Thursday, August 22, 2013

So Long, Precious Sewing Machine....Up In Smoke!

Many, many years ago I purchased this amazing "computerized" sewing machine from a local dealer. I was in my twenties and put this on lay away and paid it off over 9 months (remember layaway?!).

Three full decades later my sweet machine, "Scarlet Begonias", has stitched her final seam and went out smoking...

 Scarlet Begonia's has a touch of the blues... and the vapors!
My dear friend Laurel chronicled Scarlet's final huzzah in her blog

We had some wonderful times in the three decades we spent together. It all began when, inspired by so many of the beautiful fabrics in our family fabric store in Berkeley, I figured I should be sewing past my 5th grade level!

I began taking classes to improve my skills at our local Berkeley Adult School. The community support was amazing. Our teacher, Kim Choy, made sewing fun and helped me through its ups and downs. It's hard to believe that it's been three decades since 1983, we have both been through so much in our lives! 

As I feel the waves of nostalgia flow over me, I remember the nights sewing with friends and making many amazing gifts out of velvets, silks, rayons and cottons; the beautiful pair of pants that I still wear, the tops that I struggled to get to "work" right.

My companion through this journey was my dear, beloved sewing machine Scarlet. I worked hard to earn this sewing power tool. Yet, she was more than that: she was a confidant and partner in creating beauty and challenging my sewing skills. I graced her with my Grateful Dead sticker since it seemed so fitting!

Scarlet was a great machine and will be missed. I haven't been sewing much lately, but she was always close by. I was super excited to loan her to Laurel, who is busy creating a new wardrobe of hand sewn garments for me to wear and display in the store, at trade shows and to blog about! We will have to content ourselves with the memories of a great machine.

Do you have a machine you love? Many either have a monogamous relationship with one machine or they have a family of them and can't choose which one they love best! We have a favorite here in our sewing classes: Bernina Active 210. Showing that "computerized" has come a long way, these machines are loved by our quilters, apparel sewists and even the kids in our Youth Sewing Camps. 

Fare thee well...

Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell,
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.
(Brokedown Palace ~ Grateful Dead)


  1. so sad! I had to part with my favorite machine (Singer) that was passed down from my mom! I feel your pain! hugs to you!

  2. Rest In Peace, sweet machine. My trusty favorite and constant companion is my 1951 Pfaff 130 Dial-a-Stitch. A part of me will die if she ever stops working for good...

  3. So sad that she was only 30 years old.....thanks Bether and Dianna for sharing your memories and love of our blessed sewing machines...they do become part of our families.