So, as it is most likely quite clear here on my website, I am a seamstress. I own a little sewing business: Sublime-D-Zign. I feel very fortunate that, here in my fourth year of business, I have so many different machines to create all of the inventory in my shop.

I burned up my first sewing machine, a little Singer starter machine. I sewed hours beyond the maximum capacity of that little machine, I'm sure. But it was still a good little machine and great way for me to get started with this passion for sewing.


Upon taking this machine into the shop, I was introduced to the next little gem in my life, the Janome 525S. I took this baby home and it was instant love. This machine and I were made for each other. It's not too complicated to operate, which is great for me because I lack the patience required to figure out some fancier machines. It's a high capacity, hard worker. Which is also good because I put more hours on my sewing machine in a week than most people do in a month, or even a year. We went on together like peas and carrots.

The next machine to enter my life was a Brother SE270D embroidery machine. It's an alright machine, I suppose. The price was right, and it does what it should for the price. The embroidery looks great 95% of the time. Every now and again, it has a little meltdown. But on the whole, it's okay. As a sewing machine, it's not my favorite. It's electronic, which I have a really hard time with. (I suppose it's a comparable feeling to people who drive only stick shift cars their whole life and then get into an automatic.) This machine is also slightly wimpy as a sewing machine. It has a very sensitive safety break, which makes the most god-awful  grinding noise in the world when it is triggered, and can be triggered by something as simple as three layers of cotton. A few years ago, it was nice to have this sewing machine on hand as I had a big order to fill in a small amount of time. So my husband, so wonderful and helpful as he is, helped me manufacture the order. With me on my trusted Janome and him on my new Brother, we were a regular sweat shop. But by the end of our three day sewing marathon, that poor guy had spilled so many cuss words on that  machine, and I think that's when he started to grow gray hair. :) So, now I use this machine exclusively for embroidery, which as I said, is OK 95% of time.

After that machine, I inherited my very first serger. It was a White serger, made in 1980-something. Considering it's age, it was in impeccable shape. Clean, sturdy and purred like a kitten. It was a pain in the tookus to thread though and brought me to tears the first few tries (again, my lack in patience was a vice here.) But, lo and behold, I persevered and learned how to thread that damn thing once and for all. Shortly after I picked up a big costume contract, and I have to say, that serger made it possible. It gave me a lot of problems though. To be fair, I'm sure 60% of these problems were simply user error. But, in my favor, that machine was not easy to use or easy to troubleshoot. But, it boils down to the simple fact that it got me through and did the job. And it really taught me a lot in troubleshooting, which I think is a very important skill for anyone who operates a sewing machine.

A few months later, I picked up another large costume contract, and the problems on that serger were becoming more frequent, and malfunctions were ruining pieces. This had to end. I then purchased the Juki MO654E. (See my blog on this little baby: New Serger.) Needless to say, I love, love, love, love that machine. We too, are made for each other. It's been almost a year since I welcomed that little Juki into my family of machines, and we are still happy together. Easy to thread, easy to operate, easy to troubleshoot. Love it. Plain and simple.

The most recent addition to my sewing machine family is another Janome. This one, a semi-industrial Memory Craft 6500. I must admit, that lack in patience really posed a problem with this new machine. Buttons and a computer screen and a whole box full of feet and a user guide full of pages and pages that I am never going to read...... (yeah, yeah I know.) This machine is electronic like the Brother, so, I had to just tell myself it was going to be okay. And for the most part, it was. With more stitches to choose from than I will ever know what to do with, and so many different functions that I will probably never be patient enough to explore, this machine was the door to a plethora of new possibilities. Silly as it may sound, the most impressive thing I ever did with this machine was sewing over 100 button holes on yet another costume contract, lickity split. Every button hole was identical, perfect and beautiful. (I'm so sorry to ever say anything bad about my beloved 525S, but that machine is hit or miss with a perfect button hole.) However, I did feel, just like the Brother, that this machine lacked cahones when it came to heavy duty sewing. I mean, it couldn't even handle a double layer of fleece. I too spilled some cuss words on that machine.

