by Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade
Love it, hate it, or something in between? Love it. It's a fabulously sturdy tank of a machine that does exactly what I need it to do without any extraneous features getting in the way. Even though it's a Googlewack in itself, I've got no problem finding feet to fit it and it's really easy to take it apart to clean. Other than regular cleaning with a soft brush, it's not had any maintenance on it in the 4+ years I've been using it as my main machine.
When did you buy this sewing machine? I didn't buy it - I was given it by my sister-in-law when she bought a new, computerised machine and knew I wanted to learn to sew. She had it tuned up in a shop and then my mother brought it with her in checked luggage the next time she came to visit. Luckily, my sister-in-law included the original hard, plastic carrying case and tray, plus the
manual and a whole bunch of assorted sewing machine feet.
When was it manufactured? The manual says copyright 1985, though I'm surprised it's even that late! The machine itself is mostly metal construction, with only the knobs, levers, and detachable arm being made of plastic. As far as I know, none of the plastic parts have ever broken or been replaced, though I'm not sure how many previous sewers this machine has had!
Where did you buy it? The manual makes a few oblique references to "Jo-Ann Fabrics Stores
Ltd" so I'm going to assume this was bought in one of their stores, though the current Jo-Ann's site has zero historical information on any machines previous to their current line.
How much did you pay for it? (free!)
How many projects have you done on this machine? Honestly, I have no idea, but I'd guesstimate that I'm well up over 100 now. This is my only (and therefore main) machine, and I sew several times a week.
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. I've sewn pretty much every type of fabric on it: cottons, silks, wools, polys, linens, bamboos, and even shower curtains! It's handled every
possible thickness I've thrown at it, from heavyweight denim to silk charmeuse. It truly is a workhorse of a machine, built like a tank for everyday use.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? I absolutely love how reliable it is and that I can depend on it to handle whatever I throw at it. It's happy to perform without much adjustment between projects, and the only parts I have to change with any regularity are the stitch length and bobbin tension (which tends to loosen a touch after a couple months, easily fixed with a screwdriver!).
The only thing I don't like about it (and I'm having to think a bit here!) is that it's got a 3-step buttonhole process, and I hear having this all in one step is pretty nice...
Edited (2/22/2009) to add: Melissa, the wonder that she is, has a pdf of the manual for this machine posted on her blog, here!