I love Sewing Machines. They’re amazing pieces of kit.

My current Sewing machine is a Singer 160. I purchased her in 2012, as a gift to myself to congratulate myself on a) graduating from university and b) starting my first grown-up job. Notice I say her, I tend to name my favourite machines (long story, but blame my mother) – My Singer is called Naomi.

81qpiastnkl-_sl1500_She’s very snazzy and has all sorts of features, though she really, really needs a thorough professional servicing once a year minimum. She’s computerised, and at first she was really, really easy to use. Naturally, over the last 5 years she has picked up a few quirks (sometimes you have to press your foot down several times before she’ll move, that sort of thing) , but overall she works well enough.

I purchased her mostly because she looks very, very pretty – it’s not every day that you come across a black computerised machine with the gold inlay – and I fell in love with her. I’m considering purchasing a cheap old backup machine for those occasions when she needs to go to the repair shop, which is happening more often now that I’m using her quite so much, but I’ll continue to use her regularly for now.

cloak-001My previous machine was a Brother. It belonged to my grandmother, who gave it to me in 2008 as her eyesight had failed too much for her to use it anymore. It was practically new at the time. I remember that the bulb always got very hot whilst I was sewing, to the point
where there was occasionally a bit of a plastic-y smell. I later discovered that the London Fire Brigade had put out a recall on that model as it had a tendency of catching on fire, so I’m glad I never really left it alone. That was the only sewing machine that I didn’t name, because I didn’t really ever love it the same way as the others. I mostly only used it to make semicircle cloaks and a couple of bags anyway, and I have no photos (or even actually any details of the exact model anymore)

1403617_10201985949427490_1946283879_oWhen I was living in Sweden I bought myself a vintage Husqvarna. It was beautiful. I named it Clara, and it only cost me about 150 kr (£15). We worked out she was roughly a century old, and a friend of mine is still looking after the machine on my behalf (I believe.)  She only sewed in a straight line and was sometimes really really temperamental, but for an ancient machine I was very, very pleased with her. Honestly, I miss Clara so much! I only made a few items on her (most notably my muff!) but she also has been helpful at steampunk events in Sweden ever since!

Which other machines? At school we mostly had Janome machines, and I really enjoyed sewing with those. Recently I borrowed a Janome from a friend so that I could complete the LED corset, however, I’ve never really owned one. Whenever I’ve used them I’ve found them to be very reliable bits of kit. I actually also own one of those tiny Vulcan toy sewing machines from the 1960s – it was my mum’s, but it currently sits on the windowsill of my sewing room.

(Edit: Why did I say to blame my mother? My mum’s first sewing machine was called Katy. I’ve just kind of carried on the tradition of naming them.)