When did you get your first sewing machine.?


Film made with a Canon 5d Mark II SLR

It was HOT yesterday, 108 degrees and I picked up Granddaughter Tilly from pre-school early.

We had a swim and lounged inside eating icecream. I watched TV, she sat with her portable DVD player on her small craft table…

"I have a surprise for you in the shed" I whispered…..

I purchased a sewing machine at the local supermarket… it's pretty darn good. It even does zig zag…..

It also came with 20 reels of thread and bobbins….. A bargain I say.

Tilly walked into the shed, saw the machine and put her hand to her head and said….

"I knew it was this, I've been waiting and waiting"

Tilly is 4 years old.

I was 23 when I got my first machine 40 years ago…. it was a gift from my Mother in Law… it was a hand cranked machine with the torpedo bobbin, someone gave it to her in the 30's.

OK, so it was better than nothing.


I made two shirts for myself, a dress for Rachael aged 2, and a suit for Jamie, aged 3…Oh and some purple and green net curtains….. Uggh

A few years later I got a Lemair Helvecia  that actually did a button hole and zig zag… I thought I was in heaven.


I went on to become a fashion designer and used a Janome memory craft for the applique samples…it was the latest thing in machines.

Now look at this machine, the  Janome 7700 Horizon  it does everything except make a sandwich.

How far we've come.

Janome MC7700QCP

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Sally says:

    Such a lovely video of Tilly!! And her comment that she had been “waiting and waiting” brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful to be emulated by a grandchild. I have a 3 yr. old granddaughter who is entranced with my machine and helps me so it won’t be long….

  2. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    My beloved Gram taught me to sew on her 1940 White. I was 12 when she passed away at the early age of 55 and inherited her machine. I still have it. Lucky Tilly and what a perfect child’s machine. Good job on your hat!!

  3. Charmayne says:

    This is just too precious for words. Charmayne

  4. Lynn Spillane says:

    Like Wendy, I received my first sewing machine when my grandmother passed. It had been in a flood and didn’t work too well, it was a White sewing machine. I took it all apart, every screw and lever, putting everything into little paper cups and drawing a diagram and marking where it was from…..I cleaned each piece with oil and then put it back together. It worked and I’ve been sewing ever since. I now have a Bernina 440(I also have an 1130)….I think I’d like the 7700 more but I can do very well with the one I have. I’ve been sewing since 1951, I was 12 when I fell in love with sewing…well, maybe the first few years were a bit frustrating so it wasn’t love at first sight. Tilly, listen to your grammie….she has more knowledge than anyone I know when it comes to sewing…….she can show you the way to a WONDERFUL life.

  5. gayle says:

    What a beautiful little story. Thanks for sharing, Pam.

  6. Nola says:

    Thanks for sharing the video of Tilly and her very own sewing machine. What a joy! What a grandmother!
    I started to use Mum’s Singer sewing machine at about 12 yrs of age. It had been a treadle and Dad was able convert it to electicity with a 32 volt motor. I started dressmaking at 13.
    I bought my own machine Singer machine 2 days after my marriage when I realised I would’nt have a machine in my own home. I phoned Mum and asked if she could loan me the money until “after harvest”.
    Over the years there have been gradual upgrades – Janomes in recent years.
    My sewing machine and I are very good friends. Always there when I am in need of relaxation,(it helps with release of tension) creativity and the desire to “just make something”.
    A regular clean, a yearly trip to the sewing machine clinic makes for a reliable very good friend.

  7. Chris John says:

    I remember playing around with my mother’s Singer when I was in late primary school. I was immediately in love. Even being ‘forced’ to sew outfits for my many younger sisters and brothers throughout my teens failed to dampen my enthusiasm for sewing.
    When I turned 21 I received the princely sum of $100 thanks to an insurance policy that matured courtesy of my parents. The very next day I was off to buy my very first sewing machine. I think it was a Singer. It didn’t last very long as the advent of knit sewing revealed it’s limitations. I then became a long time fan of Brother machines but am now the very happy owner of a Janome 11000 (as well as 4 Brother machines).

  8. Sharon says:

    Tilly’s expressions say it all! Someday, she will have memories that will impact her creativity from this moment and your encouragement. Here’s my story:

  9. Pam says:

    Sharon, a great story. It has given me an idea… I wonder how many people have their first sewing machine?

  10. Pam says:

    Chris… do you still have your machine?

  11. Pam says:

    Nola, a lovely story. I love the part. “My sewing machine and I are very good friends. Always there when I am in need of relaxation” I couldn’t agree more.

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