Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Sewing Machine

Happy Sewing Machine Day!

In honor of this bizarre "holiday", I thought I'd tell you a bit about mine...

It starts with my Mom.  When she was a 22 year old newlywed, she scraped together all her savings and bought a fancy-pants sewing machine - a Bernina 930.  I'm pretty sure it was the most expensive thing they owned, including their VW Beetle.  With this machine, she started her first business sewing wedding and bridesmaid dresses for the public.

Four years later, I came along!  I know that those many hours listening to the whir of her machine in utero and as a small child are exactly why I find the sound of a sewing machine so peaceful.

I learned to sew on this machine.  She started her second business on the machine, designing clothing for her own store.  It's also the same machine that made countless Easter dresses, prom dresses, high school theater costumes, quilts, and eventually my wedding dress!

So when I went off to college, I obviously had to have a machine of my own.  I wanted something good quality and that I was comfortable with.  So I did what all normal college freshman do and order a 20 year old sewing machine off Ebay and have it delivered to my dorm!  (Actually it was delivered to the Student Union, and I had to push/drag it half a mile to my dorm)

Yep, I bought an identical machine to my Mom!  The funny thing was that over 20 years, they hadn't depreciated hardly at all!  (And 11 years more past that, they're still selling for the same price)

The pros were this:  I already knew how to use it, it's well known to be a "workhorse of a machine" (especially after lasting through daily use by a seamstress), and my Mom could talk me through fixing it.  It's all mechanical, so no computers or electric bits to wear out.

Cons are as follows: It doesn't do all those nifty computer things that modern machines can, and it weighs 50 lbs. (oof)

So what's the verdict?  I love it!  I love how it sews, how it sounds, and how my Mom can talk me through cleaning and repairing it.  If you want a "forever machine", this one fits the bill!

she sits on a fold-away stand that I spray painted to match my craft room

My favorite "Bonnie Pink" sewing supplies are within easy reach

PS: Apparently Bernina also make a mini-me version called a Bernette that's cheaper and lighter, but is still a workhorse.


  1. Yea! Sewing Machine Day! I'm so glad you love your 'baby', and you forgot to mention I bought a triplet 'just in case' :)
    Off to sew some more!

  2. I totally agree. I have a Viking, one similar to one my mom had. I still have the original Singer that mom bought when she was newlywed, it was the one that I sewed my wedding and prom dresses and learned to sew. Just before moving to Arkansas, I had to have it serviced. The Singer had to have short in the foot pedal fixed charge $20. I was told never to sell it, it is over 70 years and is still used in prisons since it can sew leather and is made with all metal parts, so they do not break. My Viking after 33 years of use, needed to be cleaned and reconditioned. It did cost about $200 to repair but it sews like it is brand new! This machine has seen many milestones and after investing in its repair should be the only machine I will ever need. I purchased it for $1200 in 1980 and it has been worth every penny. Just an aside note, there are yahoo groups dedicated to these old machines. I still get lots of good info on which dealers are good for repairs!


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