March 25, 2009

it's working!

As frustrating as it is, I can happily say, the allowance system is working! Yes, I am seriously hating the fact that I can't buy something on a whim {{whimpers}}, but as of right now, we have an extra $400 that we'll be able to sink away into our savings account this month. That's $400 on top of what we normally save! Almost disgusts me.

Of course, this is really making me consider taking Donna up on her constant challenge to start sewing. I'd really love a new set of throw pillows, and they seem like they'd be easy enough to make. Hell, I could just make covers for the ones I have now.

Okay, I guess I seriously need to start looking into sewing machines. Oddly enough, I swore I was going to buy a sewing machine for my birthday or Christmas last year, but for some reason I never got around to doing it. I blame it on the move. So, what do I need exactly? There's so many choices out there when it comes to brands and functions. I really don't think I need something as fancy as a 50- or 60-stitch sewing machine, but I could be wrong. Help!

Wal-Mart carries this Singer Simple 18-Stitch sewing machine for just under $100. As a beginner, how many stitches do I really need?


  1. Congrats on saving $, that's a great feeling!

    This thread on Craftster has some great advice about buying a machine - based on what I read, I ended up buying a Kenmore from Sears (my budget was under $150). It had good reviews and seems to be working great so far.

  2. Good for you! on both the saving and the sewing :)

    Don't go too basic with your machine, you'll be an expert in no time and then you'll just have to buy something better! Take a good look at Fioretta suggested site for advise.

    x VV

  3. Anonymous3/25/2009

    I think it depends on if you want it to last for a long time. Don't go too basic or else you'll just have to spend more money on another one and fixing it. Bernina sewing machines are expensive but very high quality and last for years. Otherwise go for just a normal machine from Walmart or Sears or something.

  4. Go to a real sewing machine store and try out their used sewing machine. Buy as much "top of the line" as your budget can afford. Like the Craftster thread indicates, you can get a gently used TOL machine that will inspire you or you can get a cruddy cheap with plastic parts machine from Walmart that jams and makes sewing frustrating.

    I'm still sewing using my early 1970's Bernina. There are few bells and whistles on it but it is PERFECT (it is the machine I learned to sew on)

    I also bought a fancy-schmancy used Viking embroidery machine 10 years ago for a lot of money (it was my graduation gift from my husband). I rarely use it--I prefer my old mechanical Bernina.

  5. congrats doll...oh it makes my heart jump everytime i swing by...remembering my vintage military wife days...i didn't know you are in my part of the heart just beats for our boys...and my marine! cat

  6. i have my MIL's 70's Elna Contessa, which does everything I want. Go to a store, ask the people there for advice, and have a play with them if you can

    well done on the savings!

  7. Yay! Sewing. You will never be more frustrated nor more pleased with yourself (except for maybe with children, I don't know) than when you begin sewing. You will mess up and get mad, but then the draw of those new curtians in a fabric YOU choose, or a dress that fits where YOU want it too, you will be hooked.
    My first advice, PLEASE don't buy it at Walmart. I know 100 dollars seems cheap, but check out local stores first OR thrift stores. I just bought another sewing machine yesterday at one of our local swap shops for 5.00! Yes, and it works. It is vingtage, so it looks good, but it still has great stictches and you can always buy zipper foots and buttonholers to fit them, as many of them use a set size or you can ebay parts. So, good for you, just be prepared to be frustrated, but once you get that first skirt done and you zip yourself into it suddenly your eyes will DANCE with the endless design possiblities. To borrow an expression from the 'future' You Go Girl. And great job on the savings, isn't it amazing how much we spend on things? I am amazed every month, it is like an onion and I keep peeling back the layers to find more odd spending habits I have!

  8. fioretta: Thank you for the article! That will be my next stop.

    VV: I guess I never thought about becoming "so good" I'd need more than just the basic stitches. ;0)

    Anon. & Dr. Julie Ann: I've never heard of Bernina, but since you've both said such wonderful things about them I guess I'd better take a peak at a machine.

    Cat: I love seeing your comments on my blog! And yes, I'm very close to your corner of the U.S.! We might have to get together...

    Elise: I suppose that's one benefit of going to a real sewing machine store--the ability to play with them and see them in action.

    50s Gal: I KNEW you'd be thrilled with this post! ;0) And now you've got me all excited about sewing.

    I do suppose this will all have to wait for just a bit though as we're paying our taxes next month. >:0(

  9. Just be sure you are firm with your budget BEFORE going into the shop or else you will have sticker shock. Some of the brand new high-end machines cost more than I earned in a month or two as a professor.

    Just tell the staff that you want to get a quality used machine and that your budget is X. Trust me, they want to unload the used machines and will find the perfect fit for you.


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