Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

What should I look for when buying a sewing machine?

January 28th, 2013 2 comments

I’m new to sewing, and I don’t know what sort of things I should watch for when buying a machine. I also don’t know what kind of price I should expect to pay if I want something that’s good enough to last me a long time, but doesn’t have gadgets I don’t need.

I hope to use it to work with cotton and linen primarily if that helps.


If you’re on a budget, I’d suggest a good used machine — the cheapest new machines are often unrepairable, and are so persnickity about adjustments that they can be incredibly frustrating. I’d really sooner see you with a machine with some scuffs and nicks and only a few stitches that won’t frustrate you. When you outgrow the machine, you can always trade it in or keep it as a backup machine.

Things I want for a beginner to have in a machine:
— very good straightstitch
— good zigzag — 4 mm is plenty wide enough for most purposes.
— a method of making buttonholes that isn’t frustrating (automatic buttonholers are easier than 1 steps are easier than 4 steps, are easier than buttonhole attachments like the old Greist attachments — however, the Greists made very nice (though limited sizes) of buttonholes)
— adjustable presser foot pressure

Nice to have, but can be lived without:
— three step zigzag (great for elastic application)
— blindhem and stretch blindhem stitches (saves hours!)
— a few decorative stitches (just for fun)

If you’ve got the budget, I’d suggest considering an electronic machine — they don’t stall at slow sewing speeds the way many mechanicals will, and they sew very nicely.

I’d also send you to a real sewing machine shop… several, if possible. Tell them your budget, that you’re a beginner, and ease of use and quality is more important than all the bells and whistles. Ask to see machines in your price range, and also ask to try a couple of good quality machines outside your price range so you can see differences in quality of stitching and ease of use. (Elna, Viking, Pfaff, Bernina…) — not the embroidery machines, ask to try one they might sell to a picky person who has a separate embroidery machine.

There are quite a number of pre-loved machines around, many of which are sitting on shelves in repair shops, taken in on trade, overhauled, and ready for a new person. There can be some excellent values there.

Always ask (new or used) who will service the machine, what the turnaround time usually is, availability of parts, can it be done locally, or will warranty service require it to be shipped off elsewhere.

Suggested reading:
John Giordano: Sewing Machine Book
Carol Ahles: Fine Machine Sewing (especially the first and last few chapters on care and feeding and selection of sewing machines — also skim the chapters on hemming.
Gale Grigg Hazen: Owner’s Guide to Sewing Machines, Sergers, and Knitting Machines

Your local library is likely to have both books on the shelf.

I would like to start doing embroidery for infant clothing. Can someone guide me how to start?

December 3rd, 2012 3 comments

Do I need to take classes for this? I saw someone had a computer program and from that it went to the machine. I just don’t know what I need to get other that an embroidery machine obviously. Do they come with computer programs? Thanks!

Two good machines to start with are the Singer Futura or the Singerxl6000 depending on your budget. Both have programs that allow the machine to transfer a design from your computer to the machine itself. You will not have to buy a seperate program. There are TONS of free designs online to get you started, and you can always buy a digitizing program later if you choose to start actually making your own designs. Embird is a good program to start with when your ready to do that

There are several yahoo groups for both types of embroidery machines I mentioned and you will get great help there

Does anyone have any gift ideas made out of recycled materiels?

November 25th, 2012 5 comments

I’m short on funds this year and want to make Christmas presents out of stuff I already have. I’m getting tired of making purses and memo boards. I have lots of scrap material and embroidery supplies. I’m good at embroidery, sewing, and cross stitch but am looking at other ideas as well. Please don’t post anything expensive. I am on a very fixed budget! thanks in advance for your help

There are many ideas that you can do as well as a few books that cater to making recycle items. I have a few so if you send me an email with some ideas you are looking for I can check them out I have couple of books that everything cost about 10.00 or less to make. These books normal can be found in most crafts stores. Or you can check out what books your local library have. They will mostly likely have a craft type section.

Embroidery Library

July 19th, 2011 No comments

If you ask any veteran embroidery enthusiast where they get their supplies, theres a big chance that they will mention the name of the Embroidery Library. It is like a one-stop shop for all your embroidery needs and it is very popular among embroidery lovers.

Just as its name suggests, the Embroidery Library is a collection of everything you could possibly think of that is related to embroidery. It is actually an online portal where you can go for any embroidery product or service that you might need.

Whether you need to buy a certain embroidery thread with a hard-to-find color, or you want to order custom needlework, the Embroidery Library can definitely help you out.

The Embroidery Library was established almost 10 years ago, and since then it has grown to be the most comprehensive site online when it comes to embroidery.

One of their secrets for remaining at the top is that they are always open to suggestions from their customers. If you have design ideas for patterns, the Embroidery Library will definitely take it into consideration and may even add your pattern to their collection.

Another great thing about the Embroidery Library is that you can avail of their products and services at very reasonable prices while getting excellent quality as well. Some sites will catch your attention with their extremely low prices but when you see their products, you will find out that the quality is not very good.

On the other hand, there are some sites that sell very good quality embroidery products but the prices are not within the average persons budget.

If you go to Embroidery Library, you will find products that are comparable to the finest in the world but with price tags that are well within your reach. Patterns at the Embroidery Library cost anywhere from $1 to $8. They also offer budget packs of several different patterns with similar motifs at less than $2 per package.

Because of the wide variety of designs that the Embroidery Library has, you are certain to find what you are looking for in their collections. However, if the particular design you have in mind is not available in their catalogues, you can submit a suggestion and they may even have it specially created just for you.

Purchasing items from the Embroidery Library [] is very simple. After selecting the items you want to buy, all you need to do is submit certain information to them. There is no need to go to their store or wait for several days for the delivery of your product. When you buy from Embroidery Library, you will be able to enjoy your new embroidery items immediately.

If you are interested in any of the items that are available with Embroidery Library, you can just go to their website at