In this our sixth episode we discuss sewing machines, ones we have owned as well as ones we currently use.

A question we often get asked is what sewing machine we would recommend. Although we can appreciate why someone would ask, it’s not it’s not an easy one to answer… the responsibility is too much! Our views on machines may have changed over the years, but our mantra is still try before you buy.

We talked about something we’ve touched on in previous episodes, our very first sewing machines. Gina’s daughter-in-law is now using her first machine… it’s 40 years old! And in my very first attempt to try machine embroidery, I actually removed the teeth on one of my early machines, with a screwdriver!

We talk briefly about how many machines we now own, the pros and cons of different machines and brands, and computerised embroidery units – do we have them or use them? What do we look for in a new sewing machine, and what do we say when people ask us for recommendations? Do we have a favourite brand or machine, or a feature we couldn’t live without?

Sewing machines we mentioned include: Singer, Frister Rossmann, Bernina, Janome, Husqvarnaviking, Brother, Juki, Pfaff and we briefly mentioned a fix for machines without a flat bed or just with a small working area.

This was also the first episode after my beloved whippet, Viggo, died. If you have been affected by the loss of a dear pet and companion, there is support available for you.

Our diversions and distractions this week include my Book Club choice for February, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

We’ve both started small, achievable daily projects as part of the annual The 100 day project

I found myself watching this really interesting BBC programme on telly: Craftivism: Making a DifferencePortrait , while Gina has been watching Portrait Artists of the year .

The music for the podcast is Dear Autumn by Ikson and you can find it at

Thank you everyone who got in touch with me via my newsletter (sign up here) to tell me about your sewing machines, past and present! It was really interesting to see common themes emerging – seems like I’m not the only one who has a quid pro quo “arrangement” with my husband! In our case it’s bicycle/Bernina, but Ann and her husband in South Dakota had Fishing boat/Bernina!

Karen’s husband was not impressed with their engagement present from her parents, but 46 years on it’s still going strong – as is their marriage.

And Chris and I both had a similar start to our sewing careers – using our parent’s sewing machines to sew or alter clothes that our fathers disapproved of! And we also agreed that while other features are wonderful, there’s something to be said for a needle threader as we all get older.

If you’d like to know what I consider essential or just “nice to have” in a sewing machine, I’ve created a download of handy hints of what to look for if you’re in the lucky position of choosing a new machine.

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