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I knit as you all know, and I can hand sew too. The last few years I have thought about learning to machine sew properly. This year after watching the Great British Sewing Bee I decided that this is the time to start and learn a new skillset. Luckily, I have a sewing machine which my Aunt gave me back in the early ’90s. Every now and again I bring it out if I am sewing something large, but it’s rare, as I tend to sew by hand. This evening I got it out. It has a hard shell carry case that goes over it and clips onto the machine base, but, for some reason, I looked inside the hard shell cover and discovered it had an extension fitted to it in the photograph. I have had this machine for about 26 years and never knew it was there.

This is my machine, The Janome New Home 632 Heavy Duty

As well as having the instruction manual, I also have all the tools for it and the original oil dispenser, complete with original oil. I plugged it in and tried it, just to make sure that it was still in order, and off it went. I need to do a service on it by cleaning the moving parts and oiling it, but apart from that, it is ready to go. I have tried to find out when it was made but to no avail. However, I have emailed Janome and asked if they could tell me so I will update when I find out. I read an article that talks about machines post 1975 and roughly suggests 1985, if so it is 34 years old, and indeed vintage.

I have quite a few old things upstairs that I can use to get used to using it like clothes and bedding, but once I have mastered it I will experiment and try a few simple patterns, then finally make some shirts for myself.

I have been looking about for a new machine and found two lovely Brother machines, the FS40 (below left) and the FS100WT (below right). After watching Brothers videos on them both I am more inclined to go for the FS100WT. It is a lot more expensive than the other, but it does so much more, and 100 pre-programmed stitches and letters as opposed to just 40 stitches on the other.

Does anyone reading have experience with sewing? What route would you suggest I take in order to learn? I have been watching “The Jason of all Trades” on YouTube. A male sewer who shows you how to sew like a pro, including little projects and a fab looking backpack. Let me know your thoughts, and any guidance will be greatly appreciated.

I will still continue to do my knitting, but I need a new skillset to get my teeth into this year. I may never get to the level of Savile Row, but hell, I will give it a go.