“ Brand: E&R „
As a child I used to love sewing. My mum is a dressmaker and always had a couple of sewing machines and I used to love making things with her. I remember making soft toys, clothes and patchworks blankets, but then gradually over the years having a great dressmaker for a mum made me lazy and I grew out of the habit of sewing and got into the bad habit of expecting my mum to do it all for me.
Last Christmas my mum gave me a sewing machine, do you think that was a hint!? It did take me a couple of months of my daughter nagging me to get round to setting it up, but once I did, it rekindled in me the great love I have for sewing. I really had forgotten just how much fun it can be and indeed how handy it can be!
==About the Sewing Machine==
E&R or "Ease and Reliability" a very apt name! This machine is pure white with a few red panels. The machine comes with a vinyl cover and a few tools, which are housed in the extension table or accessory storage box, they comprise of a couple of empty spools, an unpick, a small screwdriver, a couple of replacement needles, a couple of little felt rounds to place under the spools of thread to help them spin more easily and a zig-zag foot.
The initial set up of the machine is very simple, just basically plug into the power supply. I found threading the machine very simple using the instruction manual, this is explained very clearly both with step by step instructions and the use of pictures. If you do not already have a full bobbin then this can be done simply by using the machine to wind thread from the large spool of thread to the bobbin.
Whilst sewing there is a little light, which illuminates the sewing area allowing you to see clearly what you are doing. The presser foot can easily be changed by simply snapping it on and off and again, replacing the needle is also simple as it is only held in place by a small screw, so simply loosening the screw slightly is enough to release the needle when it needs replaced. I did have to do this quite a lot a first as I kept breaking the needle, but I've got the knack of using the machine now so it doesn't happen so often.
Before sewing and deciding on the needle to use it is advisable to test the stitching on a small piece of your fabric first. Fine needles and threads are generally used for thin fabrics with thicker, stronger needles and threads being used for heavier fabrics.
Getting the balance right with the tension of the needle and the bobbin thread took me a bit of time to master. If the needle thread is too tight then the tension needs to be lowered this is done simply by turning a dial. Alternatively if the needle tension is too loose then the tension should be tightened. I found trial and error the best way round this, but did find it definitely advisable to use a scrap of material for this purpose.
This machine has the facility to produce 22 different styles of stitch from different straight stitches and different zig-zag stitches to buttonhole and rick rack stretch stitches. This was great fun to play about and experiment with. The stitch selector is a simple dial, which can be turned to the required stitch.
The machine should be brushed regularly to remove any dust and lint and should also be oiled.
==My Experience with the Sewing Machine==
I've had great fun over the past few months using my sewing machine. It is very easy to use and it is great being able to make your own unique clothing. Erin seems to think that she can now just draw me a picture and I will be able to make whatever clothing she desires!!! She hasn't quite grasped that I am not my mum - I actually need a paper pattern to follow to make clothes!!! It is so satisfying being able to say to people "I made that myself" especially if they have commented on how nice you look!
I also had fun making little felt Christmas decorations and repairs are a breeze now, if a hem comes down it is now quickly repaired! I have even shortened a pair of curtains myself and they are both the same length!!
There are, however, still some jobs I prefer to leave to mum, being a bit of a coward, but overall I have found a talent in me I had forgotten was there.
The only slight draw back with my new hobby is the cost of fabric and lack of fabric shops. I remember years ago sewing your own clothes etc. was an economical way of producing great clothes or soft furnishing but now there seems to be a great lack of fabric shops and the prices are unbelievably high. A paper pattern will cost you anything from £7 - £15 and most good quality fabric ranges from upwards of £8 per metre, although I have found quite a few really great fabrics at reasonable prices on Ebay. With High Street stores like Primark selling clothes at rock bottom prices making your own clothes isn't economical anymore it is now purely done for stylish, unique, made to measure clothing and the pleasure of being able to say you made it yourself.
Go out and buy yourself a sewing machine they can be great fun!
Suitable for use on heavy upholstery / Features include 4-step button hole, embroidery options, 22 stitch options and this NT22 sewing machine is programmable / Short name: E&R NT22