I finally came to the conclusion that there really is a difference between the "basic" sewing machine models and the sewing machines that are a little bit more high end.
So I started to research a potential "business investment" and hoped I could find a great 50% off sale like the one I saw a couple of weeks ago where the $400 sewing machines were $200. But I wasn't thrilled about it. As I recalled the mixed reviews I saw on some of the more expensive sewing machines I was a little hesitant. But I needed a sewing machine and mine just wasn't cutting it.
Then I called Nani. And she mentioned that she had two, one that was my grandmother's and that had always worked really well and never had problems (it's an old Kenmore 12 Stitch). The woman at the sewing machine shop had said that it was a really good sewing machine.
Last night I set it up. The first thing that was clear was that it had about twenty pounds of metal that my sewing machine was missing (could it be that the flimsy plastic parts that make up my Singer are part of the problem? They just couldn't hold up to sewing 20+ hours a week?). The bobbins are metal, and the entire sewing machine is just a little more elaborate and heavy duty than my "old" sewing machine.
With a deep breath I started sewing and... it was like a dream! It was so smooth! I wouldn't have described my old sewing machine as "bumpy" before I used this one last night, but after using it that's exactly how it felt. And that didn't even compare with the way the machine felt when it was acting up!
So I'm really excited. I sewed a bunch of snoods and my sewing time was cut way down by the fact that the sewing machine could handle sewing through more than two layers of cotton at a time.
I imagine my "new" sewing machine has twenty plus years on my "old" one (at least!) but it sure can sew!