Archive for August, 2008


How to Use a Sewing Machine : Selecting a Stitch Pattern on a Sewing Machine

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How to select the stitch pattern on your sewing machine; learn about this and more in this free sewing video taught by an expert tailor.

Duration : 0:2:37


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Best Sewing Machine for Making Underwear, Lingerie, and Sleepwear

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Sewing your own underwear and lingerie is a great idea. I’ve even made my own bras to avoid the ill-fitting and overprices department store ones.

Because this is a general type of sewing project your sewing machine will need to have adjustments for the stitch width, stitch length, and foot pressure. The foot pressure adjustments will help with sewing lingerie fabric.

In my experience I would recommend an electronic instead of a mechanical sewing machine. For this type of project needing fine control on stretchy fabric, they are the best sewing machine. If you’re lucky enough to have a serger it can help you add covered up seams and the elastic bands into the waist. It’s not required though - you can do without.

Some other hints - don’t use nylon tricut, think outside the box for your fabric choice. If you really like frills you can put beads or embroidery along the edges. It can look quite nice, and feel good on you!

The best sewing machine for lingerie needs to have:

  1. Lots of adjustments (special attention should be given to foot pressure adjustment)
  2. use of 8/60 needles
  3. preferably electronic controls
  4. a high quality straight stitch
  5. stretch blindhem would be nice to have too

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Best Sewing Machine for Travel and Portability

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A common need I’ve run across is having a portable sewing machine. While not necessarily your primary sewing machine, these can be the best sewing machine for backup use or as a spare machine. They are small and can even go on vacations or to conventions with you.

In the portable sewing machine category I have two recommendations:

For basic repairs and simple tasks go with the Mini Rex Cordless Sewing Machine.  You can sew all kinds of fabrics and even craft paper.  It’s a double stitch ultra portable, weighing only 2 pounds and measuring 9.3 x 4 x 7.5 inches.  Easy to carry around the house or even tuck away in your travel luggage. This is the best sewing machine for students living away from home.

The Mini Rex has many of the features you would find on a standard size machine but at a fraction of the size.  I bought one to take with me when I travel and I’ve found that I actually use it quite a bit a home for small projects that I don’t want to get out the big machine for. It runs on batteries too.

If you’re looking for a higher end machine for professional use on the go I highly recommend the Reliable Portable Walking Foot Zig-Zag Sewing Machine.  It’s commercial quality for the mainstream.

Great for small business owners and serious hobbyists.  This is basically an industrial quality machine, but in a 8.5 x 15.5 x 12.5 footprint. People are running deals for it online so it’s underpriced right now. You’ll find it for under $500 - what other machine can offer industrial needle size fittings, 1/4″ clearance, and 4 stitches an inch, AND be the size of roughly a shoe box?

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What Is The Best Sewing Machine For You?

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If you’re just starting out sewing it can be as confusing as it is exciting. There’s so many new ideas and techniques - was that supposed to be a topstich or an edgestich there?? - it’s hard enough by itself.

Throw in trying to figure out what’s the best sewing machine to buy, and well, you’ve got a mess on your hands!

Before we figure out the best sewing machine for you let me tell you a little about myself, and how I got my first sewing machine.

I grew up watching my grandmother knit and sew, and have many happy memories about that. When I was in my 20’s I decided to start sewing too. Simple things at first like maybe hand stitching some ripped clothes or making a small fabric cover.

This was okay until one spring day I wanted a new purse. I had found a good Simplicity pattern but had a problem: the thought of stitching it up by hand wasn’t appealing. Sure it would be fun, but it would take too long, and besides - if I had the best sewing machine for me, I could not only make the purse, I could also make a new slip cover, a new blouse, a new shirt for my husband… you get the picture!

So where to find my new sewing machine? We live in a small town so there was only one store that would possibly carry sewing machines. Unfortunately, they did not so we had to drive 35 minutes to another town to go buy one. Looking at all the different options is when the problem hit..

How on earth was I supposed to choose what’s the best sewing machine for what I needed?

They had four different brands of sewing machines. Some where way over my budget, and some just looked too cheap. I wanted something that would last but not break my budget. Some were computerized and looked far too complex - I just wanted to make a purse, not launch a space shuttle!

With a headache coming on, and the thought of driving back home to look online AND driving back, I made a gamble. Pick a cheaper one and hope it works. Normally I would have ordered online but needed to finish over the weekend, so there was no choice.

Turns out the sewing machine I got wasn’t very good for what I needed. It jammed up too much and the pedal worked sporadically. I had to end up returning it after researching the best sewing machine for me. I was only looking to make simple patterns too, not quilting. If you have decided on a sewing machine and feel like you are ready to begin quilting there are plenty of places you can find discount fabric online. You will need that if that’s your project.

Anyway, I’ve made this site to help you easily find the best sewing machine possible without making the mistakes I did. Whatever your skill or budget I’m sure you’ll be able to find the best sewing machine for your projects.

Good luck and Happy Sewing!

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