Day 3 of ditching and I've experienced a setback, readers!
I'm coming back from the chiropractor this afternoon -- and if you're looking for one in NYC, mine is fabulous -- and am walking west on the south side of 25th Street when I see, across the street, directly outside The City Quilter, a woman carrying away a box she seems to have fished out of their trash (Wednesday must be trash night). It looks like a sewing machine box so, naturally, I'm intrigued. I quickly cross the street and approach the remaining trash pile, where I spot another box -- the one pictured above (and below).
I open the box and see that it indeed contains a Brother VX-1120 sewing machine, only it's missing its cord and pedal. But when I look at the socket, it looks exactly like the one on my Brother 1034D serger. Might this model use the same pedal/plug?
So I carry it home, take it out of its box (it even has its original styrofoam packaging) and plug my serger pedal into it. It fits perfectly!
I plug it in; the light turns on. I press the pedal; the needle moves! I thread it (I can pretty much thread any standard sewing machine blindfolded) and check the bobbin: it's all there. With some minor adjusting I balance the thread tension. It works perfectly.
There is nothing fancy about the Brother VX-1120; it is as basic as they come -- or rather, came, since this machine dates from 1998 (based on the date on the box). But it has some nice features. First, the needle position is adjustable (left, middle, right).
It has an amazing range of stitch lengths and the smallest stitches are, frankly, fantastic looking (it's not like the contemporary low-end Brothers that offer only a small number of pre-set stitch lengths.
This would be a great starter machine. You can buy the cord/pedal combo on eBay for roughly $20. I may pick one up tonight. Even better, Brother still offers a free, downloadable PDF of the original manual on their website. Thank you, Brother!
The VX-1120 is a free-arm (like most modern plastic machines) and very light to carry -- a big plus. The base contains a space for accessories, which include a zipper foot, three plastic Class 15 bobbins, a feed dog cover, Organ needles and even a double needle -- everything it originally came with, which suggests this machine was lightly used if at all.
Do you know this is the fourth sewing machine I have found, literally, on the street?
Now wait -- I DID ditch a bit today, pitching a somewhat holey cashmere men's sweater I found not a week ago in the trash, so I'm still on track, right?
Only, I also bought a book today.
I had coffee with Suzanne (who had the audacity to stop blogging so she could devote more time to her young daughter -- the nerve), and afterwards I stopped into Kinokuniya, the Japanese bookstore we visit every MPB Day. After eyeing it for literally years, I finally treated myself to a copy of....I don't even know what it's called since I can't read Japanese. Let's just call it, "The Japanese Men's Coat Pattern Book."
This book includes some fabulous traceable coat patterns, and if you're a fan of Mainely Dad, you know that he has sewn them all and now boasts the most amazing men's outerwear wardrobe north of Portland. (A direct quote from Mainely Dad/Duane: "...there are 13 coats featured, but they're really just themes and variations on 4 basic patterns.")
Anyway, I think I'm ready to tackle some of these patterns myself and I may pick Duane's brain before I do.
Now you may be wondering how I intend to use a book whose directions are written entirely in Japanese. That's a very good question for which I should have an answer after I've picked Duane's brain.
In closing, today's total is not very inspiring: 1 sweater out; 1 sewing machine and 1 book in.
I hope to make up for it tomorrow, I promise!
(Would YOU have left that Brother VX-1120 in the trash? Be honest.)
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!