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Friday, June 5, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

Sew Mama Sew is hosting a sewing machine meme this month. If you don't sew, then you probably want to stop reading now. Come back tomorrow for more kiddo pictures. Today though, it is all about feet and bobbins.

What brand and model do you have?
I have a BabyLock Esante Ese2, which is an embroidery machine. I also have two Singers: a basic sewing machine with 10 stitches or so and a basic serger. We bought the two Singers in China after I realized I was in withdrawal for my Esante (which I had left back home with a friend). The Singers are 220 volts, which means that I have to use an adapter to run them in Taiwan.

The Singer basic machine works perfectly fine, but the Singer serger is CRAP. Crappity crap. It never worked right. Never. And then it actually broke on me a few months back when I was making diapers. Since it is impossible to find a machine repair place here which will work on 220v machines, I decided to just put it aside and buy a new serger. The new one was a splurge (a Bernina), but I figured it would be more costly to lose my mind to keep failing at the serger I have....

I do also have a lovely antique machine that my brother found for me at an antique sale. It is back home in storage, but I think about it often.

Anyway, this meme is about my embroidery machine - the Esante.

How long have you had it?
About six years.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
My parents found it in a store in Atlanta that was going out of business, so I was able to buy it for super cheap (relatively). I think I paid US$1,500 or so. Which was a good deal. It came with a whole set of embroidery threads and three cards of designs.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Clothing (mostly kiddo clothing at the moment) and household items (curtains, bibs). I am not much of a quilter. Never have been.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Once a week, if I am lucky.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I like my Esante. I like it much more than the basic 220v Singer, for sure. And it is indeed better than all of the machines I have had in the past. But truth be told, it isn't super duper in all aspects. The buttonholes never come out right on the Esante. Also the straight stitches slant ever so slightly to the right. And the embroidery cards. What a pain. There has got to be a better way to get designs into the machine. There is a system you can buy which will write any design to a BabyLock card, but it costs like 500 bucks, which is just outrageous.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I like the embroidery features, even though I don't really use them that often. There are a ton of decorative stitches on the machine, which is nice. Aside from some minor quirks, it is a steady and reliable machine.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
See above rant about buttonholes, slanty stitches and stupid embroidery cards. I also am not too jazzed about the fact that you have to buy all accessories through a dealer. I have never met a sewing store clerk who actually knew more than I did about the machine and accessories, one that could answer my questions and order the right parts. As a result of my bad past experiences, I prefer internet shopping over talking with actual people in a strip mall sewing store, so the dealer thing is annoying. Even if I wanted to go to a dealer, there are none in Taiwan.

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.!)?
I only have the story where I missed my machine so much that I took it back from the friend I had left it with in Chicago, packed it up with bubble wrap and peanuts at a Mailboxes Etc, and shipped it on a plane to Taiwan.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
At the price I paid, absolutely. At full price... meh. I would probably have bought a Viking or a Bernina for that money.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
The most important thing is making sure you buy a machine that you can have reliably serviced if it ever has issues.

Do you have a dream machine?
Yes, the super duper Bernina serger I am getting on Sunday. YAY!

4 comments:

Kohana said...

Do you have a sewing room? I have to set up and take down my machine every time I sew, which means I hardly ever do. :(

Rebecca said...

I have a corner of the guest room that I have taken over for my sewing projects. It makes it easier for me to sit down and sew a bit when my daughter takes a nap. But lately, I have been taking a nap myself instead of sewing...

Beuk said...

...uhmm, and you have the whole guest bed to lay things out and two full closets full of everything you could need including two sheeps worth of wool. You even store your knitting needles in the den and have a machine out there too! Look in Webster's under "sewing room" and it says see Rebecca's room!

Calico_Chris said...

I too have the Ese2 and its a super embroider, however it was not designed for free motion quilting. I have spoken to two dealers regarding this and both agree, if you are a quilter stay away from this machine. Mine was passed down from mom and I have embrodered a great deal and sewn some awesome things...just have to get out my 300.00 Janome when I free motion quilt.