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April 19, 2011



OMG! Just gorgeous but I'm afraid that would take me a billion years to knit. And might end in frustration and bad language. Can't wait to see yours.
I love my sewing machine. That was my wii back in the day. Back when you could take a sewing class in junior high, I used to run to my sewing class to beat the other girls to the Bernina! We actually got to put on a fashion show for our moms with dessert and tea. No budget for that stuff anymore!


I just love to read your blog. Rock island is so pretty and I love the new B.T. lorna's color that I have a skein of it at home just waiting for me to plow through the mountianous pile of WIP's so i can justify starting another project


I'm shopping around for my first sewing machine and was wondering which one you bought. And is there something different in a quilter's machine?


My first machine - purchased 3 hrs ago when I started hankering to learn to sew - was a Janome Gold, selected based on a recommendation by the good gals at purlsoho (they had a great article on-line). When it arrived it came with a Hello Kitty mini machine. Adorable but no little girls in the family to inherit it. Finally, this past summer I ended up gifting it to a friend's 8 yr old daughter. She almost died of happiness and so did I. I felt pretty sure this would go over big because this same little girl has been asking me to teach her to knit. We are now soul sisters. Cause as we know - at 8 yrs - this could have gone either way.


Mollysusie, this is just a smaller sized Janome and weighs less than a typical home machine. It does all the basic stitches and more. It is affordable and portable. I bought the Janome American Quilters Society 2009 (might be either Gold or Platinum). It will sew through a few layers of cloth and will do pretty much everything that a standard machine will do. In the case with this machine it is geared toward quilters who bring their machines to class, or to places other than their homes...


Give the machine to girlfriend with a book to go with. There's tons of suitable kid friendly sewing books out there and that might be the ticket to getting her interested. And if she's not, you'll totally get to use it when she's not looking.


I had the EXACT same thing happen to me last week - with a Mr. T mug from Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/65407746/tea-cup-featuring-mr-t-an-80s-retro
I received this mug as a gift from a friend, which my roommate accidentally broke and replaced with one not as cool: http://www.after5catalog.com/coffee-mug-p-1464.html?cPath=109&osCsid=g7htndrp7ehsn99j444c1tjjd7
In an attempt to replace the original more awesome mug, I had a similar experience as yours and now have two super-fab Mr. T mugs (neither of which I paid for!) and one sort-of-okay Mr. T mug. In sum, I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with three (3!) Mr. T mugs but if you want one, LennyMud on Etsy is a great artist and a great person!
Random story but I just couldn't resist relating...


I would give it to her, but maybe not for Easter. Maybe just present it as an, "I got this for you because I thought it would be fun for us to sew together" gift, that way if there's something she's been hoping to get for Easter she won't have her feelings for the sewing machine clouded by disappointment. But I may be over-thinking it all.

My mom tried to teach me how to sew when I was about Girlfriend's age but I just didn't have the patience for it. I hated making mistakes and I hated learning one-on-one because it felt like too much pressure. [Teaching me to drive a car must have been hell. heh.] But now I love to sew and I have even asked my mom for tips. So, um, if she doesn't like it at first, just wait a few years and try again.


Love your blog, and totally have the hello kitty sewing machine at my house! I wish my mom had given me a sewing machine when I was little?


Just don't wear the shawl with the triangle pointing at your butt! ;)

Kathy at Knitting Off the Grid

Yes, give the machine to Girlfriend along with her Easter basket. Tie a huge pretty ribbon to it and tuck some extra fun fabric in her basket along with some sewing notions. That's all so much better than too much candy! She'll love it!


Do people give gifts at Easter in the States too? We just have Easter egg hunts. Come to think of it, when my Nana was living in the States she always used to send a card with a little money in it.

Jared Flood has changed how I feel about shawls too. And that colour is gorgeous.

I say give her the sewing machine. I think that's about the age Mum taught me to use hers. I spent years sitting on the floor of her sewing room playing with scraps, I was even allowed to use her special sewing scissors, and I would handsew bits together. Eventually I graduated to using the machine. I actually think it's great to start young, I had no fear, and was soon sewing up stuff my Mum didn't feel confident enough with! I remember when I was about 12 or 13 I made a lined skirt with an elasticated waist, and figured out the pattern from another skirt I had.

I hope Girlfriend has fun with it!


