Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Really Horrible Day

Hello lovely readers, you find me this morning in a slightly subdued mood after the events that took up most of my day yesterday.

I woke up yesterday to find that one of the rear windows of my car had been smashed and whoever had done this had proceeded to empty the car of anything valuable (and even not so valuable) that they could get their nasty little hands on. And the worst thing of all is that my sewing machine was being stored in the car.

Now I know that considering the circumstances I got off lucky, the car wasn't taken and no one got physically hurt, thank goodness, but the whole thing has left me feeling a bit sick and pretty darn angry. I feel so outraged that whoever did this really wouldn't think about the effect that their actions would have on others and even more so that they will probably get away scot-free. And of course now I find myself, for the first time in about 10 years, without a sewing machine. It's funny really, because I know that my poor old machine was just that, a machine, but I find that I was much more emotionally attached to it than I thought I would be. And to be honest it's no surprise really. I learnt to sew on that machine, it gave me my independence from high street fashion and therefore helped me find my own unique style, and sewing on it, particularly during the last year, has been a source of great joy and pleasure in my life. The idea of whoever has their hands on it now treating it as anything other than the delicate piece of machinery it is breaks my heart a little. I'm sure that many of you who sew regularly on one particular machine will understand.

Now I don't what to get all woe-is-me and down on this blog, I've always tried to make it into a warm and happy space filled with things I care about, but I wanted to let you know about all this because now I am in need of your help my lovely readers.

Having owned the same machine for about 10 years I find myself hopelessly out of the loop when it comes to looking at sewing machines and what specifications I may want on a new model. Obviously I would like to replace my machine as soon as is possible, but I don't want to  commit myself to buying without knowing my options first. Basically, do any of you have any tips when it comes to buying a new machine? The model pictured above is my old machine (the Janome Excel 5024) and you can see more details about her here. Do you use a similar model that you yourself cannot live without? Maybe you think that my original was a great model so I should just replace it exactly? Or perhaps you work on something a lot more fancy and would recommend it wholeheartedly? Perhaps after all this nastiness I should treat myself to an upgrade...

If you have any help or advice to give I would be so grateful, so please get in touch and let me know your thoughts. For now I'll say goodbye and let's hope that today is a better day :)


Hannah said...

Oh that is awful sorry to hear that. I am sure today will be a better day.xx

Elisalex said...

Such a horrible thing to wake up to... I can only empathise as I too still work on the first and only domestic sewing machine I've ever had. She is a basic machine, bought in Spain, with no fancy touch screen shenanigans. I would always recommend a simple, basic machine. It just seems like so much more could go wrong with something fancier. I always imagine the power going out and knowing I'd still be able to sew just fine with the wheel, and I'm guessing that if you had to select a stitch electronically, you'd be pretty f***ed in a power cut. All the best to you, and rest assured that Karma will sort both you and the robbers out. xxx

Irac said...

Ah horrible!! :( I hope your day is going to be better! As for the sewing machinge, I would gladly recommend the Husquarna Viking. I'm not sure of the series number, but I know that all Husquarna Vikings are excellent sewing machines. It's fast, strong and you can sew pretty much anything with it. It even has an option for stretchy fabrics. I'm totally satisfied with it :)

Liz said...

I have no advice about machines, but I'm so sorry that happened to you.

Debi said...

Oh NO! How awful! What a really awful thing to do!!! I'm really out of the loop myself having two vintage machines but I really hope you can get it replaced quickly!

Nelly said...

You poor thing...those rotten sods!! hope they get theirs soon! Maybe you should stick to what you know,I do love Janomes myself had a Brother for years and brother was it a pain to use!! Went back to a Janome but got eldest grandaughter an Elna which has been a nice and simple one for her to use.Hope you get one soon xx

Living Vintage said...

Car Break ins are terrible and you usually don't find out till you already have to be somewhere and then you end up cleaning up a mess instead. And to lose your sewing machine on top of it, I am so sorry. I would be tempted to go with the model you love and are comfortable with if it has had all the functions that you want. I tend to be weary of too much as it means more to repair. I think I would consider a Janome myself as I have a kenmore and finding extra feet that I want can sometimes seem difficult but I always see that they make that foot for a Janome.

Auntie said...

I'm terribly sorry to hear about your misfortune. Co-incidently, my niece, a young mother, had her house broken into last week, all of her electronics and her jewlery box with the jewlery given to her by her grandparents was taken. Fortunately, her husband was at work and she was out with her 3 year old and 7 month old, at the time.
Evil runs rampant!
I, also have a Janome, mine is a bit newer, but I don't really like the buttonhole feature.
I also have 2 Singer Featherweights (one manufacturered the month of my birth, May 1951 in Scotland, the other was manufactured in 1960) I adore them both, and they'll be among the last things I'm willing to part with.
I used to have an ELNA, which I highly recommend.
I seem to prefer the old mechanical machines to the newer electronic machines, but it's possible that's my own vintage speaking.
Best Wishes to get this whole mess sorted out and on to happier things.