But that's okay. With my sewing machine family complete, I had a machine for every job. And I went through my most recent costume contract, the biggest I've done yet, with every machine fired up. Every machine had it's place, it's job, it's forte. I was thankful for them all.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, last week, tragedy struck. My 525S was skipping stitches, and I it was more work that it was worth to try and keep sewing on it. I knew my little precious was due for a little TLC from our local sewing machine doctors at Odegaard's Sewing Center. I really should have brought it in sooner, but I just couldn't bring myself to part with it, as I use it every single day. But, now I had no choice. So, I decided to move my project over to the Memory Craft. I'm sewing along, la ti da, and I hit the cut thread button (a nifty little bonus with most electronic machines), and it just jams and won't sew anymore.  I have to surgically remove my project from this machine, and see about trouble shooting this problem. (Here's another thing I don't like about electronic machines, trouble shooting is way more complicated and I fear breaking something every time.) So, it's a quick "let's see what I can do" and then a "well, I don't have a clue". Yup, BOOM, 2 machines down for the count inside of ten minutes. Cue emotional meltdown! After calming words from my husband (he really is so wonderful) I pack up the machines and take them down to the shop.

The worst of it all is that we had planned on making curtains for our freeeeeeeezing cold living room the very next day. How was I supposed to make curtains without either of my worthy sewing machines? Well, I suppose I could have waited on the curtains, but I must state again, patience is something I was not born with. Once I'm set to do something, it's going get done come hell or high water. Well, this was hell, with two machines down. But I decided to go forward with the curtain project and give my Brother a chance to prove it's worth. Success? Not really. I got the curtains made, and they look pretty good. Except for the final top stitching which is through 4 layers of micro suede. (I admit, that's pretty heavy duty, but my 525S could have handled that like a champ.) So, I have beautiful curtains with some really ugly top stitching that only a fellow sewing geek would notice.

So we made it through the weekend, we made it through the curtains. Business production was shut down though, because I just couldn't afford to have the Brother mess up any of my professional products.

Monday comes, and the sewing machine doctors call and say there's good news and bad news. One machine is ready to be picked up, the other is in sewing machine critical condition. I mean we're talking the ICU of sewing machines. "We're not sure if she's going to make it" condition. I'm crossing my fingers, and silently praying "please, please, please don't let it be my baby." I arrive, and thank the heavens, my 525S is ready to go. But the Memory Craft is down for the count.  He's not sure what's wrong with it, he's not sure if it can be fixed. And I find myself feeling more sad than I expected. I didn't even scratch the surface of the possibilities of this machine. If he fixes it, will I bring it home and read the manual and play with all of it's bells and whistles? Ha ha! Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here! But if it doesn't make it, I will mourn that button holer. I might just fly my bobbin winder at half mast. (Okay, okay, I know, really stupid joke.) Only time will tell the fate of this machine.

So, I fire up my trusty 525S yesterday to get some work done, and OMG I fall in love all over again. This machine is running so smoothly, I'm not even sure it was this smooth right out of the box. It's like the machine missed me too and wanted to do an extra great job as a token of it's love for me. I just wanted to keep sewing and sewing it ran so smoothly. I even thought to myself that maybe I should rip that terrible top stitching out of the curtains and redo it on my like-new machine. (Yeah right, am I crazy?! But it was a fun thought for a minute.) I thought to myself, if the Memory Craft doesn't make it, maybe I should just get another one these. Then I can have two! (And if I could just clone myself, then that would totally be a great plan!)

So, here I am. Back to work with my favorite machine. And my other still at the shop with a unknown fate. I am thankful for all of the sewing machines that have come into my life, even those that aren't in my life anymore. They have all offered me something, they have all taught me something. And if you are looking for a sweet machine, albeit not too fancy, I highly recommend the Janome 525S.  I believe it is a retired model, but I'm sure it could be found somewhere in the endless internet world.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling blog. I always appreciate the ear (or, I guess in this case, the eye.) Please comment if I so moved you!