Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Her name is Helga


Sew Mama Sew, apart from being a great shop and a resource for all things home sewing (with free tutorials, patterns and weekly giveaways as an added bonus), has also given me yet another opportunity to brag about my new machine. Brag? Nah... Me? I'm just helping people looking for a new sewing machine to buy. It's for the greater good. Really...


Ahem, well, without farther ado, The Sew Mama Sew Sewing Machine Meme:

Introducing: Helga

What brand and model do you have? Viking Emerald 183 (yep the same one they're giving away! Let me just say "wow")

How long have you had it? Six months

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? $800 But it was on sale for $600 at Joann's at the time

What types of things do you sew? Plush, clothes, a bit of home decor stuff, lots of small things

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? On average 6-10 hours a week

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love Helga to bits. Love her-love her-love her. This machine is solid and is very smooth to operate. I often say it can sew without me, all she needs me to do is press on the pedal.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? I like the ease of stitch selection and adjustment, and the Stop and Fix buttons. I like that it's electronic and gives me some indication of what's wrong when something is wrong. That was a big frustration point with my old Singer 8280. I also love the drop in bobbin.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? Not really. I'd say the manual is a bit vague, but so far that's it. I haven't tried sewing knits with it yet, or making button holes or some-such, so who knows. Oh, it's also not the prettiest machine in the world, but it has a brick-ish charm.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! It was a Xmas present from my darling husband. He knew I was saving up for a new machine as a part of trying to make more of my wardrobe (instead of small children in china), and decided that the gift budget we set for the year was not to his liking. Yes, he is a catch, and for your information - I have some fighting skills. I've been paint-balling, watch out.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Absolutely. I know it's pricey, but a refurbished machine or if you did a tradeoff at a Joann's store might help drop the price somewhat. If you don't need the embroidery stitches (did I mention it has some of those?) you could possibly go to the lower end ones in the Emerald range, but I believe none of them are electronic. Yeah, it's kinda fancy-nancy, but it just makes things a bit nicer and smoother. Also, it's a sturdy beast, unlike a lot of machines at the same level (like the Singers), it feels like an old school machine, built to last. That's also the main thing I read in reviews about it as a big big bonus.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? What you're planning to sew, how much are you willing to spend (with the understandinprobablyhave to sacrifice some comfort and quality,), what other sewers feel about a certain brand and machine (learn from other people's experience). I'd definitely try and find a place to test-sew on the machine you're considering. Comfort and ergonomics are important and hard to gauge if you're not sitting in front of one. On that note, remember that the sales people are there to make a commission, so don't let them sell you on a machine that you were not planning to get, is more than you need or just plain doesn't work for you.

Do you have a dream machine? This one! I hope it will last me a lifetime of sewing. I do sometimes fantasize about my grandma's old black and gold Singer, though. Those are gorgeous machines (not to mention the sentimental value).


Feel free to ask me anything else, BTW! I'm no expert, but if I can get a chance to chew your ear off with my smarty-pants-know-it-all-ness I'll most likely take it. Be warned.

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10 Comments:

At 1:25 PM, June 29, 2009, Blogger mub said...

I love that you named your machine Helga *L* Mine is a Viking too, but I wasn't as creative with the name... it's a green machine so I named it Greenie!

 
At 9:08 PM, July 05, 2009, Anonymous training education said...

thanks for the idea.. I am planning also to buy my own machine.

 
At 6:54 AM, October 19, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the Emerald 183 and I call her......ahem Auntie Em as I'm Dorothy. I love this machine however I had to laugh at the comment it could sew on it's own, this is a replacement machine seems some of them have defects which is normal for all machines my former 183 started to sew on it's own, but Viking was very understanding and swapped out a new machine for me.

 
At 12:19 PM, April 13, 2010, Blogger a said...

So now that you've had your Viking Emerald 183 for a year and a half, how do you find her? Was she worth the money you spent? Is she a sturdy workhorse or have you had problems with her? Also, I've seen in other reviews that there's a whine when the bobbin is winded. What do you say about that?
Excuse me all these questions... I'm trying to decide between a Viking and a Babylock...

 
At 11:01 AM, April 19, 2010, Blogger Michal Wright-Ward said...

A (sorry, no direct email I could contact you at) - I have zero problems with Helga. she is built like a Viking, which was one of the main reasons I liked her at the store. I used to be a big Singer fan, but their new machines are so light and plastic-y feeling. I did hear of some people having issues with theirs, but when I was looking at reviews, the pros outweighed the cons. I don't have the bobbin wind whine personally.
I love my Viking, but yes, it is pricey. you might want to check at Joann's - I got mine on a huge sale there around Xmas, and they also have a trade in for an old machine that might help.
good luck!

 
At 11:13 AM, April 19, 2010, Blogger a said...

Thanks Michal! I've decided to go with my trusted Husqvarna. I think it's the best to follow your heart :)

 
At 11:17 AM, April 19, 2010, Blogger Michal Wright-Ward said...

glad I could help, A! enjoy! and don't forget to give her a proper name. : )

 
At 10:22 PM, January 24, 2012, Anonymous AMA said...

A name for the machine?! Sweet

 
At 10:30 PM, October 15, 2013, Blogger rocketsciencemommy said...

Any updates on Helga? I bought an Emerald 183 last summer and love her to pieces (I just hope I never see her in pieces).

 
At 8:40 PM, October 17, 2013, Blogger Michal Wright-Ward said...

Hi Rocket Science Mommy! yup, i still love Helga. only issues i had ever was a threaded screw that holds the needle (a $6.95 fix) and me breaking the feed-dog lowering lever. can't recommend this machine enough. and i'm about to start sewing my son's Halloween costume on it right now. thanks for your feedback!

 

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