Saturday, April 18, 2009


Mum dropped off her beloved, and slightly neglected, sewing machine this morning. It's a brilliantly named Contessa 120 - distributed by Elna. I've had a love-hate relationship with this machine over the years...I want to love it, it's just that it hates me back - why Contessa, why?

So, as I'm in my own apartment now, I'm hoping this will fool Contessa into thinking I am not me, and it will have great tension and not eat material. I like the weight of it and the thought of getting use out of a machine that's been banished to the back of the cupboard is good for the soul...

Question: What sewing machine do you use? If it's 'vintage' do you have any tips?


  1. Sounds like your gonna have some nice adventure with your sewing machine. :) I uses a compact sewing machine and im stil learning how to use it. I must say it's really fun! Some advice from my friends is to just take time to get to know your sewing machine--read the user manual, become familiar with all the functions of the machine and just play around and have fun!
    Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

  2. def agree with jacqueline.
    Good oil and clean up!
    If it eats fabrics make sure it is all clean under the machine esp in where the bobbin sits and under the metal plate thingie. (unscrew it)
    not the bobbin itself but the area around it. Get a brush (toothbrush) and give it a good gentle clean! And if it persists maybe get a quote for a service but weigh up the cost as u could get a good machine on ebay?!
    Re: my machine. Well its a domestic Janome My Excel 23X (model: MX3123). I've had it for 16/17 years! It's loyal and hardworking!
    its survived art and fashion school. So I'm a tad attached to it. Its been around longer than partners and friends. So I was a little defensive when my mum asked me recently if I still had it! I was so mortified she would think of asking such as thing! hahahaha "Of course I do! how could you even ask!" (with my nose turned up on the telephone in response). I bought it when I was 16 years old with mum and it cost literally the equivalent of a miu miu bag back then! hahahahaha. I would love an industrial esp the Juki (with auto thread cutter) but have used Singer, Brother and even Seiko in my fashion travels. But space, weight and cost has prevented myself acquiring one for the moment. But I am looking currently for a bargain Janome domestic Overlocker 4 thread. :)

  3. Pssst...Danielle, you inspired me! I just started a food blog this morning at


  4. How nice to be able to use your mum's old machine. I'm glad to hear you made peace.

  5. I would definitely recommend getting your machine serviced. Ask around at local quilt shops for someone they recommend. Once you find someone get them to have a look over it and give you a quote before going ahead. Like Ritz said you might have to weigh up if it's worth it. I had an old machine serviced. It cost me $90 and it now runs like a dream.

  6. I would recommend getting your machine serviced. Hope you find someone that can be trusted. I have a Contessa 120. It was given to me as a gift in 1984. I had it serviced last week. It cost me $150.00 and a bobbin case.