WANT: Singer Curvy

Gimme gimme gimme!

Since the last time I moved I valiantly gave back my sewing machine to my ex (was his g’ma’s) and am itchin to start making curtains and throw pillows and other, more interesting things, I’ve had sewing machines on the brain.

The needless complexities, which I understand but still abhor, seem to have been circumvented by this machine.

So, gimme.

Sewing is something we spend a lot of time doing here at the Unplggd Asylum. We have a number of machines but they are generally what one would call… purpose-built. Ok, let’s face the hard truth: most sewing machines are not designed to fit into an earthling’s decor… in recent years a vortex of oddness and downright otherworldy ugliness has enveloped the world of home sewing machinery. Well, someone at Singer must have noticed this because they have finally brought something attractive to the sewing table. We decided to put one to work on our kitchen curtains…

The new Singer Curvy is not just curvy in that blobby, junky sort of way. It has simple clean lines which will fit well with the modern look of today’s [IKEA decorated] homes.

The buttons are easy to figure out which is a lot more than can be said for many of the competitors of the Curvy. You simply choose a stitch and keep pressing the button on that row until the LED lights up on your stitch. The presser foot will make robot sounds and move a bit when you do- it is just adjusting to the new positioning of the chosen stitch and (probably) not trying to take over the world.

Threading the machine is a simple hook it on here, slide it through there proposition… gone are the days of journeying your thread through a confusing landscape of strangely shaped protuberances, springs and hidden tunnels to get to the golden needle of Zara.

Speaking of needles… A major barrier to people getting started sewing is often “fear of threading a needle”. A cool feature that the Curvy has is the auto-threader- seen above- you just put the thread in the correct notch and pull down on the lever and it threads your needle- takes a minute to figure it out, but it works really well.

Now on to the sewing:
Because of how easy it is to set up, it is really quick to get working on this machine. One of the major things that keeps us from diving into projects is the time it takes to prep. This system eliminates that ramp up.

It is SO easy to switch back and forth between stitch types that you could comfortably use almost all the stitches on one seam, switching as you go (with a brief pause while you press the button). Most stitches are very useful- see above.

Two minor complaints:
1. The needle always ends in the “up” position when you take your foot off the pedal- we would prefer that the needle always end in the “down” position for easier fabric manipulation during pauses.
2. The computer control prevents you from pulsing predictably through difficult parts of the seam- if you are trying to hold fabric together and keep it from bunching under the needle at the same time, a method for dealing with that is to tap the foot pedal to modulate the speed so it doesn’t plow through your work. On the Curvy, you need to allow the pedal to return to full height and press back down again to get it to restart- which it does very smoothly- so again not a huge complaint.
These are probably common things in machines with computer control, but just thought we would point them out.

What makes a machine is how it works in real life… so we put it to the test on a simple project that had been nagging to be taken care of.

We live in a nice neighborhood with mostly nice neighbors and all of that, but there is one problem with the layout of our house: There is a window in the kitchen which provides unobstructed views to the interior- it makes us feel like we are always on stage. All we need is to put a microphone over the sink and people will start congregating outside complaining about how they liked our “old stuff” better.

When we moved in, there were some really doily (it’s a verb now) curtains which would have looked good in the 17th century, but we doused them in rubbing alcohol and burned them and peed on the fire to put it out (too much?).

IKEA to the rescue. (That would have been a good place for an exclamation point if it weren’t such a ubiquitous phrase.)

Buy curtains, cut them, hem them… buy curtain rod, cut it, mount it.. That is what we did and here is how we did it:

Remove inner sleeve from outer sleeve and put outer sleeve away for another project.

Cut that junk. Rough is ok cuz it ain’t gunna show.

Drill holes for the rod (Weren’t we sewing?). TWO HOLES; that’s it- make sure they are even.

Add two inches to the length of the curtain to fold it over twice. The easy way is to fold one inch, sew, fold one more time, sew. This is a good place to point out how easy it is to sew sheer/gauzy materials on this machine- a breezee.

Speaking of breezes- Hazzah; the wind dances through our new curtains:

All in all a great machine to work with. Quick to set up, easy to use, strong enough to handle most home needs, and VERY ATTRACTIVE- what do you expect with a name like Curvy?

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