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21  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Re: What machine do you use? on: June 30, 2008 07:21:12 AM
THe 270D is about to be replaced by the 370D and it may be less expensive.  At this time the suggestion will be that it sell for 399.  I don't know if you want a hot off the press "new" machine but if it were me, I would not be excited if I didn't make the choice myself.  At the same time, when the 370D comes off the line, the 270 may go on sale.  Just an option you may want to consider?
22  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: SINGER 401 EMERGENCY! bobbin issue maybe? on: June 29, 2008 07:43:21 PM
TAke everything off the machine and clean everything really well.  Make sure that you've got all the stray threads out of the bobbin.  Then  rethread the machine with the PRESSER FOOT UP.  This should take care of your problem if you have an internal upper thread tension. THe problem should be in the UPPER thread tension and the fact that you have bypassed the thread tension.  In newer machines happens when the machine is threaded with the presser foot down and the tension disks as closed.  Most likely this is the problem.  Keep your hands off that bobbin tension unless you are sure you know what you are doing.  The bobbin tension is very delicate.  The slightest turn can make a HUGE difference in your sewing and it is hard to get them back right once the bobbin has been "adjusted".  Also the screw is tiny and there are small parts which when released are difficult to get back in the right places. 
23  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: wont take certain materials? on: June 29, 2008 07:38:31 PM
It depends.  WHat is it doing with the fabric?  Is it feeding one layer faster than the other?  Is it making super tiny stitches?  Is it not sewing at all?  Is it stretching the fabric?  Give us some hint what is going on so maybe we can help you. 
24  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: remedial question re: bobbin running out mid-seam on: June 29, 2008 07:34:13 PM
WHen you start any seam you should always stitch forward 2-3 stitches, back up 2-3 stitches and the proceed forward to lock any seam.  The exception would be if you planned to knot the threads at the beginning/end of the seams when you finish...which is an application sometimes used on quilts.
25  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: WAY Too Big! on: June 28, 2008 11:46:50 AM
First of all you probably shouldn't be measuring yourself.  It is hard to get an accurate measurment that way.   When you measure, do not put your finger under the tape either.  It should lay on the body and  you should measure lay the tape at the top and bend back to get an accurate reading.  For the most part girls that wear a size 6 who have come to me in the past generally measure about a size 10, size 8 a size 12. 

When you take these up, be sure that you change the darts too they are recentered at size breaks. 

We tend to wear our clothes a bit tight in the US and we use the built in ease to buy a size smaller...how many rump sprung skirts have you seen lately?  The thing is that patterns all vary a bit by size Simplicity and McCalls runs fuller, Butterick usually runs slimmer and Vogue a little slimmer still. Butterick and Vogue patterns often fit the younger adult and even teen figures where the fuller figures seem to fit the Simplicity and Vogue better.  On the back of the patterns, many times you'll find finished pattern measurements (which is  a HUGE help) along with the measurments they recommend for each size.  This is a great chance for you to compare and decide for yourself.  At the same time, there are certain eases that almost have to be in some garments, more than you might realize...you need space to move to twist, bend your arm, etc.  As you remove the extra in these patterns, be sure that you don't remove too much or the garment won't be comfortable. 

Also, on the back of most patterns you'll find a description of the garment.  This holds keys to how the designer visulized the garment and how much ease they have incorporated into the item.  Here is a chart that may help you...

http://www.butterick.com/tech/ease/ease.html

This chart happens to come from the back of the Butterick pattern book but most pattern books have them...along with a lot of other helpful information.   These measurments are very accurate as to what kind of ease you should build into a garment to get "that type" of comfortable fit.  These charts are also often included in clothing textbooks and are pretty handy to have around.
26  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: HELP!!!! I spilled Kool-Aid all over my interfacing!!!!! on: June 28, 2008 08:22:21 AM
The water soluable is not interfacing.  It is stabilizer for embroidery.  It is used for woven fabrics because when you do embroidery on woven fabrics, in most cases a stabilzier is not needed after the embroidery. 

A non-water soluble/tear away stabilzier will not give like interfacing and in embroidery it is used to supply constant support to a stretch fabric after it is embroidered to keep the design from being pulled apart under stress.  During embroidery it, as well as the WSS keeps the embroidery design from tunneling during the stitch out process.

