You’ve read the title, you probably already know the gist of what I’m going to talk about. If you’ve seen or read my New Year’s resolution post, then you know why I’ve gone ahead and invested in a sewing machine.
To say that I love thrifting clothes, or just thrifting/antiquing in general, is an understatement. The thrill of not knowing what you’re going to find and the satisfaction when you discover that diamond in the rough is incomparable. But I still have some problems.
The first problem with thrifting my clothes is the fact that I am a weird shape of human. Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly happy in the body I have, but it is far from normal.
5′ 7” is around the height where a woman starts to be considered tall, since it is around the equivalent of being around 6′ tall for a man. I am 5′ 9″ or 5′ 10″ on a good day, making me well above a woman’s average height. I am also relatively petite in most areas, and if you didn’t already know, then let me tell you: they don’t really make clothes for tall and skinny girls. I mostly size up in my shirts, pants, and dresses, just so I have the proper length, and while I don’t necessarily mind the baggier look, it isn’t very flattering all the time.
The only real way I’ve thought of to combat this problem of ill fitting clothing, was to start making my own. Hence, needing to buy a sewing machine.
I honestly blame Rachel Maksy for this whole thing. She is a YouTuber that started out as a lover of vintage clothing and items and has slowly migrated into the costume design and cosplaying world. Around 2019, she started to make her own vintage inspired clothing, and just by watching her, I already feel like I sort of understand how clothing construction works. I highly encourage you to check out Rachel Maksy’s channel. She’s hilarious and fun to watch and her dog Frodo is just adorable.
So as I’ve mentioned in my previous New Year’s resolutions post, the decision of whether or not to buy my machine new or get one secondhand is a true conundrum for me. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t believe that absolutely everything should be purchased secondhand, nor do I believe that everything has to be purchased secondhand, just because there is the option to. Certain purchases for certain items can be a real investment, so in those situations, much like the one that I have here, I usually advise to buy new.
The reason that buying new is so much more attractive to me is the fact that I want this machine to last me for a very long time. I also new that there were some specific features that I wanted my machine to have so that I would have an easy time using it and also versatility for my machine to grow with me. The things I knew I wanted were:
- Drop-in or top loading bobbin
- Automatic needle threader
- Over 10 stitches
- Buttonhole stitching capabilities
It can be hard to know if a machine has all of these things when you buy secondhand, since most secondhand machines come with missing parts, no box, and sometimes no manual.
I, of course, first went online to look at sewing machines and went to a bunch of well-known craft store sites to see what they had, and I also decided it couldn’t hurt to check out eBay to see if I could actually find a lightly used machine. From my research, I knew that I was most likely going to get a Brother sewing machine, since they were affordable and most of their machines offered the features that I wanted most. Most that I could find were all under $200, which was a great relief to me (I’m still sadly a poor college student with unpaid internships).
In the meantime of me searching for my own sewing machine, I decided that I was just going to use the machine that we got from my grandma. But alas, the powers that be had other plans for me. My grandma’s machine went kaput and I had projects that I wanted to do. I also have the problem of me moving out of my parents house, and my father actually uses my grandma’s machine too, and so I needed to get my own.
It was Christmas Eve and my mom had given me $100 for Christmas instead of buying me a gift that she didn’t know if I would like. I went to the department store, found the sewing and craft aisle and looked for the machine that I wanted.
The Brother LX3817
The Brother LX3817 has 17 stitches, a drop-in bobbin, and a buttonhole stitcher. I got it at Walmart for only $76 and have used it to tailor some pants. I’m really looking to fulfill my New Year’s resolution of making and upcycling my own clothes in order to be more sustainable.