Today I was excited to find out that it’s Sewing Machine Month over at Sew, Mama, Sew! I think it’s really wonderful that a whole month is being dedicated to the machines that help so many people express themselves artistically.
I have a close bond with my sewing machine. It’s not just a tool I use in my creative processes; my sewing machine feels more like an extension of myself. It enables me to turn the ideas that float around in my head into physical manifestations. Only I know how to handle my machine. I know what it feels like when it’s working harmoniously, and I know how it feels differently if something—even a tiny something—is amiss.
So when Sew, Mama, Sew posted a sewing machine meme to kick off Sewing Machine Month, I couldn’t help but pay homage to my favorite machine in the house.
What brand and model do you have?
I have a bright pink vintage Morse Push Button Zig Zag sewing machine. Model number TZ7.
How long have you had it?
I acquired my machine in October 2008.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
They don’t make these anymore, so it varies. I paid $80 for mine at a little antique store in Long Beach, Washington.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I sew all kinds of projects: clothing, accessories, eco-friendly coffee cozies, panties, totes, handbags, retro aprons. To see some of my sewing projects, feel free to peruse my Flickr or Etsy shop.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew pretty much every day. It varies from day to day how much sewing gets done on the machine, but it gets used a lot.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I absolutely love my machine! I have an affinity for all things vintage, so naturally this machine is a good fit for me. It’s made of all metal parts, weighs about a ton, and is a total workhorse. Plus, it’s pink! That’s swoon-worthy in itself.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
My machine is dependable and quiet. I may not have any novelty stitch settings like the newer machines, but I have my basic straight stitch and zig-zag stich, and that’s all I need, really.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Nope! At first, it took awhile for me to get used to my machine when I first started using it. I had been using a Janome for a few years. The Morse felt a lot different than my Janome, since all machines vary slightly. So once I got over the learning curve of using a new machine, it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
Ever since I acquired this machine, I’ve been trying to find out more about it, but I’ve had little luck. What I did find out is that Morse sewing machines were made in Japan and distributed by Morse Distributing Corp. of New York. Morse sewing machines were actually made by the man who started the Toyota Car Company, which cleared up why the word “TOYOTA” is stamped into the bottom of my machine.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes! In fact, I have recommended it a few times. Every once in awhile I get emails from people who have found this post on my blog, and ask me how my Morse is working out for me. Usually they’ve found a Morse for sale in their local classified ads, and want to know more about the machine before deciding if it’s worth purchasing. So many vintage machines are total power houses. This is totally the case with my Morse. It’s quiet, runs smoothly, and is built to last.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Durability, dependability, and ease of use are the top three important factors for sure.
Do you have a dream machine?
More like a dream collection. There are so many wonderful vintage machines out there! I wish I could have all the ones I’ve found to be drool-worthy.
Here are a few more photos of my sewing machine, taken by my talented husband, Chas Bowie. Click each photo for a larger view: