These are the 3 sewing machines that have had the biggest impact in my life!
If that sounds dramatic, perhaps it is!
If I hadn’t had these 3 machines my life would be very different to what it is today. I maybe wouldn’t have started to sew in the first place, grown such a passion for dressmaking or chosen fashion/dressmaking/tutoring as my career!
My Nana’s Singer Treadle – Model 15K made in 1928
I can remember, as a child, sitting at this machine in my Nana’s house in the spare bedroom. Playing with the treadle, rocking it back and forth, getting the parts to move and the needle to go up and down. Moving the wheel forwards and then in reverse.
My Nana was a very accomplished seamstress. She was much more precise than I am. Unfortunately by the time I showed any interest in actually learning to sew, my Nana had given up sewing. Her eyes weren’t what they once had been and she found it easier to knit than to sew.
She made my Mum’s wedding dress & bridesmaids dresses on this lovely machine!
This machine is now mine and it needs a bit of TLC. I’ve never actually sewn on it, and maybe I should look at getting it serviced and bringing it back into use.
I might never have wanted to learn to sew without this Sewing machine in my life.
Singer Electric Vintage Sewing Machine (319K made in 1956)
This was the sewing machine I learnt to sew on, the machine that I made my first ever dress with.
I have made lots of wedding, bridesmaid, prom and races dresses with this machine.
I’m not sure where it came from or how it became mine, but it has a gorgeous stitch and is really robust in a way that modern machines are not!
This is the machine that got me through my fashion degree (although we used industrial machines in class) and fully ignited the passion that I have for making clothes today.
This sewing machine is not all pretty curves like some of the other vintage sewing machines. She’s angular and sturdy, but this is part of her charm.
I became the kind of dressmaker I am today because of this sewing machine.
I’m minimalist in the tools I use. I don’t need fancy stitches. A straight stitch and a zig zag stitch are enough for me. I don’t use fancy presser feet, usually just a standard foot and a zip foot.
There should be some camms to change the stitches but these have been lost before it ever came to me in the 90’s.
I’ve tried looking up the serial number of this machine (K8835303), but I can’t find any info online. If anyone has any information on the model number or the history of this machine I’d love to know more.
***EDIT 30/11/2020*** After some help from some lovely sewists in The Fold Line Group on Facebook, I discovered that the serial number above starting K is the serial number of the motor. They then explained that I could find the corrrect serial number unde the machine. I looked this number up on the Singer database and discovered that it was commissioned in 1956.
Janome 525s/725s Sewist Sewing Machines
When I started teaching sewing workshops I bought a few cheap sewing machnes to supplement the machines I already owned. This meant that every student who came to class had a machine to use during their lessons.
I soon learnt that having a mixture of different machines made it more difficult for students to learn the basics in a group session. I approached Janome and they supplied Janome 525s Sewist Sewing Machines for us to use in my sewing workshops.
The Janome 525s has since been discontinued and has been upgraded to the Janome 725s Sewist which is the machine I use in my classes now and the one I use for most (all) of my day to day sewing and dressmaking.
The functionality of these two machines is almost identical. They are a great machine for learning to sew on. The Janome 725s is a mechanical machine with enough stitches and functions that a new sewer will not quickly outgrow it as their skills increase. There is nothing complicated or overwhelming to a new sewer.
I especially like, the top loading bobbin, the automatic needle threader and the one step buttonhole function. These all make sewing easier. I definitely did not have these functions with my old Singer.
I use these sewing machines every day and they are so smooth and easy to use. Strong and tough enough to sew my Ginger Jeans and my Technicolour Jean Coat. But also with enough finesse to sew more delicate fabrics such as silk or chiffon.
Without these machines my Sewing School may not have grown in the way it has done and for that I’m extremely grateful. Many of my students have gone on to purchase a Janome 725s Sewing Machine as a first sewing machine or as an upgrade to their first entry level sewing machine.