I grew up believing that a sewing machine was as essential a household appliance as a vacuum cleaner. Even if one didn’t make clothing, there were curtains to run up, Halloween candy bags to make, and assorted little tasks that needed a sewing machine.
My mom made clothing too, but it always had that “home made” look. After she sewed me one 1960s grade school jumper that had a finish rendering it permanently off grain, I decided if anyone was to sew my clothes, it would be me. I made a few things on her machine in the early 1970s, and found out I had a perfectionist streak after all.
When I went off to college, my parents bought me a sewing machine from Sears. It was a basic machine, all metal and heave as the concrete blocks that made up my book shelves, but it worked, and worked for many years. It did great on basic fabrics, but as the years went on, it got cranky.
DIY Garage Door = New Machine
In 2008 or so, my then husband and I lived in a house with decomposing garage doors. They were beyond “old” and well along to becoming compost. We decided to replace them.
The cost of having new doors installed was astounding … several thousand dollars. So one morning we headed off the the big box store and came home with 2 doors for about $350 total. I read the instructions, he did the heavy lifting, and by that evening, we had two bright, shiny garage doors. We decided to treat ourselves with the money we saved. I decided to get myself a new sewing machine.
I figured out what I wanted in a new machine:
- ability to sew well on a wide variety of garment fabrics
- needle up-down button
- a reverse feature that didn’t require me to hold down a lever
- adjustable presser foot pressure
Just about every other feature I wanted was standard on machines with these.
I was surprised at how few “garment sewing” machines were available. Sewing machines were either very basic (poorly made), or designed for quilters, or embroidery machines. I already had a basic machine, need features quilters don’t, and never plan to do machine embroidery.
I was surprised to see how few machines have adjustable presser foot pressure. I use this feature all the time, it helps keep the fabric layers moving smoothly no matter how thick they are. This quickly became my limiting factor.
Enter the Viking
Only one machine met all my needs: the Viking 775. It had all the features on my list, and was reasonably priced compared to the competition. However, it had just been discontinued. As in, a month or so earlier … a couple phone calls and a couple long drives, and I had a floor model, well-discounted.
This machine sews well on any fabric I throw at it. My daughter has used it to make dresses out of thin rayon jersey and alter prom dresses. It hems jeans without a hiccup. It has more stitches than I’ll ever use, and many that I will. The buttonhole maker works beautifully. It even takes the same presser feet as my old Sears — but it uses different bobbins, you can’t have everything. I love my Husky.
Viking is the brand name the Husqvarna company uses for household appliances. They also make chainsaws and other “manly” tools they sell under the Husqvarna name, that are referred to as “Huskys”.
So my machine is my Husky.