Come Stitch With ME, LLC

Sewing Instruction, Tech Editing & Supplies


December 25, 2015

I’ll admit it.

I’m a list maker and a planner. 

I derive much pleasure from crossing items off my to-do list.

My plans are not necessarily super detailed, but they do give me an idea of where I’m heading.

My major goals for 2015 were simply:
(1) Take an awesome 25th anniversary trip with hubby.
(2) Move the day job closer to home (or change jobs if necessary).
(3) Develop other revenue sources with my business.

All three goals were met, but not quite in the way I imagined. 

Quite frankly,  I never dreamed the job transfer would literally shut down my craft business for nearly four months. Everything (and I mean everything) came to a screeching halt as I poured all my energy into my new job. My wake-up call came when I missed the visitation for a dear friend’s husband who had unexpectedly passed away.  I was planning lessons and lost track of time. I felt so bad. That won’t happen again.

So what’s on tap for 2016?

(1) Lose weight the doctor told me I need to lose.
(2) Expand class offerings for kids and adults.
(3) Network/collaborate more with craft business owners in the area.
(4) Redo the school library after an unexpected sprinkler flood right before Christmas break.

What’s on your list for 2016?

Here are some observations based on the sixteen kiddos in my Stitching Stallions maker club who have met with me every Friday since mid-September:

(1) Get a sewing machine with a top loading bobbin.

(2) Get a sewing machine with a needle threader.

(3) Retractable spool pins should be METAL- not plastic.

(4) Keep it simple. You do not need a machine with 60 gazillion stitches, 40 fonts and 24 buttonholes.

(5) A speed controller is nice – especially for slowing down those race car driver wannabes. However, they can learn how to manage the foot pedal just fine with some practice.

(5) Buy one of those screw on seam guides, if your sewing machine has a screw hole on the needle plate to accommodate one. It really does help the kids maintain a consistent seam allowance.

We used four different machines in our club – a Brother, two Janomes and an Elna. The vertical bobbin Janome sewed fine for me, but it wasn’t the most user friendly machine for my 10 & 11 year old stitchers when it came time to thread the machine – or OMG – fix a tangled thread in the bobbin area.  The Brother was okay, many of the kids didn’t seem to like it. (They couldn’t articulate specifically why, they just didn’t like it).

The Janome Jem Gold 660 was the only machine that the kids consistently felt comfortable using and were able to operate independently.  They did like the Elna Carina for its speed controller, but of the four machines – the Jem Gold was the one they chose first when all four were set-up.

This is the fourth group of students I’ve taught with some version of a Janome Jem machine. All four groups have had similar results with this particular machine. Really think I need to consider a trade-in of the vertical bobbin Janome for another Jem Gold 660. [Update 12/23/15 – I decided to keep the vertical bobbin to use for applique with classes and bought another Jem Gold 660 at a super price from the local Janome dealer. Now, I have two identical machines with top loading bobbins and needle threaders. Much easier for me and the kids.]

Not affiliated with Janome in any way.  My favorite all-around machine is my Janome 3160 QDC. 🙂 

Love those vintage machines

November 22, 2015

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Can you believe I bought this beauty for $7.97 + tax at the Smyrna Thrift Store two weeks ago?  I bought the machine to use as a decorative piece in my studio. My thinking at the time was that it would be a bonus if she actually worked.  (Note that the case in the picture is a temporary one. The original wooden case is in my garage awaiting restoration.)

The machine is a Royal DeLuxe straight stitch machine from the mid-1950’s. She is also known as a Class 15 Japanese clone (a sewing machine modeled after the Singer 15-30), which became popular after WWII. She was made in Japan, most likely by Toyota. All she does is a straight stitch, but her 1 amp motor allows her to deliver that beautiful straight stitch FAST!  I am very thankful to the collectors and lovers of vintage sewing machines who generously share their knowledge on the web. Special thanks go out to the Mary Jane’s Farm stitch & crafting room board plus the Yahoo Japanese Vintage Sewing Machine Group for their help. Although my machine came without a manual, there’s a generic manual available at no cost on the ISMACS site. Some web sleuthing made me realize that my machine was very similar to a Morse 300. I was able to obtain a pdf copy of an original Morse 300 manual here for a nominal fee.

All it took was little TLC in the form a liberal dousing of sewing machine oil to get her running. A $1.00 replacement belt and bobbin tire set from Hobby Lobby improved her stitches. I also borrowed the electronic foot control & power cord with motor block my husband rigged up for Ruthie, my vintage Riccar 707. Those in the know state that a cog style belt will work better than a stretch belt on this type of machine, so I will be looking to purchase one as soon as I figure out the size. I also plan to purchase a new electronic foot control similar to Ruthie’s for this machine once the original case is restored.

I took this 45 pound behemoth to school last Friday to demonstrate a pulley system for my 4th graders who are studying simple machines. Needless to say, it was a big hit with them and my afternoon maker club. Only a select few were allowed to experience stitching on this lovely machine. 🙂

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