On the other hand, interfacing will pull apart when put under stress (unlike a good stabilizer).  The purpose of interfacing (first) is to supply support to areas of stress in a garment...button holes, add stiffness and body to collars, lapels, etc.  It will shape with the garment (why it does stretch and move), it will even add body shape to a garment. (Stabilzier will not shape like this).  Where the primary purpose of stabilizer ends with the finished project, the purpose of interfacing is just beginning.   Interfacing should be permanent in the garment.  Not only does it aid in fit and finish, it adds years to the wearability of the garment and does wonders to make it last longer.

The best and about the only place I can think where WSS stabilizer would be used in garment sewing might be to help in the stitch out of machine embellishments or sometimes it is used to help when sewing button holed in special circumstances.  There are a few other small random places that sometimes come up but they are unusual.  It's not something a seamstress normally would keep in her stash unless she does a lot of embellishing stitches. 

The only reason I even mentioned this is that it is a poor substitute for interfacing which needs to remain in a garment long after it is completed.  Also, I wouldn't want to wear a garment that had WSS on it..it might cause a skin reaction.  I always wash a garment/towel made with it before use.  I've heard it is probably a starch product but I've never heard confirmation.  If that is true, it probably isn't a problem...but if you don't know, I wouldn't recommend it. 

As for the Kool Aide?  It is a permanent dye.  If you didn't get it out while it was wet, it is probably just "dyed".  I can't imagine that it would damage the product. I would wash it to make sure it is "set" but I'm sure that it is.  Since interfacing is enclosed in the garment, I wouldn't worry that it is colored unless it is used on something of a different color that is see through. 
27  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Elna machines on: June 28, 2008 08:00:25 AM
Elna has been a quality product...for years.  However, it has really dropped off the map.  It has been purchased and I don't know how many of the machine are really even being produced now.  I've heard they're not around and then, like this once in a while you'll hear something about them.  I'd be hesitant to purchase one because the parts to machines, especially now with the computerization of almost all the market...well about 98% I'd guess, availablity of parts can become an issue. 
28  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Re: viking iris, keep it or sell it? how do we feel about having multiple machines? on: June 26, 2008 03:26:37 PM
Keep it.  There are a lot of people I know who have sold their machines, missed them and turned around and forked out a lot of money to have a second sewing machine (if it does embroidery so much the better).  Many people sew as they embroider.

The thing is that you won't get enough out of your machine to pay for the replacement should you later decide you want one.  Keep it several months and then decide.  If you sell it yourself you'll get more back anyway.
29  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Re: Singer CE-100 (& 200) & EuroPro 100-546 OPINIONS PLZ on: June 26, 2008 03:23:11 PM
I wouldn't go for the Euro Pro.  THe sewing machine doesn't have a good reputation from techs.  They say that if the sewing machine is working...great but if it breaks down...you might as well trash it.  They are expensive to repair (more than the machine) if you can even get parts...and they take a lot of bench time if you find someone who'll try to repair it.  I can't imagine that the serger would be much better.

I'm not personally fond of Singer BUT I know a lot of people who are very happy with their 100's and 200's.  Some have very expensive sewing machines but prefer the embroidery from the Singers.  I think you'd be happier with the 200. 

If you are willing to go for a machine that does only embrodiery, it sounds like you might be getting close to the range for the 700 Series Brother embroidery machines.  These are fine machines but they only embroider.  If I had a choice, I'd get the Brother embroidery only and a good 2nd hand sewing only machine to go with it (check with your Brother dealer for a possible good second hand machine that has been serviced). 

I've always bought expensive sergers.  I don't have a clue there.  A bad serger can be worse than a nightmare because they can be complicated to thread and balance. Also, it is worse than buying a large appliance...there are a ton of good options. You NEED differential feed though.  That is a must for stitching stretch items...and it is widely available now.
30  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Re: janome embroidery machines on: June 26, 2008 03:15:46 PM
The movement is away from boxes for design transfer.  I would be surprised if you need one.  I'd wait until it comes and find out.  Whatever you do, don't go out and buy a box until you know because I'm fairly certain it won't need one.  At the time I bought my machine 5 years ago almost everyone was using boxes and I became pretty certain I would need one from what I was being told by EVERYONE.  I bought the box...and I didn't need it at all.  More than likely the only reason that you'd need a box would be if you bought a bunch of designs on cards and need to change the format for your machine....DON"T buy any designs on cards until you know...I don't think you'll need those either.  I think you'll use a flash drive, a flash card (some of the Janome embroidery only machines use these), or a cable for transfer. 
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