I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew. My mom used to sew some of her own dresses when I was a little kid, and I used to see Butterick paper patterns lying around the house next to all the pins and needles that I wasn’t allowed to touch. But as the years passed and she got really busy raising 3 kids, the table with the shiny, heavy black Singer sewing machine eventually became just a receptacle for odds and ends around my grandparents house.
My interest in sewing only sparked once again when I got married last 2011. While looking for material for the dresses of our godparents and entourage, I saw all this great fabric that is much better quality than a lot of the ready-to-wear clothes available right now for a fraction of the cost. I really love the designs in Tyler (a local brand here in the Philippines) but I find it quite overpriced and I often have to get some alterations done which makes it even pricier!
My mom mentioned that one of the reasons she stopped sewing was the lack of patterns here in Manila. So I looked online to see where I could get patterns and found tons of inspiration, online patterns, and tutorials in a lot of fun blogs such as Sewaholic, Happy Together, Little Pink Monster, and so many other interesting sites that really inspired me to embrace my crafty side especially with our little one on the way. Pattern problems solved!
I decided to take the plunge and find myself my first sewing machine. I saw on the blog We Love Sewing that there are second hand machines available near Manila Hotel but I decided to hold out for a new one instead. I found that Peninsula Appliances in Paco carries new Singer and Brother sewing machines so I called them up the week before Christmas at (02)5854503 and they told me I could stop by their shop. It was a busy work week though and I didn’t have the time to drive out there, so I headed to Ansons Appliance Center in The Link to look for a sewing machine but I was informed that they no longer had any stock in that branch. I walked over to SM Makati but unfortunately they told me the same thing. This means one of two things, sewing in the Philippines is either a lost art or is becoming extremely popular. I do hope it’s the latter. :)
My search within Makati was not fruitful, but we left the country for a quick vacation during Christmas break where I was finally able to get that elusive first sewing machine! Which model did I choose and why? Well, I’d like to say that I looked into the capabilities and specifications of several machines and compared prices in several stores and sites, but I may as well admit to all of you this early on that I’m not exactly a type A kind of person. I went into the mall knowing only that I wanted the following things:
- I knew I wanted a Singer or a Brother machine since these are the only two brands with service centers here in Manila (See, I did do a little research!)
- I wanted a midprice (less than 10,000 Php or 250 USD) and midrange sewing machine without too many bells and whistles since I don’t know how much time I will have to sew and how good I will be at it
- Must be able to do automatic buttonholes and have a top bobbin
Not very stringent criteria I know, but Sears and Walmart in the mall we went to made it easy. Sears only had Kenmore sewing machines in stock that day and Walmart had only 4 models ranging from 99 to 300 USD. So around 15 minutes after I walked in Walmart, I was the excited new owner of a computerized Brother CE8080:
Of course, I also had to get some patterns and sewing supplies for my sewing stash which I will share with all of you very soon. Wish me luck everyone!