It made a heavy clunking sound, which the repair shop fixed, but they suggested that sooner or later I should think about getting a new one. If I was going to invest in a new machine, I wanted a good one, and those weren't inexpensive. Did I really see myself continuing to sew or was it just a temporary interest? I told myself that if I was still sewing a year after altering that first skirt, I would take the leap.
My mom left me part of a small IRA and every year I'm required to take a little bit of money out of it. Yes, I could reinvest it, but instead I consider it a yearly gift from Mom, as if she's asking "Is there something special on your Christmas wish list?" After that first year of sewing passed, she nudged me. "So what about finally getting that new sewing machine...?" Suddenly I felt sad. "But this was YOUR machine, Mom..." I wondered why I felt so attached; it wasn't the old green one that I'd grown up with. Nonetheless, it seemed to be a connection as strong as her perfume and pearls, which were now also mine. "Claud," she said, "you're sewing your own clothes. For Petes' sake, get yourself a machine that will last."
It was such a thrill to finally walk into my favorite Columbus sewing shop and try out a Juki. It was so quiet! Sewing through fabric felt like slicing through butter, not hammering away at an anvil (I could finally sew at night and not wake up my neighbors!) Plus there were unexpected luxuries I never even thought to want: it had an automatic needle threader (!) overlock stitches (!) You could program the foot pedal to do just about anything but fry an egg. It even said "hello" when you turned it on. Would I use all these extra amenities? It seemed almost too much. But then I thought, yes, you can make due with a falling-apart jalopy of a car for awhile -- it will get you from point A to point B -- but ohhh to have some air conditioning in the summer, comfortable seats, a good stereo (and to NOT have it spend half its time at the mechanic.) I handed over my credit card. This was a sewing machine that I could grow into.
I thought I might have buyers' remorse but I think I experienced the exact opposite. I was in love. Nothing beats buying local either. Sure, I could have saved a little money by shopping online, but there wouldn't have been anyone to share the joy with. Anita, the owner of Sew to Speak, was excited that I'd finally bought a new machine, and Jessica, one of the shop's teachers, spent an afternoon showing me how to use it before sending me back out into the world. A week later I sewed my first dress on my new machine and loved it.