Now what did you think this post might be about when you read my post title? It’s probably not what you thought at all, so relax. I’ll tell you all about it.

First, I have to admit something. Since I posted about my new Opal, I’ve been terrified to touch it! I mean, there’s a whole world lifetime of difference between this:

Husqvarna Practica 5 6230
Husqvarna Practica 5 6230

and this:

Husqvarna Viking Opal 670
Husqvarna Viking Opal 670

But then my father-in-law had asked me to make him a tote for his tablet, and I knew there was nothing for it but to sit myself down in front of this jewel (sorry, had to be said at least once), and just start it up. So I did.  I read the part of the manual that shows me how to thread the needle, wind the bobbin, and then instead of slowly pressing my foot down on the foot control on the floor, I pushed that fancy shmancy button on the machine that starts the thing, and off it went!

I reckon that if someone was filming, it would have made a hilarious little silent movie. You’d have seen me frantically pressing buttons here. And then there. And all over the place. Trying to get it to stop before the stitching ran off my fabric. I next tried to start it going again, and this time, press the “SLOW THE &*$% DOWN!” button in time. I mean, seriously. I just wasn’t getting the hang of it at all. I felt all thumbs, like a brand newby, and then it happened. My first jam. Followed quickly by – as I tried to force things to move – my first needle break. I scrambled through my supplies looking desperately for another size 8 needle. You know, I thought I’d have packets of them, but I didn’t. Panic set in. It was evening, so no chance of a quick dash up the road to Spotlight. I nearly resorted to taking down my old precious and de-needling it, but I couldn’t do it. I had images of some old black-and-white movie evil dentist pulling on some poor shmuck’s tooth to extract info running across my brain, and I shuddered at the thought of it. Luckily, I found one in an old pack I’d dropped into a travelling pocket from my quilt guild days. Phew!!!

Quick as a flash, I rethreaded. Then I hit that button again. I was going to beat this. So there’s me again, pressing buttons with jerky movements, trying to get my timing lined up with the machine’s. Hitting that other button that makes the needle dance in one spot before heading off on its path, and then again when I wanted it to finish. The only button that I felt was my friend during this exercise was that lively little one that I can press once the action had stopped, and made the needle do a neat little step-to-the-right-and-cut thing that finished off for me. I reckon that one little maneuver alone would save me hours on each project! So OK, a little smiling was starting to happen.

Editor’s note (yeah, it’s me, Helene. the wannabe writer/editor in me just felt like saying that): The Opal does have a foot control, so I can always use that. I just thought that since this machine is all loaded up with modern gizmos and all, I should jump into this decade and learn how to use the thing with the buttons. I’ve already made a mental note to use the foot pedal on my next project, and perhaps get some expert tips and instruction on the buttons with my first “new machine” lesson at the shop 🙂

Well, I made it through my first sewing project, and ta-dah! Here’s what I made…

I wish I had a camera on my father-in-law when I gave this to him. He loved it. My mother-in-law pulled out her old sewing box and starting handing me things from it. Do you need this? Could you use this? And this? What about this? I don’t use it any more. This is still from when I worked with Sala. Sala was her sister. She’d had a furrier business years ago, and my mother-in-law had worked with her in the factory on Nicholson Street in Carlton.

(Make sure you click on the image of the button card back to enlarge it and read the comment.) After my relative success with this first Opal project, I was ready to hit the next one with slightly augmented confidence. However, on the Sunday night of that weekend, I came down with a really bad chest infection. Last Monday I couldn’t talk already, and my cough! Oh. My. God. It was horrible. I had a fever, and I felt like shit. So definitely no sewing. Just heaps of chicken soup from my darling mother-in-law, lots of tea with honey and lemon, boxes and boxes of tissues, 4am alarms to take meds, much really vicious-sounding coughing from the deep dark depths of my poor aching lungs, not much talking or laughing (it leads to coughing so it’s out), catching up on Suits – isn’t it such a heavy-on-the-testosterone guy show? but I do love it – and not a lot else.

Hope you’re healthy and well, and staying clear of the winter nasties.
x Helene

3 Responses

  1. Lovely story. How brave we have to be when we buy a new sewing machine! Now, let’s all go and boil our buttons! xx

  2. Congratulations on the new machine. Isn’t it a great feeling? I do have a question though because I’ve been thinking about making the leap to a bigger better machine and will likely buy an Opal. Is there the option of using a foot control? I think a button would be really hard to get used to. It would be like driving a car without the accelerator and brake pedals. I mean, sometimes both my hands are occupied keeping things in place where pins won’t do the job. I can’t push a button. I guess I need to really try this out at the store the next time I go.

    Well, it’s good to know that you did use the button and created a fabulous tablet tote. There’s hope for me if I have to give up my foot pedal!

  3. Okay, I found my answer via a YouTube video for the machine. It does have optional foot control according to the video. Whew!

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