And this is what is now sitting in Beauty's place setting. Gone is the lovely solid cream glossiness of my old machine and those lovely bits of pink on the dial settings, and in its place is this rather sterile plastic box of chunkiness (but all the internal chunks are metal...which is what really matters).
It took me a long time to decide not to go for a computerised machine and to stick with a mechanical one...but ultimately I couldn't bear the idea that if I was unlucky the computer could be fiddly or temperamental and need expensive repairs...and for me that outweighed all the extra bits of loveliness that a computerised machine would have to offer. When I thought about what I actually do with my machine I realised that I didn't feel limited by not having extra stitches (which is good as the stitch package is about as basic as they come), it had more to do with having an add-on walking foot that as it aged was increasingly failing to solve my differential feed problems, a presser foot that didn't lift high enough to accommodate all the layers of fabric that I wanted to put under it and so many other practical problems.
So with this in mind my choice was instantly narrowed down to buying a Pfaff as they currently seem to be the only make with a built in walking foot (blissfully quiet in action...ahhh! I can now sew at midnight without a guilty conscience). The model that I chose has been discontinued and it is one of the last Pfaffs on sale to be made in Europe, as they have now handed their production over to China...just listening to the noise of the European machine sewing next to its Chinese counterpart was enough to convince me that I should buy it immediately before I could no longer get my paws on one.
Playing around with my new machine when I got it home from the shop I wasn't initially impressed (loyalty to Beauty should take a dignified time to recede after all), but the next day I used it while making a bag (linings pictured above...I have fallen in love with the olive colour - each day I see this colour as part of a small flower print on a friend's raincoat and can barely stop myself from staring at it...on her coat it is teamed with mustard which is even more wonderful). When I started to use it to make something with an actual purpose I was very quickly delighted by it. Small things that are currently pleasing me are:
- The built in walking foot is amazing.
- It has a thread cutter so I don't have to root around for my scissors any longer.
- I can wind the bobbin through the needle, which makes everything so much quicker.
- I can set the machine to not go above a certain speed (this will be fantastic for when my children use it too).
- I can shift the needle over into 13 different positions which means I can get my top stitching exactly where I want it (I have used this function so many times that I now can't imagine how I managed without it).
- The presser foot raises so much higher than my old one.
- The lovely man in the sewing shop swapped over some of my old feet for new ones that will fit this machine...and they are quite wonderful and have a much better design than the ones for my Baby Lock.
Thank you so much for all the advice that you left here and emailed me with - it was really, really useful and I am so pleased with my final decision.
I will leave you with a picture of Dinosaur boy drinking a milkshake today. Clipper make a fantastic organic strawberry powder that is free from E-numbers and tastes delicious. He had a friend over for lunch and they howled with laughter at their pink mustaches....we also discovered that they could say the word 'frothy' more easily than I can.