Friday, June 12, 2009

June is Sewing Machine Month over at Sew,Mama,Sew!

They’ve started this Sewing Machine Meme, for which I’m posting my entry here.

You all get to know a little bit more about my sewing machine (and me), and I get to add to their list of sewing machine reviews!

What brand and model do you have?

I own a Singer model 8280 sewing machine.

How long have you had it?

Three years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Clothing, handbags, home dec, just starting on my first quilt. I sew whatever I take a fancy to. :)

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

My sewing machine is in use anywhere from 1-10 hours a week.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I like my sewing machine. I do. Betsy’s light, steadfast, and loyal. She will not jam up on you in the middle of a project for no apparent reason. But Betsy doesn’t have the functionality of my first machine, Nelly, a Riccar 2600.

She had embroidery cams. However, she was rather heavy to move around, and could be counted upon to seize up at the most inopportune moment. Her tension assembly kept freezing up, no matter how many times I had it serviced and replaced.

In the end, it was like owning an ’85 Ford Escort with a gleaming, air-brushed paint job and a hole in the engine block.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I like the thread-cutting area on the side. I like the storage area in the base that slides off for bobbin access, and the variable zig-zag stitch adjustment. I like that she’s light enough to move often, as I switch back and forth between her and my serger. All of her accoutrements are well-made and easy to use.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

I can move her needle from the center to the right and back again, but NOT TO THE LEFT.

Really Betsy?!

How un-functional is that when I really want to stitch some piping, but your big-edged zipper foot tries to push it away?! If your needle went from center to left we wouldn’t have this problem, now would we?

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

My husband bought this machine for me as a birthday present while we were dating because he saw me getting frustrated over and over again at my old machine. I was in a pattern drafting class at the time and had I had finally resorted to hand-stitching seams in order to avoid the headache of my old one.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

I would recommend this machine to those who need a dependable, light, inexpensive machine, and who do not require the machine to do the embroidery and fancy work for them.

This is a great machine for beginners, dabblers, and those who aren't ready to shell out the dough for a fancier one.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

I think expected time usage, intended use, ergonomics, and functionality as compared to price are all important when looking to buy a new machine.

Are you going to use all the functions on a certain type of machine, or would you be just as happy with a machine with fewer functions that doesn’t break the nest egg?

Is the pedal comfortable to your foot? Are the presser foot lever, back-stitch function, and stitch functions easy to access and control? Is the bobbin a pain to thread? Will you be cursing it every time you have to change it?

All these factors are what I would keep in mind when shopping around.

Do you have a dream machine?

No. I would liken my Singer to a tried but true Honda Accord, as compared to the flashy, luxurious Lexuses, Jaguars, and Aston Martins that are of the Husqvarna/Viking/ Bernina/ Janome class machines.


  1. This brought back memories and made me laugh. My aunt and mother had singers and the were so dependable but they could sew straight seams and do zig zag stitches. Period. I got a machine that seized up all the time and I could not control the foot pedal speed - it was zoom or nothing. I bought a sears machine and it was dependable. My husband bought me a Husky star for Christmas a few years ago and I could not believe the difference. I love sewing on the machine. I gave the sears machine to my daughter and she thinks its great. Too each her own I guess.

  2. My friend's grandmother has a machine that works wonderfully for her, but once anyone else touches it, it just doesn't work for them. She says she doesn't do anything special.

    Sometimes we bond with our machines, and they bond with us. It was like that with my old car, until she finally gave up the ghost.


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