Just ONE more sewing machine … a review of the Janome HD3000

I used my Janome 3160QDC (my baby) during my last bag making session.  It worked well with a Jeans needle, but there was an “oh oh” moment when my machine was going through a few particularly thick layers of fabric and fleece and it made a strange “whirring” noise.  I backed off, stopped pushing it so much, took it easy and never heard the noise again.  Just to be safe I dropped it off today with the sewing machine repair mechanic for a cleaning and a check up.  I have in the past opened up machines to see how they work (or clean and fix them) but I don’t feel comfortable opening up a computerized machine.

For about a month now, I have been hunting for a mechanical sewing machine that was not fancy and could take all the layers I could throw at it.  Something reliable.  I asked on a few Facebook bag making sites and was told the Juki TL series was a good choice.  Unfortunately, they are ridiculously priced for my budget!  Someone else suggested industrial machines.  Those in my price range lacked features.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Another recommendation was the Janome HD5000 or HD3000.  More in my budget!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I found some short reviews of these machines on line, but nothing detailed enough to convince me!  I did find this chart though that showed me that, although there is a $40.00 price difference, the only difference in features between an HD3000 and an HD5000 is a .5 mm stitch width!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! Continue reading

The Rosie© bag

I’ve always got my eye out for “the perfect bag”.  Even when I bought RTW I stuck to the same couple of perfectly functional bags – wrapped in different materials and styles to change things up.

Now that I am making my own, I am attempting to find the perfect bags for myself.  I am completely satisfied with my tote bag but I am still searching for the perfect medium sized handbag.  

I think though I may have found the perfect mini cross-body bag – give or take a small change here and there.

I am so certain that this is the perfect mini cross-body bag that I have named her “The Rosie © bag”! Continue reading

Amber is put to work …

Perhaps you remember my Singer 421G, a convertible free arm sewing machine made in Germany in 1954.  “Amber” for short!  Since purchasing Amber, she has received a good cleaning and oiling, and I took apart her tension assembly and put her back together again.  She runs smoothly now with a nice stitch.

I love the sound she makes – like a train clicking quickly on the tracks, heavy on my table with no shake – unlike my Janome 3160QDC who whirrs loudly and shakes the table as she sews.  Now it’s time to put Amber to work.   Continue reading

Let me talk about new toys…

For as long as I can remember, I have been sewing in my invisible zippers with a Singer Zipper foot that fits on my Janome sewing machine (below right).  It bounces around a bit, but it’s ok.  A few months ago I purchased this “Unique” brand package.  A plastic Zipper Foot with a variety of shanks to fit any machine – supposedly useful for sewing in invisible zippers!  Sorry… I found using my Singer Zipper foot to be more accurate.

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I recently decided that it was time to splurge.  After searching for a Janome Invisible Zipper foot – only to discover there was no such thing – I found a Janome Concealed Zipper foot… and I bought it, despite it’s silly name!

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Question and Answer Period!

A Blog Buddy has asked what settings I use on my Janome My Lock 334 serger for a rolled hem, since we have the same machine, and since she does not have the manual for her machine.

Well to start, I have a selection of reference books, my next favourite thing to buy besides fabric and notions! They might help – like my “Singer Sewing Step By Step” and my “Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide”, along with my serger manual.

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

There are a lot of sewists looking online for that manual.  The best they can find is the manual for the MyLock 634D, which they all claim is close.  It can be downloaded as a PDF from the Janome site. I can’t believe some sites have the MyLock 334 manual for sale for $14.99.  EBay has it for $9.99.

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My babies….

I thought I would take a break from my sewing this lovely long Easter weekend to show you my babies, both Janomes just by co-incidence. I did not buy them together and at the time I was looking for each I wanted the best and most reliable I could get in my budget.  I read lots of articles, like this one from Consumer Reports.  If you Google “how to buy a sewing machine/serger” or other variations that phrase, you will get hundreds of articles!  Even Craftsy has an article.   I thought this one was cool too.  When I was looking, the winners were Janome.

My serger is a Janome “MyLock 334”.  It has seen a few years.  It is my first and only serger and still running strong, although I know it is pretty basic to what is out there nowadays!

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I just found the pamphlet for it.  It has handwritten on it $595.00 and 16/6/90 – I guess that means it is 24 years old?

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It is pretty easy to thread, being an older serger.  It even has a colourful diagram attached on the inside to follow when threading.  It can do a rolled hem and a couple of other edging stitches.

Now unfortunately when I just opened it up to show you I saw a whole cupful of dust, thread, fabric cuttings and goo inside my serger.  Eww.  Long overdue for a clean out!  TIP:  when blowing crap out of your machine, don’t breathe in and close your eyes! 😖 (I learned that from experience.)

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There, that’s better!

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My other baby, my sewing machine, is a Janome “3160 QDC”.  This I purchased in December 2011.

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Even though I ran fabric through it sampling all 60 stitches, I still haven’t used it to its potential when sewing my projects!

You can remove the storage box and have a free arm for sleeves or …

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it also came with a quilting table and quilting accessories – the most notable of which is the “walking foot”.  Now I am not a quilter, but I just had to try it all out!

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Quilted placemats – which I do enjoy making.

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What kind of machines do you use? New or old? Are you happy with them?  Love to hear from you!

Diving into knits! Part Two

Back on schedule again!  Perhaps some of you remember my other “Diving into knits”  post?

imageI have been using McCall’s 4261.

I sewed up my red T shirt, it was such an easy pattern to put together, but I think now it might be too nice to workout in!

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Now on to my blue yoga pants.

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Don’t worry! I ironed my pattern piece after taking this photo and before cutting!

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My first “up cycle”?

My sister’s co-worker is traveling to Mexico very soon to avoid our rainy winter – the rain just goes on and on and on…  She asked my sister if I would be willing to sew her “tankini” for her before she leaves.  Sure, I love a new project!

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What we have here is her tankini top and a sample of the bottom she would like to have made out of the material which covers her tummy.  She wants that material taken off so that she can get some extra sun.  “Might as well! Hey?”

So I cut it off.

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I used this excellent stitch to hem up the stretchy knit material of the top by hand.

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imageTop hemmed.  The strap has to be changed yet though.

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Next? Diving into knits!

Last time I sewed anything with a knit fabric I was in grade 10. (That was a long, long time ago!) It was a heavy 100% polyester knit and it was solid pink! Very cool indeed! I made a t-shirt style top and hipster pants, almost a perfect match for this McCalls 3280.

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Can you imagine $1.00 for a McCalls pattern!

Now that I think back it was really heavy, thick material and really really pink. (ugh!) Another annoyance was that the pants didn’t really fit well. Ya they were hipsters and ya they were tight all the way down to their bell bottoms, but they had a tendency to slip down if I moved and the elastic waist band rolled down and dug into me. More importantly the crotch seam was just not quite right! Need I say more? But hey, I made them myself and they were fashionable and I wore my pink outfit to school proudly!

I haven’t sewed a pair of pants since and I haven’t sewed a scrap of 100% polyester knit fabric since!

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