Behold! New machine! It is a Brother JX 2517, which got excellent reviews from advanced beginners and cost under $75.
It is not intended to be a machine that lasts 30 years and carries me into advanced sewing, because the odds are good that I'll never get to advanced sewing. It is intended to be a machine that allows me to sew straight and zigzag seams without using language that would embarrass a longshoreman.
Here, for contrast, is the old machine. It is possessed by demons.
The yellowish color is neither dirt nor a trick of the light. It is what happens to plastic in Arizona. The door of my white microwave has shaded to cream and is headed for banana.
Goodbye, old machine! I am not hauling it on the bus to Goodwill because there are limits to the ridiculous things I will do, and wheeling a sewing machine in my little cart around the neighborhood crosses that line. (The cart would be needed -- this machine is apparently composed of the dense matter at the heart of stars. Maybe that explains why it's inert.)
So off I went to the Maryvale Walmart. Of course, I couldn't grocery shop because that would be heavy and bulky, but I could check the toy section for bargains. Monster High furniture from the last round is being closed out, and somewhere, somebody found a last Sila Clops to mark down to $7.
Getting Fairest Briar Beauty is indeed still on the shelves at full price.
Astonishingly, Walmart staff knew what a ship-to-store pick-up was and processed mine promptly. Within minutes, I was waiting for a bus, clutching my "light weight" sewing machine.
Carrying around a sewing machine is apparently a sure-fire conversation-starter. Maybe I should take one to parties.
Front of box: note how machine has reassuring floral pattern. My Office 2013 has a reassuring floral pattern. I should probably just put reassuring floral patterns on everything. Reassuring floral pattern = this is not hard, and you do not need to swear at it.
The back of the box promises 17 built-in stitches, which are essentially four stitches in different sizes. Since so far, I use only two stitches, four stitches still doubles the size of my potential universe.
Attachments! Also included are four bobbins, which is good, as of course this machine takes a bobbin that looks almost exactly like my prior bobbins but is subtly different in vital ways.
Dial for 17 stitches, with guide to same. Do not be intimidated: there is a reassuring floral pattern to remind is that all is well. Look! A bird!
Here, we assume the beginner is completely confused by winding a bobbin. That's pretty accurate.
More bobbin instructions. Also, the thread spindle goes up and down. I deeply love having a vertical thread spindle: I was never sure if I had the thread unwinding the right way on the horizontal one.
The cat, now confident that the box does not contain another cat, watches from a safe distance.
The bobbin compartment has a clear lid, providing reassurance at all times that the bobbin is bob-bob-bobbing along.
More exciting is that groove to the side. My hesitant stabs at sewing have always involved machines where you catch the bobbin thread in little notches in the bobbin case, then raise it by lowering the needle and pulling up a loop of thread.
Nope! Drop in the bobbin, run the thread through the groove, pull to cut off the excess. Done! No notches, no fussing, and the thread raises itself when you go to sew.
I got the thread tension figured out before falling over, set my alarm for five in the morning... and discovered that there's no natural light that early in Phoenix (unlike Minneapolis).
So I sewed on slippery black fabric with black thread in minimal light because sometimes that's what you do. Quality control on Briony's new dress is likely poor, but clearly, I got a new bobbin wound.
The girls were going to have flowered hair bands, but the hot glue gun refused to release glue. Since it did not have a reassuring floral pattern, I swore at it.
Getting a dress made in 20 minutes does, however, increase the likelihood that Hattie, Krys, and Sophie will get new dresses.