It’s Sewing Machine Month over at Sew, Mama, Sew! and they want to hear all about our sewing machines! Funnily enough, this is a topic very relevant to me since this blog seems to have become a bit of a central point for people looking for instructions or information on Pinnock sewing machines. I get an enormous number of hits when people search for “Pinnock”! Sadly for most of them, I’m not much help because my machine isn’t anywhere near as old as theirs. But enough about that, the lowdown!
What brand and model do you have?
It’s a Pinnock Exclusiv Plus, and it states proudly on the front that it is made in West Germany. This was a present for my 21st birthday, so it dates to around 1989.
How long have you had it?
Oh, I just answered that in the previous question! It’s from around 1989 – so I’ve had it for twenty years.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I bet that if I asked Mum she’d remember what she paid for it. It was a mid-range machine at the time. Prior to getting this I sewed on Mum’s Husquvarna which dated back to the 70s (which she’s only just replaced this year).
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I sew all types of things! Primarily clothing, primarily woven fabrics, but now I also quilt and I sew loads of handbags. I also sew stretch fabrics with it (I did a KnitWit course back in my early 20s).
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew A LOT. Not professionally, but it’s still a lot. This machine has been going strong for twenty years. I reckon that I’d sew for an average of around five hours most weeks, but often more. Often way more! I try to get the machine serviced each year.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I have really loved my machine – I’ve been using it so long that I could almost sew using it with my eyes shut. I know where everything is, and all its quirks. But I am looking to replace her…
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
This machine has lots of good features. It’s strong, has a good variety of stitches, and seems to handle most fabrics without much trouble. It’s got all the standard stitches and lots of specialty ones, and came with a number of specialty feet (although I’ve recently bought a few more). That said, I’ve worked out what additional features I’d like to have in a new machine.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
No! That’s a bit of a surprise. Maybe because I’m so used to it.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
My machine now contains a number of dressmaking pins that Stella has dropped into it. The bobbin winding mechanism is on the top, and there is a hole there where it slides across to engage the winding wheel. It’s the perfect size for pins. I’ll have to warn the serviceman when I take it in next that there are loads of pins inside it. Surprisingly, they must have missed all the moving parts. And because the machine is mechanical, not electronic, it hasn’t created too much havoc.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
This was one of the last Pinnocks made. It’s an excellent workhorse machine that sews nicely and reliably, and can handle most of what I throw at it.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
You really need to think about what type of sewing you do, because that will influence the type of features you need to look for. Obviously, budget will have an effect. Good service and a reliable dealer are also very important – you want to be able to get new feet when you need them and have your machine serviced or repaired quickly when necessary. You need to spend a bit of time sewing with different machines before you purchase too.
Do you have a dream machine?
Yes I do! I’m currently dreaming of a Bernina or a Husquvarna that has a variety of fully automatic buttonholes, automatic needle up/down, maybe a stitch regulator, a good selection of embroidery stitches, maybe a knee lift, a long throat, excellent lighting …. there are a few machines that could hit the mark, so I’m saving my dollars! I expect to pay around $2000-$3000 (Australian) to get what I want. Gulp!
I also have a Janome MyLock 744D I bought two years ago.
I had loads of trouble with the threads breaking at first, and wasn’t terribly happy. However, the shop checked it out and re-threaded it and since then we are developing a positive relationship. I really only use it to sew and finish seams in one hit, or to finish seams I’ve sewn on the Pinnock. I know that overlockers can be used much more creatively than this, but at the moment it’s just fine this way.
While I’m talking about machines, I also want to mention irons and ironing board covers. Good ironing equipment makes the world of difference to the quality of your sewing, particularly when making garments. I’ve just bought my second Fitz Like a Glove ironing board cover.
These are the best ironing board covers I’ve ever used, and I’m only getting a new one because the old one is so grubby from fusibles. Their service is fantastic. I’ve got no affiliation with them other than being a satisfied customer, so do check them out if you’re looking for new ironing equipment.