Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Sewing Machine: A Babylock "Maria" Christmas Surprise

During our stuffed animal marathon I commented several times that "Wow, this would be way easier with a sewing machine" and each time my husband shook his head and said, "No way.  You'd never use it."

My sister must have filed that away because she and my mom surprised me with this awesome gift come Christmas morning....

This blog is just a big thank you note to them and an equally big "see-I-am-too-using-it!" to my husband. 

It is a Babylock "Maria" which is a brand I have heard good things about from craftier friends.  Maria a pretty basic model, but not the most basic.  It is mechanical, not electronic and has a standard bobbin instead of a drop-in which I was concerned about at first (once I heard there was a difference) but has proven to be a non-issue.  I love it!  It is uncomplicated but sturdy and all the "engine" parts are metal which is supposedly important for longevity. 

Here's the thing though... I've never used a sewing machine before.  Like, I've literally never touched one in my 34 years.  My mom did a bit of sewing off and on when I was younger but she was constantly fighting with her machine (an ancient off-white Singer) and I stayed far away from that cursed object.  I didn't know what a bobbin even was until a three weeks ago, let alone how to thread one. 

The manual that came with "Maria" kind of sucks.  The images are not instructive and consist of line drawings.  Babylock clearly intends for you to take a class at the their dealers which in my case is 40 minutes away and only on Sundays or something and I'm not that patient.  So instead I hit up YouTube!  God, I love the Internet.

Okay, this video is waaaaay too fast and her hand gets in the way of what she's doing a couple of times but it gave me a sense of what I was supposed to be doing when threading the machine.  So thanks random stranger!  I watched this roughly 30 times.  She has another video of winding the bobbin which was also helpful.  Did you know a sewing machine has thread coming from the top and from the bottom and that's how it stitches stuff together?  Yeah, well, shut up.  I didn't know it.  I guess I never thought about the logistics of machine sewing before.

Sidenote:  If you have a device of some sort and don't know what you're doing I highly recommend YouTube.  This is also how I learned to use my flat iron years ago.  I don't know why more manufacturers don't exploit YouTube as a customer service tool.

Verdict:  I think anything fancier would have been wasted on me.  Embroidery?  Please.  Let's concentrate on straight seams and just learning the jargon.  All in all, so far, I'm very pleased with my little machine.  She's my partner in fabric crime and we will soon rule the craft underworld together!  I am totally changing her name though because "Maria" is not nearly badass enough.

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