What’s with the Ethel and I name?

You may have wondered about the name for this blog.  To clarify the concept, I will share a bit of the history with you.  

Where it All Began

When I decided to begin a sewing based business, I had a home sewing machine and a home serger.  With the project I was trying to make, it ended up a no-go through either of them.  I quickly realized that I needed an industrial sewing machine to handle the tasks of thicker and heavier weight fabrics.

After hunting and scouring eBay and Craig’s List, I found a single needle lockstitch machine locally.  All this machine does is what you probably understand as a straight stitch.  Only straight.  The single operation is what makes these industrial sewing machines so powerful, and sewing becomes almost effortless.

She is an old Pfaff machine.  Her model number is 563.  My awesome industrial sewing machine repair man, Willard, told me she was made in Brazil, and that she had some modifications to the presser.  The sewing foot on this modified machine does not lift as high as it was intended to.

Nevertheless, she is so quiet, retro classic, tan colored so she appears a bit exotic (she was made in Brazil, after all) and she keeps me on my toes.  I have spent a lot of time getting to know how to use her.  She has so much character I decided to name her.  I chose the name, Ethel.  I forgot to mention that I am a die-hard I Love Lucy fan, too!

I can sit for hours sewing different things with her.  I am at peace and in the flow when I am trying to figure out details or am mass producing a specific piece.  Ethel and I have a lot of adventures trying to figure out how to do new and different things with a straight stitch.  It turns out that there are a lot!

Looking to a Pro for Help

My neighbor, Susan, is a great illustrator.  I approached her for an image for this blog that conveyed lots of fabric feeding into Ethel, and swaths of fabric puddling around her.  Try as I might, I realized that my artistic prowess was not in illustration.  What she initially came back with reminded me of a beautiful movie you may have seen, named Ponyo.

She added more of the feeling of what appears in the opening credits of that movie, which is so dear to me because my husband and two children watched it at the theater together, and we were all so moved by it.  Going to the movie theater is a treat in our family.  I loved the animation then and was counting the minutes to the birth of my third child (who was enjoying an extended stay).

I am so thankful to Susan for her sharing her talent with me and with you.  As a result of her insights, she helped to round out the spirit and name of this blog.  To see more of her work, CLICK HERE.

We all welcome you to Ethel and I, adventures at seam.  At times, I feel as though I am bobbin’ together with Ethel in a sea of fabric!

Do you have a story about your machine? Below, we’d love to hear your machine’s story.  Just enter a comment.

What’s in the name you’ve given your machine?  How old or new is it?  Is it male, female, or neither?  How did you end up with your machine?

We’d love to hear about it!  Let us all know.  Be sure to leave a comment below.

Tell us the story about your sewing machine!

2 Comments

  • avatar

    Alaina

    March 29, 2014

    Hi, I happened upon your site through a search for a new sewing machine. I am working on my third sewing machine in 3 years. The last one only lasted 3 days. I want to find a heavy duty machine to make slipcovers for my home. I usually use lighter cotton twill and some heavier denim. The last machine I found on sale and I would like to stay under $400. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Alaina

    • avatar

      Sandra

      June 19, 2014

      Hi Alaina! I recommend Singer’s Heavy Duty 4432 sewing machine. This one is available at JoAnn stores and comes with a few feet. Let me know how you like it, I am dying to try it out! Paste this link into your browser. http://preview.tinyurl.com/o859w7t