My sewing machines


I’m always interested in what sewing machines people have at home. I know there are countless different models out there even if the number of brands is fairly small by comparison.  I’m a Pfaff girl and even within that brand there are what appears to be the best part of 100 different models – all very confusing.


My Mum was a keen dressmaker and loved her Elna so she very kindly bought me a portable Elna Stella TSP when I left university and was still very much moving around.  At  that stage I was still making the majority of my own clothes. Despite a lot of abuse and rough treatment it saw me through the next 30 years. In the end after many years of benign neglect it finally died. This  spurred  me on to look for a larger machine that was geared up to quilting.

To cut a very long story short I went with the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 and have had, and I’m crossing my fingers as I type, a pretty trouble free 4 years.  The large throat size helped me make the final decision and also the price category of an equivalent Bernina was just more than I wanted to pay. If it disappeared would I go for the same machine – always the acid test? In that price bracket almost certainly yes. If I wanted to up my price bracket then the Bernina 7 series looks and sews beautifully and has a stitch regulator in free motion but I’m happy with what I’ve got.  So happy that I got it a friend, the Pfaff Passport, they share feet but the Passport is a lovely portable machine perfect for classes.


I have found a great deal of advice and inspiration about this sewing machine from Karin of the Quilt Yarn. Karin uses the same machine and aside from quilting exquisitely she is very generous with her tips and advice about all matters but in particular all aspects of getting the best out of this sewing machine. Like many I struggled with fmq but with perseverance and the relevant pages of Karin’s blog next to me I’ve got to the stage where it’s ok and improving but crucially I’m enjoying it. I can’t recommend her blog enough.

A relatively recent purchase has been my beautiful Singer Featherweight. There is so much good press out there for these mini workhorses and I couldn’t resist getting one myself.


As befits her 66 years she’s not as fast as she was but is perfect for piecing and pretty enough to have on permanent display in the lounge. It’s also where I can sew in the winter and keep cosy warm as opposed to my rather icy sewing room upstairs.  There’s more on her in this post.

Would I think about a mid arm or long arm machine? Well aside from the cost I would have to evict a child! I think that would be just cause to complain to Child Line and I think my priorities would be questioned!