A lady appeared – I saw her standing in our showroom gazing at the ranks of machines on display. I stepped over and asked if I could be of any help. Yes, she replied. I’d like to see a sewing machine for a beginner. She went on to explain that she had recently retired and had signed up for sewing lessons at a local college. I asked the lady if she knew which machines were being used in the sewing classes. She did not.
Some of the colleges that offer sewing courses use old Bernina models, such as the Bernina 801. Over the years, we have supplied many hundreds of Berninas to many schools and colleges. In other cases, the colleges have sold their gold cheap and dumped their Berninas. So the teacher will use whatever he or she can afford – or is given.
Back to our lady. I began with two machines – the Brother Innovis 15 and the Janome 230DC. Both machines are an excellent choice for anyone starting out on their sewing journey. Simple to operate, thread-up and sew with. Threading up a machine can put some people off. So many modern machines make the process as easy as possible. Quite often the threading points are numbered.
The lady wanted to test the weight of the machines, and to see the digital display and how it worked. I pulled the Janome 230DC down from the shelf and sat it down on a table. I lifted the handle and invited our lady to lift the machine. Then we sat down together and I went through some basic operation. There were questions and there were answers and I threw in a joke or two – I’m always good value for money.
The lady thought as I spoke and then announced, I’d like the 230, please.
When you first start out on your sewing career you may become confused by the choices on offer. Always try to buy the best you can. There are two main considerations for you to mull over.
1: Will I still have the same enthusiasm in 6 months time.
This can be determined by two things.
A. You get bored with the whole idea and take up synchronised swimming.
B. You buy a poor quality machine that causes you nothing but trouble, so you give up.
2: It’s a good idea to buy a machine that offers you some scope. You don’t have to go mad, but if you buy the most basic machine, you may arrive at the end of the line quicker than you expected.
I pointed out to our lady that we offer unlimited free tuition – so she could always phone or call in for help and advice, She was a nice lady and then she was gone. I went off in search of a cup of tea.