I have never been a sewing machine snob. I have sewn for many years on several Brother sewing machines. From the Project Runway model I purchased at Wal-Mart to my slightly upgraded Brother from Costco, I have always found that I could sew anything I wanted. I can’t even begin to count the number of pillows and curtains I’ve made, and I’ve sewn on all types of fabrics with my faithful little Brother machine. I’ve made a lined wool pea coat, knit maxi skirts and dresses, raincoats with laminated fabric, all sorts of apparel items with silks to cottons and all other fabric types in between. People often asked me what type of sewing machine I had, and I would proudly boast that all I had (and needed) was my $150 Brother machine.
This past Christmas, however, my sewing machine perspective changed. My incredibly generous and wonderful mother told me that she would give me money for Christmas to purchase a sewing machine, so I purchased a Viking Opal 670!! I have been sewing on this machine for the last 2 months, and it truly has changed my sewing. When I begin a new project, I simply have to touch the computer screen and select my fabric type and the tension, needle size, stitch width, and length best for that fabric type all appear on the screen. These recommendations from my Opal 670 always seem to be perfect even if I am sewing with a knit or silk. The needle moves to the left or right in 29 different positions! My other machine had 2 different needle positions. And, putting in a zipper has never been easier. I can also fill a bobbin while my machine is still threaded, and nothing is better than the alarm that sounds when my bobbin is getting low and is about to run out. I can’t tell you the number of times I thought I was seaming together the sides of a skirt just to find out I had “sewed” the entire thing with an empty bobbin. I even decided to tackle sewing a button up shirt, something I have always avoided because I hate sewing buttons, but my Viking Opal 670 machine sews on the buttons with ease. I sewed nine buttons on my shirt in less than 30 minutes.
I was so proud to get this machine that I even changed my sewing area to prepare for my new machine like I was getting a new baby. I bought a new sewing table for baby Opal 670, and I reorganized all of my sewing notions neatly in the table drawer. Then, when I started sewing on it, I was so re-energized about sewing that I bought a new glass front storage cabinet to neatly place all of my fabric stash in so I could see all the fabric and be inspired to start new projects.
I can’t believe that I spent so much time sewing with my other machine. Why didn't I ask for a new Viking machine sooner? Well, like many other sewers, I had very good reasons. My Brother was sewing just fine, thank you very much, and this high school science teacher didn't have enough extra cash to splurge on a sewing machine. And, honestly, I didn't think I was a good enough sewer to need that type of machine. I had been sewing faithfully for over five years and even helped to start Five Eighth Seams, but I still felt that only the really good sewers needed a higher end machine. Now, I realize that was silly. The sewers who have these amazing sewing machines didn't get them because they were better sewers; they are better sewers because they have these amazing sewing machines!
I put my Brother machine in the back of a closet last weekend to store. I felt a little guilty since he’s helped me make so many things, and we've really had some good times together. I slowly shut the closet door and thought of how great he'd been to me. Then, I dashed downstairs to my sewing room and gleefully turned on Opal 670 to begin a new stage in my sewing journey.