Beth at Sew Mama Sew has been compiling a list of posts organized by sewing machine brand. It will be very helpful to refer to when you are in the market for a new machine. Below I have answered questions about the machine that I use, and Beth will add this along with the others they receive.
What brand and model do you have?
I have a Kenmore Model No. 385 16524000.
How long have you had it?
I've had it for about eight and a half years.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I (I mean my dad) paid approximately $275 for it.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I mostly sew clothing.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
My sewing goes in spurts. I will go long periods where I don't sew; then I'll have periods where I am sewing every day for a few hours. I would say on the average I probably sew five hours or less per week of actual sewing time when you take into account the time of laying out patterns, cutting, etc.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I enjoy my machine. It has never given me a problem. It is adequate for my needs. At this point, my only lack with this machine is that it takes four steps to do a button hole. I would love it if it would do a button hole in one step. To me, that would be awesome. The newer Kenmore's do have a one-step button hole feature. My machine does not have a name; so I guess we are not in love.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I mostly just us the basic stitches, straight stitch and zig zag stitch. It has a few decorative stitches, stretch blind stitch, shell tuck stitch, elastic stitch. It has the capability to use a twin needle, which I do use from time to time and love using. It has a free arm, which comes in handy; a thread cutter, yea; and a thread tension dial, and of course the reverse sewing lever. So it's a good basic machine.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
No. Everything works fine.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
My dad bought me this machine before he passed away. We went to Sears together, and he helped me pick it out. So when I sew, I always think of him. It would be hard for me to get rid of this machine for that reason. If I ever upgrade, I could see myself passing it on to one of my daughters; or keeping for my grandchildren to sew on, when I have grandchildren, that is.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes. I would recommend this machine to others because it has been a solid machine. I have never had a problem with it, and I have never had to take it in for servicing.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I would just say that it's important to think about what type of sewing you will be doing and what features you would "need." I would get a machine that meets those qualifications. I wouldn't get a machine with a lot of features and bells and whistles that you know you won't use. You'll just be spending more money. I don't think the machine has be to very expensive to be a great machine. You don't need lots of fancy stitches unless you know you'll use them. Most people only use the straight and zig zag stitches. So don't go to the extra expense if you don't need to. But if you'll be doing projects that are more heavy duty, with lots of layers, and many, many hours of use, you may need a more expensive machine. So just find out what the machines you are considering are capable of, how much power they, can they handle the type of sewing that you will be doing?
Do you have a dream machine?
At this point I do not have a dream machine. I have been very content with this one.
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