The big thing I discovered is that you should use the BUTTONHOLE FOOT. Shocking, I know. My tips are cutting edge once again. For some reason, I thought that there wouldn't be a dedicated buttonhole foot for a multi-step buttonhole. Indeed there is. (I know, I can't believe I'm writing this either. Gertie, Queen of the Obvious.) For a multi-step buttonhole, it's a simple little doohickey with grooves on the bottom that slide smoothly over the "beads" - the raised sides of the buttonhole. The other change I made was to set the stitch length just a little shorter than recommended. Voila! Lovely buttonholes. At least I think they're lovely. What say you?
Also, I just wanted to share that I love my new machine. It's perfect for me, and I'm so glad I went with this one. I've made a blouse and a skirt on her, and we've bonded already. I still don't have a name for her though! All in good time, I suppose.
Anyway, on the topic of fancy sewing machines, as promised in this post title. I was interested in a comment Robin made on my earlier buttonhole post. She said:
I think you did a great job assessing your needs and weighing them to make your sewing machine decision. The business model used by SM manufacturers /dealers is frustratingly outdated and much maligned. Too many people go in with an idea of what they want and come out with a machine costing way more; with features they will never use.Great point, I thought. It would have been very easy for me to be talked into a fancier machine, like the Aurora I was originally looking at. Though I agree the business model of sewing machine manufacturers and dealers is somewhat shady (convincing you that you NEED the top of the line model to sew beautiful things), is it also outdated, like Robin suggests? There does seem to be a push toward more streamlined, USEFUL technology in the computer world (like what Apple is doing, for instance). I wonder how this could be applied to the sewing machine industry.
And yes, I'm sure I would have loved the Aurora as well. Time will tell for sure, but I don't think I need the features of the Aurora, which would have cost me an extra $1,049. And with the money saved, I'm planning on attending one of Susan Khalje's couture sewing schools, an experience that I think will advance my sewing more than 283 stitches would.
What do you think? Are there ways you would like to see the business model for the sewing machine industry change? Are you frustrated with the choices (or lack thereof)? Please share!