New Toy!

13 January 2011

Impulse buys aren’t usually my thing, I’m one of those people who’ll google something to death before picking out exactly which model I want, then turn the world upside-down comparing prices. They don’t normally have fun crafty things at work, but when an invoice landed on my desk with the following item on it I just had to wander down to the stockroom to take a look and I came back with one of these:

It's a Mini Sewing Machine

It’s… a tiny-ass sewing machine! I’d looked into these a couple of months back and met very mixed reviews. My Mum has a fantastic full size machine that I can use for larger projects, but anything small, silly or where I need to make it up as I go along I tend to do at home instead, by hand, and it takes days. This is where dinkymachine comes in; it’s not going to go to the moon and back, but it’s ideal for speeding up the lighter work where it isn’t worth commandeering a relatives kitchen table for an afternoon. With the added incentive of a staff discount I decided to give it a go.

You only realise how many fancy features a proper machine has when you try to use a simpler one that doesn’t have them. Simple things like how varying the pressure on the pedal doesn’t change the speed anymore. I thought it did a zigzag stitch too which it doesn’t; not sure where I got that idea from but never mind, it would’ve been a nice added bonus but it’s a stitch I’ve never been able to use anyway so I won’t miss it much.

I let it loose on the Leftover Companion Cube, a project I started months ago to use up some leftover fabric but never finished. Assembling the side panels by hand took one hour each, this thing did the job in 20 mins. I’ve hit a part that has 4 layers of felt now, and after 2 very tangly knots I’ve concluded that 4 layers of felt is a tad too thick for this machine to cope with, so I’ll have to handsew the next part and return to the machine when it’s done. But for the parts that weren’t ridiculously thick it did the job well enough :)

The one thing that really irked me about the machine is the top thread; the top bobbin is fixed to the machine, so you can’t take it off and swap it for a different colour thread (unlike the bottom one). Cue the somewhat bizarre tower of CD spindles, where the plastic lip on the top sticks up it stops the cotton reel falling off, and it works perfectly. Ta-da! Score one for geek-improvisation! (and -1 for odd manufacturing decisions).

It does the job I brought it for, but it won’t stop me taking suitable projects to the professional :)