by Erin McKean, whose wonderful blog, A Dress a Day, is all about dresses, sewing, and the state of fashion in general; in case you don't read her blog, you should know that Erin recently bought a new Juki, and is actually giving this Singer Stylist 834 away -- I asked her to write a little about why she decided to retire it (see the end of her review)
Love it, hate it, or something in between? I'd only really used one machine before this (my mom's New Home, which my sister now has) so I didn't have much to compare it to. I loved it when everything was going well ... and when things weren't going well it was usually my fault.
When did you buy this sewing machine? I bought it in the summer of 1992, with my first real paycheck from my first real job. I carried it home on the bus! Took me three hours. Totally worth it.
When was it manufactured? I think -- think -- it was 1971. I liked that it was as old as I am. But I could be wrong.
Where did you buy it? At a sewing & vacuum-cleaner shop near Harlem and Irving Park in
How much did you pay for it? I believe I paid $140 for it. $149? Not more than $150, which was my budget.
How many projects have you done on this machine? Too many to count! Hundreds, I would guess. I made two quilts with this machine, plus soooo many dresses. And one handbag. Never again with the
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. I've mostly made dresses, natch.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? I liked how simple it was to thread; I didn't like that the feed dogs were permanently stuck on "HIGH". Towards the end it was really starting to give out, timing-wise, so I was babying it along.
It also made a very nice noise, actually. A soothing purr.
I decided to replace this machine because I'd had it for 15 years and it was time to give it a break. I was just sewing too much for the poor thing. (Yes, I anthropomorphize machines; I'm sorry ...)