Category Archives: Featured Machines & Cabinets

Sewing Room Make-over

Note to all visitors:  Our 1st Gift Give-Away is winding down but, there’s still a few chances left for you to win!  Click this link and be a winner!  Please?  Gift Give-Away

SEWING ROOM MAKE-OVER

Having a sewing/crafting room all to yourself that is truly just for you, is a real luxury.  Sometimes this is achieved by the joint efforts of a husband-wife team.  And, sometimes, it must be achieved slowly, over time, in stealth mode…..

Over a period of about 4 years, I slowly overpowered an entire room of our home with all of my sewing/crafting supplies.  This was a deliberate process.  At first I started out with putting a regular computer desk into our spare bedroom.  This desk often did double duty as a sewing table, but it was just too high to use comfortably.  So, eventually I “had” to bring in an official sewing desk.

Before: Functional, but Drab

Then, it became difficult for me to prepare meals in my kitchen because my large counter-top was also my fabric cutting area.  So, I “needed” to buy a fold-away cutting table and large rotary cutting mat.

Before: Naked Cutting Table & lots of storage underneath

Anyway, having a room all to yourself is a real treat.  But having one that is decked out with your own personal touches is even better!

So, here are a few pictures of my room AFTER I decided I would also use it for teaching sewing lessons.  I really enjoy using this space for teaching classes and for creating my own projects as well.

AFTER: Same Room, Lots of Changes...

AFTER: Cutting Table - wearing a skirt (still storing stuff underneath!)

StitchinJenny In-Home Sewing Studio w/ White & Green Arrow Sewing Cabinets

If you like these cabinets, you can get them at Humble Sewing Center.  Note:  I added the skirt to the white one.  You can check out more from Arrow by clicking this link:  Arrow 

As you can see, I like “cute” looking vintage decor.  By the way, if you look at the 1st “Before” photo, there is a dark brown chair with a piece of blue fabric draped over it’s back.  That chair was once my Grandmother’s and I have since painted it pink and re-upholstered it to go better with my pistachio green sewing desk.  I think she’d like it…

Even though I absolutely love this room, I can understand if the pink and green theme may not be quite your preference.  So, I am posting a short video clip of our beloved, Nancy Zieman, giving us an inside peek at her personal sewing room aka “Dream Sewing Studio by Koala.”   It is VERY classy and amazing.

Gotta mention:  Humble Sewing Center is also a dealership for Koala and they always have some great deals.  For more dream room options from Koala, just click this link:  Koala

Happy viewing, shopping, sewing, and crafting!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

p.s.  Have you entered our give-away yet?  There’s a contest link at the top of this blog post.  Yep!  Way up there!

One-of-a-kind Zippers with Help from Babylock Sergers

Serger Workshop DVD with Nancy Zieman

Did everybody survive the Black Friday shopping mayhem?  Hopefully you found all the best deals and knocked out a lot of your shopping list!  I didn’t go out.  Instead I started making some gifts that would also serve to bust my fabric stash.

And, I saw something new from Nancy Zieman that is designed to help you get more comfortable with your serger.  It’s a Serger Workshop & DVD that Humble Sewing Center can order for you.

Now, if you prefer in person lessons, I’m your girl.  Click here to contact me about an appointment:  StitchinJenny

Anyway, Nancy Zieman shares a clip of her new dvd and I’m posting it here.  Gotta tell you, it knocked me right on my rear.  It’s showing a truly one-of-a-kind way to embellish your zippers that only the upper-line BabyLock sergers can do.  I’m now experiencing serger envy!!!  My old serger is a faithful friend and serves me very well but, she just can’t do this exclusive WAVE stitch from Babylock……   Technically, I could force my machine to do this stitch, but it’s kind of tricky to get it to turn out consistently or even pretty without using a BabyLock to do it.

Soooo, check out this clip!  I’m thinking of all the bags I make that could benefit from this embellishment technique….   Oh sigh!  Some day!

P.S.  Our very first Gift Give-Away now has 13 out of 25 winners!  It’s not too late to get in on the winnings so click this link and follow the steps to win:

Gift Give-Away Contest!

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

What is a Serger & why would I want one???

I recently put up a blog post with some shopping tips for sewing machines, embroidery machines, and also sergers.  An old friend, new to sewing, asked me for some more information about sergers, so I decided to shed some light on these mystery machines here.

