A few weeks ago I commented on Pam's post on sewing with denim at Threading My Way that my sewing machine isn't very good on the thicker fabrics - it tends to skip stitches even using a thick denim needle. It's a mid range newish computerised Brother model. Instead I use my mum's Husqvarna Viking 3600 mechanical machine when I need to sew something really thick - it is an absolute powerhorse of a machine. She bought it in 1975 for around $300 which was the best part of a fortnight's wages for her back then but it definitely proves the old adage of buying the best you can afford.
The machine has never been serviced or oiled, the outside gets wiped down every now and then, and apart from a light globe or two it's all original and still in perfect working order. Sure my mum doesn't sew as much as I do, but this machine has been used to sew zippers into motorbike leather pants and jackets, the thickest denim, and old style canvas tents and it didn't even flinch, yet it also sews through thin cottons and other delicate fabrics without problem too. It's a really heavy machine though, having a metal casing and not a plastic one like newer models.
But this level of amazing services pales in comparison to it's most outstanding feature - it's a bright orange sewing machine! Pam replied to my comment that she had never seen an orange sewing machine before, so Pam this one is for you:
Aren't newer models with their streamlined white plastic so boring compared to this sewing machine? In this post at Apartment Therapy they describe the Husqvarna 3600 as a "workhorse and a beauty" and apparently the orange colour is quite rare. In fact they link to a store that had this machine for sale for $700!
Now I hope I haven't tempted fate or invoked Murphy's Law by writing down that the sewing machine hasn't needed servicing or repair in 38 years - fingers crossed it keeps on giving! But I've never given either of my Brother sewing machines a service in all their years of use and they are both still going strong despite lots of use. Fingers crossed they carry on strongly for years to come as well.
Speaking of which I'm taking my beloved Babylock in for a service tomorrow since it's been over two years of constant use and the dealer I bought it from says it needs regular servicing to keep the jet air threading tubes clear and working. So it looks like I'll be spending the next week sewing things that don't need overlocking - I'm beginning to understand why people have multiple machines!
Oh and I didn't win the stashbusting competition - the winning lady sewed 60+ garments and used over 90m of stash! But I did get a special prize for the most children's clothes sewn and received a lovely book and a piece of fabric (just what I need right?).