I got my machine from my lovely parents for my 21st birthday in 1987 (you do the maths)! I think it's identical to my Mum's machine. So that probably helped in the decision making process. It's a Janome SX2122. And I think the older it gets the more I like it! I didn't use it heaps until maybe 10 years ago, tho' come to think of it, I used to make a few simple clothes for myself and I did make lots of baby trousers and dungarees as well as the odd pair of curtains and cot sheets and the like when the kids were little, so perhaps it has had lots of use. I guess it's kind of gone in phases. Lately though it gets used pretty regularly; mainly for quilty type projects.
It's really the only machine I've ever used. It's pretty simple. It's has 21 stitches, 15 of which I've probably never used. The only thing that has ever given me trouble is the reverse, which used to play up annoyingly. Luckily my LQS is a Janome specialist and the man there fixed it when I had it in for a service. I wished I'd got it sorted years ago, it was one of those things I'd just put up with and couldn't believe how much difference it made to have it working properly! Sometimes the tension has an inexplicable hissy fit, and I get that snarl up underneath thing, (grrrr!) but usually if I rethread it it seems to sort itself out. It's a solid metal machine, which makes it a bit heavier but it is robust.
If I'm FMQing it doesn't like it if the bottom and top threads are different, but the rest of the time it's fine.
Recently when I was in my LQS where they have all the new fancy wancy machines lying in wait, I got the brochure for the Janome MC8200 and 8900. Really, they have a billion features I'd never use.
Mine does everything I want except...
Needle down- to have it stop with the needle down would be most wonderful. But really I only have to press that little red button on the top left there- how hard is that?
More throat/harp space which really would be fantastic
People go on about auto thread cutter and knee lift etc but not having had those I can't see they'd make much difference.
So to buy a new machine worth thousands seems mad when it's really me more than my machine, which limits my quilting ability and my machine does everything I need. More features just means more things to go wrong I reckon, and the weight of that thing is CRAZY!
My machine comes with 7 different feet, but of those I only really use the main foot, zigzag foot and zipper foot. But being a big name brand, I've been able to get new things which fit, so I've bought a FMQ foot, walking foot and a 1/4" foot, over the years, but that's about all.
My creative Dad made me the fantastic perspex sewing table which has been transformative! I posted about that here.
I always sew at the dining room table, which is
never rarely, this tidy! I like being in the thick of things and luckily we have a large table, so it can stay down the end when we eat.
Lately my sewing organisation has been transformed by the purchase of this Ikea Alex drawer set. My cutting mat fits on top and it's on castors so I can wheel it away, either under the end of the table for a quick tidy up
Or away into this little room next the shelves where I keep my fabric for a proper tidy dining space.
This is my messy and slightly disorganised stash at the moment, as I play with piles of fabric for the next quilt or two.
I used to keep my sewing bits and pieces in this chest which belonged to my grandmother.
As you can imagine, not ideal, as I rummaged for whatever I needed. But I'm fond of it, as the tapestry was done by my great-grandmother and mended over the years by my grandmother with wool that has faded. I love the history attached to it, even though it's not the most beautiful piece of furniture.
Now I'm much more organised!
One day I'd love a dedicated room where I can leave stuff out, but not too far away; it needs to be in the lively part of the house where I can just pass by and do a bit and have people pop in and out to hang out with me. Sociable sewing where it beckons me and where I can shut the door on the mess!