hems for her. It would then live in a closet until new curtains were needed or maybe a new set of pillows. Previous experience with sewing involved a machine needle to the thumbnail so my investment in a sewing machine was minimal, less than $100. It did everything and more than I ever thought I might want to do...and I didn't want to do much.
Over those four years I evolved from someone who never sews to someone who sews nearly everyday and wants to do more. In the last four months of craft fair preparation and holiday gift making I've pushed my poor little Singer to the edge. I now spend more time trying to make it sew well than actually sewing. I think it's safe to say sewing has become more than a passing hobby for me...it's time to make an investment.
But, oh, the choices out there! I had no idea! Buying a new sewing machine is akin to buying a new car. Every bell and whistle is available to you, it's just a matter of how much you want to spend. Being a bit overwhelmed by the options, and a big list maker, I set about deciding what I had to have in a new machine.
(1) Automatic or near fool proof manual tension setting
(2) Ability to sew on a wide range of fabrics from upholestry to
knits to sheers
(3) Power to sew through many layers of the above fabrics
(4) Automatic button holes in a variety of styles
(5) Variety of stitches or alphabets to embellish my projects - no
need for embroidery
(6) Ability to lower feed dogs
(7) Reliable, reliable, reliable!
I've taken the Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118, Emerald 183, and Platinum 775 for a test drive at the brand new sewing center in my area. (Very happy about this new store!) At three very different prices I'm not sure what to do. Even the "low end" is a big step-up from my Singer. I want to make an investment to last a lifetime and not regret or wish for more a year from now. I'd also like to take some Berninas for a spin to see how the two brands compare.
So, dear reader, I'd like to hear from you. What do you sew on? What do you love about it? What drives you crazy about it? What feature does it have that never gets used? What feature do you wish you'd gotten? Your comments will be helping me sew up a Funky & Delightful fabric storm in 2008! Thanks!