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Old 08-19-2008, 01:07 PM   #1  
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Default Sewing Machine virgin!

I need some advice--- I want to get a sewing machine to sew zig zags and straight borders on my cards--- but I know NOTHING about sewing. Does anyone have any recommendations on one that would be easy and good for a beginner? I need something that takes very little sewing talent!

Also- Is there a special kind of thread that you have to use?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:52 PM   #2  
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Default sewing machine

I have a hello kitty janome...it is a small one that does say 15 stitches very simple...they cost about 50-75....
there is a sale at joanns this week i think and they have a machine for 69.00...I use regular cotton or poly thread...just ask at the craft store but just plain old thread will work.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:22 PM   #3  
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just regular thread

the janome sew mini is very popular for sewing on cardstock... you should be able to find it online for about 5o bucks. my dh got me a brother sewing machine from wal-mart for 70... i find it pretty easy to use, esp with cardstock. for some reason it's way easier than sewing on fabric. (i should add that other than a 6 week class in high school i didn't have any experience with a machine either. love my machine!
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:50 PM   #4  
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Whatever you do, don't get the Sew Crafty which is appealing because it is so cheap (less than 10 dollars) but is also a piece of junk from everything I've ever heard about it. It's also referred to as the "Sew Crappy".
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:16 PM   #5  
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I had awful luck with the Sew Mini. It was a lemon. I overpaid for it because I wanted to support my local stamp store., It broke within a week. I had to ship it back to the manufacturer at MY cost, and when it came back, it stopped working within a week.

IF I ever get another machine, it will be an inexpensive Singer from Walmart.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:57 PM   #6  
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I own a normal Kenmore sewing machine and I do sew. I wonder if you call your local high school if the home ec teacher would let you come over at lunch time and BORROW one of hers...Cyndi
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:09 PM   #7  
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I tried one of those $10 machines before and it was terrible!
I got a Janome for Christmas and it is WONDERFUL!!!! It's small but not too small to be functional.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:30 PM   #8  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MahloumelView Post
Whatever you do, don't get the Sew Crafty which is appealing because it is so cheap (less than 10 dollars) but is also a piece of junk from everything I've ever heard about it. It's also referred to as the "Sew Crappy".
I totally agree with this - I had one and threw the darn thing away. It just plain didn't work. I have been thinking about getting my portable machine out but I have no place to set it up. I have been looking at the smaller machines ... maybe someday.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:36 PM   #9  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KathiRView Post
I had awful luck with the Sew Mini. It was a lemon. I overpaid for it because I wanted to support my local stamp store., It broke within a week. I had to ship it back to the manufacturer at MY cost, and when it came back, it stopped working within a week.

IF I ever get another machine, it will be an inexpensive Singer from Walmart.
I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one with this experience! I got a Sew Mini as a gift and it broke within a few uses. Now it runs, but constantly drops stitches in the zigzag. It sounds awful, too. Too bad, because I love how small it is. I guess I won't send mine back; haven't done it yet because I was afraid of the very thing that happened to you.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:43 AM   #10  
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Thanks for your advice everyone! I have a Janome on order from everyone's advice(I had to go with the Hello Kitty one just because it was so cute and does the same stuff) --- that one seemed great for a beginner, is a little smaller than average, so it won't take up valuable stamping space and it has the built in stitches that I want to try to figure out how to use! Now I just will need to learn how to use it! (May need a call to mom to come help me out!)
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:45 AM   #11  
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If you go to Gina K has a great tutorial on her blog using these machines.

Good luck

http://blog.ginakdesigns.com/
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:53 AM   #12  
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Default Sewing Maching

Can I use my regular sewing machine or do I have to have a special crafting sewing machine?

I just visited http://blog.ginakdesigns.com/ based on the recommendation above. It was great. I definately think I'll be trying this!

Thanks so much
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:40 AM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by SimiView Post
Can I use my regular sewing machine or do I have to have a special crafting sewing machine?

I just visited http://blog.ginakdesigns.com/ based on the recommendation above. It was great. I definately think I'll be trying this!

Thanks so much

You can use your regular sewing machine. I have heard that paper can dull your needle, though, so you might want to keep that in mind.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:44 AM   #14  
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I was going to start a thread about this too!!!

