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

What can I say? I still had some denim strips left!

And I’m certainly not one to waste recycled denim!  So let’s make another bag.  This one is not quite big enough to hold my iPad, not like the last one I made.  This one seemed to go together quicker too!  Perhaps it wasn’t as “fancy” or perhaps I’m actually getting used to throwing them together?!?

Again, I started by sewing my strips together, pressing them, ironing on the fusible interfacing, and trimming the two outer bag walls to the right size.

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

How to sew a recycled denim handbag. Part 2

Back again!  To recap last week’s post … I wanted to make myself a 100% recycled denim bag, using denim strips like those bags I saw on Pinterest.  Last week I cut up my denim jeans, pieced and sewed the strips together and fused on the interfacing for my outer bag walls.  I sewed the pockets and the zipper pocket on my bag lining.  I sewed the bag strap.  I did my topstitching – I love topstitching and Amber, my Singer 421G was a work horse!  

This week, I continued on.  I prepped the opening zipper, cutting it to the right length and topstitching the zipper tabs on the ends.  I switched from the brown zipper to this blue one as it fit around my iPad just right.

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How to sew a recycled denim handbag.

I was trying to think of an eye-catching, mysterious title for my blog post.  I couldn’t.  I have too been immersed in bag making lately – sewing creatively, instead of blogging creatively!  

The only other handbags I’ve made I posted about here and here.  I made one of them for my sister – she’s seems to be happy with it.  I made her’s by copying something she already had.

This time I wanted to make a handbag for myself out of 100% recycled materials, specifically denim.  I have been collecting a few images on my Pinterest and I’m quite inspired by this recycled denim Chobe Bag with the denim strips sewn together.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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My DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER COPY is done… but…

I haven’t got any photos yet.  Sorry!  😦

I just finished hand sewing and ironing my top and my skirt but I’m not going to have a chance to take photos for a couple of days.  I’m going out of town again.  But I promise as soon as I get back I will take some photos and post them!

I did manage to get some gift bags finished since we last spoke.  The first was a taller bigger gift bag. Continue reading