Ask The Readers: Sewing Machines
A guest post from Kayla…
I love reading Mom’s Ask Jo posts, because of course mother knows best, but she has the best readers who give advice in the comments! I found myself searching for information online and then I realized I have log-in credentials to make my own post here on Mom’s blog!
I’ll summarize: I’m looking for sewing machine advice.
I’m doing a heavy overhaul of my basement sewing area. I have a large space in our unfinished basement but it spills over into the entire basement. It has to hold ALL of my hobbies as well as my Etsy stock and shipping supplies.
I enjoy sewing and I love older machines but I just don’t have the space for them all. When I sew I tend to make clothing and crafts more than quilts. I’d like to have the capability to make more heavy-duty things from upholstery fabric.
Let’s take a tour of my machines!
I used a machine of Mom’s until I was 19 and purchased my own. I had worked at Pine Needles in Cresco and was devoted to the Bernina brand. Pine Needles (Now Inspired to Sew) was moving to a new location and had great prices on floor models.
I picked an Artista 230 and added a walking foot. It was a great purchase at the time.
- It was the highest end of the Artista models
- It had a wide stitch variety with computer selection, but not full on computer touch screen
- It could use the same specialty feet as my Mom’s higher-end machine
- It was adorable and lightweight, and I was moving around a lot and didn’t have a sewing room.
This is usually my go-to machine. But I’m considering a different one for a few reasons.
- It’s pretty finicky. I have to carefully choose a bobbin and top threads that work together. It needs new needles all of the time or it skips a stitch. Sometimes it patches Carhartt and sometimes it eats the beginning of a triangle. It is unpredictable.
- I can hear the computer running. I know this is not normal, but it drives me nuts. I can’t relax when I use it.
- It’s pretty slow! My students used Bernettes that stitched at a much higher speed, and I love the speed of Mom’s Grand Quilter.
Here’s what I’m looking for.
- NO computers.
- Metal parts.
- Open to new or vintage
- High speed
Here’s a tour of my other machines.
I have a New Home treadle. I keep this as an end table in my bedroom and break it out occasionally. This is my main workhorse to do ridiculous things like sewing cardboard mailers for my Etsy shop. But it is a lot to get out, takes a lot of oil to get it running smoothly, and is pretty slow. I’ll keep it forever, but more for sentimental than practical reasons.
I have a featherweight. This baby isn’t going anywhere! It was an anniversary gift from my husband and I love that I have it in common with Mom. She is my little sweetie for quilt piecing. Again, adorable, but not super practical for utility.
I have a Singer 717. You might recognize her as “Mildred” because she is from Mom. I love this machine and it fills a lot of my requirements, but it takes up too much space in the cabinet. I know it could come out of the cabinet, but that seems a pity if there was someone else in the world to enjoy her. She’s up for sale on Facebook.
When I was photographing in the driveway, I chatted with my neighbor. He used to do upholstery and knows a lot about machines. I told him I’m considering a commercial machine and making space in my basement. He offered a machine of his, but I haven’t heard much about it and am asking for advice!
So, dear readers, help a girl out!
Here are my questions…
- My neighbor’s machine is a Montgomery Ward J1969. Do you have any experience with this kind of machine? Does it fit my wish list?
- Do you sew on a machine you love that fits my wish list? Tell me about it!
Thanks so much for your help!