Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Farewell Kenmore, Hello Simplicity!
My poor old Kenmore model 12493 has finally died. It was purchased by my first husband way back in 1984, and I used it to make maternity clothes, baby clothes, little boy clothes, pillows, curtains, dresses, blouses - the list goes on and on. This old Kenmore was there for me through all the repairs of torn jeans, ripped seams, and split pants of many years. After my first marriage ended, I sewed shirts for new boyfriends, pillows for friends, and tote bags for piano students. I even used it to make costumes for my church's Christmas play one year.
My new husband Marvin has watched me sew a few things, smiling at me the entire time. (He's so much sweeter than my first husband.) My old Kenmore has been with me through a lot of life's adventures. I spent the last few weeks making a maternity blouse for Marvin's daughter, and premature baby vests for a hospital charity. While making the last vest, my old Kenmore has screamed and scraped along, crying for mercy. I know it doesn't need oil, because I spent an hour oiling every moving part a few weeks ago. I think it's just the end of a great friendship. Time to say goodbye.
So......I've spent the entire day researching the internet for a new sewing machine. I can't afford to buy one at full retail price, so I've been looking on ebay mostly. We don't have any spare money at all, so we're going to have to cut back somewhere in order to make this purchase. We decided to purchase a new machine for 100 dollars at the most, which has really limited my choices.
My dream is to have a combination sewing/embroidery machine so I can make pretty items for the hospital charity, but I have to let that dream die I guess. Those embroidery machines are WAY expensive. I did find one for 200 dollars on ebay, but after researching it, I realized that the thread alone would have cost a fortune. Good thing I didn't bid on it.
Today, I found a lot of options on ebay that are more in line with our budget. There was one machine I really wanted, but it costs 150 dollars. Marvin wanted me to go ahead and get it, but I just couldn't do it with a clear conscience. Our money is so tight, so it just wouldn't be fair. He told me to choose the machine I want, and then he went to sleep.
As Marvin lay asleep, I continued looking on the internet for more options. I prayed to God, saying, "Lord, help me find a good sewing machine so I can sew more baby clothes for the hospital charity. It would be nice to have a good machine, so any help is greatly appreciated." Then, I kept perusing the internet.
I decided to make a spreadsheet of the different sewing machines I found. I made columns for Brand, Model, Ebay Price (including shipping), Built-In Stitches, Stitch Functions, Buttonhole Capability, Embroidery Stitches, and Retail Price.
The machine I really, really liked was the Brother CS6000T, which is the one I told Marvin about. It costs $150. It has 60 built in stitches, 100 stitch functions, a 1-step buttonhole, quilting capabilities, a large quilting table, and 34 embroidery stitches. It retails for more than $400, so it was a real deal at $150. But, we just can't afford that right now.
My next favorite was the Brother XL3500T. It costs $120, has 35 stitches, 59 stitch functions, a 4-step buttonhole, quilting capabilities, a large quilting table, and 18 embroidery stitches. It retails for $269, so it's a pretty good deal. But I kept thinking that for $30 more, I could have the better model which is a super deal in comparison. I just couldn't live with making that purchase.
Next on my list was the Brother XL 2600. It costs $95, has 25 stitches, 59 stitch functions, and a 4-step buttonhole. It retails for $169. It just didn't really grab me. No embroidery stitches at all.....bummer.
So, then I started looking further on ebay to see what else I could find. I spent many hours looking at several brands and models, reading reviews on www.epinions.com and studying specifications on their brand websites.
Eventually, I came across the Simplicity Denim Star SW210. It looked kind of wimpy in comparison to the Brother CS6000T. It doesn't have a large quilting table, and it's not a "computerized" model. But, the price is right - $79.00 including shipping. It has 21 built-in stitches, 45 stitch functions, a 4-step buttonhole, and a few other things that got my attention. The box includes an instruction video, and a pattern to make a denim tote bag. It also has a coupon to get 3 free Simplicity patterns. Cool! It has some embroidery stitches too!
I found a review on the internet that encouraged me as well, so I decided to go for it. I went to the auction and clicked "Buy It Now". It felt good to make my choice and be happy about it.
Tomorrow, I'll go to the post office and mail my money order. It sure will be nice to get a new sewing machine. Yippee!
I still have a few more sleepy vests to make for the premature babies, so I might have to borrow my mom's machine for a few days until my new "Denim Star" gets here. She probably won't mind, since it's for a good cause. If all else fails, I'll use my old serger. Hey, if I wear that one out, maybe I can talk Marvin into letting me get a new serger too! : P