Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Sewing Machine Saga

         Eeny Meeny, Miney, Mo..........
                The Search for a new machine

Over the next few days, I will be posting about my sewing machine search and giving some interesting tidbits as well.

     I have sewn for years, much longer than I care to admit!  The catch phrase of the day seems to be 'sewist', (although that term has not caught up to the dictionary yet, as spell check still tells me that it is not a word!).

     When I was 8, my mom got a brand new Viking sewing machine for Christmas, half from my dad and half from my Nanny (grandmother).  Her big project was to make curtains for our house.  As we moved about every 2 years, this would be an ongoing project!

    My Great-Aunt Renie was visiting and while my mom and Nanny worked on curtains, Aunt Renie taught me and my brothers how to sew on mom's old sewing machine.  We started out making bean bags - I bet my mom went through 20 pounds of dried beans that week.  My brothers soon tired of it, but I kept at it.  The first garment I made was a jumpsuit with long pants and long sleeves (Hey this was the early 70's - jumpsuits were IN).  The fabric was horrible - beige with stick chickens in black and white all over it, but it was in my mom's stash and there was enough yardage for what we needed.  It had a zipper up the front (Aunt Renie helped on that) and 2 pockets.  I thought I was stylin', and I sure wish I had kept it!

     My mom continued to sew, but was a functional sewer, not a creative sewer.  She sewed for a purpose (curtains, school clothes, etc.), not really for fun. When I started looking for a sewing machine of my own, she was the one who told me you really buy a dealer, not a machine.  We did not have a Viking dealer that was close (5 moves later), but there was a Bernina dealer that was about a half an hour away..................  and that was the beginning!
To be continued....

A little background on the sewing machine

     While history has made Elias Howe the 'father' of the sewing machine, in actuality, there were several sewing machines in play before Howe came on the scene.  The first machines (as far back as the mid 1700's and then early 1800's) were actually embroidery machines.  Several iterations by several different inventors focused on the chain stitch design - one Paris inventor who made a machine to stitch gloves was run out of town by the glove makers themselves, convinced that this new machine would destroy their jobs!