A few samples of decorative stitches done by serger.

Short Answer:

On the practical side, a serger is a machine that people use to finish seams with a professional looking stitch. (Look inside of what you’re wearing right now. The seam was probably done with a serger.)

The serger has a built in blade and lets you trim the seam allowance, stitch the seam, and overcast the raw edge simultaneously so you get done much quicker than with a conventional sewing machine.

They also do decorative stitches that sewing machines cannot do and they have special settings that make it easier to sew on knits and tricky fabrics. If you’re just getting started sewing, you probably won’t need one of these right away.

Video Clip Answer:

As you may have figured out, I’m a fan of Nancy Zieman’s show, “Sewing with Nancy,” and I like to post some of her video clips here.  In the clip below, Nancy does a great job of showcasing the “Queen of all Sergers,” the Babylock Evolution.  Even though I don’t have the Evolution, watching the clip just now, reminds me why I love my trusty serger so much!

Oh, and if you’re brand new to serging, a really good book to get is:  Ready, Set, Serge  by:  Georgie Melot

Ready,Set, Serge by: Georgie Melot

It’s full of easy projects that also make great gifts.

Humble Sewing Center carries this one and you can find it online as well.

http://www.nancysnotions.com/product/ready+set+serge+book.do#

Enjoy!
Let’s Get Sewing!
Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Machine Shopping Tips fm Jenny Gabriel

Jenny Gabriel - alter ego: StitchinJenny

The Holidays are coming and some of you may be ready to buy your first sewing machine, embroidery machine, or even your very first serger.  If so, good for you!  You’re worth it!

Choosing the right machine can be an overwhelming task so I’m posting some shopping tips here for your review.  Keep in mind, the ideas expressed here are my personal opinions and do not necessarily represent SewVac Outlet’s staff or owner.

Embroidery Machines:

Here’s some info. about embroidery machines that you may find helpful:
  • Ask your dealer questions about how to transfer embroidery designs to the embroidery machine.
  • Ask about the maximum size for embroidery. The least expensive embroidery machine has a 4×4 hoop size. As you go up in hoop size the price goes up as well.
If you have your heart set on a sewing/embroidery machine combo, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, the best deal I’ve seen lately is the BabyLock Ellure Plus.  BabyLock is a very good brand.  This model has a usb port and comes with 2 hoops:  5×7 & 5×12.  The 5×12 is awesome for sewing out larger designs.  I think it’s on sale at a reduced price right now at Humble Sewing Center.   I can’t quote prices here, but I can say that the sale price is a real steal.  Check out this link to find out more about the Ellure Plus:  http://www.babylock.com/embroidery/ellure-plus3/
If you’re looking for an Embroidery Only machine, I personally love the Janome 350E.  

Janome 350E

This machine is not a sewing/embroidery combo so it does not sew at all.  However, I own this model and love it!  It is very user friendly and has more on-screen embroidery editing abilities than most embroidery machines for the same price.  It definitely has more embroidery “muscle” for your money.   Check out this link to find out more:  http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Embroidery/MC350E

Sewing Machines

My favorite Sewing Machine brand is Janome.  I own the MC6600.  This is one fully loaded workhorse of a machine!  However, most ladies don’t need so much sewing muscle, so the model I recommend the most often is the Janome DC2011.  When you start comparing features and prices, you’re going to find that, compared to other brands, Janome gives you a lot more bang for your buck.  Pretty much any Janome you get will be a good machine.
Here’s a link to check out the DC2011:
Here are some features to look for in a sewing machine:
  • drop in bobbin
  • speed control slider
  • one-step button hole
  • adjustable stitch width
  • adjustable stitch length
  • decorative stitches
  • 7mm widest stitch width
  • (I prefer the computerized machines that have an LCD screen.  They are going to include a lot more convenience features than a basic mechanical machine.)
  • Make sure the inside of the machine has metal parts and not plastic.  The computerized Brothers at Walmart have no metal frame inside and are full of cheap parts.  (Seen this first hand.)
Whatever brand you choose, avoid getting a machine at Walmart, Target, Sears, department stores etc.  The manufacturers do not support these models.  Only the models that are sold at sewing machine dealerships are supported by the manufacturers.
In other words, you won’t be able to get parts for a machine that you buy at Walmart etc.  If you are planning to buy your machine online, don’t purchase until you make sure that your local dealership will be able to get parts for it in case you need repairs in the future.  Also, dealerships are able to offer better warranties than online purchases, so be sure to do your homework before you buy!

