Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sewing Machines

I’ve been sewing since I was eleven years old, and I started sewing on a treadle machine. So you can imagine, my dear readers, how impressed I was a couple of years later when the Home Economics teacher Mrs. Sullivan assigned me to an electric sewing machine. Wow! It could go very fast. In fact, the teacher told me to slow down.

At age twenty-two I was finally able to purchase my first sewing machine. It was a brand new slant needle Singer and it cost me $150. I loved it and sewed on it for years as we raised four children. That’s lots of pajamas and many Christmas gifts for children and relatives. Finally, I gave it to my married son and it still works just fine.

While I still owned that slant needle machine I decided I wanted a machine that zigzagged, and a friend told me exactly where to find it. She took me to a used Singer store. I bought the machine for $100 and began zigzagging every opportunity I had. The machine was used and worked very well. I used it for years and then gave that to my daughter and it still works.

Time to buy another machine. I walked into a dealer of Bernina sewing machines. The salesperson told me I could buy a $1600. machine for $1000. And truth to tell, the former owner had barely used it. There is no doubt but that it was new, new. Someone had decided to buy it and then immediately bought a higher model. I took the machine home and it was great. It still works.

My point is this: if you need a sewing machine, it doesn’t have to be brand new. Save yourself several hundreds of dollars by buying a machine that is slightly used. They are tough machines and they rarely break down.

I wish I could say the same thing about other machines, but I really don’t have the experience. But as for sewing machines…shop around. Save your dollars and get a good deal. Then enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Save Money by Spending Some

I had always heard of folks buying used clothing to wear, but somehow I didn’t think I would ever do that. I had, however, worn hand me downs from friends who had outgrown items, and I was happy with that.

But I surprised myself one day when my husband and I went for a walk. We ran into a garage sale where I found a skirt for $2 and a silk blouse for $2 also. I have worn them quite often. I found another garage sale where I bought some vests the owner had outgrown. I kept one and even gave the others to friends telling them my source.

My last successful buy was a $15. dress, which still had the sale ticket on it and fit me perfectly. Since I wasn’t acquainted with the label, I came home and looked it up on the internet. That dress and others with that label sell for over $300. So you can see how much I saved. Besides, I love the dress.

A really good shopping venue is also an “estate sale”. You can find jewelry, furniture and other useful items. A friend of mine has found beautiful linens, many of which were still in the original package. I bought a bowl which I have learned in a magazine article might be worth as much as $200.

So, if you want your money to go far and own something you like, try the garage and estate sales. Select the older, better neighborhoods. You can’t go wrong. But remember, it should be something you want or need and the price should be very low. Good hunting!