13 December, 2002
Mahwah, NJ ñ Jackie Bennet hadn’t sewn for thirty years when she decided to buy a bottom-of-the-line machine to make some curtains. When she went into her local sewing dealer, she saw a demonstration of a Janome computerized embroidery machine and she was hooked. Now she teaches sewing classes at that same dealer. In some ways, Bennet’s story is typical of many women whose last experience with a sewing machine was during the Nixon administration but who are rediscovering the joy of sewing in the Internet age.
Bennet began sewing as a child and quit when she was about 20. Her machine was an old black department store model. She used the straight stitch to make clothes for herself such as simple shift dresses, but found that things like zippers and buttonholes frustrating.
“The machine had problems with the tension,” says Bennet. “I could never be sure if the stitch was going to pucker or be too loose.” Like many women who were using poorly made machines of that vintage, Bennet found that as she attempted more advanced projects more of her sewing time was spent using the seam ripper. And sewing quickly lost its allure.
After nearly 30 years in an executive career, which took her from New York to the southwest, Bennet rediscovered sewing. She and her husband moved to Portland, OR, and decided that she would take a year off the corporate career path and see what else she might like to do. One day she happened to stop in to Cynthia’s Sewing And Learning Center, a local Janome sewing machine dealer, and saw an embroidery demonstration on a Memory Craft 9000. She was hooked immediately.
With a background in computer-aided design from the corporate world, Bennet recognized the power of a sewing machine connected to a computer. She purchased a Memory Craft 9000 and then upgraded to the Memory Craft 10000, which has more ways to connect to a computer and can be upgraded via software downloaded over the Internet.
“You can be so much more creative with an embroidery machine,” says Bennet. “The Digitizer 10000 software allows you to take embroidery designs and re-design them for your own look.” And problems with the tension control are a thing of the past, as are her old frustration with zippers and buttonholes.“Everything is automatic now,” she says. “The Memory Craft 10000 even threads my needle for me.”
She began taking classes and eventually began teaching them. She now divides her time between teaching and sewing projects. She recently completed a commissioned quilt and has also sold her embroidered garments in boutiques.
Janome America, Inc. (formerly The New Home Sewing Machine Company) is an industry leader in innovation, having produced the first programmable computerized sewing machine, the first computerized sewing machine to offer Professional-Style embroidery, and the groundbreaking Memory Craft 10000. Janome sewing machines are recognized throughout the industry for their ease-of-use and unsurpassed stitch quality.