June Sewing Blog: Popular Questions
Hello Sewing Friends,
This month we’re getting in gear for sensational summer sewing by tackling some of sewing’s most popular questions. You picked a great time to brush up on your sewing skills. Whenever you purchase a sewing machine, it’s important to know what kind of ‘extras’ go along with it such as bobbins, threads and needles. Each manufacturer is different so let’s try to make some sense of it.
Not all bobbins are created equal! Most of Singer’s Electronic, Computerized and Embroidery machines use a proprietary Class 15-J bobbin. These bobbins have a center that is slightly higher and slightly narrower than the regular size 15. The Singer Heavy Duty takes a plastic class 66 bobbin and the Quantum L-500 takes a class L bobbin. The Pixie can use metal 15 bobbins and the Sew Easy comes with 24 pre-wound metal bobbins, so no worries there.
All of Brother’s Electronic, Computerized and Embroidery machines sold on HSN use class 15 bobbins. Class 15J bobbins also work and I have found the two to be interchangeable on Brother machines.
Since most machines come with 3-4 bobbins, you may want to stock up with item # 369480. This Singer plastic case/30 pack of 15J bobbins also includes 5 ballpoint needles to give you fewer skipped stitches and better results when sewing stretch knits and synthetic fabrics.
WARNING: You must use the bobbins that the manufacturer recommends or else you may damage your machine!
Next Month: Stay tuned for straight talk on Needles!
I am always re-doing, re-cycling, re-making something new from something I no longer need and thought it would be a fun idea to share those makeovers with you monthly.
This month’s re-invent is a simple twin-top sweater that goes from plain and practical to artistic free spirit. These versatile three dimensional flowers are showing up everywhere from purses to pillows … from trenches to tee-shirts. They’re easy to make and can be fashioned from fabric leftovers or a repurposed silk scarf. Why not dress up one of last season’s tops with this unexpected embellishment? WARNING: be prepared for compliments!
1. Fold the flower fabric in half and cut five identical semi circles. If you’re making various flowers for a ‘bouquet’ or collection on a lapel, cut different sizes to make your grouping more interesting. I used 6″, 41/2′ and 3″ on the folded edge semicircles in the grouping on the sweater.
2. Hand baste around the curved side through both layers stitching every 1/4″ or so. Pull the thread tight to gather the basting.
3. After completing five or six petals, stitch them all together in a circle. Then stitch the completed flower to the garment’s right side. Trim the bottoms so that they will fit together more smoothly. You can add a button or bead to the center if you would like a more finished look.
Attach the various colors/sizes to your garment in an arrangement that’s pleasing to you.
Demystifying the serger one function at a time….. This month we’ll take a look at 2-thread serging. Two thread serging can be used for rolled hemming or flat locking. If your serger comes with a bypass devise you will be able to perform this function. This function works with the left needle and the lower looper. You’ll need to test the stitching after each tension adjustment because exact settings will change between manufacturers, serger models and fabrics. The serger pictured is the Singer Stylist ll.
FILE FORMATS: When you’re waiting for your embroidery machine to arrive, it’s a good idea to go ’surfing’ on the internet to download free embroidery designs at least on the manufacturer’s website. Most designs (on embroidery sites) come in multiple formats. If you’re waiting for a Singer embroidery machine, download the files in a .xxx format. Although 13 other formats will work, the .xxx is very compatible with the Futuras. If you are downloading designs to use on one of the Brother machines, download the file in .dst or .pes. Both of these formats are also very common in the embroidery world. If you have both a Brother and a Singer machine, you do not have to download the designs twice. You can use one of the Brother formats and then stitch it out on the Singer machine by changing the format file menu on the Futura.
Don’t expect to start viewing these files as soon as you receive them. They will not open on a normal computer. You need either your sewing machine’s software installed on your computer and/or the machines connected to your computer to see the designs. You will see the file extension and name but no picture without the connection.
EXTRA DESIGNS: When you’re expecting a BIG bundle of software capabilities and designs, remember that they are often included individually inside your purchase so go over the styrofoam with a fine tooth comb!!!
In the Futura 250 or SES2000, there is a CD for basic installation, then there is a CD to install for the additional software such as Hyperfont, Photo-Stitch, Auto-Cross-Stitch, Favorite Fonts and Frames or Advanced Editing. ( These options vary depending on which machine you purchased ) Then the 3,900 or the 2,600 additional designs are on another CD that you must place in your CD tray to use. (My CD lives in the tray most of the time) You can open the 2600 design catalog in the file menu when you click on “Embroidery Anthology” and you can open the 3900 disc from the file menu by clicking on “Design Browser”.
WHEN TO WATCH
June 5 – 4 pm A VERY SPECIAL EMBROIDERY HOST PICK WITH CONNIE CRAIG!!!
July 10 – 2 am, 7 am, 6 pm
July 11 – 4 am, 2 pm
Sew Your Summertime Dreams,