My maternal grandmother, Emily Elizabeth Biddick, was born in 1902. In her 83 years she lived through World War I, the Depression that followed and World War II; times of great economic challenge. I would be lying if I said she was hard up – she wasn’t. Regardless, like most of her generation, she bought what she needed and replaced things only when they couldn’t be repaired anymore.

I guess marketing wasn’t so persuasive back in those days, and planned obsolescence hadn’t become an art form.

Which brings me to a phone call I received during lockdown from the nice woman at the bank. Turns out there was $1300 sitting in an account I had forgotten about.

I decided I would spend this windfall replacing my sewing machine. Now to be truthful, this 36 year old machine has languished in my cupboard unused for about 15 years, but the itch to sew was there again. And to scratch that itch I needed a new machine, didn’t I? And the old one? Well, the dump, of course!

I allocated $600-700 for my new toy, figuring I would get a basic machine suitable to my (limited) talents. A bit of internet research confirmed my budget was right. It also threw up the fact that new sewing machines at this price point have plastic casings.

Plastic! My old one had a sturdy metal one.

Meh, I thought.

Perhaps I should buy second hand? But why would I replace my 36 year old sewing machine with a second hand one that I did not know the history of?

Meh. Again. I thought

So I got my old West German-made sewing machine out. I opened up the case. It was like meeting at an old friend.The man and I spent the next hour pulling it to bits and oiling its parts. I then threaded it up and gave it a spin. It went perfectly.

Trusty sewing machine

That day I ordered material and a pattern online. When the items arrived, I sewed my granddaughter a skirt. It goes with the jumper I knitted her in lockdown.

The money is still sitting in the bank.

Making do.

My grandma would understand