Friday, 11 July 2008

Beauty and the Beast (I mean Bug)...

Earlier this week I took my lovely sewing machine (now known as Beauty...because aesthetically at least I seem to have purchased a replacement approximating the Beast...but in an attempt to be positive I have given it the more affectionate name of 'Bug'...yes, that is as in Ugly Bug) to the shop and traded it in. I had thought about keeping it...just in case I ever need a spare...but largely because I'm not very good at parting with things. But Joanne (now known as Wise One) put the idea into my head that this may not make the best financial sense, especially when the shop were offering me nearly £180 for it as part exchange for my new purchase. So on a very wet and rainy morning this week I took one last picture of Beauty on my desk and then drove guiltily to the sewing shop, feeling slightly like I was transporting one of my own children to an orphanage.

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.

16 comments:

  1. Ooh lucky you - the new machine sounds great, in spite of its lack of pinkness! I never even knew there was such a thing as a built in walking foot! Looking forward to seeing pics of the new bag.

    I'll have to look out for that milkshake powder too - my boy had his first milkshake the other day and knocked it back in 10 seconds flat, so I imagine this would be a hit!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done for finally taking the plunge. I was going to trade my old one in but they gave me the money off without taking my machine!! I am taking a two day machine quilting class this week with one of this country's best teachers so I'm very excited! I look forward to all the lovely new creations you come up with! xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. MasterM still says 'Throthy' but these days he is talking about Guinness not strawberry milk shake!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gosh, well done you! I'm amazed you traded it in. I'm sure you've made the right choice of machine too - it looks like such a workhorse. It'll probably never breakdown and last you 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  5. hey... i have a pfaff and it's great.
    enjoy!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Florence, well done on your purchase. I have a pfaff and the walking foot is wonderful isn't it? I can't wait to get my machine out again, it is still packed away. I think it will probably have to have a service to get it going again. My sewing room should be ready in about 2 weeks. I have waited a long time for it so a couple more weeks shouldn't make that much difference. Should it??? Much love to all the Teacakes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, I just found your blog and wanted to say hello.

    Racheal x

    ReplyDelete
  8. oooohhhh, she's a BEAUTY (in a very sensible, and robust way!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lucky you! I must investigate a walking foot for my 20 year old machine-Yep....20! It occured to me,after my suggestion ,that we would have completely different sewing machine brands available to each other so any product suggestion I make would be useless : ( Very frustrating sometimes. I'll be getting my sister to send me some of that milkshake powder-no evil preservatives ( from the dirty dozen?) and strawberry flavour-how happy is a six year old boy going to be?! Thankyou x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Flossie

    Just wanted to let you know that I've left you an award on my blog!

    April xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations on your new sewing machine! A walking foot .... ooh lovely. You can now look forward to getting to know one another and spending lots of happy sewing hours together.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations on your new machine, in time you will grow to love it just as much as your past beauty :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lucky you, a new machine! I'm sure you will do it justice! Your stitching always looks perfect. And just delurking to say hello. Great blog!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm so attached to my machine myself, I can hardly imagine trading it in so I know it must have been a little hard. The pfaff looks really sturdy though. I bet you'll have it for years to come.
    Dy

    ReplyDelete
  15. How nice to have that shiny, new and beautiful machine! You will do great things together!
    ~Emily

    ReplyDelete
  16. Since your blog popped up in 'dicover' , and I have seen your name lots of times, I came to take a look. Good luick with new machine. I just got a 90 year old 'beast'. Can't wait to get the motor serviced.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x