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1  UNITED STATES / New Jersey / Bergen County_North Jersey_ASG on: January 19, 2013 08:23:43 AM
If you live in Bergen County (Fort Lee vicinity) and are interested in joining an American Sewing Guild neighborhood group, please let me know.  We want to start a neighborhood group but need to know if there is enough interest.

northjerseyasg at gmail dot com
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Barkcloth Summer Bag 2011 on: June 01, 2011 05:42:49 AM
Here's my latest.  It has  zipper pocket on front and a slip pocket for cellphone on the back. The bag has carry handles as well as shoulder strap that converts to cross body. The interior has three zipper pockets plus three slip pockets designed to carry eyeglasses.

3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: I wanna buy a serger.... on: January 25, 2011 08:35:25 AM
I'm interested in buying my first serger but I'm not sure what to get. I'm a very casual sewer and the things I do sew are usually light weight materials. I was trying to decide between 2 different sergers:

I've been sewing for almost 50 years.  Over those years, I've owned three sergers, and five or six sewing machines starting with a treadle, mechanical, electronic, computerized, et.al.  I've sewn everything from underwear to an overcoat and everything in between.  I love to sew.

How do I say this?.......You get what you pay for.  Not that you need to spend a lot for a decent serger.  Allbrands.com sometimes has Brother 1034D for $149,

But if you're a casual sewer, why do you need a serger?  Sergers are not necessary.  Believe me they are nice to have, but a good zig-zag, a stretch stitch or a pair of pinking shears will accomplish the same thing on most garments, especially for a casual sewer. 

If you spend $200 for either the Yamata or the Walmart machine, you are buying a piece of metal that will probably require more time and attention to adjusting the tensions and figuring how to thread than is worth it.  These are not even half-way decent machines.  Save your money and buy something worth buying.  Learning to thread a serger properly takes a lot of patience; and if you don't get it right, the serger doesn't serge.  The cheaper the machine, the more problematic the threading.  The reviews are there to help you avoid wasting money. 

4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Magic Loop Knitting Aid on: January 08, 2011 02:00:14 PM
Yes, the reason for this project is that I am a sock knitter.  These are my first toe up socks and the first pair I've made two-at-a-time thanks to the Magic Loop.  The bag made all the difference.  There was absolutely no tangled yarn anywhere. 

5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Magic Loop Knitting Aid on: December 08, 2010 04:43:28 PM
Though I've been knitting socks for more than 20 years, I've never been able to master the magic loop technique.  Last year, I really made an effort, but everything got so tangled, I just gave up in frustration and went back to knitting one-at-time.  Today, I just happened on a knitting site that had the answer to my dilemma http://www.lisaclarke.net/2010/12/07/upcycled-bag-o-yarn/.

I rushed to my sewing machine and made my own version out of an old pair of blue jeans. 

6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: How specific should I be when choosing a machine? on: September 13, 2010 01:05:38 PM
Check out Allbrands.com.  I've purchased three machines from them over the years and have never been disappointed.  Their customer service is excellent and their prices are very competitive.  They often have closeout specials or refurbished machines which they stand behind.  The only drawback is that you can't test drive a machine online.  Janome makes some really solid machines in your price range as does Brother.  Consumer Reports did an issue last year on sewing machines and recommended  A2 Kenmore, Brother Innov 40 and the Brother Innov 80.
I'd also check PatternReview.com for their recommendations on models you may be considering.
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Choosing a sewing machine on: September 13, 2010 08:06:32 AM
I am not familiar with that particular brand.  Pattern Review http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/ will provide lots of useful information.  Unfortunately the Alfa brand is not represented there.

Over the years, I have owned Pfaff, Singer, Viking, Elna and Janome.  As I became more proficient in sewing and familiar with what features I needed for the type of sewing I do, I upgraded my machines.  My first sewing machine, bought in 1963 cost $70.  The machine I have now, a Janome 6600P cost $1200.  I've loved each and every machine I've owned for different reasons.  

Sewing is very subjective.  Because there are so many choices, it can seem overwhelming, but only you can select the machine that is right for you.  Here's some more information that will give you clues on how to narrow your choices:

Take sewing lessons if you can before you buy.  If not, ask the dealer to show you how to use the various machines.  Buy a half yard of fabric, or use an old sheet or pillowcase.  Take that to the dealer and sew.  See how it feels.  As a beginner you don't need a lot of fancy stuff.  You need zig zag, built-in buttonholer, straight stitch and some utility stitches. You can find a very good machine for $200 to $350.
8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Buying thread online? Any sites? on: September 11, 2010 07:49:09 AM
Atlanta Thread & Supply http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBYQqwMoADAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.atlantathread.com%2Fthreads.html&ei=gpaLTLqfDYH68Abi5tTiCw&usg=AFQjCNHOQPgK0t1VFPbJ3MqrpEwOsYKnqw&sig2=BQmZDdwIUVZWL2i9wVEU4Q

Newark Dressmaker Supply http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newarkdress.com%2F&ei=qZaLTNH4FIL_8AbD_Y3GCQ&usg=AFQjCNHwmWrah1u12K0aXwVzgQjB7xBd7w&sig2=_E7HAdut-aDcVi9ZWAjh5w
9  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: a good starter machine? on: August 09, 2010 03:55:21 PM
Get the best machine you can afford but be warned, the cheap machines (under $200) will be tempermental and difficult to sew.  If you have dealers nearby, visit them and bring fabric samples with you so that you can test-drive the various models.  If there are no dealers; avoid buying machines from bg box retailers, especially if you are a novice and have no one on which you can rely for advice. 

Brother makes some decent machines that are not too expensive and so does Janome. Singer's repuation is not good.  They traded in quality during the 1970s and made some awful machines that did not last more than a few years, however I am told they are trying to reclaim the market they lost and have begun to make some decent machines. 

Expect to pay at least $250.  Check online retailers like Allbrands.com.  I've bought three machines from them over the years and have been very satisfied with their price, customer service and quality.  PatternReview.com has some good advice about the experience people have had with various brands and models.  Consumer Reports magazine did an issue on sewing machines last year.  They recommended Brother, Babylock, Pfaff and Janome models. 

As a beginner, you don't need fancy embroidery or hundreds of stitches.  You need a reliable machine that is easy to thread, fill bobbins, and has good stitch formation. 
10  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: NYC used machine store? on: May 26, 2010 07:04:32 AM
UPS will wrap and ship sewing machines for about $35.  (I've done it three times to get factory repair for my machines.)
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