Thelma moves in.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 Jonette 8 Comments

December 22nd saw me up at 8am with merely two hours of sleep. The night before that, my workmates and I had a spledifurous chocolate fondue party (to christen the fondue set my mum had sent) which would have not been possible without a little help from my friends.;)

So. I was dazed, hungry, and I looked a mess. Life was grand, and my dad was pulling up the drive-thru lane in his rickety, faithful dusty-blue Toyota.

This is my dad, by the way.

We were on a trip to Aduana to buy a new sewing machine, and perhaps ask the shopkeepers if Bernina still had a fighting chance. the trip was peppered with the kind of talk I missed sinking into, much like a comfy, familiar, and impossibly humongous bean bag. we talked about how mp3 players changed the way we treat information and how deeply we listen nowadays. Plans the day I lay my hands on my first credit card (if it's to be). The theory of obsolescence.

Don't you find it odd how sometimes, some events turn into blurs when you try to recall certain details, but you remember the feelings that came with it with vivid clarity? I find it comfortingly strange.

We soon got to Aduana, and we were greeted by a man who ran the shop -- I was thankful he seemed to recognize my face, and thus we were saved the embarrassment of introductions on a fuzzy memory. I asked them if they could recommend any good sewing machines within my budget, and his lady partner immediately set to work pulling out all the newer models she thought I might take interest in. My dad pulled up a monobloc stool with his back to another machine in the midst of repairs, naked with all its levers and inner workings exposed and humming with life. He sat and watched the demos silent, with a quiet sense of fascination around him. At least, I could see it in his eyes.

It seems the newer models sent in were operated via pulling up a lever switch to get it going and pulling it down to stop the needle's mechanism. Comparing with a foot pedal switch, I think the foot pedal would serve my sewing style better. My two pudgy hands can only do so much in an instant, after all.

My father spotted a number of interesting models in the shop, ones I might've never noticed had he not pointed them out. One hefty Janome model went for the price of P5,500. It boasted a turn-about feature: average, no-frills sewing machine in front, and two-thread edger at the back. All you needed to do was swing it around to start edging. However, it seemed the demo lady had a difficult time operating, and I surmised so would I with twice the difficulty. So, not this model.

Soon, my dad told me he'd meander around the area to see what else Aduana offered. No sooner had he left, I saw a Brother Pacesetter and fell irrevocably in love.

My dad and I soon packed the beauty into the car, extra freebie sewing feet, bobbins and screwdriver jangling in one of the valise-like container's pockets.  He took me to lunch at the Magnolia factory's Cremerie along aurora Boulevard, the same place where I'd been fascinated by barquillos as a child. He taught me about why artists have been griping over the implications of Postmodernism over spicy fish and and rice.

We even had to pull over to some strange corporate building for an emergency loo break. Haha, that was some adventure. :D

I do relish trips like these.

and here she is, the beauty from the outside in.

Tweed takes advantage of the quilted interiors of the valise every chance he gets.

the extension sewing surface is held in place to the valise door with a swivel.

Lights on.

21 lovely stitches. even the functional ones (extreme right) are pretty.
Stitches 1 to 10 are decorative, as you may have guessed, but man -- fish and pups and flowers on the hem. It was just too cute to resist.

Despite the lady saying it was assembled circa 1994, the entire look -- font, design, color, even the dial selector -- screams 1950's at me. I love it. 

My sewing machine can do this.

And this. God, I love it. I love my dad, and I love my sewing machine. 

We also relayed to the shop keeper about Bernina's plight, and the concerned look on the man's face a he listened to the horrid details was somehow reassuring for me. He said the botchy pedal reaction might be the result of a ground in the wire, among other possible mishaps with the machine's speed, but all I really needed to do was bring the sewing machine back to the shop and they'd fix it right as rain. Music to my ears.


  1. You're dad is so cool! I miss my father, we'll see him tomorrow pa.

    Any suggestions for newbie like me? I really want to get my hands on sewing.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Awesome, Gene, Go bond with your dad and tell him what an awesome job he's doing. Holidays are meant for family after all! :)

    As for the sewing machine... Hmmm... If you're really looking to investing in a sewing machine to start you off with (metal parts, features, feet, and more), I would really suggest you head for Aduana with a car in tow for easy transportation. Have you ever been there? Here's what my first time there was like to give you an idea.

    You can get a fantastic sewing machine there with a budget of P5000, or even less with great haggling skills.

    Hmm. If you're starting out, is there a particular project or that you have in mind, or a type of sewing you're leaning to or would like to grow into in the future? :)

  3. Where is this Aduana? I am super intrigued. :)

  4. Gene, Meram, you must come to Aduana! (next time you're in Manila, Meream... super maloloka ka!)

    It's int he heart of Manila, nearest the port area. You might be able to reach it via commmuting via G-Liners heading for Quiapo + a cab, although I would still fully recommend driving your own car or renting one -- to carry your loot, of course. :)

    The port area is where all the surplus appliances are dropped off, and where most of the dailies and tabloids are printed. The place is chocful of refrigerators, televisions, and other appliances for cheap. Really cheap. :)

  5. Oh my, she's a beauty indeed! Even the carrying case looks so pretty! How much did you pay for her? And yes, if it's okay, can I have the name and number of the shop where you buy your sewing machines?

    Thanks again!

    Yoj ^_^

    1. Hi there! This is very, verrrrry late. Gar.

      I remember paying about P4,500 for Thelma. Not a bad deal, I think. :)

  6. Hi! I really like your post, i was actually convinced to have our old sewing machine repaired or buy at aduana, than buying new but very expensive ones. Just wanna ask, what happened to your bernina? Im scared, baka madaling masira kapag galing sa surplus. I want a working sewing machine for my future hobbies, hehe, but im not knowledgeable pagdating sa pagkilatis ng sewing machine...

    1. Ah! Well, it's quite odd, really.

      I managed to have Bernina repaired and outfitted with a new pedal and cord for around P2,500. Not bad, eh? Amazing, really. The shop-keepers managed to have her repaired in about two, three hours or so. Their solution? Soak the sewing machine in a vat of machine oil completely. They then took her apart, cleaned her off inside-out, and put her back together again. No big deal, seriously.

      At present, Bernina is my one and only sewing machine. I decided having two sewing machines was superfluous, and entrusted Thelma to one of my colleagues. It's amazing how Bernina outlived and survived Ondoy.


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