Can someone whose NEVER EVER used a machine (well, I did in middle school, XX number of years ago, lol) learn to use the Janome?? I did look at Gina K's tutorial, & she lost me after step 2, which I think was "plug it in".

Is it possible for a sewing loser like me to learn, if I have it in front of me & can read step by step instructions?? Otherwise, is there anyone in the Milwaukee area that can teach me??? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-23-2008, 02:39 PM   #15  
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Default machine virgin..

the hardest thing about it is threading it but just follow the instructions....raise the presser foot, put your paper under it, lower it, press the petal (hold the paper like you are guiding it)..
practice for awhile on some scrap paper and see what you like.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:57 PM   #16  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MilwaukeeMommyView Post
I was going to start a thread about this too!!!

Can someone whose NEVER EVER used a machine (well, I did in middle school, XX number of years ago, lol) learn to use the Janome?? I did look at Gina K's tutorial, & she lost me after step 2, which I think was "plug it in".

Is it possible for a sewing loser like me to learn, if I have it in front of me & can read step by step instructions?? Otherwise, is there anyone in the Milwaukee area that can teach me??? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOL!!! Sorry, but this sounds like me! I have the Janome and yes, you can learn learn to use it (are you calling me a loser too? LOL!!). I have a bit of trouble getting the corners not to look all weird. (see this card) I have tried adjusting the tension, but it always looks the same. I was hoping it would just add to a vintage or worn look.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:39 PM   #17  
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With sewing machines, you get what you pay for. Cheap machine=crummy sewing. I do a LOT of sewing and quilting, so I have a very nice Bernina. Yes, you can use a regular sewing machine for cardmaking, but definitely change the need when you are done with your project.
MilwaukeeMommy, there are several sewing machine dealers in the area that would be happy to help you. I live a little south of Milwaukee and you can pm me if you want some help!

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Old 08-24-2008, 04:53 AM   #18  
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If you want nice corners, make sure you stop at the end of the first row, make sure the needle is down in the paper, lift the pressure foot, rotate the paper and start sewing again, it is difficult to make a turn with out stopping, and make sure you flip your card over, tug on the back thread until you see a little loop form near the base, pull that loop through to the back and knot off, that will end your stiching and keep it in place...I usually add a little tape across the ending thread tails just to make sure.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:37 AM   #19  
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Thanks, craftsrlb, I have always left the needle in the paper and rotated the paper before sewing again, but I haven't tried tugging on the back. I'll give that a try. I wasn't sure if it was me (as if! ha!!) or my machine since it didn't do that when I first got it. I do have a nicer machine but it's so big and heavy, I hate getting that thing out unless I'm sewing baby quilts....which isn't too often anymore.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:53 AM   #20  
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isewquilts2 ~~ thanks, I know of some dealers too ~~ I never really thought to ask them for help though. I thought about taking a beginners sewing class at Joann, but just never got around to it. Now that my younger ds is starting K, maybe I should add that to the many things I want to do with my "spare" time, lol!

I only live about an hour from Gina, maybe if I go to her store she'll help me, step by step, lol!!!
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:18 AM   #21  
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I just got a Brother for my birthday, it actually says on the website that it's good for scrapbooking and sewing on paper so that's one reason I wanted it. I have had time to play with it yet but I'll post when I do.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:44 AM   #22  
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Ok, got the new machine out last night and played, it works GREAT on paper! I was thrilled It has lots of different stitches, regular stitches in different lengths and lots of different zig zag stitches and one that looks like a heart beat I got the Brother LS-2125-i, my mom got it at Wal-Mart and it wasn't too expensive. It's really easy to use ( although I've sewn before) and has easy instructions, etc. I definitely recommend it
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:15 AM   #23  
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I agree that paper does dull your needle faster than fabric, so just be sure to replace the needle when it seems to not puncture the CS as smoothly. How often to change a needle depends on how much you use your machine on CS. I use mine almost every day, so I imagine I'll be changing my needle about 3 times a year.
Also, be sure to buy a very small needle. I do not have the actual size in front of me, but you can hold needles up next to each other and see which one is skinnier.... I'm guessing my needle is approximately 1/32" diameter. You want a thin needle so that your holes in the Cs are not so big. You do not want to actually be able to see through the holes... it just makes it less appealing in my opinion.
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