Way back before Thanksgiving I decided it was time to upgrade from the $99 Brother machine that I had been using since collage (when I couldn't get to my mom's house to use her White that she had bought in the 70's) so I did what I do for lots of my shopping these days - I turned to Amazon. I found a machine that I liked at what I thought was a price that would provide a quality machine. I was wrong. I bought the Singer Quantum Stylist and after only about 5 uses - none of them doing anything crazy, it broke. Singer wanted me to pay to send it in for repairs. I was really disappointed because I thought I had purchased a machine that would last a very long time (my mom's machine from the 70's is still going strong) but I learned that even though it is possible I got a "lemon" that even with a perfect machine it couldn't be expected to last as all the insides were plastic - and for those of you who sew you know that sometimes sewing can be a violent, high powered event - sometimes I think I should wear safety goggles.
Anyway, then I realized that there is a whole other level of machines that you can't buy from Amazon or a big box craft store. These machines are sometimes made by the same manufacturers but have all metal parts, involve some technology that is used in football helmets and come with warranties on parts and lots of free lessons and support to make sure you know everything your machine can do. However these machines have a much bigger price tag. As in 4 digits, some go up to 5 and the first number usually isn't a 1. So A LOT of money. Though I do think that a lot of the value comes from the store that has expert sewers on staff and monthly gatherings where people can share. I had been contemplating quilting classes - but I don't think I would need them with the added support.
But I've used sewing machines enough over the years to know what I want, at least somewhat and to know what doesn't interest me. When I went to my local dealer they started with a very basic 3 digit price tag machine but suggested that I might want a better one and I actually did - so we moved to a better model - the Elna 720 I believe which was ok - I wanted more decorative stitches and that machine didn't have a free arm - I really wanted a free arm. (A free arm is where you can remove some of the bottom of the machine to make the part where the sewing happens really skinny so you can slide a sleeve or pants leg around it to sew on it.) So we moved on to the next machine - the Elna 740 and it had everything I wanted and more - but it was out of the price range I wanted. This brought me to the realization that to buy what I actually wanted I would have to spend more than I wanted. Spending at the top of my original budget would have gotten me a machine that didn't excite me and would have made me feel like it was a waste because I don't think I would have used it very often or really been able/encouraged to do things I was unable to do before.
I went to a few other shops and all the machines they showed me that were only a few hundred dollars lower in price were exponentially lower in quality. I used the same samples and tried them on different machines and the Elna 740 really kicked the but of a similarly priced Viking Sapphire. KICKED IT. So whatever, I did it. I was excited but nervous. Nervous. Nervous.
You see, I'm terrible at spending money - seriously. I don't like to spend it. You guys know from here that I love the thrift store and one time I even made myself put back a $3.99 item because it was too expensive. Any time I buy anything on the internet I check about a gazillion different websites looking for the best price/shipping/coupon combo which can take hours upon hours. Then, even when I am pretty confident that I have found the best combo I leave that tab open in my browser for days, weeks, even months. Often I will accidentally close that tab and then never end up buying whatever it is I was looking at because I feel like I have to start all over again. This is a very factual account of what really happens. Sometimes I don't buy what I want to eat at the grocery store because it is expensive and then I don't want to eat the food I have because it is not what I want then it is wasteful and I am hungry. I sort of have a problem like that.
Then occasionally I get in a mood where I feel like what good is money if I don't spend it, right? As long as I don't go into debt and maintain some savings I'm allowed to have a little fun right? So generally when I'm in the mood I just have to spend the money because if I don't I will tightwad all up again in a moment.
So this afternoon I spent money. And I am excited, and I am nervous, and as you can see I just wrote an entire blog post justifying to myself and for some reason, everyone else, how I spend my money.
Also, umm I think I'm going to start a jeans repair business. How many darned pairs of jeans will it take to make Ellen feel better? Let's ask Mr. Owl.