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Forum > Miscellaneous > How did you get your first sewing machine? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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How did you get your first sewing machine?
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Skittl1321
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Skittl1321
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Iowa USA
Member since 9/9/07
Posts: 1110
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Date: 12/15/11 10:22 AM

With Christmas coming, I'm thinking back on Christmases past. My favorite Christmas memory ever is my first sewing machine.

As kids, we always had nice Christmases, lots of gifts- because my parents and Santa were generous, and we had 9 sets of Aunts and Uncles... plus my Mom wrapped everything- new socks, packs of gum, pencils for school. There was always tons to unwrap. We would look from the 2nd floor and see if the gifts extended past the the balcony overhang. Then you knew it was a 'good' year.

In third grade, all I wanted was a sewing machine. We opened presents and there was not one under the tree. I was sad, but knew I had gotten lots of cool stuff, so we went to the kitchen to start making pancakes.

My Mom went off into her bedroom and starts screaming "Mark, quick bring towels! The water in the tub was running this whole time, the whole bathroom is flooding!" My sister runs to get towels, while I start laughing. She's in 5th grade and asked for a fur coat. She didn't get it either. I tell her "they have something back there".

So we all rush into my parent's bedroom (sister and Dad with towels in hand... Dad was obviously in on it, sister was thinking there was a flood...) and sure enough. Two gifts remained.

My sister got a rabbit's fur coat. She loved it, but very soon afterward, fur became a bad thing, so she didn't get to wear it too much (it was replaced in 7th grade by a leather jacket- not sure how that is better, but I digress). And there she was- a Brother XL-3010. My first sewing machine.

That sewing machine stayed with me a long time, through college, into two years of marriage (I broke it trying to make blackout curtains- the feed dogs just quit.) Not bad for a Walmart special!

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
British Columbia CANADA
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Date: 12/15/11 10:49 AM

My mom gave me a used Singer as a pre-wedding gift. I sewed my wedding dress, maternity clothes, baby clothes, multitudes of curtains and costumes and odd things like kayak back rest covers on that machine. And I pretty much disliked it the whole 30 years or so I had it. Got myself a new entry level Janome, gave away the old Singer, found PR and quickly started collecting vintage machines. The Janome sits under my cutting table and I sew on a department store metal machine, my serger and coverstitch plus a few old Kenmores that I couldn't resist buying.

I appreciate that first machine for what it was and the care that my late mom put into finding it for me, but I don't miss it!

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.



Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 12/15/11 10:59 AM

Lamely, I bought my own. Oddly, I recently purchased the same machine from a pawn shop this last year when I moved to Texas briefly. (My oldest child made a distinctive scratch on it when he was about 2 which is how I know.)

Skittl1321
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Skittl1321
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Iowa USA
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Date: 12/15/11 11:06 AM

You bought the same machine twice? That's so funny!

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Texas USA
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In reply to Skittl1321


Date: 12/15/11 11:16 AM


I wrote about the memory of my first machine in my Christmas story this year. Go read it if you haven't already. I don't know what happened to that exact machine.. but I was able to find one exactly like the one I received as a child off CL just a couple of years back.
When we can afford it.. I always get me a new machine for Christmas. Probably not this year. as my next selection is a rather way expensive one..

Mufffet
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Date: 12/15/11 11:24 AM

My parents gave me a sewing machine when I graduated nursing school. I never had tome to sew while in nursing school, or a place to sew, but before that I used whatever machines my mom had since I was 9 or so. I had that gift machine which was a JCPenny machine for about 6 years, and it was never satisfactory and I knew little about maintaining it. I bought a Kenmore on 1971, a fine machine, and then bought a Pfaff in 1977 which I still have, and never bought another machine until 2005 when I discovered PR and contracted SMAD.

The best Christmas gift ever was when I was 3. My large baby doll with the soft body and attached arms and legs (and head of course). She is a doll who cries MAMA when you tilt her back and forth. I named her Constance Evelda and of course Gibbs as her last name, since that was mine. I have her still. She lives in a comfy fleece in my closet in my bedroom. She was retouched and made beautiful again in the early 90s by my Mom at her own doll hospital and she is my friend forever. She has a heart that Mama sewed on her in my childhood and then when restoring her, Mama wrote me a note that I later discovered in the heart which is now a little pocket. I will pass her on to my daughter some day. Mama made her many clothes but I haven't got them any more except the one outfit she is wearing, and that was a little dress my daughter wore when a baby. :)

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/15/11 11:55 AM

Quote:
I always get me a new machine for Christmas.

poorpigling, I can see how upgrading every year could get expensive! Or even just adding to the "stable".

