Monday, June 20, 2011

Should I Get a New Sewing Machine?

the object of my affections
So I’m having a bit of an internal debate. Should I get a new sewing machine? I got my sewing machine for my 16th birthday, almost 13 years ago (I turn 30 next year). It’s a basic Brother, at the time it was pretty snazzy with 20 different stitches (of which I use two 99% of the time – straight and zigzag) and a digital screen. I love my sewing machine, it runs beautifully when it’s tuned up and has the correct size bobbin.


It’s showing its age. The foot pedal isn’t working half the time. The tune up only lasts for about 8-12 cumulative hours of sewing before it un-adjusts itself. Then the tension goes, and the fancy stitches stop working again (which is annoying the 1% of the time I try to use them). And we're trying to be better about our budget, and spending a few hundred on a machine makes me seriously hesitate when technically my current sewing machine does work.

I’ve started looking at other machines, and I feel guilty. I actually had a dream where I was sewing and started flirting with a handsome young man. (It made sense in my dream, and I’m interpreting that as cheating on the sewing machine.) It’s not like it’s a small splurge, it’s a significant chunk of cash to spend on myself. Though the things I make benefit others as well, I still feel like it’s something just for me.

So, here are my selfish justifications thoughts on getting a new machine:
  • Paying $65 per tune up every three to six months on my old machine is not cost effective
  • The machine I want is $169 (marked down from $449!), which is less than three tune ups
  • Though I’d still have to get the new machine serviced it’d be every 6-12 months instead of every 3-6
  • I’m making clothes for Max, and as I get more comfortable with the patterns I plan on increasing that amount to cover most of his wardrobe (which has a monetary benefit)
  • I need a reliable way to make buttonholes for Max’s shirts – because I currently suck at it
  • My frustration level would decrease with a machine that is more reliable (in theory)
  • I would still keep the old machine as a backup, so it’s not becoming landfill fodder
  • And, finally, I really, really, really want one!

Did you know that there is a doohicky on a sewing machine where you put in a button and then the machine will sew a buttonhole to fit that particular button??? That actually made me squeal when I read it! (Turns out I’m behind the times – a friend told me this is now a standard feature on all machines. What can I say, I’m easy!)

Help me out here. Should I? Shouldn’t I? What would you do? Do you have suggestions for reasonably priced machines?


~ Regan said...

Yes, I think you should. No, I'm not saying this just to make you happy!

I think all of your reasons are very valid ones. I can't imagine needing that many tuneups on a machine! For that reason alone it is obvious that you need a new one. And, this is something that you use ALL. THE. TIME. ;) This is something that you not only do as a hobby, but also as a way to make clothes and other objects for the home. (and, let's not forget the sale price! You would totally kick yourself if you decided in 3 months to go ahead and get a new machine and you'd have to pay the full price.)

Everyone needs an 'out', and I'm sure sewing is one of yours. Don't let an old machine make it stressful for you! I say 'go for it', because you deserve it!

Jessie said...

That's what I'm talking about. :) Yay constructive feedback!

NanaDiana said...

I'd say go for it. If you are using a machine there is nothing more frustrating than sitting down to sew and not having your machine work properly. AND...a machine should not need a tune up more than once a year...if that...if you maintain it. I'd say you deserve it!

WolfSong said...

I have to agree that getting a new machine sounds like the best plan for you. Older machines are wonderful when they stay working, or if you can service them yourself. Some, however, are just not meant to be used as long as we want them to last!

You clearly have thought this through, and aren't just blindly spending money...besides, 13 years on a gifted machine? Certainly, you got plenty of use out of it! And, if you have local thrift store, when you are ready to get rid of the older machine donate it there. Even with the work it needs on a regular basis, it likely will be snapped up.

Where I live, in Canada, many of the Natives come to town from the remote communities looking for older machines for parts, or to use. Our thrift store never have a machine sit longer than a week!

Let us know what you decide, and of course, please share pics when/if you do get something new!