Sergers:

Recommended Serger Features to look for: 
Any serger you buy should have:
  • at least 4 threads
  • differential feed (this is what helps you tame those stretchy knit fabrics with ease and it does other cool stuff, too)
  • it’s accessories:  long tweezers, screw driver for changing needles, etc.
  • If you get a Janome or a Babylock, both of these brands can usually do a pretty rolled hem stitch.  If possible, have the dealer demo the serger’s rolled hem before buying.
Recommended Serger Brands:
I consider myself a serger expert.  I teach a lot of serger classes each year.  I’ve seen almost every model and brand you can think of.  I’ve seen many a serger bite the dust in my Serger 101 class because of being a poor quality make & model.  In my opinion, any current model of Janome or BabyLock Serger will be a good machine that will serve you well.
My favorite Janome is the Janome 1110DX  and the Queen of all sergers is the Babylock Evolution.

Janome 1110DX

BabyLock Evolution

BabyLock Sergers:   http://www.babylock.com/sergers/
Janome
As far as price, there are some other Janome models for less than the one I’m discussing here, but this one’s a little easier to thread.  It’s the middle of the road machine.  Not the base model and not the top of the line either.  Many ladies have brought this with them to my classes and it’s always done great.
BabyLock
Another exceptional brand for sergers is Babylock.  They have jet air threading and automatic tension settings which makes them the easiest serger to use on the entire serger market.  Pricewise, lowest to highest is:  Imagine, Enlighten, Evolution (top of the line).
These machines typically cost more than other brands, but they are so easy to use that it’s worth every penny.
Well, I hope this helps you on your journey and machine hunt.
Happy Shopping!
Let’s Get Sewing!
Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Holiday Home Decor – Serged Christmas Tree Napkin!

Oh Snap!  If you’ve invested in a serger, this blog post has a great project for you!  (You could also use a sewing machine to get this done, but you’d need to change some of the assembly instructions…)

Have fun watching the how-to video for making your own serger Christmas Tree napkins!  These make for easy and attractive table top decor as well as a thoughtful gift for a co-worker or loved one!

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Introducing the new Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000The Horizon Memory Craft 12000 will expand your sewing, quilting and embroidery to new horizons. You can see the Horizon Memory Craft at Sew Vac Outlet (Humble Sewing Center) on Saturday, October 1, 2011. 

This top of the line Janome sewing/embroidery machine has a 15″ embossed stainless steel plate in the bed and 11″ to the right of the needle; it has the most workspace of any Janome. It has the largest, most stable embroidery system we’ve ever developed. And an amazing list of new features.

The Horizon Memory Craft 12000 will change the way you create, and make the creative journey more enjoyable than ever before.

Real-Time PC Connection With Horizon Link™ 
Create and edit designs on the touchscreen in real time on your computer. Use your mouse to drag, drop and edit. This means your editing screen can be as large as your computer monitor. Or take your laptop with you to edit on the go.

AcuFeed Flex™ Layered Fabric Feeding System
Our AcuFeed™ system has been a favorite among quilters for its amazing precision and power. Now it’s even better. AcuFeed Flex™ is easy to remove and comes in two widths with multiple feet to address different tasks.

Create Your Own Stitches
Design your own original decorative stitches from scratch. Using the Stitch Composer,™ it’s easy. And your Memory Craft 12000 can use your new creation just like one of its own built-in stitches, altering length and width and adding it to combinations.

The Linear Motion Embroidery System™
It slips neatly onto the back of your machine to give you a bigger embroidery area than ever before, with even greater accuracy. So discreet and sleek, you can leave it attached for regular sewing. And it’s the only home-use sewing machine to allow Free Arm embroidery.

Then there’s the 9mm Stitch WidthAuto Presser Foot LiftOne Step Needle Plate ConversionVariable Width Zigzag during FMQ, and so much more.

Introducing the New Baby Lock Ellisimo Gold

Baby Lock recently introduced a new Ellisimo Gold.  New features in the Ellisimo include color visualization and the on screen designer. You can also resize embroidery designs on the Ellisimo Gold up 200% and down 60% while adjusting the density for the perfect embroidery.

Introducing the Ellisimo Gold from Baby Lock from Tacony Corporation on Vimeo.