Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brother sewing machine

My sewing room is starting to look like a little sweatshop! Today I brought home my fifth sewing machine. It's a Brother from the 1970s, white with red accent. It's a very simple machine. And it is so pretty!
I bought it at Salvation Army last weekend for $12. I haggled and talked the manager down because it clearly needed to be serviced. The women at Salvo argued with me like I didn't know what I was talking about, telling me it worked fine because when they plugged it in the needle went up and down. Coming up, the needle bent almost 1/4" because the timing was so screwed up. "I sew. This machine works fine," the rude woman said. 
"Um, no. It doesn't. I sew for a living, and just because the needle moves doesn't mean it sews properly."
So the price went to $12 from $30. As I continued shopping, I heard the women talking shit about me in the back room. "It's a Brother. That's an expensive machine at Walmart," one said. Then they saw me looking at lamp shades nearby and shut right up. Just because something was once worth something, does not mean it is valuable when it needs work done.
Aside from the timing being off, the tension also needed adjusting. To get a sewing machine serviced costs $60 at Branum's Sewing And Vacuum, the place I take my machines here in Augusta. They're so nice and do great work. It's the second machine I've brought to them, and my Janome needs to make a trip in there soon as well.  They also serviced my Kenmore
This morning I drove down and picked her up! I was so excited to get home and get my sewing desk rearranged to fit another machine! I moved the serger that was there to a new sewing desk I also bought last weekend. That new desk now holds both of my Singers.
On my way home from Branum's, I stopped at "Blast to the past", a local thrift store where everything is $1. I found this awesome cork board and had to get it. I painted the cork red (my favorite color) to match the accents in my sewing room. It looks great behind my machine and even matches my boxes of sewing notions on my shelf.
The little ideas I get throughout the day always get written on small pieces of paper that I lose when I get home. I have this horrible habit of emptying my pockets onto my dresser and it's always a big ol' mess. Then I end up throwing all the pieces of paper away. I need to get a system with this "idea board" to stare me in the face while I'm working. I'm going to take old buttons and glue them onto metal push pins. It'll be so darling to hold my little pieces of paper.
My five machines in total are:
  1. Janome Sewist
  2. Kenmore
  3. Singer serger
  4. Singer machine
  5. Brother
Some people may think it's nuts that I have so many machines, but when you use them like I do, it's necessary to have an extra. An artist always has more than one set of brushes! Plus, now I can thread them with different thread colors and just hop back and fourth from machines not having to change them as often as I normally would.
I can't wait to spend a few hours with my new girl. She's such a beauty! Plus she'll be great for sewing lessons.

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  1. We are so glad that we could help you fix your Brother machine! Hope that you enjoy every minute with it:)


  2. GLad you stood your ground~ You know your machines! Hey, aside from your cork board,( if you don't already do so) keep a small purse-sizedd notebook with you to keep all your ideas in, then transfer them to your corkboard.
    I just went on another blog where a lady decorated her corkboard with magnets that she glued buttons on the back of to make them more attractive....
    I'm always excited to see what you're up to next!

  3. Great post!! Where is Blast to the Past???

  4. Thanks Alethia!
    My magnet board has bobbins and buttons glued to magnets. It's really cute : )

    Cee Cee --- I'm assuming you're in Augusta.. Blast to the past is on Washington Road, between Augusta National and Calhoun Expressway. On the same side of the road as Augusta National... right past the piano store. It says "EVERYTHING'S $1: Blast to the Past"
    Hope you can find it!

  5. Sally, I just picked up the same sewing machine from an auction in Pennsylvania. I almost got it for $6, but a woman joined the bidding battle and knocked it up to $9. I haven't sewn with a machine since high school and I completely forget how to get the bobbin into the mix. I figured out how it fits together, but after that I'm lost. It didn't come with its manual. Is there any direction you can point me in for help? I'm a cross stitcher dabbling in machines, a stranger in a strange land.

  6. Nevermind, I found what I needed :)

  7. Ah sorry I was just responding to this comment. Best of luck with your sewing. If you need help with learning there are tons of tutorials on the internet and feel free to email me with any questions:

    Have a great day !!!


  8. I have this same sewing machine, it was saved for my by my grandmother. I am missing the manual, do you happen to know the model #?

  9. I found a PDF for a manual online. The model is either vx810, vx807 or vx800. The manual works for all three. I'm assuming mine is one of the lower numbers because it lacks a few bells and whistles included in the back pages.

  10. Is that really from the 70s? The red brother? I have one just like it and my mom bought it brand new in 1992 from Sears. Mine's at the shop right now being serviced, I'm trying to find out the model number so I can find a manual for it.

  11. my mother has a machine like this one as well, the timing is off on it too. i was trying to find a repair manual for it at, but couldn't remember the model number. the only vac-n-sew shop around never stays in the same building for more than 3 months and can be hard to find sometimes.

    myh mom also has a sewing room set up with multiple machines, 2 sergers, 2 sewing machines (one is the brother i mentioned) and a new (to her) embroidery machine. it does save alot of time to have multiple machines!

  12. does any one know the model number to this particular sewing machine? I recently purchased one but i dont know how to work it

  13. That's a Brother VX-808. It dates from the early 1990s.

  14. Hi, I have this exact machine which was passed down from my grandmother; however, I don't have a manual. Can someone tell me where I can get one from?

  15. I just took out mine. It was my first sewing machine and my daughter would like it. I am going to take it in and be serviced

  16. I just took out mine. It was my first sewing machine and my daughter would like it. I am going to take it in and be serviced

  17. I have the same machine its model number VX808/VX809. I need a new tension part. In told its going to cost $120.00 is it worth it when I can buy a new one at that price. Already put $53.00 in it for a tune up.

  18. I have the same machine its model number VX808/VX809. I need a new tension part. In told its going to cost $120.00 is it worth it when I can buy a new one at that price. Already put $53.00 in it for a tune up.

  19. Thats is a Brother VX-808, I bought mine brand new in 1989.