My amma’s new sewing machine

My experience on the sewing machine goes back to when I was studying the subject Home Economics in the eighth grade.Our teacher, we used to call her Mrs Pallister. Oh boy, she was a meany. We were all scared of her. We had to be punctual to class, if we didn’t pitch (bunk) she will literally hunt us down. She taught us once and expected us to pay attention and intake everything that she showed us the first time. We would write a test every second lesson. I just remember how to thread the spool of cotton into the machine.

She used to utter the following words very often:

“Bobbin”, “Spool”, “hem”,”pin”

I think these were her favourite words. She used spit when she talked. I always used to avoid siting in the front of the class.

She had the eye of a vulture. If a kid tries to fool around she would know. She had eyes on the back of her head.

Well anyways, I made a pair of shorts for my brother, in those home economics classes. Hmm, it wasn’t the best pair of shorts he owned but atleast he wore it once or twice. I never thought I will ever come across a sewing machine ever again. I just realised while typing this post, what ever you learn, it will somehow cross over in your life time…in the future … somewhere.

It is a simple machine, not a well known one. My amma always wanted a sewing machine to stitch her bits and pieces of clothing as she was tired of sewing by hand. Funny enough she never owned a thimble or a pin cushion.

She was interested in all kinds of embroidery, knitting. crochet and so on. I think this machine will do her some good and serve the purpose of her desire. I bought this machine for her on mother’s day. She was so happy. She always wanted a simple machine, nothing complicated and fancy.

Every time my amma and I made a trip to India, we took a visit to the tailors…Obviously us women love clothes shopping. We had to go the tailors for indian outfits, especially if we had to stitch a blouse for our sarees… If you are interested in knowing how sarees are made check out my post on how sarees are made.

I just love to see how the tailors stitch. Their hands work so fast, faster than the machine itself. Usually most of the tailors are men.

I also tried out my hand on sewing. I sewed amma’s skirt.

I might build up a passion over sewing. However when I first assembled the machine and threaded the string, I jammed the machine 🙁 I took me almost an hour to fix the problem but it was a two minute fix.

This is the bobbin case. This is where the other part of thread for sewing is fitted. It is right below the needle feed.

Even though the machine is electronic, the foot press still plays a big role in sewing.

My first try at stitching. I wasn’t completely satisfied with it, but hey it’s only the beginning. My amma is super happy with the stitching. Even though I marked it with a pen, I didn’t stitch straight.

Trying out stitching patterns. Apparently you can stitch buttons and even the button holes.

Here you can see different stitch pattern.

I can’t believe I have typed the word “stitch” so many times in this blog but my hands are not willing to type the accurate spelling.

Here is a short history on sewing machine:

In 1790 English inventor Thomas Saint was the first to patent a design for a sewing machine but he did not advertise his invention.It was meant for leather and canvas. It is likely that Saint had a working model but there is no evidence of one; he was a skilled cabinet maker and included many practically functional features: an overhanging arm, a feed mechanism (adequate for short lengths of leather), a vertical needle bar, and a looper. (In 1874 a sewing machine manufacturer, William Newton Wilson, found Saint’s drawings in the London Patent office, made adjustments to the looper, and built a working machine, currently owned by the London Science Museum.) – Wikipedia

Every British woman needed to know stitching in the 1970’s. It was their past time. The above photo depicts an old sewing machine.

Stitch stitch stitch away ===========




  1. Thanks for the nice post very informative. I remember my mom use to own one of those old ones back in 80s. and she would spend hours stitching school uniforms for kids in out neighbourhood for free.

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