Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Can I vent for a quick second?

Okay, it might take more than a second to read this and for that I apologize in advance.

Let me preface this by saying that I am generally a happy camper. Yes, I tend to hold strong ideal standards (and possibly unattainable), but I understand that the world hardly ever works out like I have planned on paper.

Recently, I thought about taking up a new hobby. There have been a few events that led me to want to purchase a sewing machine. I won't go into all the specifics for the sake of brevity, but this decision wasn't a spur of the moment type thing.

I scoured the internet, frequented sewing boards, added new blogs to my Google Reader, and today I took my first step into a sewing store. I went in armed with questions and made a silent resolution to not buy a machine on the spot.

The woman who greeted me seemed nice and informative. She showed me a few different machines and actually let me work the controls for a bit. She answered all of my questions and provided her own tidbits of information. Everything was going well, until she asked me what my price range. I told her I'd like to keep the machine under $350 and that's when she practically fainted.

For the record, I am not looking for some crazy, LCD, tricked out, quilting, computer assisted, embroidery machine. I basically want to sew forward and backwards, a zig-zag here and there, and possible have a button now and then. At the same time I don't want my machine breaking down every third Tuesday. I understand the classic sewing machine adage is, "buy as much machine as you can afford," but at the same time, I don't want all those bells and whistles.

Back to my salesperson, she tried telling me that a sewing machine is a lifelong investment. Again, I know people say that, but is it really wrong to buy a simple machine and possibly upgrade in a few years??? She kept pushing me into machines that were twice my budget. Seriously, do I need a 184 stitches??? Sure, at some point a few of those stitches might be fun, but my budget doesn't allow for such an expensive machine.

I was completely pleasant with the woman until she said, "well, when you start having kids you'll want all the features this machine has to offer." Okay, two problems with that line. One- what if I didn't want kids? How dumb would that lady have felt? Two- why the heck would my mind suddenly change once I have kids? GRRRRRR!!!!!!!

It was at this point I politely thanked her for her time and left. When I got back in my car I blasted the radio and semi-cursed the trip. That woman made me feel like I might as well throw my money down the toilet because anything I purchased would be a piece of junk.

I hate when salespeople make me feel like crap. Then, I get irked that I let a total stranger make me feel that way. Eleanor Roosevelt wouldn't have felt like crap!

So now, I'm back to scouring the internet and trying to find a semi-decent sewing machine that happens to be under $350. Any recommendations????? I know of a certain store that I won't be visiting to make my purchase.


  1. I have just a basic brother machine. My mom bought it for me for Christmas one year and she actually bought it used from a lady at work. The problem is that those people selling them are SERIOUS sewers. They don't understand that for you it is just going to be a hobby. My machine isn't a really nice machine but it does everything I need it to do. Say screw her and just buy what you need. Oh and that comment about kids... WTH? She was way out of line. It's not like you plan on making all your childs clothes... People are dumb.

  2. Oh I'm so sorry that lady made you feel badly! That totally stinks. You know, you can get a decent Kenmore machine (which I believe are made by Janome) or a good Brother for your price range. I'd check out Sears and see what they have. I've been sewing since I was 12, and I never use more than these 5 stitches: straight, zigzag, three-stitch zigzag, blindhem and buttonhole. The other 61 stitches on my domestic machine go unused. Oh right, except the bar tack - I use that stitch too.

    Don't let her get you down. And I wouldn't even say those machines are for serious sewers. I am a very serious sewer. And for serious sewing I use industrial machines, which only do one type of stitch (very, very well). Keep at it, ask questions, and you'll find the machine you want!

  3. I wish I had a recommendation on a machine for you - hopefully someone will. I cannot believe that saleswoman. Mostly I abhor all salespeople. I just hate wasting my time dealing with them! Well-warranted vent and I hope you find a great machine ASAP!

  4. i would be so mad too. as someone who doesn't see kids in my near future, its frustrating when its assumed that could be the only focus that matters. i'm sure you can find something for your price range.

    fwiw, i was given a CHEAP ($50-ish) "Mighty Mender" when i was younger. it goes forward and backward, but no zigzag or buttons. i wouldn't recommend it, but its even hard for me to justify getting a new one, when i know that one still works.

    maybe i'll drop it out a window!!

  5. Do you know anyone who sews and has a machine? Just get that exact one so they can show you how it works. Or take a class and buy the machine you're working on.

    I know many expert sewers who prefer a vintage machine over a new one with all sorts of bells and whistles. Don't listen to that saleswoman!