From a handcranked machine to a computerized marvel in 40 years.

My Mum was a dressmaker, she used to sew for a living when we were  young.

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We had very little money and Mum made all of our clothes.

My favorite was the dress she made me from curtain material it had black and white pandas all over it.!!

She set her old singer up on the laminex table in the kitchen. I can still see the white lace curtains moving in the breeze as the sun shone through the windows.

Mum sewed on that darn machine day in and day out and I swore I would never touch one in my life.

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From the time I was about 9 years old mum made me stay in the kitchen while she sewed. She showed me how to draft patterns from the Enid Gilchrist books. From then on, that was my job.

Pretty sneaky I think. She hated drafting them.

Now those darn books are in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Needless to say, I never learned to sew.

I never wanted to sew,

I never had the inclination to sew.

…….Until our first child was born.

Oh, I think it was that nesting, care for your chick thing and I decided I needed to make him something.

We had no money for a machine so my Mother in Law gave me her 1920's hand cranked and I used that.

Hand-cranked-singer-126k-127k-3-4-size-vintage-sewing-machine-w-case-[5]-461-p _SnapseedYes I still have it… I thought I was so darn clever. I made Jamie a little suit.

I even made shirts for myself.

I couldn't do a button hole so I took them to the sewing lady down the street. She was so surprised I used a hand cranked machine that she showed the garments to all her customers… so she made the buttonholes for free.

I had a burning desire to have a machine that did buttonholes, that's all I needed in life…. Oh, and a lusted after a yellow typewriter.

When I was 26, Keith bought me a Lemair Helvetia that did button holes and it had a foot pedal… it even went backward and forwards and did a zig zag!!!! I just couldn't believe it.

I just kept touching it, I was the luckiest woman in the world and indeed I made buttonhole after buttonhole just because I could.

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Heaven, I was in Heaven.

AND a year later I got my yellow electric typewriter. It clacked away at an alarming speed but I never did much with it.

When I
turned 36, I decided to become a fashion designer.

So I did.

I set up a
business with a friend and we were able to buy the first computerized
Janome Memory Craft.

By then I was a fully fledged designer, we were successful and our clothes went all over the world and I designed them all on the Janome.

We upgraded and upgraded, so I think I've almost had every model that came out.

I gave the old ones to my friends.

14 years ago, and a few winning quilts later Janome offered to give me a machine to sew on. Can you imagine, I was in awe and absolutely thrilled.

I was so embarrassed, but I said 'thank you' and it helped me win more awards and I sang its praises.

So here we are many years later and today I set up the latest most delicious, fancy Janome machine. The Horizon Memory Craft 8900.

Thank you Janome. You're the best. I only want to use the Horizon in class and I'm very lucky that most places do that for me.

This machine does everything but cry. You need to try it.

Many of you have seen the fine quilting I can achieve and its all due to this machine. The Bayeux is sewn on this beauty and there are many more to come.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. You didn’t by that Janome Memory Craft from Mt Barker, did you? That’s where mine came from, and still have it. Kept it as my back up machine and still like giving it a run every so often.

  2. Pam says:

    Judy, I cant remember where we bought the first one…it never needed service, that I know.

  3. KateOz says:

    Loved the story Pam. My Mum was a pieceworker from home – I SWORE I would never sew, HATED the sound of her machine going day and night. But like you I got a machine when the kids were little. Now I pay to go away on retreat and sew all weekend – both Mum and I laugh about it. I had a tippa dark yellow typewriter I used at uni – absolutely loved it. It was like a laptop lol

  4. Pam says:

    Kate, you never know, I hated the sound of our first computer and printer…. it creaked away for ages and it was the size of a small car.
    Now I LOVE computers

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