Whilst my Bernina is being serviced, I have done what I swore I’d never do – returned to the deepest, darkest crevices of my under stairs cupboard. The cursing was violent and imaginative. Ella hid under the bed.
So, say hi to the first sewing machine I owned as a sewing blogger – an ancient Toyota that I inherited from a little old lady via Freecycle.
Did you know…
- The first Toyota sewing machine was built in 1946.
- The founder of Toyota, Kiichiro Toyoda, wanted sewing machines that were both functional and beautiful.
- They are known for their strong motors.
- Mine is a Model 401A.
This is a very basic machine, compared to my Bernina. There’s no seam guide on the throat plate so I add a strip of masking tape to mark where the edge of my seam should line up for a 15mm seam allowance. I have to peel back this tape every time I want to change the bobbin.
Talking of bobbins, this machine is contrary. It doesn’t take a standard bobbin – the hole in the centre needs to be slightly larger than most bobbins – so I’m reduced to only using the brittle, chipped bobbins that came with the machine. Which don’t wind on properly. Which means inserting a slither of cardboard down the bobbin hole whenever I want to wind thread. Keeping up?
This machine isn’t as heavy as my Bernina, so it slides across the table when I work.
Yes, she’s quite the eccentric diva. But she’s a diva that lit up her lamp the first time she was plugged in, the aroma of burning dust filling my nostrils. And she sewed straight out of the box. Not bad for a machine that has barely been touched in seven years and must be at least – actually, I have no idea how old this machine is.
I’ll admit, there’s a charm to the purr of a vintage engine. I could almost be tempted to look into buying an older machine that is less eccentric. Almost… Don’t get me started.
What say you? Modern computerised whizz kid or vintage sweetheart? Which sewing machine steals your heart?