I hate this machine. Hate it. Several brands offer this machine as their “entry level” model. They all come from the same factory and get different labels. When I see a bright-eyed beginner walk into class with this machine, my heart sinks. I know they’ll have a hard uphill battle to learn to sew. This machine is a waste of money. It’s like doing this:
My own lovely sewing machine kicked the bucket after I tried to modify one of its functions. I know better, I’m not a machine mechanic, I learned my lesson. She’s seeing the doctor. I needed to sew the samples for my Sewing Foundations class this week, and my friend Enid kindly offered me her old machine.
Desperate times…. Gift horses in mouths, beggars can’t be choosers, etc… It is interesting to note that Enid has sewn any number of beautiful, interesting garments on this machine through sheer willpower alone. She’s a force of nature, Enid. She saved her pennies (well, we don’t have pennies here..) and bought a very nice new sewing machine a while ago, complete with scissors. That’s quite a step up from a machine lacking even a basic thread-cutter, I love it.
I grit my teeth and accepted the situation. It seemed especially suitable that I should use this “beginner” machine to sew the simple garments for my class. I waxed philosophical and decided to set my Monster Machine demons to rest- to find a way to work together harmoniously.
Hell no. I hate it even more. If it belonged to me and not to Enid I’d light it on fire in my front yard and film it for your amusement. The stitch lengths are pre-set. Ok, fine. Except it’s very difficult to tell which is which when you’re turning the dial. The needle position is immovable, which I found absolutely debilitating at first but worked around.
I used the triple-stitch zig zag with my foot to the ground and the machine slowly built up speed, then started shaking so badly I thought it would fall into my lap. Instead, the light bulb fell into my lap, hot and burning and no matter how many times I re-inserted it, the same thing happened. I gave up and put the light bulb away in a box.
The machine handles like an overloaded vintage double-decker bus on black ice which is to say very badly indeed. It always takes a little effort to learn another sewing machine’s “steering,” but this machine is close to impossible. I had to unpick Ginger’s center front seam twice, it kept creeping to one side and I’d over-correct. After the second unpicking, nursing a burned thigh and choking with frustration, I sent an email to Enid recommending her for sewing sainthood for making all those wonderful things on that awful machine. Bless her, she offered to let me come over to her house and use the Super Machine.
I avoided sewing for several days… I’d potter around the house restlessly, finding anything else to do to avoid sewing which is MOST unlike me. Usually the house falls apart while I’m stitching blissfully.
One’s tools should never get in the way of one’s work. That’s why I hate this machine. The machine gets in the way of the sewing.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand precisely why I see this machine so often. It’s cheap. It’s tough to invest a bunch of money in a new hobby before you know you’ll like it. Some people who sew may be on a limited budget. I get that, I’m in the same boat. That’s why this machine makes me angry. It is literally a waste of money.
For just a few more dollars, Husqvarna makes an excellent basic machine- the Emerald 116. It’s simple but it’s well made and doesn’t get in the way of the sewing. You can adjust the needle position and the stitch length. It runs relatively smoothly. It has a needle threader and a thread cutter- tiny details that make your sewing less stressful. It also features a decent 1-step buttonhole function. Don’t get me started on the awful buttonholes The Monster makes.
Which machine do you use? Have you ever encountered this machine? Do you OWN this machine? Would you like me to share the small things I do around the house to “save” money I can use for sewing stuff?
I made a shiny new button on the sidebar for my Sewing Foundations class- check it out!