Quote:
She has a heart that Mama sewed on her in my childhood and then when restoring her, Mama wrote me a note that I later discovered in the heart which is now a little pocket. I will pass her on to my daughter some day.
oh Mufffet....that is so dear. What a wonderful story.

I have had 3 machines. My first machine was given to me by my MIL after her death and was an Elna Super with cams. I finally replaced it three years ago with an Elna 5100. I sure miss Virginia.




-- Edited on 12/15/11 11:55 AM --

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my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

Margasweet

Margasweet  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/15/11 11:58 AM

I got my first sewing machine at a garage sale... a friend's mother was out browsing the sales, and called me to let me know there was a machine in a cabinet I might be interested in. It was 1975, I was in high school; the machine is a black Singer with the gold decorations, either from 1945 that I paid $20 for, or 1940 that I paid $25 for (can't remember). I used it until DH bought me a computerized Elna in 1988; the people teaching me how to use it couldn't believe that I'd never learned to use a zigzag stitch, I jumped directly from a straight stitch only machine to one that has many built-in stitches. I learned to sew on my mother's Wilcox & Gibbs machine, originally DGM's, from around 1924-- a chain stitch machine.

Best Christmas gift was from my grandparents, a set of long underwear. I thought it was awful, no fun, not even a game to play... until I was warm for the rest of the winter. I've never been without long underwear again, though now it's usually silk.

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2007 fabric in: 7 1/2 yards; sewn: 7 yds +1/2 yd
2008 fabric in, 23 yards; sewn 20 yds; given away 6 yds -3 yd = -2 1/2 yd
2009 fabric in 41 1/4 yds, sewn 29 yds, given away 22 1/2 yds -10 1/4 = -12 3/4 yd
2010 fabric in 91 1/2 yds, sewn 27 yds, given away 1 1/2 yds; +63 yd = +50 1/4 yd
2011 fabric in: 55 yd.; sewn: 21 yd; given away: 20 yd +14 yd = +64 1/4 yd
2012 fabric in: 60 1/4 yd., sewn 25 1/4 yds, given away 16 yds, thrown away 3 yds scraps; UFOs completed: 7 +26 yd = +90 1/4 yd
2013 fabric in: 28 yds; sewn 25.7 yds.; given away 5 1/2 yd.s; projects 8, UFOs 4 -3 1/4 yd = +87 yd

2014 fabric in: 40.5 yd
2014 fabric sewn: 19 yd
2014 fabric given away: 8 1/2 yd
2014 projects completed: striped maxi skirt, bl/wh maxi dress, brown/turquoise sweater-knit tunic, rose print rayon dress S1587
2014 projects started: turquoise tank dress, tank dress,
2014 UFOs completed: 9 (5 small gift bags, pieced & quilted table runner, blue/wh maxi dress, silk infinity scarf, blue squares sm. quilt)
so far this year: +13 yd. = must do more sewing!

kkkkaty
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Utah USA
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Date: 12/15/11 12:07 PM

hmmm. My first sewing machine was a used machine that my mother bought for me (I was probably about 12), and I am sure it was as much as she could afford at the time. It was a dreadful machine, extremely heavy (I was always afraid I was going to drop it on my foot when I had to move it), and to use the zig-zag I had to sort of tape the lever/dial in place. But, you know I used it quite successfully, and never felt bad about it or wished for anything different. I think for quite a while, when I was young, I didn't even know there were better machines out there.... when I reached my 40s I bought myself a nice viking and have been thrilled with it ever since, but I have an odd feeling of fondness for that first machine.
-- Edited on 12/15/11 12:11 PM --

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Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

Sweetsong

Sweetsong
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Michigan USA
Member since 12/26/05
Posts: 1057
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Date: 12/15/11 12:46 PM

My sewing machine was my great aunt's it is/was a White in a cabinet, which my parents bought from her for $50. It only did a straight stitch and had lots of attachments I never learned to use. It had a knee pedal. Made all my high school clothes, college clothes, and my wedding dress on that little machine.

I think it's still in my parents' basement. I should rescue her, but my house isn't that big. (hmmm, think I'll give up my in-law's sewing machine and rescue mine for the same spot in the dining room)

-- Edited on 12/15/11 12:50 PM --

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