I had a very inexpensive Brother machine that I lent to a friend several years ago. She is so sweet in fact that she returned it to me after our housefire ... but it just does not work well ... and we had it repaired ... and within a very short time it was not working properly again. The repairs at this point cost more per repair than the machine did brand new. So, it was frustrating. After spending dollars and dollars repairing this $99 (originally) machine, I just gave up. It just seemed we were throwing good money after bad, again and again.
Also, I had a wonderful Singer machine several years ago, purchased by my mother one year for my birthday, but of course it was lost in our March 2007 housefire. It was a major workhorse that never gave a bit of trouble, and we loved it. Cherub 2 and I used that Singer for so many projects, and it handled everything with ease, sewing each stitch beautifully.
So, the story is ... we have been without a properly working sewing machine for just over 2 years now. Of course, many households survive indefinately without a sewing machine. But our machine was a staple in our lives .... making crafts, stitching and restitching clothing worn a bit too hard by our 4 boys .... replacing hems in Cherub 5's clothing (she is unusually hard on hems !) ... creating simple modest dresses and skirts for the girls which they adored ... hemming pants for all 8 people in our family, who are all vertically-challenged (aka SHORT !) . We have made due without it, simply putting mending into a basket to gather dust and taking alteration projects to the drycleaners -- but our household sewing machine has been missed dearly.
DadToCherubs apparently noticed not long ago that we miss our Singer ... he witnessed a conversation between Cherub 2 and I in which we discussed some sewing projects she wanted to work on (summer clothes). I explained that the Brother machine was broken, again .... and that we were not able to sew. DadToCherubs was apparently frustrated too at the thought of having the Brother machine fixed ... again ... and again (he was usually the drop-off and pick-up man - and it was always something different - the tension would foul-up despite not being touched, the feeder on the bottom would literally eat fabric, the needle function would just stop going up and down - ARG !!). Shortly after that discussion apparently, he was hunting for his favorite khaki shorts that separated at the seam last summer ... and found them ... well, you see, we have this "mending basket" which has been filling up over the course of 2 years ..... He asked about the contents of the mending basket, and I explained that we had been unable to tackle it, given the sewing machine sitaution, and that I would try to handstitch some of those items soon. And so ..... well, come to think of it, perhaps that is what inspired him to get this gift ? Hummmmmmmmm. I wonder .......
Sewing not only takes a machine and some fabric though .... but fortunately there are big after-Christmas sales at Joann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. Cherub 2 and I have attended these sales for the last 2 Christmas seasons, and have gradually purchased many of the necessary sewing items for our sewing corner -- bobbins, pins, a seam-ripper, a good heavy iron, various linings, scissors, a rotary cutter, patterns, needles, threads, elastics, ribbons, buttons, and other such notions. We knew that eventually we would replace our sewing machine and begin sewing again .... and that sewing notions add up to $$$ fast just in order to be able to complete a simple project. So, we have restocked much of our "stash" at these 50% off sales. Our sewing desk was painted this winter when we painted the sunporch (thank you Mrs. Z for giving it to us !) , and has been officially well-stocked for a few monthes now. All that was missing was a properly working sewing machine which I just had not purchased yet because it simply was not a top-priority on our post-housefire "need to replace" list ... well, I should say that we did not have a working sewing machine until yesterday.
Coincidently, Cherub 2 and I had also purchased a few patterns (at a 75% off sale) this year at Christmastime when we happened upon a deeply-discounted pattern sale -- some simple skirts and dresses for the girls, a few shorts patterns for the boys, and some PJ-pants patterns that everyone wants made for them. And some patches for the knees of pants ... we use A LOT of those with 4 outdoorsy boys. HA !
And so ... we are all set ... and the fun will begin today. Cherub 2 and I are going to work through the bulk of the mending basket (first things first, right ??), while prepping fabric for some projects (washing, drying, ironing, cutting, etc). And we are going to mend DadToCherub's items first .... as a thoughtful way to say:
THANK YOU DADTOCHERUBS !!THE PARTICULARS:
"The Singer Simple is a very easy to use sewing machine with many features seen on higher end machines.
· 18 stitch patterns including a 1-step buttonhole
· Drop feed
· Needle threader
· Adjustable stitch length
· Free arm with accessory storage (screwdriver, seam guide, seam puller/brush, needles, bobbins, spool holders)
· 4 snap on feet included (ZigZag, Buttonhole, Button, Zipper)
· Dust cover
· Manual in English/French/Spanish
· Easy bobbin winding
· Front loading bobbin
· Horizontal threading
Sewing Machine Type: Manual
Stitch Function Count: 16
Auto Buttonholer: Yes
Built-in Stitches: 16
Auto Needle Threader: Yes
Drop-in Bobbin: Yes"