Ok so in #TheWardrobeChallenge Introduction – Part II, we have my new sewing machine investment.
For the last few years I’ve had a Brother machine which I bought second hand on ebay for about £40. It’s done what I needed it to do, which was to get me introduced to sewing and has been fine for the basic things I’ve made so far.
But, for more technical sewing or for sewing with better fabrics, and especially for making clothes, this really wasn’t going to cut it in the long run.
I’ll admit, until I did the Refining Dressmaking Techniques workshop by Celia Banks at the Knitting and Stitching show earlier in March, I had no notion of needing a new machine. But during the workshop we used the Janome CXL301 and I was blown away. It had adjustable speed, tons of stitches, a needle up/down button, a lock stitch feature…and beyond this is was quieter, smoother….just fantastic. As I explained to mum (who drives both), a bit like driving an Audi as opposed to a Skoda.
So then it was just fate that I got a newsletter offer for a very similar model, Janome 8050XL, delivered with 2 years warranty and accessories, with £100 off the marked price. It took me all of 24 hours to make my mind up! I think the CXL301 must be the model replacing this one, as many of the features are the same, including all those listed above.
It is just so much better – a proper free arm for sleeves and fiddly sewing, horizontal spool so you don’t get crazy spin going on, a clear bobbin case and much easier bobbin replacement than my old machine, loads of stitch features including decorative patterns, buttonholes, and straight stitches with automatic locking at start and end…the list goes on.
I am yet to take the plunge with my first big project on it but to try and get used to it and break my old machine habits (such as reaching for a reverse stitch lever that isn’t there instead of pressing the reverse or lock stitch buttons) I sewed up some pattern weights from a copy of Love Sewing magazine.