Colleen said...

That just makes me sick to hear about it! I have a Bernina and while I love it, I had to borrow my sister's Janome Jem and realized that 1) it felt smoother and more powerful than my machine and 2) it was about 800 dollars less. She bought hers on Ebay a few years ago -- new -- for about 200 dollars. It's also light enough to bring to classes, etc. If I had it to do over, I'd probably get the Janome. I'm so sorry and hope that your new machine will cheer you up a bit.

LandGirl1980 said...

Oh no! How awful for you, to lose something you had such an emotional connection with :(

Can't offer any help on the new machine front though, I am useless with that type of thing!

I hope karma slaps the culprits squarely in the face with a brick.

Anonymous said...

That's awful! I'm so sorry that you have to deal with that. Sorry, I don't have any advice about the sewing machine recommendation. I just wanted to give you my support.

Isis said...

How awful for you! *hugs*

Lady Jardin - Vintage Views of the South Coast said...

oh you poor thing! that is horrible, and I have been there myself, one of the last cars first getting broken into and the Misters Bass stolen, and then the next week them coming back and setting the car on fire! In a small village church car park!!

Re the replacement sewing machine, I have actually only ever sewn on sewing machines from the 40's-70's, so I have no idea how the fancy new ones with all the extra buttons and touch screens actually work. But I have been sewing on the same 70s Elna Air (check my 'confessions of a sewing machine junkie' posts) for over 6 years now and only recently had problems with her, but was easily fixed. I still think the old ones work well, and for the money (normally around £50-100 for a quality tested one) they are bloody good value!

Sorry to here your news, and hope you find a new sewing machine to fall back in love with soon.


Anonymous said...

Oh, this is just terrible! How awful and bewildering for you. I'll just never understand what goes on in the heads of thieves.

I love my vintage Singer Featherweight - she's a little workhorse - and my modern Kenmore machine. I don't have a Janome, but my friend does and adores it! Good luck on your search for a new machine. :)

Rhia said...

Oh no! That's just awfull!

In my experience, if you can get old secondhand machine with metal body, those are usually pretty hefty and quite often the best options. Don't get the cheapest new machine you can find, those are suitable for people who only do couple hemmings per year. If you want machine for heavy use, you should always try it before buying it.
Both of my homesewing machines died early this year and I had to buy new one for making button holes and decorative stiches. I went for mid-priced Brother without trying it first. And now I regret it. The buttonhole system is stupidly designed and is very delicate. It is not suitable for heavy fabrics and the automation gets very easily disturbed and makes uneven buttonholes. I am very disappointed on the quality of the machine, even though it is wellknown and valued brand. But it might be the case that I just require more hefty machine for heavyweight use as a professional. Someone who doesn't do that much sewing could be quite happy with this Brother that I got.

I have found out that Pfaff makes the most reliable and durable machines, but also they are a bit more expensive than some other brands.
Anyway, my most important tip is to try the machine first before making the decision. Try it on different materials and test different stiches and try how the buttonholes work etc. Think of what kind of qualities you want from the machine. Do you value more variety and options, or do you value more of easyness to use or do you value sturdy reliable machine that doesn't make errors. The more delicate technology the machine has, the more unreliable they are. Old secondhand machines without fancy technology are the most reliable ones.

Mon said...

Hi Katie,
I just got one yesterday and was looking into several models of Singer and Brother. I found some reviews in Amazon that gave me an idea on which are the usual problems with different sewing machine models. One of the recomendations was looking into the Viking machines.
I got one of the simplest for a quite decent price. They say this brand is one of the most relieable.
I also found this post on a yahoo forum:
I have heard that the same company now owns Singer, Viking and Pfaff. Janome makes Kenmore and I believe Elna. Berninas are still made by Bernina in Switzerland, but the Bernette line is made in Asia and their sergers are made by Juki.

Berninas are a great machine but expensive. Within your budget I would buy a Kenmore because they are a bit cheaper than the equivalent Janome, or find a vintage all metal machine which is strong and will keep going indefinitely if maintained properly.
I'm just not sure if all of the information in there is so relieable. I guess the best is to check several machines within your budget and check the reviews.

All the best! :)

Wendy said...

Oh no I am so sorry that is really horrible! I can totally understand how you feel.

I have no idea about a new machine I am completely out of the loop too, I have a Janome and like you it was the first machine I bought myself, it is a very basic model but does the job, I think if I bought a new machine I would probably stick to Janome as my mum a mad quilter swears by them and mine has in the 8ish years I have owned it never given me any trouble (though I'm sure I've given it loads!)

Anyway take care and I hope you have a better week! x

sew vala said...

I am so sorry to hear of your car break in. I am a firm believer in Karma, (I mean for the theives, not you I hasten to add)
As for the machine I am a Janome sewer, have tried others. But prefare the Janome. Hope you find your soul machine.

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