Okay, sew what’s next?

You bought a sewing machine so you could do something to help with COVID-19. You made many, many masks which are still being worn by grateful family and friends. Frankly, you’re masked OUT!

You discovered you actually enjoy sewing and are now wondering, “What else can I do with this thing?”. Wonder no longer, my new sewing friends. I’ve got your back. Today, I’m going to highlight 3 resources to assist in expanding your sewing machine knowledge.

  • Sewing machine manufacturer websites and social media
    The big brand names all have websites with machine info, manuals and support links. Even if your machine is slightly older, you may find a manual under “retired” machines on the support page. Educational content produced by machine manufacturers varies. In my opinion, Baby Lock, Bernina and Janome do a really nice job of producing instructional videos/tutorials and project ideas. Be sure to check out your sewing machine company’s Instagram and Facebook pages for project ideas and additional how-to videos.
  • I spy a similar machine with a different name
    As with cars, sewing machine companies make machines with different models and brand names. Take Brother, for instance. Brother machines are sold through dealers and mass merchandisers. Brother even makes computerized machines for Baby Lock. A Brother SE625 purchased from Wal-Mart is an economy version of the dealer level Brother Innov-is NS1750D. The Innov-is is equivalent to a Baby Lock Verve (also a dealer only machine). It’s still a great machine, but comes with fewer stitches, fewer accessories and fewer bells & whistles.

    What can you do with this knowledge? Head over to the Baby Lock site and watch the instructional videos on the Verve. Take the time to find a local Baby Lock dealer, who will usually be more than happy to answer basic questions you might have, especially if you purchase extra machine feet and accessories from their shop. Yes, Baby Lock feet fit Brother machines and vice-versa. Hint #1: Baby Lock Category G feet will fit the SE625. Hint #2: Non-branded accessories made by Brother may be cheaper than branded ones. All it takes is a little time to educate yourself and comparison shop online.
  • YouTube it!
    Many sewists share videos about their sewing machines from unboxing to advanced techniques. Sure, some are better than others, but I always manage to learn SOMETHING. Simply search by manufacturer and model name.
    While you’re at it, check out these YouTube channels:
    Missouri Star Quilting Company
    Sewing with Nancy (search “Sewing with Nancy full episodes” in YouTube search box)
    Crafty Gemini
    Professor Pincushion

Note: Your local fabric store and sewing machine shops are also excellent F2F resources for sewing instruction and machine questions. I compiled these resources because so many of us are still at home. While sewing machine shops and some fabric stores have reopened in my area, very few F2F classes appear on the local class schedules. Most events are held virtually and I’m told they will be virtual until at least January 2021.

Until later – happy sewing!