It Cost How Much?

Posted by admin | Filed under Sewing Machines, Shops & Resources | Jun 2, 2007 | 1 Comment

Busha and me - my 16th birthdayI’ve already proved to you I’m cheap, at least by many folks standards. Anytime I want to make a large purchase or impulse buy, I can hear Busha muttering in the back of my mind… That woman could talk a corporate retail store into lowering a price without putting forth much effort.

She was good! You know, if you have to have a roll model try to make it someone that understands the value of a buck.

Where was I… oh yeah… I’m cheap.

The thing is, I will spend good money for a quality product (we’re talking $$$ purchases here).

  • Good craftsmanship
  • Warranty on large purchases included
  • Something I truly need (not want, need)
  • Not the bare minimum – but not over kill either

Apple G4 ComputerI spent a healthy amount of money in 2002 for my Apple G4 and 19″ flat-screen Apple monitor, finally paid it off in 2.5 years later. I use it for my businesses and it was worth every single penny paid. I love my Macs.

While computers are a major part of my business, my sewing machine and serger are equally important. I got my first really good machine at 23 – a trade off with my former brother-in-law to do a lot of sewing for his venture. It was a PFAFF 1229 (the first electronic machine) that finally died in 2005 after 25 years of heavy-duty service. I flat-out adored that machine.

PFAFF 1229 About 1991 or so, I worked up the justification to get the first computer connected sewing machine – a PFAFF 1475. You plugged the cable into your computer and could store, manipulate and add stitches. I put the machine on lay-away, and every single penny I made designing/sewing the Christening Dresses went toward that machine. I didn’t take it home until it was paid for. Period. It was a great motivator…

PFAFF 1475The software/machine connection was a wonderful idea for the non-industrial sewer – the software turned out to be a nightmare living in DOS. I remember at one sewing conference going up to the PFAFF rep and asking a ton of questions about the program; I knew a lot more about it then she did. I wasn’t a happy camper.

I ended up with several additional software packages, heirloom-stitches, that were perfect for the dresses. Once I loaded them into machine memory, I never reconnected to the computer. I owned that machine for 12 years before selling it; it was getting a bit tired.

My next machine was a Janome 3000; she’s a tough little girl that ran me all of $500. Lots of stitches, memory slots – and 7 years later, not a whisper of trouble. Such a good girl.

Janome Memory Craft 3000Much to the horror of several shops and stores I’ve taught at, I alway stress that you can do-and-create just about anything on a lower priced machine. Fancy threads, heavy threads, utility stitches, varying the width and length of your stitches, combining wildly different stitches to create new and unusual effects… we play.

I feel like I’m in the minority here, but personally, I don’t want to plug-in a design card, thread up the machine, push a button and walk away. That doesn’t constitute sewing or creating for me. I have absolutely no problem letting a dishwasher wash my dishes – but I don’t want a sewing or embroidery machine to design for me. Besides, with those machines running $5000 – $9000, I’d never get it out of lay-away!

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One Response to “It Cost How Much?”

  • Kay C says:

    Amen to the “Let there be (read MAKE) design and be designed mentality”


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