I'm glad so many of you enjoyed the orange sewing machine, and shared your memories of older machines. I wonder why sewing machines haven't been given the retro makeover like other home appliances have undergone? You can buy a toaster, kettle or mixer in an array of colours and styles but when it comes to modern sewing machines it's white, white, white and maybe a cream! Paola is spot on - the modern world has become very colourless. I'm very guilty of this too - our new car: silver, our kitchen: white, our bathroom: sandy beige, our lounge: beige: our large floor rug: mostly white and grey, even my dog is black and white (ha ha ha, just threw that one in to see if you're reading closely!).
And it was quite ironic that the prizes on offer for the stash busting competition was more fabric - I don't think there was a single entrant there that had made a significant dent in their stash despite all that stash sewing! The winner received a $50 gift card to Spotlight, so I guess they could be sensible and buy notions instead of more fabric. And Sharon is right - I did win a second prize for sharing a photograph of my stash but I chose not to select a second prize because I just didn't want anymore fabric! Maybe I am becoming sensible.......
Craftastrophies and Cha-Cha both asked in the comments to the last post about my Babylock and my thoughts about it. I have a Babylock Enlighten model and every single day I think how glad I am that I ponied up the rather substantial amount of money to buy it. I bought it for myself for mother's day back in 2011, the best mother's day present I've ever received!
I didn't really have any problems with my old overlocker, a basic Toyota model and in fact I used it for nearly 10 years before servicing it for the first time! It was just that I had to spend at least 45 minutes or more adjusting the tension each time I changed threads and never really getting it quite right. Not having to adjust the tension each time I change threads because the Babylock has automatic tension adjustment itself is worth every cent because it saves me time and stress. And with the air jets threading the machine at the press of a button it's super quick to change threads too.
Another feature I really like is that to do a rolled hem edge all I need to do is switch a lever and take out one needle. On my old overlocker I had to unscrew the plate, put another plate on, and then take out the needle, which was fiddly and time consuming. I use the rolled hem feature on fine fabrics that I don't want to do a narrow hem or on knit clothes for Anna that I want to get the lettuce hem effect.
I also like being able to disengage the knives with the twist of one knob instead of having to loosen the screw to drop the knives and then having to put the knives in the right spot again and tighten the screw really tightly when I'm done. I've been using the overlocker with the knives disengaged to sew elastic onto waistbands so it's really useful to be able to do this quickly and easy. Time and less stress is everything these days!
Apart from these things, I must admit to using the Babylock really just for conventional serging of raw edges and sewing kints together and haven't really used any of the other fancy stitches and features of the machine such as flatlocking or wave stitching. I've been using it constantly for the last two years without a single problem so it's been very reliable too. It goes over thick fabrics and thin without hesitation, and the bright LED lights are really good too.
So I can thoroughly recommend a Babylock if you're in the market for a new overlocker. But if you're a whiz at threading and adjusting the tension on overlockers and you don't use those other features too often then you'd probably be right with a less expensive model/brand of overlocker and use the extra $$ on fabric! But I do hope I've helped some of you make a decision, it is a fantastic machine and I'm just paying the favour forward - it was Carolyn over at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic that inspired me to get one!