I'm excited!!!

donnar57November 9, 2010

My oldest daughter, 24, asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. While she and her little sister were growing up, I often asked them if they wanted to learn to sew, but never got a positive reply. In college, the oldest took a theater class about costuming, and learned to operate a sewing machine as part of the class. (She already knew a little about it from me, but not as much as I'd like.)

Now, 2+ years later, she found she needed to make a set of curtains to cover a cabinet in her classroom (the doors were broken). She borrowed a machine from her MIL (who lives closer to her than I do), and made herself a set of curtains. She found that she enjoyed it! (Maybe she got the sewing gene. My grandma, my mom and I sew - - somebody had to sew in the next generation!)

So she contacted me with a request for a sewing machine. I in turn talked to my mother - - whom I know has several extra machines hanging around. Grandma is going to present granddaughter with a (used) machine. My mom also inherited all of her sister's sewing supplies, so we're going to spend time at Thanksgiving going through all of it and coming up with a nice beginning sewing kit for my daughter.

All I know about the machine right now is that it's a 27 year old Singer (early 80s). Mom has the book, knows it works well, and has a ton of extra feet for it. Mom also said that she's got shears, pins, thread, and other supplies.

Other than looking through all of this stuff, my job may be to come up with a sewing box for her (as I know she won't have a permanent sewing room in this apartment). I know my daughter won't mind a used machine - I've told her a ton of times that the cheap machines at Joann and Wal-Mart are not worthwhile!

Does anyone know - - what's the best method of shipping a sewing machine from Arizona to Missouri????


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How nice for your daughter. You are right alot of the cheapo machines are not worth the money and I'm sure she will be pleased to have a reliable older model that will do everything she requires. The instruction book is so important and you might want to pass that on - so many have lost theirs in moves etc. I see a stocking full of sewing "extras" in your daughter's stocking this year.... a new rotary cutter might be nice and take a cruise down the notions aisle and you will find all kinds of goodies for her. Is there a box for the machine? Does it have a strudy cover? I would not ship just the machine in the carrying box as they can get damaged easily. I'd compare UPS service and also the cost via Greyhound. I have shipped stuff from Canada to Texas via Greyhound and found it was quite reasonable and nothing has been lost as yet. Just a couple of ideas. Have fun. Budster

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 1:25PM
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Vintage Singer sewing machines made in the USA are worth sometimes more than new machines and they're made way better as well.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Thank you for sharing your happy story! I have 3 grown kids and they each have a very old, well made Singer waiting for them to use (passed down to them by my mother). It will be fun when that spark of interest arises in them : )
I agree with other posters- older machines can be better than new.
It's been a long time since I shipped a sewing machine. I think that I started by wrapping the machine with seran wrap. I think that seran kept out any possible tiny bits of styrofoam from getting into any parts. Then, use lots of bubble wrap around the machine, then wedge some sturdy styrofoam in every which way so that nothing is moving around inside your packed up sewing machine & there's a firm layer of foam (on all sides) between the box and the machine. Styrofoam can be purchased in blocks/sheets and easily cut with a serated knife. I think I bought it at Home Depot or Lowes.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 2:14PM
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I know how excited you are, Donna! It was a real pleasure for me, too, when my adult dtrs became interested in sewing.

My machines are old Singers (both in the repair shop at the moment) that have been real workhorses for me. I must say, however, that my dtr has had very good luck with a used Brother she paid $50 for a while back. At the time I was reluctant to give my OK to her purchase, as I have read only bad things about machines like that....But so far, so good!

I wish I had good advice about shipping for you. You might try calling UPS; I think they will pack it for you, for a fee.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:09AM
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I have a "conventional" store bought sewing box. It has legs and fold out drawers, it's pain to get out of the closet and is bulky and hard to store. Maybe a light weight plastic tool box would be better than a conventional sewing box. Add a few screw drivers and a small hammer too! A supply of different color thread. Some heavy duty needles for hand sewing (link below)These have always come in handy for me. Heavy duty carpet thread, a selection of needles for machine for different fabrics. Those are my favorite basics.

Here is a link that might be useful: needles

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:31AM
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I would use the foam insulation like people cover pipes in the winter to pad your machine for shipping. Its firm enough to absorb any blow the heavy machine might be subject to and doesn't have micro pieces to get in the machine itself. Cut and stuff the casing then prepare the case as you would otherwise. Just a suggestion.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 9:20PM
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Can't help with the shipping, but a container suggestion.
I like fishing tackle boxes. You can buy similar in the craft section, but the store will charge more.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 8:33AM
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We went through the stuff my mom had. My daughter will be getting a selection of thread, needles (hand and machine), seam ripper, tape measure, several types of scissors, a beginning sewing book, and a bunch of other stuff that we found. (My mom said she didn't know what possessed her to buy a beginning sewing book. Now she does. It's one from Nancy Zieman - Nancy's Notions.) My mom also had the book for the machine!

Good idea on the tools - - we didn't find any spares. Same with a notions box for her. That might be a nice Christmas gift.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 10:33AM
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What a wonderful gift! Wish my daughter would get the bug:)
Anyway an idea for a container for all the notions etc, is a rolling tote. You may find one that will hold her machine and all the notions needed for sewing. She can then have an easy way to store and roll it out whenever she wants. There are quite a few rolling totes out there, both for sewers and scrapbookers.
Just an idea for you,

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 5:48AM
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UPDATE: My mom and dad shipped the machine by UPS, allowing them to do the packing. It arrived at my daughter's a few days later, and I guess she was glowing from excitement. The other box, of notions etc, was as much fun for her to go through as it was for my mom and I to make it.

Thanks for all your help!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 10:47AM
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It's nice to know your daughter got her New-to-her machine. Let us know how she makes out -- I imagine she is playing around with it right now trying out all the different stitches and feet. Do let us know how she makes out. Budster

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 1:52AM
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Thanks for letting us know how everything turned out. Glad to here the machine arrived safely and that your daughter is enjoying it as well as the notion box. What a special Christmas gift!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 12:30PM
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When our oldest daughter graduated from college almost 20 years ago we bought a used Kenmore sewing machine for her. She has used it a ton. Well worth the %50.00. I have an older Kenworth that has been a work horse of a machine. I took it in to be cleaned and repaired and he told me to never get ride of this machine because it has very little plastic in it.. One of the best machines around. I still have my first machine that I bought in high school. It is a Dressmaker brand. One of these days I am going to take it in and check it out.

Two years ago we bought our then 5 year old a small Kenmore machine. She loves it. She sews all the time. A young neighbor girl had one so I knew what it could do. We found it at K-Mart for $69.00.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 9:33PM
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