You may already know the story about my first sewing machine
but if not, here it goes. My first machine was from a new company that had just started exporting sewing machines to the U.S. called Brother. I think the company was about two years old and my basic machine (forward, backward, zigzag (?) and reverse) cost $50.00 and could sew through steel and concrete ( slight exaggeration). I'm embarrassed to say, I left it to molder when I had an opportunity to get a "fancier" machine about 15 years later. Fickle!
Well, many machines have come and gone. Ironically I bought a Brother Innov'is 4000 - a special 50th Anniversary model a while back. It threads itself with the push of a button, cuts the thread and stops before the bobbin runs out of thread when a sad face with a tear drop appears on the computer screen (no kidding). I love this machine like my first Brother.
I also have a Janome 7700 Horizon (on eBay today) which I never did fall in love with. Both of these machines are high tech but are a bit on the delicate side (all wire and computer chips). I began a search for a basic "mechanical" machine that could sew through steel and concrete. I read an interesting article about the Bernina 1008
Now if you know me, you know I'm not a big Bernina fan. However, in my search for this elusive machine, I put all prejudice aside and did some research. I was directed to a Bernina dealer in Cranston, Rhode Island and made the trip down last week. They were the nicest people - all six women except for the man who repaired the machines (we like men who can fix our machines). He also gave me great directions to 295! I have to say that I had such a great time at this dealer, Blaines Sewing Machine Center
, that I called when I got home to thank them for the great experience. One of the great staff members sat with me and showed me the ins and outs, how to thread, oil the hook and a few other things. It seems this is the go to machine for heavy duty use - theater companies, dressmakers, costume designer - you get the idea.
This is the machine with the attachment box clipped on the back of the free arm
Attachment box with 4 (I think) attachments bobbins and other accouterments
Free arm without the attachment box
The minute I put my foot on the pedal, I fell in love again. It sews almost 1000 stitches a minute which means it needs to be on a very stable surface. Enter Tony's "SewPerfect" Sewing tables
. Tony is a Brother dealer and other brands as well, with quilting frames and long arms and a bunch of good stuff at great prices. He can't be beat on price. Well, he started this "SewPerfect" sewing table company and an elephant could sit on these tables and not break them (NOT an exaggeration).
This my SewPerfect table that the Jamone (sold in 10 minutes on eBay) was on. The top and shelf for the machine are about 2" thick and laminated in a Formica type material. The legs are 2.5 " wide and this table is the essence of stability. Everything is adjustable from the height of the table to the depth of the machine shelf. You can also get Plexiglas inserts for your particular machine. It just so happens that the Janome insert is exactly the same width as the Bernina with the opening just 1.5 " too long leaving a 1.5" gap.
Here is the machine on the shelf with the Plexiglas insert. The large piece of Gorilla tape spans the small gap and keeps the fabric from catching on the opening in the Plexiglas - good enough. The other black piece of tape is a guide for make long strips like binding. I use it for making binding for my purses. I'll do a tutorial sometime - it's ingenious!!
So this is the end of my tale. I have a wonderful new machine which is like my first machine and the great table it sits on. You also know where to go for Berninas (Blaines) and Brothers and SewPerfect tables (Tony) if you live in the New England.