It's sewing machine month over at Sew, Mama, Sew! In addition to loads of great info about machines and a mega giveaway, they'll be using bloggers' reviews of their sewing machines to compile a fantastic resource for those looking for a new machine. I've been meaning to do something like this for a long time, and this meme was the kick in the pants I needed.
What brand and model do you have?
I have an Elna 3210.
How long have you had it?
Since November 2006. It was an emergency purchase—my old machine stopped working two weeks before my biggest craft show of the year.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I paid $500.
What types of things do you sew?
I mostly sew plushies, with wool, faux fur, cotton, and flannel my most common fabric choices. I've had some clothing misadventures, but those are completely my fault, not the machine's.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew almost every day. When I'm gearing up for a craft show, I sometimes sew for up to 6 hours without a break. My machine is probably a little abused. I don't clean it nearly as much as I should, which gets me in trouble sometimes. I occasionally take my machine with me to a girlfriend's house for crafty night as well. It doesn't have a hard case, so it probably takes more travel abuse than my old machine, which did have a hard case.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I loved it at first, and I definitely like it more than any other machine I've used to date, especially loaner machines (you can read a previous post I wrote on that topic for the Crabtree blog). Now, though, I'd say I just like it. It gets the job done, but I struggle with it lately more than I should. See below, under things that drive me nuts.
My machine does not have a name. Now that I think of it, though, I should have named her. Let's call her Lady.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
The triple seam stitch. I LOVE this stitch and use it almost exclusively. I also like the built-in thread cutter.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
The automatic bobbin winder isn't so automatic anymore. The bobbin
cover plate release button sticks. The thread sometimes gets stuck in
the bobbin area while I'm sewing. I haven't done any research yet to
find out if this because my machine sees a lot of wear and tear and I
don't care for it as well as I should, or if this is typical for Elnas.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Maybe. I think it's a good little workhorse machine for those who don't want anything fancy (though my machine certainly came with more bells and whistles than I want or need). I am concerned about the wear and tear it's showing after only 2.5 years, though, so I would recommend further research.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
The most important is knowing what the machine's primary purpose will be, and which features you absolutely need for it to fulfill that purpose. When I chose my Elna, the only things I was looking for were simplicity and ability to sew through several layers of faux fur at once (my old machine hated doing this). It was surprisingly hard to find a simple machine! Everything is computerized these days.
Do you have a dream machine?
Is there a sewing machine on the market that can add more hours to my day? Because that would be awesome.