Craft is currently asking for sewing machine pictures. I can’t compete with the lovely vintage Singers, but here is mine. I have had it for several years and I even made my wedding dress on it. It is a Huskystar, which is a descendent of the Viking brand. I went with the top of the mechanical line on sale at the end of the model year. (Did you know sewing machines have a model year?) I didn’t see a need for computer control since I wasn’t planning to do embroidery. This was a good choice and I have no regrets. My favorite feature is the automatic needle threader, with the automatic buttonhole coming in a close second.
I use the buttonhole feature quite often. Most recently I used it to make miniature trebuchet slings. I took denim scraps and sewed buttonholes to tie onto the lines. We made several design revisions, but it was a very fast process since all I had to do was put in the fabric and hold down the foot pedal.
The needle threader is absolutely fantastic. It’s not that I can’t thread a needle, but this is so easy that you never think twice about changing the thread out when going back and forth between different fabrics.
To use the needle threader, you first pull down the threader (the little black handle) and rotate it slightly to put the hook through the eye of the needle. Next you pull the thread across the row of hooks in front of the needle.
The lever is spring loaded, so you just release it and it pulls the thread through and up.
You can see the thread is through the eye of the needle. With no squinting!
Here are some of the accessories for the machine. They were all included except for the extra bobbin cover plate that feeds elastic through with constant tension so that your project will gather evenly. It came with a couple of tools; a screwdriver to remove the plate to clean the feeder feet, a brush to assist with cleaning, and something I haven’t used yet that is a funny shape. There are a couple of different spool holders for the automatic bobbin winder for use with different sized spools of thread. There are a several of extra feet, most of which I have used. The machine came with a seam ripper, for which I am very grateful, since my favorite one got lost in our last move and this one was there for me in a pinch before I got a chance to buy a new one.
If you are going to buy a new machine, I recommend shopping at a sewing machine store. At first I found the atmosphere a little intimidating, but once I started playing with all the features on all the machines it became fun. You are not going to be able try out the different machines on different fabrics at a big box store, nor are the salespeople going to have a clue.
Mine is a nice, reliable machine. I have sewn silk, velvet, denim, and lots of cotton on it. My only, and very minor, complaint is that the thread cutter, a little protected blade above the arm, is starting to get dull and I don’t see a way to replace it easily. I may just tape on a letter opener (of the recessed razor type) since I have become accustomed to its presence.
As long as I was taking workbench pictures, I took a couple of shots of the things I had to move out of the way to get a clear picture:
Scissors, scissors, rotary cutter, seam ripper, pins and needles. Clearly sewing is a dangerous sport. At least the ruler, mat, and bobbins (in the silver tin) are reasonably harmless. The bobbin tin wasn’t nearby when I painted the pin tins, so it isn’t quite so clearly labeled. Points if you recognize what I use for needle storage. I wish you safe sewing!
A note on the brand: a seamstress I trust recommended getting a Viking. Viking sewing machines have been a part of Husqvarna Viking for a while now. Husqvarna also makes “outdoor power products” and “diamond tools for the construction and stone industries” and motorcycles. However, the company that owns Singer recently bought the part of Husqvarna that owned Viking, so now they are all becoming one big sewing maching company called “SVP” which stands for Singer Viking Pfaff. I didn’t realize that the conglomeration bug had bitten the sewing machine industry.