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My new machine! September 11, 2008

Posted by Judy in Musings, Sewing projects.
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I’ve been casting about for a new machine for about 2 weeks.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with my old-as-the-hills-inherited-from-DH’s-grandmother sewing machine.  It’s just old with very few stitches.  Oh, and not enough oomph to sew through all of the diaper layers and no serging stitch.

Actually, this whole process started by looking for a serger.  I realized that even the cheap ones were pricey, so I switched to looking for a sewing machine.  After searching on Ebay and other internet sites, I settled on a Kenmore 16231.  It has 31 stitches and 90+ stitch functions.  (Of course, they count all the different widths of a zig-zag stitch as a different function!  And some get double-counted, so if you can use a decorative stitch in quilting AND in heirloom sewing, then voila, two functions!)

Anyway, I’ve been pretty happy with it.  It sews WAYYYY faster than my old machine, and, I can use all of the great attachments that worked on the oldy moldy machine.  It doesn’t feel as sturdy, but it works pretty well, and can sew through all the diaper layers, so that’s a plus.

I ran into a snaffu using the start/stop button.  You are supposed to be able to press the button and the machine will sew at whatever speed you have it set, thus leaving your foot free to do whatever.  Well, I couldn’t get it to work so I thought it was non-functional.  Called the support line, but kept getting their answering machine, so I took the machine back to the store, whereupon I discovered that none of the start/stop buttons on their machines worked, or so I thought.  Turns out, you have to unplug the foot pedal (you sewing experts out there are probably ROTFL at my stupidity.  My excuse . ..  I’m a novice at using new fangled machines!) for the start/stop button to work . . it’s either one or the other.  Would’ve been nice if they would’ve included that info in the manual, for example.  Oh well.  Now that the button is working, I’ve been practicing using it . . .takes a bit to get used to not using your foot, I find my toes still up in the air waiting to press the foot pedal.  I don’t think the button will be useful when sewing tricky seams that require both hands as you can’t vary the speed.  But for long and easy seams, it’s a pretty slick feature.

So, I expect to spend many happy hours using my new machine to continue to craft my diaper bags (which are just about finished, BTW) and little dipes for my muchkin and munckin-to-be.

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