Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Using a sewing machine with a stop/start button for the first time

Using a sewing machine with stop/start button for first time.

Years of using a sewing machine foot peddle plus other injury has taken its toll on my leg.  Constant repetitive pressing and releasing of the foot peddle made sewing unbearable.  It will never get better, only worse the more I do the action, so I resigned my sewing machine days were over.  A great sadness.

A few weeks ago I had to use my machine for a chore after a break of several months.  The repetitive action almost made me cry, not so much in pain but in realisation that I really missed making things and being creative with my trusty Husqvarna.   At this point I looked online to check out the latest sewing machines, perhaps a machine with a knee control.   I must have been living in the dark ages because all these machines popped up with stop/start buttons, a mechanism new to me.

I phoned The Exeter Sewing Machine Company to ask if they had a machine with this option to try. Always helpful they advised I should visit for a demonstration.  A few days later with an extra spring in my step I bounced into the shop.   A young lady showed how the stop/start button and speed control on a Brother sewing machine worked.  Yes, it worked, a light press on the button and the machine zoomed, the speed adjusted with a sliding control near to the stop/start button.  In truth I was not convinced I could do the intricate embroidery and precise stitching without the familiar foot peddle control action.   Also I was not familiar with Brother sewing machines, after so many happy years using vintage Bernina 730 and later Husqvarna Lily.

I came back to my studio unconvinced.   After a few days I realised if I wanted to use a sewing machine again I had to go for it.   I purchased a Brother Innovis 350 from Exeter Sewing Machine Company.  So easy by phone and debit card.   It arrived the next day.   I briefly read instructions and within an hour the machine was threaded and fabric underfoot.  I pressed the stop/start button and the machine came to life with perfect tension straight stitches.  

I will not pretend I found it easy.  The stop/start button is instant, and the slide speed control is slow or too fast.  Using a hand instead of a foot to control action stop/star and speed takes getting used to. I need my hands to control the fabric.  Definitely need to multi task and think ahead.   Would I ever get used to it?   I walked away several times in frustration.  Each time I returned was easier.   Also I took the manual to bed and read every word.  

There came a delicious high point when I discovered the capabilities of this machine exceeded all my expectations.  The emphasis is practice, practice, read the manual and practice.  I feel a whole new sewing adventure starting.   See my video clip of this machine at work 

stop start button on Brother sewing machine.

freehand embroidery and applique created using stop start button

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