Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Sewing Machines

When I am reading other blogs I am always curious about what the blogger is working with, especially when it come to sewing machines; so I thought I would play “show and tell” with my tools.

I struggled with awful sewing machines for many, many years; machines so bad that even a small job resulted in a tangled mess and much cursing and swearing, ugh, if you have been there you know how frustrating and just plain stressful this can be. I am now very happy with my current set up and with good maintenance I hope it will last me many years. So without further a-do here is my “team”

My sewing machine!
Bernina 550QE: I Have owned this machine for almost two years now and I have been very happy with her (yes this machine is a girl) I bought this machine as an upgrade to my old Janome CS995 as I was struggling to achieve the results I wanted on this machine.
Things I love about this machine:
  • Knee lift! It is so handy
  • Needle threader good and pretty solid- I broke the one on my Janome (oops)
  • Bright LED lights and lots of them.
  • I love the Bernina Feet, I have developed something of a “foot fetish” (will talk more about feet in my next post)
  • It is pretty quiet.
Things I don’t love about this machine
  • I wish it had a automatic thread cutter
My Overlocker

Elna 845 Overlocker (serger): I bought this machine two years ago and I have been so impressed with it as an overlocker.
Things I love about this machine:
  • The threading is actually pretty easy; for an overlocker
  • The basic stitches work perfectly every time
  • It has both four and five thread safety stitch
  • The rolled hem looks great
  • It has auto tension, no fiddling with tension knobs to get the perfect stitch
Things I don’t love about this machine:
  • The coverstitch function is a pain in the neck
  • It can be hard to clean
  • The thread stand is really unstable and needs to be tightened almost every time I use the machine
  • The thread cutter is too blunt.
Coverstitch Machine
Janome Coverpro 1000CPX(coverstitch machine): This machine is a bit of a luxury; I bought it last year after cursing the coverstitch function on my Elna. I love that this machine “just works” it makes it so easy to hem all my knit items- the machine gives you that great double row of stitching you see on ready to wear garments.
What I love about this machine:
  • It is so easy to thread
  • It makes hemming knits super easy
  • It just works
What I don’t love about this machine:
  • Nothing!
Embroidery Machine
Bernette Deco 340 (Embroidery Machine): This is an embroidery only machine and I am really happy with it. I fell in love with Machine embroidery because it is so easy to make an otherwise boring item both personalised and fun.
  • What I love about this machine
  • It has automatic thread cutters (yay!)
  • It is faster than my 300E
  • The stitch quality is fantastic
What I don’t love about this machine
  • I have to “baby sit” it
  • It is tricky to “hoop up” the fabric for embroidery

If you are new to sewing and are looking for a machine rather than recommend any one brand I would only suggest buying the best machine you can afford and that may mean buying second hand. Buy a machine that is slightly more advanced than your needs so that you can "grow into it"

Although it is possible to have only two machines and still have the same capabilities, I find it is less time consuming to have separate machine set up and ready to go- for example my overlocker can perform the same function as my Coverpro, but I would have to convert and re-thread each time I hemmed a garment. I Think the only change I may make to this line up in the coming years is to leap into the big bad world of multi-needle embroidery machines, but this is a big investment and will have to wait for now.

In my next post I will be talking about my favourite sewing notions and other fun gadgets; hope to see you then.

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