Give the machine to Girlfriend for Easter. What the hey! And then take her shopping tout de suite for some cute fabric she can't resist making something with.
Hope she likes it :0)


I gave my now 13 yo daughter a little Janome a few years ago, maybe for her 10th b-day. (Can't remember.) Like you, my sewing maching was my gameboy. Love that you made that comparison, by the way. After an initial bought of sewing scraps together, my daughter hasn't used her machine, but I figure it is there and the seed has been planted. I just have to pretend that I don't care about it. Plus, those little machines are good for taking to college, I hear. I learned on my mon's machine- it was mint green, too, but I don't remember what brand it is. She still has that machine! My current machine is a 1961 Singer Slantomatic. Because she has that space age look of things that were made in the 60's I've named her Judy Jetson.

Brenda Jones

I looked at Jared's Rock Island shawl and considered getting the pattern, but now I am glad I hesitated. Kpixie may be the way to go. Thanks for the tip.

Seanna Lea

I've been drooling over Jared's latest shawl/scarf for a week or so now. It is gorgeous and I'm trying to be so good about it though I budget plenty of money for my crafts!


I think a sewing machine is a fantastic gift. I just gave my 6yo daughter a great book - Sewing School by Plumley & Lisle - to teach her handsewing. Also got her a tool box filled with big needles, embroidery thread, big red tomato pin cushion, etc. She can't wait to start sewing when we get some free time over the long weekend. If she doesn't take to it right away, that's just fine. Learning to sew and knit takes time and practise.

Deborah B.

My mom bought a Kenmore in 1959, the year of my birth, I had to learn how to use it as a prerequisite to getting my driver's license. I started making Barbie clothes when I was 8 or 9. The Kenmore was burned almost beyond recognition in the 2007 California fires. Funny how when I saw it all charred and icky, I felt a rush of sadness which was soon replaced with happy memories. I have had my own Kenmore for 25 years and just put $150 bucks into it. I am glad I did! If I had a daughter, I would wrap that machine up in cellophane, and tie it with the prettiest ribbon for her to find on Easter morning. She WILL love it, and you will love building lasting memories! Love your blog...Happy Spring!!!


Out of necessicity, I learned at a very early age to sew with a machine after watching my grandmother and mother sew all of my clothes. I have been blessed with some height and long legs, and in the 60's and 70's girls/women were not meant to be tall. (Thank goodness that has changed!) I've been sewing for more years then I choose to remember; by the time I hit 7th grad sewing class, I was practically giving the teacher lessons! My children have had no desire to learn to sew, they know they can bring it to their mother and it'll get done. Maybe if you can find something to sew that girlfriend could really get her groove on about, (her own bags for one of her hand held gaming devices?) the appeal for a machine might just be there for her.
I love this beautiful shawl; I'm not quite comfortable wearing them yet, I think you need to have the right "shawlitude"! (similar to "hatitude" for wearing a hat with confidence!)


I would definitely give Girlfriend the machine for Easter. If you pack it up with some kiddy print fabric and an easy pattern, I think she will love it. At least for awhile...

And if she doesn't, you'll move on. I know you know she doesn't need to share all your interests. Actually, heartbreaking as it is when they diss something you hold dear, it makes it all the more important when your interests do click.


I have a quilter's janome and love it.

I bought my daughter a Singer for christmas a year or so ago because she was interested in sewing and modifying her own clothing and it seemed like a safe bet. She was 11 at the time. She said "cool" but has not touched it and even okay'd my putting it back in the box (after about a year) and storing it. I guess I was more surprised that she didn't want to use it, than I was disappointed but it is a standard size and I figure she will probably forget it exists and it will be added to the pile of things she can take with her when she heads off to college.


Oh you're killing me. That shawl is at the top of my list...


A lot of shops that sell machines offer sewing classes for kids! My Bernina one does. It is so fun to see them at the machines creating with fabric.


I say go ahead and give it to her, but not attached to Easter b/c I know you're worried about setting a precedent. Find some other reason like "I know you've been working really hard at school lately" or "You've worked hard to bring your ___ grade up, and we notice" or "Your attitude has improved a lot lately", etc. You can find an excuse. :-)


I have had the same sewing machine since 1976! Wow, I just realized how old it is. It's a Singer and it still works really well. My hubby bought me a 4-thread serger after visiting a panty hose factory for a job he was working on. He was so impressed with the way that they put the panty hose together that he failed to notice that they were KNITTED!!!!

The scarf is beautiful!!!!

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