Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oh my yes....

I like making my own clothes and have been doing so since I was pretty young. Granted the stuff I first made as clothing wasn't perfect and during high school I only made a few pieces that were actually wearable. A mix of things that were hand sewn and machine sewn. When I got to college I started making clothes for wearing a bit more often, and all if it by hand. I'd sit in the middle of the shared girls room and through material on the floor, cut it into an outfit and hand stitch it together.

I was given my first sewing machine and I used it until it just damn near fell apart, though I still have it somewhere in my storage stuffs. When I go to Korea it was damn near impossible to find a machine but after months of searching while putting together clothes by hand again, I finally found one and spent 250,000 won on the machine. It was a nice little Brother Ace 100 and it did everything I needed to do. I'd been using that machine since 2002 and I was a bit ready for an upgrade. I wanted something new and spiffy.

When last I visited the states I went to a sewing shop, a common past time, with my lovely Bonnet and saw some of the new machines they had. Digital marvels that did what my little machine did and so much more and for half of what I'd paid for the machine I was working with. I started to get it into my head that I wanted a new machine and that I wanted to upgrade to something really snazzy. This lead me back to the sewing machine district where I looked around for machines.

I walked into the shop where I bought my old machine.

"Bro-dar issyo?"

"Jiggum opseyo." We don't have any now. The place I bought my original machine mostly has very old machines, industrials sewers for the women who sit and work in the market and do nothing but sew all day. Heavy dinosaurs that are guaranteed not to break or bend. I kept walking and jumped in and out of a bunch of stores but couldn't find any machines under 400,000won that were even remotely better than the machine I had. I was getting disheartened when I spotted a Brother overlock in a store window and asked how much. The shop was run by a bunch of older Korean gentlemen. They all looked at me like I'd lost my mind.

"How much."

"Not here."

"How much."

"Not here.

Mind you this conversation is taking place in Korean. Finally I gave up in despair and started walking down the street. Then one of the Koreans from the shop ran up and grabbed my arm and started pulling me down the street. Having played this game before I followed him down the street and let him lead me. He asked me how long I'd been in Korea, where I was from and told me my Korean was good. Wee.

We finally hit the main street and he turned and took me into a modern sewing machine shop that actually had home machines for sale. It was exactly what I was looking for. After a few minutes talking with the owner though I realized he didn't have anything nearly as snappy as I wanted but he offered a very good high end machine with some bells and whistles for 430,000 won. I was prepared to pay around 300,000 so I grabbed some catalogs and told him I'd think about it.

What I did was some research on the Brother page in Korea and found the machine I wanted. An Innovis CS 8060 digital machine with five preset one step button wholes, preset decorative stitches, auto threading, ribbon binding. Basically it did everything I wanted washed my dishes and when properly program may provide oral favors. I was sold. The asking price was 890,000 won. Roughly 900 dollars US.

I did some more research and what I found was the machine that I looked at for 400 was a Korean machine that I couldn't get services outside Korea or really take with me. Okay. The Innovis on the other hand was other country compatible and what's more in the US would cost me 1,000 dollars. So I would be getting a deal.

Armed with this knowledge I went back to the machine shop the next weekend and asked for the Innovis. He, of course, didn't have one. I told him I wanted to buy it and used his computer to pull it up on the website. He told me there was nothing he could do. He also mentioned it was very expensive. I said that was fine.

A few minutes and a lot of arguing later and I knew I wasn't going to get what I wanted so I started to ogle the okay overprices Korean machine thinking that was how I was going to end up. When the second proprietor grabbed my arm and me and pulled me onto the street and threw me in a cab I didn't ask questions. He told the cab driver something and I was off. To where I had no freaking idea, but off I was. A few minutes and a few thousand won later and I ended up in the middle of Korean on a Saturday afternoon wondering what the hell was going on. When I heard yelling from the window. I looked up to see a Korean waving at me from a third story window. Apparently I was expected.

Down the street and up the stairs I went and into the service center for Brother machines in Korea. And what did I find but when I walked in they had an Innovis set up to entice me. They did a full demonstration, so much demonstrating that a Korean woman who had brought her machine in to get serviced stayed to drool over the powerful sewing options offered by the Innovis with me. We drooled I was sold.

He kept me there for about two hours demonstration everything. Probably thinking I wouldn't be able to read the manual and didn't know what I was doing. Eventually we got to talking price. He offered 650,000 won which was more than amazing after the research I'd done. I said okay.

Then he said for me, 50,000 won discount. He also gave me several extra feet, a sewing box, thread, bobbins, and etc. All I would need to get started. I walked out happy and hauling my new machine. While I have not yet tried to program it for oral favors it has turned out three amazingly nice blouses already.

1 comment:

linda said...

I love this story.

I am often at a loss to say anything more clever when I read your Korea stories that I love.

So I reiterate that I love this story.