Friday, April 3, 2009


I've been pouting off and on most of the week. On Tuesday I got the news that my beloved sewing machine is not fixable. I had hoped it was just the gunk that this model is prone to getting upon sitting...and mine's been sitting for way too long.

I finally realized I needed it where I could use it so I got it out, only to discover it only would stitch backwards. I got it to go forward finally, but it would only go forward then, no back and no zig-zag.

I haven't really sewn in years and I'm kind of surprised to realize how much of my sense of who I am is tied up in this machine. At one time I made all of my clothing, most gifts, and some art on my Viking. I tried quilting, free motion, embroidery, and all sorts of other fun things on this machine. I made my sister's wedding dress on it and her daughter's christening dress.

The first year I had it I made bib aprons for most of the family--a unisex style that I made and decorated for each person. I still use mine (it was a brushed denim). I made red flannel shirts for our dads one Christmas and I made my brother-in-law a very complex fishing vest with a multitude of pockets.

Before this I had an incredible White (sold by Sears) that my mom had gotten during WWII when she was newly wed. That one went from me to my sister and then to her church in the late 70s. I wonder if it's still going. I sewed my entire first work wardrobe on it after getting out of college. All Stretch-n-Sew knits, including a swimsuit, on this straight-stitch-only machine.

I've been cruising the web and polling friends about their sewing machines. I've received a lot of very helpful feedback and a very generous offer of a machine to use. Thank you to everyone. I'm still trying to orient myself and I think I'm doing a bit of grieving. Which also really surprises me because I don't see myself as someone attached to machines. But I think this was more than a machine--it was a tool and in many ways an extension of my hands. (Rereading this post to edit it, I realized that I've been very attached to both of my sewing machines, I just had never realized it!)

I also looked for online references to my Viking 6460 and found a number of people are still using and loving this machine (including my sister, who has the next year's model). So, here's to the wonderful sewing machine, my Viking 6460.

Now I'm going to spend some time thinking about what do I want to do with a sewing machine, what features might I need or want. No more lurking in corners.

We're great Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans and my very favorite episode is the Buffy, The Musical, "Once More with Feeling." The song, "Where Do We Go from Here," had been haunting me this whole winter. It's a question I've been asking myself a lot and perhaps it's telling me that I need to reinvent myself.


Patti said...

I bought a new sewing machine because the other one I bought I never even used so I sold it and bought one that I really wanted. The reason I really wanted this one was because you didn't have to use a foot pedal with it but could just press a button and it went. Also I could use it for patchwork which i really want to do. This won't help you but just thought I would tell you is all. Lots of Love Patti xxx

Paula Hewitt said...

the biggest problem i think with replacing something this old, is they dont make things like they used to (i sound like my nanna now). Im not sure if it is true for sewing machines, but every other new appliance seems to have an age span of the warranty period plus 6 months! goodluck. i have no useful SM advice to give as i have a low-end machine, but it does what i need.

Lelia said...

IDK Marjorie, if it is a Viking - there should be parts somewhere!

I don't watch Buffy -- but am aware of how music can worm into your brain & stick there.

Barbara said...

I would love to contact you personally on this topic. I also have a 6460. This post made me cry. I feel the same way. Mine won't do the buttonhole right, but we've managed to get everything else okay. Perhaps you can beat the naysayers armed with a bit of more info.