What a difference a machine makes..

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I’ve posted before about sewing machines – I know. I had to write a post as an homage to my new machine-  I love her so much. I bought a Janome ‘Memory Craft’ 6600 and she is a sweet ride. I went with a Janome after testing out various machines over at Sawyers Sewing Center over in Victoria. I love the salespeople there – they really know what they are doing. I brought in my own fabric that I use for dollskin seeing as that is what I sew the most to test out on the machines. The saleswoman eyed my fabric and gave it a feel – with a slight nod to her head she said ‘ Nice fabric – so thick and sturdy. Must be imported’ Ha! I would have bought whatever she told me to at that point. She is one of my kind.  If you are at all into making dolls there  is a certain stitch called the ‘Lightning Stitch’ that I feel is really important to sewing knit fabric. It allows some ‘give’ but is totally strong. Not all machines have it – so it’s one to watch for. All week Brandi and I have had big smiles on our faces while sewing. I am so happy with this – it’s changed my life. Really. That being said I don’t want people to think they need something fancy to make dolls. If I had this machine in the beginning I wouldn’t have known what to do with it and the features on it wouldn’t have made sense. I sewed with an old Kenmore machine for years then progressed to my last machine which was a BabyLock.

One little sewing tip that I have to share – if things aren’t going well – thread bunching and acting all weird, I’ve found that if you 1) rethread your machine 2) check to see if your bobbin has any loose threads coming out of it from when  you wound it and 3) change the needle – this usually alleviates all things. I’ve been sewing for YEARS and I really wish someone had shared that with me in the beginning. So simple and yet so easy.

So – this could possibly my boring-est post ever. I knew a few of you sew so I thought I could share my exciting purchase. I try to get John excited about it – but he doesn’t feel it. He tries to express excitement over the auto thread cutter – but I know he’s faking it.

I will be doing a Doll Giveaway soon. I planned on one this past week but had a bunch of ’emergency’ doll situations come up (ie – birthday dolls with 2 weeks notice! – I can’t resist a birthday!). I think I’ll put up a blonde this time. I don’t think I’ve ever given a blonde away.

I’m on Facebook all the time! Never on Twitter (too time consuming), but always on Facebook if you want to get doll updates, etc.

xo,
C

andrea - August 8, 2009 - 9:41 pm

I am excited for your new machine! Wow-I totally wouldn’t know what to do with that!! I appreciate all your sewing tips as I can’t really afford a doll right now but you’ve inspired me to sew my own. I check here all the time for all your updates but REALLY APPRECIATE the tips you share on dollmaking. Looking out for lightning stitch from now on!

cheryl - August 9, 2009 - 6:31 am

I so want a new machine.With the lighting stich now! I’ll be excited for you even if John is not…Yippie!!! I’m jumping up and down, really.

Amber - August 9, 2009 - 8:34 am

Wow, that is one sweet machine! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. :)

Adrianne - August 9, 2009 - 6:37 pm

Sa-weet!!! Does this mean you can sew twice as many dolls per week? Haha (just kidding).

admin - August 9, 2009 - 6:46 pm

There is a machine that Walmart (ugh – I know) sells by Brother that has the lightning stitch and runs about $200. I’ve bought it for a sewer of mine and it works really well. It’s all about that stitch!
Good luck Andrea!! Thanks Cheryl – I SO wish you lived over here. I know I could have called you over for some sewing machine excitement :) Thanks Amber – she is sew-weet! ha – I am so lame. Adrianne.. that’s what John said too. Actually, it was more like – for that price it should sew on it’s own.

Lauren A - August 9, 2009 - 6:47 pm

Thanks for the tip! And regarding the blond doll, I will be ALL.OVER.THAT.My Gracie is a blondie and is turning two on Wednesday! Her sister Eva got Polly this past Christmas and has been asking for a doll of her own!

Meike - August 11, 2009 - 10:18 am

Ah yes – change the needle. I was so happy a few weeks ago when at long last I found out that THAT was the problem! :) I’ll be on the lookout for the lightning stitch now. I’ve got a Janome as well – let’s see if it’s on there!

Cheryl Arkison - August 12, 2009 - 7:13 am

And change the needle often! I’m a quilter and it is amazing how doing this one little thing frequently can save you so many hassles. I just did it again last night – for the fourth time in one project!
Congrats on the new machine!

mel - August 12, 2009 - 7:19 am

additional hint re: needle – change brands, some needles are a touch longer and can hit the bobbin creating an unholy mess & awful clunking noise, found out that the hard way.

admin - August 12, 2009 - 9:26 am

Yes! It is all about the needle. You can’t go wrong with Schemetz – and if you are doing doll work – then use the ballpoint needles for goodness sake! 2 things NEVER to scrimp on are needles and thread. Why go to all that effort and use cheap cotton thread – that breaks and gets all mucky in the machine. Always go German with your thread.

Maddie - August 14, 2009 - 11:56 am

Congratulations with your new machine; lots of joy to be had! I to-ad-ally agree with the quality needles and thread comment, why spend your time doing something that risks to be ruined by silly penny savings? Effort and time are not for sale :-)! I always use Gutermann thread and Schmetz needles (both from Germany). There is this great place near me that now does a 1000m cone for very little so I’m hoarding (I think it may be commercial remnants or something, and not that many colours, but if I can send you some, pls let me know).

Cheryl K-L - August 19, 2009 - 9:23 pm

I started my sewing class a few weeks go and we are using Janomes too. Not sure what model but definitely not as high tech as the one you pictured here. And I love it!!!! It’s way better than the Singer that is being held by duct tape at my mom’s house.

I almost want to buy it but I don’t do enough sewing (yet). So… maybe one day! Happy sewing!

Sewing Machine - November 18, 2011 - 8:03 pm

Sewing Machine…

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