Do kids still take home economics and shop in school? I remember learning to sew and solder, sauté and saw in middle school (5th to 8th grade). I loved all of it and often cranked through projects so quickly that I would have to start a second or third in the time that most students were still working on their first.
In college, a boyfriend, gave me a sturdy Kenmore sewing machine for Christmas and I was ecstatic. The relationship didn't last but the machine served honorably as I honed my sewing skills and broke a fair number of needles in the process. During a long-ish stretch between relationships, I sewed so often a neighbor in an adjacent apartment complained that the sound kept them up at night.* When we moved to Oregon, we just didn't have room to move the machine and I offered it to my friend, Julia, who has since put it to good use.
It's been about 5 years since I had a machine of my own and probably 10 since I've sewn regularly. The past decade has been the era of knitting for me and the past couple of years, I've really started to miss making clothing for myself and toys for my pups.
Cue the tax return. After paying an extra mortgage, making sure that everything else was up to date and combing the internet for reviews and ratings, home came this bad boy.
It's a Brother Innov-ís 80 (details here). Consumer reports gave it, and the 40 model glowing reviews and other sources online seemed to feel the same.
The local Sew and Vac shop had it in stock for $100 less than the price Consumer Reports listed and that pretty much cinched it.
I immediately hit the local fabric shop where, lucky me, all Simplicity patterns were on sale for $1.99. The result?**
Black and white, a good combo in this household.
And when I was done with that, I immediately busted into another skirt pattern.
I'm just dreaming about what I'll do next, though it may be a few weeks before I can really indulge. I have to complete some deadline work. But when my work for pay is off to its intended destination, I have some freshly laundered fabric ready to be cut and stitched into something bright and summery.
I have to admit, there's something really appealing about cranking out a project in a day or two instead of a month or more. Of course, nothing will usurp my love for knitting but for all those things that knits do poorly (I'm looking at you pants) sewing sure has its charm.
I'm not sure how many of you are tailors/seamstresses/sewists/whatever we are calling it these days, but if there's interest, I'd be happy to do a review of the features of the machine and included accessories. Just leave a comment and let me know.
*I worked the swing shift at a newspaper and I spent time not sewing, either playing Final Fantasy or watching cartoons. I lived a very glamorous single life.
**There may have been an incident, with a zipper and a needle and almost a week while the machine recouped at it's store of origin. Let us never speak of this again, or not until I decide to tell you about my track record with busting things I'm really excited about having just bought.